🐾Jungle Cat, Your New Pet
The Jungle Cat is a very particular animal. It is interesting, intelligent, and moldable, it adapts to many situations and however, it has a wild nature that can be a bit intimidating but it causes a lot of curiosity to get to know it.
Its origin is not entirely clear and it is quite difficult to trace due to a large number of centuries in which it has been demonstrating its existence in various parts of the Asian and European continent. It has not yet been possible to determine how it reproduced or how it came to populate so much area.
What is certain is its deep connection to the Egyptian culture. This civilization had a particular love for cats and the Chaus, as they are also called. In fact, it is confirmed that the Egyptians domesticated them and took them as pets and also mate them with other domestic breeds, resulting in the Chausie, a breed that is still very wanted and requested nowadays.
After going through a period where wild cats have to be away from humans for their own sake to prevent being butchered at bonfires with other domestic breeds. Many scientists felt attracted to their qualities and started studying them. It is in this period that the scientific name Felis Chaus appeared to refer to the Jungle Cat.
Currently, this animal is protected by some cultures even though it is not in danger of extinction, and in some others, there have been formalized breeding houses in which they demonstrate that it is an exotic animal very domesticated. Some people look for them to kill them and take their skins, but mostly away from civilization.
Their dominant instinct is being a wild animal, for which it is delicate to take an adult Jungle Cat as a pet. Even though they have allowed humans to get close to their habitats, it is always important for your good to respect them, especially the ones that have not socialized.
Their behavior in the jungle is ideal, to the point of being able to survive on their own with no problem for many centuries. They know how to choose the right places for being sheltered, opting for wet places with scrubland, jungle-like or wooded
They are excellent swimmers, so they can dive and swim with no difficulty, although they prefer to rest in dry places, mostly the ones that other animals leave, or in holes in the trunks and burrows.
In the jungle, they are very lonely, they move alone and hunt alone, but you can see them together as a family when they are in reproduction times, and you can see moms with their pups, whom she takes care of jealously, until they are around six months old, when they separate completely.
Their feeding is carnivorous. They like to hunt rodents, birds, even when flying since they can jump very high, fishes, ducks, and even snakes. However, there are months when they eat fruits and vegetables, it all depends on what they can get.
On the other hand, when they have been domesticated they are another kind of animal, they are loving, playful and active cats. They like being with their human family and they are even jealous but they never completely lose their inbred independency.
Their care is very basic, they do not require any type of additional maintenance but the classic of any feline pet. Their weekly brushed to eliminate traces of dirt, their monthly baths that help them eliminating bad smell or dirt that they do not reach themselves, and the treatment of their teeth and ears is enough, although they will not doubt cleaning with its tongue whenever it considers it prudent.
Their health is strong. They are kittens that almost do not possess traces of inherited diseases. If you combine its great health with a correct vaccination, your cat can get to live more than 15 years with almost any problem, although evidently, you must attend them properly to prevent them from getting sick.
However, the Jungle Cat will have better development in its ecosystem. These cats know very well what is convenient for them and what is not, and mostly, how to get it. They are not fearful and have many skills with which they can survive very well.
Since it has caused a lot of interest in humans for their exotic aspect, this has allowed it to be domesticated, especially the pups. Therefore, they can live a more than nice life with their human family, proving them that it was an excellent choice to adopt this cat.
🐾History and Origin
There are some facts in the history of this kitten that have not been identified yet especially because their existence dates back to very old times. Although it is genetically proved that they possess an ancestral line, it is not sure how it formed or spread throughout the various regions in which it is located.
In this way, there are many hypotheses and the principal is that this kitten spread on its own, because its action radius is very wide, it moves constantly and it seems to get through river gaps, this being one of the possible limitations that it might have had on its trips.
Others think that some civilizations captured them and took them on their trips or expeditions, leaving their track on the reproduction periods of the cats. There is not yet real proof that proves each theory.
Nevertheless, there is evidence that testifies that the Jungle Cat or Chaus had an important participation in the life of the old Egyptian civilization in which they had a strong connection with the specimens of this breed.
It is widely documented the fact that the cats were very important for the Egyptians, as we can see in many of the hieroglyphs that evidence their customs. You can see how they adopted them and kept them as sacred or magical animals that would bless the community with their presence and having them as pets were extremely favorable.
Besides, there have been found many mummified bodies in the tombs of their adoptive human family. This proves the great value they had since it was a traditional belief of the Egyptians that they could take to the afterlife everything they buried next to them.
