F1s - SUPER EXOTIC
Many of us who breed these wonderful cats are aware that not everyone knows the lingo. F1 is a
genetic term that means first generation cross between two different species. In this case, a domestic cat
is bred to an Asian Leopard Cat, or ALC, for short. I use Bengals in my breeding program as I think they
give the best F1's. Because of this, my F1's are at least 56 to 58% ALC. F1's are different. They are
hand raised and make wonderful pets for some people. They will make very poor pets for others.
If you ever wanted to own a cat that looks like it just walked out of the jungle, then the F1 is for you -
maybe. Are you really a cat/animal person? Do you listen to your animals and understand their
differences as well as their similarities? Or do you insist on ruling the roost and taking no grief from
anyone or anything else?
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Each of these cats will have a distinctly different personality and will insist that their rules be followed. You can
intimidate and frighten them but you cannot force them to interact your way. If you have a problem with cats because
they will not obey like a dog, then this cat is definitely not for you. If you are capable of listening to the needs and
desires of your pet, of interacting with that pet and not just trying to rule, you just might be the right person.
I hand raise my F1s and get them going in terms of growth, personality, and personal habits. When they get with their
families, then their permanent bonding begins. Some will bond with only one person. Their sun rises and sets with that
one person. Some will get on well with a group of people. One F1 male at just less than one year of age fell asleep on
a strangers lap. He had an outgoing personality and was raised in an active house with strangers, including children,
coming and going on a regular basis.
These cats are talkers, often talking loudly. Their voices are distinctly different from the typical cat. To the untrained
ear, they may sound as if they are angry when they grumble and hiss. To the F1 lover, it’s an invitation to attend to their
needs – a neck massage, a shoulder ride, a game of fetch, or a bubble bath. That’s right, a bath! Ever had a cat jump
in the bathtub with you? Get ready to give up your rubber ducky. They will tell you the state of the world, they will tell
you when they are hungry and they will tell you, without fear, when you have misbehaved. They, of course, are
incapable of misbehaving. Ask them. They'll tell you that also. But an F1 is also capable of love, passion and loyalty,
like no other pet you have ever owned!
Are you a breeder that wants to step into the F1 world? Well let’s look at some facts there also. I quite frankly can't
imagine my life without my F1s. I wouldn't want to imagine that life. The F1 will love you and bond with you. When they
bond with you, they will follow you around the house as if they were dogs. And then comes breeding. Many F1s that
have been properly raised, will let you handle their babies from the day they are born. This is not universally true,
however. Some F1s will become very protective when their hormones are raging and they have babies to protect. As a
breeder, you need to be aware of this. Some of these cats will bite that hand that feeds them when they have a litter of
I personally have had little difficulty with my F1s eating their babies. I have lost one litter that way. In my experience,
they will do just fine if you give them privacy and leave them alone.
THE THREE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS WITH F1s ARE:
THE LITTER BOX
I strongly recommend, and just about insist, that kittens are partially cage-raised or kept in small, confined quarters
during much of the day. Often the bathroom will work. They should come out only under careful supervision. This is
MANDATORY! They must learn from their earliest days that the litter box is the only place to do their business. You
may think that this is mean, but I think it is far worse to develop a habit of inappropriate elimination and become an
unwelcome member of the household. An F1, who has the potential to become an enchanting and beloved companion,
could instead end up like an unwanted alley cat on the street, or worse.
They will eat all kinds of things: rubber bands - really bad; Styrofoam - gives them funny looking poop; foam rubber -
really bad – it can kill them. They love paper: napkins, toilet paper, newspaper, unpaid bills, and your homework! You
must be prepared to child/cat proof your house.
They are thieves. They will take make up, pens, jewelry and your glasses. You will have to figure out where their
hiding place is. Of course, you will thoroughly tick them off when you confiscate everything. Don't worry too much.
They will do their best to steal everything again. Humorous? To the F1 lover it is!
|All rights reserved © Patty Bingham
All text and photographs are the property of Patty Bingham and may
not be copied, reproduced or reprinted without written authorization.
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