My beautiful Bengal girl, one of the sweetest cats I've ever owned, fell madly in love with my Ocicat boy and refused to be mated by anyone else! Whilst looking on the internet to see if anyone else had tried this mating I discovered that the cross was actually a recognised breed, with a group of breeders working together to gain recognition for this unique cat.
Below is a summary from the Cheetoh Breeders website.
The Cheetoh comes from the crossing of an Ocicat and a Bengal, carefully selected for excellent temperament. The Cheetoh has true jungle linage from the Asian Leopard cat and is a very muscular cat that is athletic, graceful and lithe. It has a stalking, low-shouldered walk that is common both in the Ocicat and the wild jungle cats, but is not typically exhibited in other domestic cats. The spotted and/or rosette spotted appearance with the large eyes and ears, enhances this distinctive wild look. The coat of the Cheetoh, sleek and shiny, is another of its distinguishing attributes. The fur is very short and thick, yet soft and velvety and is quite similar in nature to the fur of the jungle cats.
The Cheetoh incorporates the distinctive spotted coat characteristics from the breed of both the Ocicat and the Bengal breeds. The aim is to create a very intelligent cat that is large, with an extraordinary wild look without adding more wild blood.......but most importantly, an extremely social, docile and gentle natured lap cat that is safe for all family members.
The Cheetoh, though demonstrating a very fierce wild appearance, is at all times an incredibly social and loving cat, never aloof or showing any tendencies towards aggressive or standoffish behavior. The males exhibit definite maternal characteristics towards kittens and younger cats, never being hostile or antagonistic, a mannerism exclusive to the Ocicat and very rarely seen in other breeds. The gentle and mild-mannered temperament is a dependable character trait of the Cheetoh.
This cat is substantially different from both the Bengal and the Ocicat in that it is consistently larger than the foundation Ocicat or Bengal parents. Weights range from 15-23lbs for the males and up to 15 lbs for the females. Many have asked why would they be larger than the parents, and the only way to answer is to perhaps look at the Liger. The Liger is a cross between a Lion and a Tiger but if you have ever seen a picture of one, it is much larger than either. This cat is also extremely intelligent and curious, often demonstrating an un-feline sense of humor.
The Cheetoh became a recognized registered breed with the United Feline Organization in November of 2004. They are also listed under "experimental breed" with The International Cat Association (TICA) at this time. This is the first step necessary to having the breed also become registered with TICA.
I am now really looking forward to Suchi's kittens, due next month - if anyone is interested in one of them, please let me know and I'll keep you informed of their progress.