The reed cat or the reed cat has many other names: marsh lynx, house (from the Latin name Felis chaus), Nile, jungle cat. This diversity is explained by the fact that there are several subspecies of this representative of the cat family. It is the reed wild cats that have recently attracted the attention of exotic lovers. Their popularity was served by a kinship with the recently recognized hybrid Chausi breed, also known as the cat house.
Reed cats and cats in the wild
The vast habitat of the reed cat is widespread from the Near East and Asia Minor right up to Southwest China. In Russia, it is found in the lowlands of Dagestan and further on the coast of the Caspian Sea. Wild cats settle in low-lying forests along rivers and lakes. Rookery is arranged on the ground, most often in reed beds. To make it softer to sleep, make a litter of wool and dry stalks of reeds.
There are nine subspecies of reed cats. Some of them, such as the Caucasian reed cat, are listed in the Red Book and are on the verge of extinction, while other species from North India or Pakistan are constantly expanding the population and living space.
Since ancient times, wild reed cats have a reputation for dangerous and unpredictable predators that even dogs fear. People tried to get around the house. In addition, this beast caused serious problems to villagers in the winter, when they attacked poultry in search of food. Hunters, in turn, caught reed cats and used their skin.
In rare cases, people found orphaned kittens, took them home and raised as domestic.
Video: reed cats in nature
Outwardly, reed cats in many respects resemble ordinary domestic ones, but at the same time they have some trot features: tassels on the ears, wide, slightly square muzzle, high paws and wild color. The house cat has an impressive size. Body length 60-90 cm, height at the withers about 40 cm. Average weight from 8 to 14 kg. Males are much larger and more powerful than females.
The coat is short, the color is slightly different in different species. Reddish-brown colors prevail, in some parts of the body the hair is lighter. The tail is not long, about 1/3 of the length of the body. The physique is powerful, the muscles are well developed, the limbs are long and strong. The case is relatively short. The chest is square, wide.
The reed cat is endowed with excellent hearing, sharp vision helps him to navigate perfectly in the dark. The only thing nature has deprived him of is his sense of smell. Of course, the animal distinguishes smells, but much worse than its counterparts. How a cat looks like a house cat is clearly visible in the photo.
Character and lifestyle
Reed cats and cats are predatory animals with a complex temperament. By nature they are single, but everything changes with the onset of spring. In February-March, the mating season begins, which is no different from that of our home purr, accompanied by screams, fights and the choice of brides. This is followed by several months of family idyll. Cat and cat together raise offspring, share overnight and provisions. Babies eat breast milk for up to 3 months. Already at 5 months they leave the parental nest, and the family breaks up.
Reed cats are secretive and cautious, independent and independent with a moving psyche. Behavior and lifestyle can be described in a few words: active, energetic, quiet and unpredictable. Adult animals can express their demands with a loud bass meow, although it is worth noting that they are mostly quite silent. Kittens only snort and hiss.
Born in captivity, babies are very quickly and easily tamed, have a calmer disposition, but wild blood periodically makes itself felt.
Reed cats see the owner in only one person, it will be obeyed, but in return will require a lot of attention. By highlighting the owner among the rest, they can be jealous. The houses are very smart and masterful, they value space and freedom. During the period of love research, they can be aggressive and dangerous, even if they are already used to a person.
The menu of reed cats in the wild is very diverse, including: bird, reptiles, insects, fish and small mammals. They prefer to hunt at dusk or at night.
When hunting, patient cats can wait for hours in an ambush until a curious muzzle of a small rodent emerges from the mink. Birds lie in wait, hiding in the thickets, and then catch on takeoff. Often reed cats go fishing using tricky tricks. They carefully paw on the surface, imitating the movement of insects, and then grab the claws of an unwary fish or dive behind it with their heads. If bird nests are found along the way, a house must feast on eggs or young chicks.
