*Please Note: Select Exotics is no longer breeding Safari cats. We have found reoccuring issues with the breed and have therefore decided that it is not ethical for us to continue to breed these animals. These issues include very poor litter box habits after 6-12 months of age and territorial biting of guests in the home. We have opted to leave this page of our site up however, in order to privide information on the breed.
Dramatically marked, highly intelligent, and lightning fast, the extremely rare Safari is more than a new breed. The Safari is a new species! Combining the 36 chromosomes of the tiny South American Geoffroys cat with the domestic cat's 38 chromosomes, this unique hybrid is an extraordinary cat bearing 37 chromosomes!
Astoundingly, the chromosomal oddity results in first generation (50% Geoffroys/50% domestic) Safaris that are considerably larger than either parent. A tiny five to eight pound Geoffroys cat mating with a twelve pound domestic can produce a 25 plus pound male Safari and 12 to 16 pound female.
Add the parental chromosomal differences to gestational variations--the domestic's 65 day gestational period and the Geoffroys' 75 days--and one is guaranteed the Safari will remain the rarest of hybrids since they are very difficult to produce.
Like its wild parent, the Safari is dotted with a myriad of tiny, evenly spaced, little spots. And while this rare hybrid maintains the remote presence of the wilderness, the very clever, "loaded with personality" Safari offers affection rarely found in the sweetest domestic. They are known to enjoy a good game of fetch, are readily leach trained, and love to go for "walks."
First produced in the early 1970's, a limited number of Safaris were bred for Washington State University's leukemia research program and a few more for pets. But the difficulties of producing the Safari were too prohibitive. Only recently have a small number of breeders taken up the challenge to again see a resurgence in this illusive hybrid.
The Geoffroys cat, an exquisite, rugged little powerhouse, whose beautiful, well-defined markings remind some of a small version of the Margay or Ocelot. Coat color varies, ranging from black, to silver-gray, to a deep orange. All but the melanistic (black) have the white eye spot (ocelli) on the back of each rounded little ear.
Solitary and mostly terrestrial, Geoffroys hunt for rodents, reptiles, birds and insects. Wonderful climbers, when hunting from trees, they sneak up on their prey, dropping from low branches onto their target. In captivity, Geoffroys have been reported to walk upside down along a branch and able to hang by their back feet. Somewhat nocturnal, hunting by night and sleeping in trees by day, their activity patterns can be very flexible, getting out and about during the day as well as at night. In South America, the Geoffroys relationship to man runs full circle, from companion, to rodent control, to an animal hunted for its meat and pelt.
As a pet or breeder, the pure Geoffroys cat requires an experienced owner with proper legal permits. Without significant daily contact, the Geoffroys will quickly revert to its wild ways. Few remain social with more than one or two people as they mature, and they should not be raised with young children.