Another proof of their importance to Egyptians is that these cats were especially domesticated for this culture to have them in their houses and to procreate other Egyptian breeds. This way, the Chausie appeared, resulting from the cross between a Jungle Cat and a domestic cat.
Their popularity started decreasing after the Egyptian Empire became extinguished, and later, around the XVII and XVIII centuries things got worse for them due to the persecution of some species and felines. The ones that were murdered in bonfires due to their skills, had to go to live in the jungles, away from humans for their protection.
Therefore, around the year 1776, the German naturalist Johann Anton Güldenstädt could describe the species after being the first in capturing one close to the Terek River in the frontier of the Russian Empire. Johann Anton called this cat Chaus.
Two years later, another scientist known as Johann Von Schreber used the right name for many specimens of this species. Many others that followed him accepted the name and were able to determine which were the breed’s characteristics by detailing it graphically.
Through these studies, they could determine that the Jungle Cat or Felis Chaus could have many subspecies, differenced basically on the zone where they are. This shows that the environment has a lot to do with its evolution. Below you will find the Jungle Cat subspecies:
-Felis Chaus Nilotica: they are native from Egypt
-Felis Chaus Chaus: located in Caucasus, Turkestan, Iran and East Turkestan.
-Felis Chaus Affinis: lives in the region of the Himalaya.
-Felis Chaus Fuldivina: seen at the Asian southeast, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
-Felis Chaus Prateri: seen in Sind.
-Felis Chaus Furax: developed in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria.
-Felis Chaus Maimanah: the one that lives in the North of Afghanistan.
-Felis Chaus Kelaarti: you can find it in Sri Lanka and a part of India.
-Felis Chaus Kutas: located in Bengal and Kutch.
-Felis Chaus Oxiana: spread around almost all India.
Through time, people have lived cordially with this cat Family that it is today mostly located in some areas of Egypt, in central, occidental and in less grade, in South Asia. They have also been seen in India, but regularly they are smaller there than in the other places.
Currently, there are many places where they are bred as exotic pets, some of them still do the same experiments that they did on Ancient Egypt by crossing them with other domestic cats to produce and commercialize their derivate, the Chausie. There are other countries like India where it is a protected breed and others where unfortunately do not have the same luck and are hunted to take their skins.
🐾Characteristics of the Breed
The Jungle Cat is a very stylized feline, especially for its beautiful long and straight paws. Their body and face look very similar to the domestic cat, only that they are bigger and their tail is shorter.
Among felines is not common to see cases of sexual dimorphism, which means that there is a big difference between the females’ body and the males’ beside their genitals. You can distinguish a male and a female Jungle Cat for their height.
They are medium to large-size cats. Males are the tallest having a length that reaches between 56 to 76 centimeters and can get to have a height to the cross of 35 centimeters, obviously driven by the length of their paws.
This rank varies according to the kitten’s size or gender since the females tend to be less corpulent than males, but in general, their weight reaches between 5 to 9 or 10 kilograms.
Its face is small with big eyes and ears, a long and profiled snout that ends in a small nose and mouth. In general, has the same tone of the body with some lines in a darker pigmentation but the cloak area is white, just like other small marks that refine it.
Its nose is very little compared to the rest of its factions. It is pink and outlined with a dark border. It possesses a little groove in the inferior area that rises and divides that zone into equal parts.
They possess big eyes in proportion to their face factions. The superior eyelid is slightly curved and sometimes it looks as it was straight. The inferior part of the eye is rounded so it is not completely oval, they are oblique, with a slight angle. The color of the iris is light yellowish to light greenish and the pupil is oval and vertical.
They have an intense look, which besides, is framed by a dark border near the eyes and a very light hair almost white immediately after, which forms another external line giving it more depth.
The Jungle Cats are characterized by having very large ears. They are triangular, although the external tip does not exist because is very rounded. The base is not so wide compared to the length of the arch of the tip but they do not look square or rectangular.
The frontal face shows a pavilion very covered by a lot of medium to long white and very soft fur. The external face has an aspect proper of this breed that reminds us of the Caracal (another wild feline) although in less grade. A brushstroke of dark hair, generally black, covers the tip and stands out approximately one or two centimeters.
The length and amount of fur vary depending on the place or geographic area where they develop. Their hair is usually short, dense and hard. The stomach and beneath the neck areas are a little bit longer.
They have a single style of dyeing in their fur represented by a reddish yellow or sand color, which blends very well with the areas in which it is located, looking as it was camouflaged. The colors are not completely solid because both the legs and the tail show a pattern that seems to be brindle, besides the part of the abdomen and under the neck are painted white.
