The Maine Coon and the Savannah cat are two spectacular breeds known for their impressive size, beauty, and temperament. These magnificent felines also have distinctive coats and friendly personalities, are loyal to humans, and even love water! With so many similar qualities, quite a unique offspring could be obtained by crossing these two breeds!
Unfortunately, the International Cat Association (TICA) is unequivocal about the possibility of such a hybrid: Outcrosses that are not allowed (per the TICA Savannah breed standard) include crosses with Bengal cats and Maine Coons. The association further explains its position by stating that these impermissible breeds can bring about many unwanted genetic influences.
It’s true that there are notable differences between the two cats that make them unable to interbreed, such as different physical characteristics and distinct genetic makeups. As a result, any attempt to crossbreed these cats would be doing both breeds a disservice. In this article, we explore the differences between Maine Coons and Savannah cats and explain in detail why a Maine Coon Savannah mix should not be attempted.
What Is a Savannah Cat?
The Savannah cat is one of the largest cat breeds. This hybrid was first created in 1986 by crossing a Siamese Sealpoint and a Serval, a medium-sized and large-eared wild African cat. The exotic-looking Savannah gained popularity during the 1990s, and in 2001, TICA accepted them as a registered breed and in 2012, as a championship breed. This gorgeous feline is known for their keen intelligence and active personality, making them a delight to have around the house.
What Is a Maine Coon?
The Maine Coon is also one of the largest cat breeds. They are originally from Maine, which is where they got their name. This breed is known, among other things, for their long, silky coat, big paws, and cute ear tufts. Maine Coons are also valued for their loyalty and affection toward their owners, which makes them excellent companions. These tender-hearted giants that prefer cuddles and calm to intense activity have captured the hearts of cat lovers since the 19th century.
The Possibility of a Maine Coon Savannah Hybrid
Theoretically, it would be possible to create a Maine Coon Savannah mix.
Prior to 2012 (the year that TICA granted championship status to the Savannah cat), domestic crosses with breeds such as the Egyptian Mau, Oriental Shorthair, and Domestic Shorthair were permitted. However, these crosses had a tremendous impact on the development of the breed in both desired and undesired traits.
From 2012 onward, most responsible breeders only cross between Savannah cats, since TICA no longer allows domestic crosses. These non-permissible breeds can bring about many unwanted genetic influences, which is why a Maine Coon Savannah mix would not be considered an ethical crossbreed.
What Would a Maine Coon Savannah Mix Look Like?
The Savannah-Maine Coon mix would definitely be a unique looking feline. This hybrid cat would likely have the long, thick coat of the Maine Coon and the distinctive spotted coat pattern of the Savannah cat, in addition to being huge! Temperament-wise, this cat would likely be inquisitive, playful, loyal, and affectionate toward their owners.
Is Breeding a Hybrid Cat Ethical?
The ethics of breeding hybrid cats, such as a Maine Coon Savannah Mix, is a hotly debated topic. On the one hand, there are those who believe that such crossbreeding should not be allowed, as it may pose health risks to the animals due to their unique genetic makeup. On the other hand, some believe that hybrid cats should be bred because they can offer unique traits and personalities not found in other breeds. Ultimately, the decision to acquire a crossbred cat deemed not permissible by international associations is a personal decision and should be made with care.
The Savannah Maine Coon mix would definitely be a unique and interesting cat hybrid breed. However, in addition to costing thousands of dollars, such a cross would result in a host of potential genetic issues, which would do both breeds a disservice. There are many healthy and beautiful purebred and domestic cats in shelters waiting for their forever homes, so the idea of encouraging unethical breeding is less desirable.
Featured Image Credit: Jarry, Shutterstock | Aleksei Verhovski, Shutterstock