Pedigree Cat Breeds - Serengeti

© Aalspotz Serengeti
With the success of the Bengal, many breeders tried to create new hybrids by crossing wild cats with domesticated animals, including the Safari (Geoffroys cat), the Pixie Bob (Bobcat) and the Savannah (Serval). Karen Sausman, of Kingsmark cattery, a conservation biologist, decided that a "wild cat look” could be achieved without the addition of any new wild bloodlines, and the Serengeti was born. Karen has been working on the breed since 1994, and it achieved recognition by TICA as a Preliminary New Breed, able to be shown in evaluation classes, in 2002. Over the years other breeders in America, Europe and here in the UK have joined her.

© Aalspotz Serengeti

Physically, the Serengeti is a medium-sized cat, muscular and athletic, upright in build, with long legs and large ears set high upon its head. The eyes should be large and round, in any colour except blue. The foundation cats used in the creation of the Serengeti are the Bengal and the Oriental Shorthair, but while the initial crossing of these two breeds produces Serengetis, it should not be assumed in any way that this delightful cat is simply a mongrel. This cross is simply a starting place from which to work from. It is the hard work in subsequent generations by breeders that further develops and fixes in the characteristics necessary to achieve the completely different look required for the Serengeti. It should certainly not be possible to mistake the Serengeti for a poor example of either a Bengal or Oriental.

Four colours are permissible for showing in the USA at present – the Brown Spotted, the Silver Spotted, the Black and the Black Smoke. The spotting should be random, with no linkage or barring on the body, and should show clearly against the background colour, making the Serengeti look like one of the long-legged hunting cats of East Africa.

© Aalspotz Serengeti
In the UK, the UK Serengeti breeders group are already working with the Brown/black spotted, the blue-eyed Snow and Mink Serengeti - these are from recognised Serengeti cats, not just outcrosses, and have gained recognition in the UK TICA show ring. They are working towards other colours for the breed which, although not accepted colours now, could possibly gain recognition as the breed grows and develops.

It is the Serengeti’s temperament that makes it such a special cat. It seems to have taken the very best characteristics from both the foundation breeds and combined them to make an extremely intelligent, affectionate, companion. It has the Bengal’s heightened senses and awareness of everything happening around it, without the need to do everything on its own terms. The Serengeti is very adaptable and will happily fit in with whatever the day brings. It has the affectionate nature of the Oriental, but is not as vocal. They adore being fussed, and will happily play the part of lap-cat whenever you sit down, but will be straight up when you move, following you to the ends of the earth if that’s what you ask of them. They are suited to almost any situation, being just as happy alone with one person as being part of a large active family. A lovely new breed that deserves to become an extremely popular cat!

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Aalspotz Serengeti, Ocicat, Bengal & Egyptian Mau

Photos & texts on this page © 2007: Paul & Sue Threapleton - Aalspotz Serengeti, Ocicat, Bengal & Egyptian Mau

*The first 2 cats pictured above (from the top of the page) are owned by Elizabeth Serven, of Spotted Circus cattery in the USA, and used with her kind permission.
*The last image (of Spott) is not a registered Serengeti, being a Bengal/Siamese cross, he will still be a good foundation for our breeding programme, having many of the desired traits.

*Breed standards may vary according to cat governing body

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