Its face also has some lines in the tones of the paws or white color.
India has existed cases of some specimens that were completely white as if they were albinos but their eyes were not red so they were not classified as so. These cases were considerate as a result of inbreeding.
Although it is a cat of large paws, ears and eyes, the tail of the Jungle Cat is a bit short, gross and of a rounded tip.
The Jungle Cat has a lot of ease in its movements, it is a good climber and can keep the balance in delicate areas. It is very fast and can jump very high far exceeding its stature.
It develops very well in the field as in the water and it is a perfect swimmer, in fact, on many occasions, you can see it in flooded areas.
As a cat in captivity is a bit rough since it does not have full knowledge of its skill or its limitations. So, it is not very convenient that you keep delicate objects close to their territory.
🐾Character and Personality
Even though it is a wild cat, the Jungle Cat it is not the most aggressive of them all, but there are some considerations about its personality that you have to keep in mind, whether for respecting its space in the jungle or to cope with it when it is close to the civilization and even more when it has been taken in captivity.
Its Behavior in the Jungle
In first place, the environment where they develop not necessarily has to be a jungle although they prefer wet areas with rivers, wooded land or places where vegetation is not so dense. It all depends on its adaptability and surviving opportunities.
As has happened with most of the wild cats, the study of the Jungle Cat is very limited because, due to their little contact with humans, they are a bit reluctant. That is why many aspects are left aside that today people try to investigate, although some have identified many of their customs.
For example, investigators have come to discover that the Jungle Cat is very territorial, it moves in an action radius that reaches between 45 to 66 km2 to each male cat, marking it by spreading urine or leaving scratches in tree trunks, and they have also been seen posing their foreheads or cheeks in the rocks.
Besides, they are lonely cats, you do not see them in groups unless they are in the reproduction period. In this period, you can see how the family moves, father, mother and pups to burrows only until the pups are old enough to become independent.
In those cases, the father goes hunting and leaves the mother sheltered in protected spaces, generally made before by other predators. They shelter from the cold with dry herb or with hair, where the mother waits till her pups’ bird and nurses them until they are almost three months old. When they are already six months old or a bit before, these young cats start their lonely life and the mother separates from them as well.
On their part, they are diurnal and nocturnal animals. They do not have a marked preference to go hunting. They move too much and rest too little. They are a bit obsessive as for their protection, therefore they are very careful and move inside the brush. They prefer areas of high herbs so you can also see them in some farmings.
They are one of the best feline swimmers. They love water and they can dive into deep profundities when they are following prey or in some cases, they get through a river to get to the other extreme.
Can you domesticate a Jungle Cat?
Yes, you can. In fact, they were certainly domesticated by the civilization of Ancient Egypt, crossing them with domestic cats although it is not recommendable that you do this with any of them.
Although we can notice that they have accepted with much calm the invasion the humans did to their habitat and that in fact, they have blended with us even staying in abandoned houses or farms in the close counties. It is always important that you keep in mind certain care.
Among these, you should procure to choose kittens that were just weaned, which is very complicated since their moms are extremely jealous of their care and protection. It is very risky if someone decides to get to them in this period.
However, this is the ideal age because when the cat has matured and it is already adapted to a certain environment, make it change its customs is more complicated and even socializing with humans is a risk for both.
It is important to remember that early socialization is key to help to moderate the temperament of almost every animal, and the Jungle Cat is not the exception at all due to their wild conduct. So, as long as they are kittens you must put them in contact with the biggest amount of humans possible, as with other cats.
How do they behave in the interior?
It is very probable that even when they are adopted from domesticated parents or even if you took them when they were pups and socialized it correctly, the Jungle Cat will have some eccentricities as trying to define their territory in which humans are part of their possessions.
At home they are loving animals with their owners and regularly transform their need of protection with jealous to their masters, trying to see them and take care of them constantly. However, it is not strange that in some moments the cat tries to explore the environment, probing their independency and lonely aspect that characterizes it.
That aspect changes following the conditions in which the Jungle Cat develops. It is not prudent to give it maintenance care if their nature is wild, and inside the house, it will need us to keep a special routine to keep it used to.
As long as this cat is in the jungle, it will be completely self-sufficient talking about its care, which does not mean that it does not get it, just that it does it in its way.
For example, as most of the felines, the Jungle Cat has the ideal properties on its tongue to peel off from its fur any element that could hurt it, such as seeds, thorns or pieces of grass with which they are always in contact.
