Originally from the United States, the first sightings of the California Spangled are difficult to pinpoint due to the number of crossings that went into creating this breed. Its story dates back to the 1970's when american screenwriter, Paul Casey, returned from his trip to Tanzania. Casey was the author of several animal books (This Land Is Mine, Lassie.), and a fervent animal activist. He even saw the dying of a breed of leopards while he was in Africa. He then had the idea to create a new breed of cats similar to these.
But Casey was not simply looking to create a smaller model of a leopard. His approach was from an activist point of view. He thought that if people became close to cats resembling leopards, then they would stop wearing their fur. He thought that people wouldn't want to wear clothes resembling their pets.
The breed was officially born in 1986 after 11 generations of crossings with Abyssian, Siamese, American Shorthair cats as well as stray cats from Egypt and Asia.
He named the breed because of their origin and coat. "California" as that's where the breed first came to be, and "spangled" due to its spotted color.
The breed's huge success lead Casey to create the California Spangled Cat Association which aims to protect and preserve the breed.
Specimens of this breed are extremely rare as other breeds such as the Ocicat and the Bengal put a brake on its development.
The California Spangled cat is renown for its resemblance to a leopard. Strong and powerful, its a very well built and athletic pet.
It's of average size, slender but still muscular with a semi-foreign body type.
Their legs are also of medium length, being slender but nevertheless very strong. Their paws are big and round with prominent toes.
The tail is long, being the same width throughout.
The head, of medium size, is a round shape with a slightly bulging forehead. The cheekbones, as well as the jaw and muzzle, are well defined.
Their eyes are almond shaped and averagely sized. According to breed standards, they must be alert and oblique.
The fur is mostly shorthair with the exception of the belly and the tail which are both longhaired.
A mature California Spangled is around 20 to 25cm in height and weighs between 3 and 7 kilos.
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The coat of the California Spangled is one of the defining characteristics of the breed and is a spotted tabby type. This is where the coat is composed of round, square or circular spots. They are well spaced apart from each other over the body and slightly more packed on the legs.
This is the only pattern permitted by breed standards. All colors are allowed with the exception of lilac, chocolate, and colorpoint.
The California Spangled is a very lively, but very affectionate cat. As Paul Casey wished, the breed is both playful and obedient.
They have a loving nature and enjoy being surrounded by people.
As with most cats, they are highly intelligent and can become very attached to their owners. They also love the company of children and other animals too.
They are an outdoor cat with a true hunting spirit.
Very robust, the California Spangled is not susceptible to any particular health issues due to its athletic nature.
They have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
Their coat doesn't require much upkeep. A weekly brush should suffice to keep their fur soft and shiny.