Rising number of half-wild cats alarms Swiss animal protection group
Switzerland’s oldest and largest animal protection organisation, PSA, has expressed concern over the growing numbers of half-wild “hybrid” cats in the country. The organisation is worried about the welfare of the animals as the hybrid cat trade is booming and the animals often end up abandoned as they are more difficult to care for than domestic cats.
Animal welfare group calls for stricter laws
In a press release, PSA advised people against buying half-wild pets and called for the Swiss government to implement a stricter legal framework around importing them. The animals, which are half-domesticated and half-wild, have an exotic appearance but are problematic due to their crossbreeding.
Hybrid cats are more difficult to keep as pets since they require more time outside, and even when they are outside they are likely to get into conflicts with regular domestic cats - and indeed, their owners - due to their wild-cat traits. For these reasons, PSA says many hybrid cats are ending up abandoned or in animal shelters.
Hybrid cat owners may get “overwhelmed”
PSA believes many owners of hybrid cats are likely to become overwhelmed by the needs of their furry friend. There are rules in Switzerland intended to prevent these sorts of animals from being bred, specifically a ban on breeding domestic and feral cats together.
Despite this, many hybrid cats are being imported from abroad and are gaining popularity in Switzerland. The most popular hybrid cat is the Bengal cat, with the Asian Leopard used as the “wild breed”. PSA is therefore calling on the government to introduce stricter laws on the importation of exotic and hybrid cats to prevent more of the animals from being abandoned in Switzerland.