The way they do it is licking constantly their hair and for its sticky and rough qualities, it brings any dirt with it. Besides, this also helps them refresh since, like any other cat, they do not possess the glandules on their skin that would make them sweat, so the saliva that they put on when they are licking their body, causes them almost the same effect.
Besides, they love swimming and dive in the water, which helps them eliminating everything they were not able to reach with their tongue. It also helps to minimize slightly bad smells and makes them refresh.
Moreover, these kittens are specialists in self-providing a place to rest and shelter. They usually go for places previously prepared by other animals as porcupines or foxes
Evidently, history changes when we are talking about a Jungle Cat in captivity, where everything comes down to the way we raised it. So as younger it is when it receives its brushings, teeth care, periodical check-ups and monthly baths, the fastest it will adapt to them, but without leaving aside customs like licking itself.
On the other hand, it is always important to emphasize the right use of products which must be elaborated exclusively for cats or felines. Never try to use products made for humans since these are stronger and tend to hurt them or cause them discomfort.
Brushing a Jungle Cat’s Hair
It does not matter the fact that these cats’ hair is short and there are very few chances that it can get entangled, it will always be necessary to brush its hair once a week. Principally, this will help it be clean and you will be able to eliminate death hair that for being dense and tough it gets hard to fall. It is better that it sticks to the hairbrush and not your carpet, furniture or the floor.
Baths for the Jungle Cat
One aspect in favor to this breed is their love for water, so you would not have so many problems to give it a bath, but you will probably have to use certain strategies since, although this would not be the difficulty, holding it for a long time and putting on the soap probably would be.
In all cases, the success key is custom. You must give it baths with the same regularity always. Besides, you must let it play in the water for a while, this is also a way to stimulate it.
On the other hand, with the proper practice, this process may not be that long. Once the cat is water-soaked, you have to soap it quickly without touching its face or ears.
This is a factor of vital importance, since the food tends to stick to its small teeth, creating tartar and generating halitosis problems, and even premature loss of some pieces, especially when you feed it with canned food. It is very important to try to help it in eliminating those traces.
There are many ways to procure their oral hygiene that you can find in the market, whether you go for the traditional method through brushing or using pills or special powders that you can spray on the food and clean its teeth more easily.
It is very common that when you have a pet as the Jungle Cat you try to make it use some spaces where it will feel more comfortable and that would also help it to establish a better coexistence. These places are its sleeping basket, litter box, plates and places to eat and even play, but in all of them, the cleaning has to be principal, since they are very fussy with the hygiene.
🐾Diet and Alimentation
The way a Jungle Cat feeds will depend strictly on the lifestyle it has. They are normally seen as wild animals that develop on their own, so their diet is given by its hunting instinct and by the ability to find the prey they like.
Regularly, the Jungle Cat hunts without schedule preference, it just responds to its needs without too many exigencies. They like rodents, hares, pheasants, serpents and frogs. It is also very skillful swimming so it can hunt fishes with no problem, and just as the Caracal, it can jump very high to capture birds flying.
They are very adaptable to environments and what is close to them. In fact, although they are carnivorous by excellence, they can feed exclusively on vegetables or fruits for some time, usually during winter when their usual prey is hidden or hibernating until they move to other areas or wait for them to reappear.
Since they do not get too far from their zone and hunt almost always in the same action radius, it is determined that they are a bit territorial, although, unlike other wild cats, they can share spaces as long as they do not feel directly affected. You can even see how they adapt to the presence of humans with no problem.
Their way of capturing prey is not much different from the domestic cat’s, so generally, they chase it and jump over them. In the case of small birds, as we mentioned before, the Jungle Cat can jump until it gets it.
Food for the Jungle Cat in Captivity
When you adopt a Jungle Cat, just as how it would happen with any other wild breed, you must always considerate the possibility that its feeding exigencies are not the same as a domestic kitten. Principally, their organism is more accelerate than others and their nutritional requirements are not exactly the same.
That is why, independently of the way its human family feeds, whether they have vegetarian customs or not, their jungle cat will have a carnivorous life for excellence. Its meals must have as principal component premium meat, ensuring the correct ingest of protein.
Such it is the importance of the feeding that its health depends on it since the nutrients and amino acids that the protein of the animal meat helps it on its organism maintenance. It strengthens its bones, favors its hair, helps on the good vision operation and besides it satiates it for more time, preventing that it suffers from overweight.
