What is a Genetta Cat?

A Genetta is a new dwarf breed that is being developed here at FanciFT Cattery, and with a handful of other Breeders.  It is a short-legged cat with an exotic spotted or marbled coat that is being bred to resemble the small or large spotted African genet.

Where did the Genetta Cat come from?

The Genetta Cat was created and named by Shannon Kiley of Pawstruk Cattery in 2006. The idea was to develop a cat that resembled an African genet for the exotic enthusiasts who either cannot own a genet or want a more docile animal with the look of a genet.  After carefully selecting the cats used in the foundation program for this breed, the first litter of Genettas was born Dec. 13, 2006.

Is a Genetta Cat related to a genet?

No. The Genetta Cat is a domestic cat that is being bred to look like a genet. Genets are not used to produce this breed.

How do you create a Genetta?

At this time, we use Munchkins and Bengals to produce the Genetta Cat.

“I get so many that ask “What will these Genetta’s look like when they get older?”  Here is an example of a little female that belongs to Levi Curtis, her changes and color are so dynamic. Will they all change this way…NO, but this is an example of the changes to expect.  So, now when you ask why there are price variations…its because I know the outcome of your kitten.”  ~Lydia

What colors do Genettas come in?

The Genetta Cat can be black, brown, silver, or snow spotted.  Marbled patterns in black, brown, silver, chocolate, cinnamon, or snow colors are also permissible.

Will all Genetta Cats have short legs?

No. Both short and long-legged kittens can be born in a litter of Genettas.  Genettas with short legs are regarded as “standard” and those with long legs are regarded as “non-standard”.

How is a long-legged Genetta different from a Bengal?

At the present time, non-standard Genettas may look very similar to a Bengal since Bengals are being used to help create this breed.  The coat texture may vary slightly with each individual but the overall appearance of the cat is close enough to a Bengal that it is termed a “look alike”.  So, if you are on a budget and like the Bengal look, a non-standard Genetta may be a perfect cat for you.  As this breed develops, we expect that non-standard Genettas will no longer resemble the Bengal in body type and will become their own distinct entity.

Can long legged Genettas give birth to short-legged Genettas?

Not unless they are bred to a standard (short legged) Genetta or other dwarf cat. The gene responsible for a Genetta’s short leg is only carried by a parent with short legs (dominant mutation).  Genetta’s with long legs have only recessive genes for this trait and cannot produce short legged offspring unless paired up with a cat that carries the dominant gene for dwarfism.  Breeding a long-legged Genetta to another long-legged cat (of any breed) will not result in any short legged babies.

How tall is a Genetta Cat?

This will depend on the types of cats used to produce the Genettas and the percentage of serval lineage included (if any).  Standard Genetta’s should be between 4-8″ tall at the shoulder, with shorter being preferred.  Non-standard Genettas are typically 8-12” tall at the shoulder, similar to most average size housecats.

Can Genetta Cats still jump on furniture?

“Vader” on the top shelf of a walk-in closet

Yes.  Dwarf cats, such as the Genetta, have no problem jumping on couches, beds, chairs, etc. They can get most places that a long-legged cat can but some high counters may be more challenging.  Dwarf breeds usually find alternative ways to reach high places if they are unable to make it in one easy jump.

What is the personality of a Genetta Cat?

A Genetta should be affectionate, energetic, and very playful.  Many of them love to play fetch and even wrestle with the family dog (if friendly too).

Do Genetta Cats shed?

Genetta cats do shed but very minimally…they are what we consider a low-shedding cat.  Genettas with a higher percentage of bengal lineage should shed the least and have a very tight, slick, pelt-like coat.

What organizations register Genetta Cats?

At this time, the Genetta Cat is being registered as an experimental breed through The International Cat Association (TICA).  Genettas may also be registered through The Dwarf Cat Association (TDCA) and Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (REFR).  Eventually, we hope that the Genetta can be a recognized breed under TICA and other major cat registries.

*Information about Genettas is reproduced with permission from Pawstruk Cattery