How to feed a domestic reed cat
The adult recommends feeding the animal once a day. The menu for the day should consist of approximately 200 g of meat. It can be lean beef, veal, a pair of live mice or one rat. Chicken and quail are also given as live food. Once a week they offer fresh or live fish. An important component of the maintenance are fasting days. Once a week during the day the predator sits on a hungry diet. Such measures are necessary to maintain the health and normal weight of the cat. Mandatory supplements are vitamins and fresh herbs. Kittens eat up to a year twice a day, supplement the diet with dairy and sour-milk products, additives with calcium and other trace elements.
Wild cats do not digest food rich in fiber, so do not experiment with cereals and vegetables. Dry industrial feeds should also be avoided.
Even holistic and superpremium rations contain cereals, and their protein composition cannot satisfy the needs of a wild cat and maintain the microflora of the digestive tract in the necessary balance.
Keeping reed cats in captivity
Keeping wild cats is a troublesome and expensive task, and raising kittens is a responsible process that, in addition to patience, will require knowledge of the nature of reed cats, habits and the basics of zoopsychology.
Adult reed cats, which were caught in the wild, do not take root and are not tamed at home. Nevertheless, they are sold on the black market for aviary.
The best place to keep a reed cat is a country house. It is necessary to create such conditions so that the pet can run around enough and find application for its instincts.
Living in an apartment or in another limited space will not allow you to throw out all the energy. First, it will manifest itself in the deterioration of things, starting with furniture and pumping tearing trim. In the future, the lack of sufficient physical activity will result in problems with health and psyche, animals can become nervous, uncontrollable and aggressive, or vice versa lethargic. Getting a reed cat into an apartment is not a good idea. Another thing is their hybrids - cats of the Hausi (Chausi) breed, which are distinguished by a milder character.
It is worth remembering that reed cats pose a potential threat to other domestic animals, including dogs. Even a domestic reed cat can scratch or bite painfully.
A reed cat lives in an apartment with an employee of the Yekaterinburg Zoo:
Taming and rearing kittens
So that kittens do not grow aggressive, they must be picked up daily and communicate, play and caress with them for a long time. It’s worth missing just one day, they immediately begin to “run wild”. Little kittens are very screaming and hissing, they can release claws, but even this is not a reason to put them in a cage. Often, cats grow up quite calm, give themselves to feed by hand and lay on their feet, but poorly tolerate attempts to stroke them.
Houses have excellent health, they are strong and hardy, calmly react to sudden changes in humidity and temperature. They are advised to do regular cat vaccinations in the same way, regularly drive off internal and external parasites.
Where to buy a reed cat: price and choice of a kitten
Buy a reed cat is not easy, but quite possible. Separate nurseries are involved in the breeding and sale of babies. There are also companies that sell wild cats among other exotic animals.
Buying a reed cat must be legal for at least two reasons. First, animals must have documentary evidence of origin and health, which may require a new owner. Secondly, buying kittens or adult cats caught in the wild by poachers is not likely to turn out to be anything good. As already mentioned, the animal will remain wild and can only live in a closed enclosure.
Unfortunately, even in nurseries, no one can guarantee the character with which the cat will grow. Will it really become tame or will it remain wild with all attempts to tame it.
Now we turn to the question: how much is a house cat. The price of a reed cat kitten in Russia ranges from 100,000 -150,000 rubles. If cats are selling much cheaper, you should be wary of the offer. Some scammers give out for reed kittens of a similar color.
The gallery contains photos of wild reed cats, cats and kittens
Chausi is a domesticated relative of the reed cat
Often, people mean by the name of reed cat the breed of Chausi domestic cats, which are hybrids of wild marsh cats and Abyssinian cats. Work on the breed began American breeders in the late 60s. The new breed adopted a lean muscular body, color and large size from wild brethren, but at the same time it has the character of a domestic cat. To date, cats Chauzy are quite rare and one of the most expensive. The photo below shows that house cats are very different from wild relatives, but similar traits in appearance are still visible.Chausie cat
The tendency to start houses of various exotic animals is not always reasonable and justified. Often people follow an emotional impulse, but forget about the most important thing - to grow and maintain a wild creature is actually very difficult, expensive and troublesome. It is not only bad that, as a result, animals die for various reasons or go to zoos, but also the fact that their maintenance often leads to tragic cases.