Therefore, it is valuable to remember that the animal protein has the great advantage of not sticking in the organism. Once it is digested and the body and organs absorb its nutrients, the rest is discarded in its entirety through feces, so it does not make it fat.
Besides, it is mostly made up of a high percentage of water, which helps your Jungle Cat stay hydrated even when some cats are not as thirsty as others.
However, this does not mean that you have to give it other kinds of products, on the contrary, the Jungle Cat is open to eat fruits, some cereal, and carbs, which as everyone knows, become an important source of energy and give vitamins and minerals. So it is not always necessary to give your cat complementary supplements.
In any case, the Jungle Cat will not always feed in the same way in which you have to adjust it to its age. When it is a pup is primordial that its mom nurses it, and through her milk, she will give it all it needs to have good and healthy growth, helping it mature gradually, until it is aware of its environment.
After its teeth start growing, it can go through a period of transition where the cat eats porridge or croquettes soaked in water to make it easier the ingest, till its teeth can bite more easily soft foods like chicken or meat.
Never offer it overcooked or raw products. Do not abuse of fish or tuna and try to cook water-based foods without condiments, roasted or grilled, the more natural the better.
The croquettes or dry food are an excellent option as long as you combine it with canned, as with some meal naturally elaborated, but it is very probable that due to its instincts, the Jungle Cat hunts once in a while some rodent.
Even when the specimens of this breed are not very permissive when you are trying to examine them and determine how is their health or inbred physical condition, it has been possible to elaborate a series of analysis of its DNA partly because of the age the breed has.
Through these studies, it has been proved that they are actually very healthy animals, in part because they feed as they want and eat the proper things to their constitution. On the other part, because the environment and the way they reproduce have kept favorably.
For this, most of these cats get to live more than 15 years in their natural conditions or if you have taken good care of it and feed it in captivity since you must try to recreate its natural possibilities or try to improve them. Never adopt a cat of this type to give it a worse life than the one that could have on its own.
When it is in the jungle there are not much that people can do for them except the government and authorities that try to keep their ecosystem as clean and healthy as possible, avoiding the undue interference of humans and the indiscriminate hunt people do to take advantage on their skins, besides of the fumigations against virus or pests. On a personal level, it is very delicate to try capturing them and watching over their health status.
However, when they have been adopted as pets, you must have a great responsibility for its care and also prevent that somehow it becomes an element of transmission of the virus to other pets.
Among these previsions, we find the process of immunization, which they perform principally to prevent that the cat suffers a series of diseases that could affect it through its life, principally if they are exposed to contact with the virus. The vaccinations are very important for their immunologic system to create adequate protection.
These must apply gradually and following a rigorous calendar, thus the kitten creates the antibodies properly. There is not a standard for the whole world since it depends a lot on the geographic location where they are, the weather and many times on if there is or not another viral condition in the environment punctually.
Therefore, it is ideal that before starting that process, you go to the veterinarian of your preference or in any case you can get and specialist in that area who will explain to you the steps you must follow. They will give you the vaccination guide with the time (it will surely include trivalent or tetravalent, which is better, with its booster, calicivirus, feline leukemia and rabies) and could even indicate the healthcare centers where you can go with your cat to vaccinate it in.
It is prudent that this process starts immediately after your Jungle Cat was weaned, since, during the nursing period, the pup is protected by the breastmilk, which in addition of feeding it adequately, it provides it with almost all the antibodies it need on its first days of life, but it disappears as soon as it stops being breastfed, leaving it exposed.
It is also important that you periodically perform a deworming process, external and internal. The external is given principally to eliminate the possibilities of getting fleas and parasites. The internal is used to eliminate flat or roundworms that regularly stay on their intestine and cause worse consequences besides multiplying quickly, spreading to other felines through feces.
Even with all this care, there will always be probabilities of your pet getting sick by some cause. The most popular among these kinds of felines is feline osteoarthritis, which is a condition that causes them a lot of pain in the articulations since it considerably weakens the material that protects it as the articulations, generating a waste that makes difficult for them to move.
This disease has no cure but you can prevent it. When it appears you may need to do many radiographs to your cat to confirm it. The patient kitten will be prescribed with a series of analgesics to control its pain, besides a diet to prevent it from getting overweight turning things into worse.
Another possible disease with which you have to be careful is with alopecia, in which the Jungle Cat has a lot of loss of hair that goes beyond its usual change of hair. This leaves spaces with evidence of baldness. All of this indicates that there is something wrong affecting your cat, so you must take it immediately to the veterinarian.