California Spangled Cat is a medium sized shorthaired domestic cat breed. It traces its origin to a fateful visit by Hollywood script writer and animal lover Paul Casey to Tanzania, Africa, in the early nineteen seventies. Casey was shocked by rampant poaching of leopards there for their skin and after motivation by famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, decided to develop a breed that would resemble the spotted big cats in appearance and generate awareness among people regarding conservation of great cats in the wild. The idea was that if people own a spotted cat of their own, they would desist wearing of furs of other spotted cats. It was not until the mid nineteen eighties that Casey was finally able to develop the breed from a number of different cats including American and British Shorthairs, Abyssinians, Angoras, Manx and Siamese. Though the resulting Spangled cats gained initial popularity, they were not enthusiastically received by many cat fancies who were not so keen in adding another spotted cat to their registry at that time. Today very few of these purebred cats remain.
Medium sized cats with short hair, California Spangles are well muscled felines. They are lean and sculpted and move like their wild cat cousins even as they have entirely domestic genes in their heritage. Fur is short and velvety and occurs in a number of colors including black, blue, bronze, brown, charcoal, gold, red and silver. Spots are dark, well defined and preferably rounded or blocked. At times they are arranged into rosettes. Triangular and oval markings are also accepted. Tabby-like stripes often exist on head, chest, throat, legs and tail. Head is round with prominent cheek bones, almond shaped slanting golden to brown eyes and high set ears.
The pretty cat, also known as American California Spangled Cat, has two other variants as well. These include the Snow Leopard Cat and the King Spangled Cat. The Snow Leopard Cat is named after the big cat Snow Leopard of Asian mountains. It has a light background and dazzling markings. The King Spangled Cat derives its name from the King Cheetah. It has stripes and markings that resemble those of the rare King Cheetah.
Healthy and active animals, California Spangles resembles the wild African cats as they move about in a crouched low-slung posture during play. They are very fond of their toys and spend hours stalking and 'hunting' them. Like leopards, they like to perch on high places and survey their domain from above. Athletic and agile, they try to involve their humans in their play. California Spangled Cats are known for their curiosity and intelligence. They display a warm and loving attitude towards their owners. Currently they are quite rare though and thus hard to obtain since there are only a few breeders dedicated to developing them and raising their low numbers.