Dlisted | What’s The Difference Between A Cat And A Skunk?
Two skunk species live in Washington: The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis, Fig. 1) is the size of a domestic cat, ranging in length from 22 to 32 inches, including. Cat/Skunk Hybrids: Skunks and cats often inhabit the same city streets so it's not really that much of a stretch for some to believe there's some. A woman in Pennsylvania thought she was petting a neighbor's beautiful and loving kitty cat, but it turns out she was actually giving affection to.
A breed created by crossing domestic cats with Jungle Cats. This breed is gaining a little bit of traction but probably won't be recognized for many years to come. This breed, sometimes called the tallest of the cat breeds, was created using a foundation stock of domestic cats and Servals.
These rank behind Bengals as being currently the most popular hybrids in the pet trade. An obscure breed created with domestic cats and Geoffrey's Cats. A cross between one of the tailless domestic cat breeds and a Jungle Cat resulting in bobbed offspring. This very rare hybrid is that of a domestic cat and a Fishing Cat. These cats may or may not be actual hybrids. We're just not sure yet but they are a cross between a domestic cat and a Desert Cat which may or may not be the original ancestor of cats to begin with and thus the same species.
I have heard of no cases of these in the US, although there might be. Bengals Show Off Their Energy on a Wheel Click thumbnail to view full-size Ragdoll kitten, doing her best impression of a blonde skunk hybrid. Munchkin kitten to the left of two long-legged siblings. A turtle dances with a Gryphon in Alice in Wonderland.
In ancient times you may have been regaled with tales of griffins. Today someone might try to pull the wool over your eyes and tell you some of the many urban legends involving our feline friends. Below are just a few examples of these mythical creations. As with many wild stories this one comes with a tiny hint of truth. For many years farmers told their children of Cabbits, strange crosses between a cat and a rabbit.
Of course cats and rabbits are not close enough related to breed so how do you explain the strange felines hopping around in feral populations? It's really quite easy, these are just extreme manxed cats.
Instead of having a bob tail their genes took it one step further and they ended up with not only a missing tail but also a lack of the last few vertebrae in their spine. This causes them to have the rounded back and hop of a rabbit. These animals should not be actively encouraged to breed as this is actually a harmful mutation that often causes further health complications later in life.
Maine Coons are probably the oldest cat breed created in the United States. In fact they inhabited the homesteads of some of the earliest settlers of New England. They were very large, very furry, and often had tufts on their ears, extra toes, and vaguely raccoon-like markings. So you can't blame these early settlers for believing these might not be cats at all but the hybrid offspring of a cat and a raccoon.
This is however impossible and only makes for a quaint little old wive's tale. Skunks and cats often inhabit the same city streets so it's not really that much of a stretch for some to believe there's some hanky panky going on between these two animal populations. Often these hybrids turn out to be common black and white cats who have taken to living out of dumpsters and have thus picked up a really foul smell.
There's also a weird origin story that surrounds the Ragdoll breed. According to it the first Ragdoll female was just a beautiful fluffy cat who lived the life of a pet. One day she got out, got ran over by a car, and was brought miraculously back to full health by a mad scientist veterinarian who somehow had the ability to infuse skunk genes into the cat to heal her injuries.
How this would heal a cat whose been run over by a car or how the vet had the knowledge and equipment to do this tn or twenty years before such gene technology officially existed is not explained. It's a really bizarre story, probably favored among drunks. Skunks and cats cannot interbreed in any natural way. When an African giraffe was first marched into a Parisian zoo people were shocked by such a bizarre animal.
Unable to fit it into their known animal kingdom they speculated it was the monstrous hybrid offspring of a leopard, where it got its spots from, and a camel, where it got its trunk from. No explanation for the elongated legs and neck were added to this curious speculation. Before dragons gryphons ruled the mythological skies.
With the body of a lion and the wings and beak of an eagle they were said to fiercely protect their territory which was said contained their gold-lined nests. If you've ever had the chance to look at one closely you might think it was the mutated offspring of a very special bear, or perhaps some sort of dog or cat cross.
Truth be told hyenas aren't closely related to bears, cats, or dogs, they are in fact their own odd creature. In reality munchkin cats are a short-legged breed created by manipulating the dwarfing achondroplasia gene. However since the first one showed up in a feral population on a farm there was a lot of speculation by locals.
Some said they were what happened when a cat had a one night stand with a rambunctious raccoon. Others said that one night stand was definitely with a ferret. Sometimes people speculate that the much beloved ocicat breed got it's spots from actual ocelots. It would be a nice origin story but that's all it is. The ocicat gets it's spots through manipulating the spotted tabby genes already within the domestic cat population.
Oddly enough the idea of a squirrel and a cat having a crazy adorable baby is something that many cultures have conceived of. These cats are often domestic cats with unusually fluffy tails, a propensity to stand on two legs, or have the short legs of a Munchkin.
In all cases there are no actual squirrels involved.
In the wild they are often appear when one cat species is going extinct in the area, forcing them to find new and unusual mates. In captivity the aristocracy has always loved a wild cat hybrid, flaunting their wildest creations the other elite peoples in the hobby. Roadside zoos often breed hybrids to bring in the curious crowds and sometimes these animals end up in the "pet" population, owned by genuinely insane people, because as their parents these are NOT domestic animals in any sense of the word.
And lastly scientists have sought out these weird crosses to study genetics. Below are some of the many possibilities.
- Common Misconceptions
- Blogs of Interest
The offspring of a male Serval and a female caracal. The offspring of a Margay and Oceleot, no restrictions on which parent was the mother.
Facts and Myths About Mammal Hybridization | Owlcation
The offspring of a Bobcat who has bred with another species of lynx. The offspring of a Jungle cat and a Lynx or Bob-cat. Between several litters were produced between two cohabitating cats, one a cougar, the other an ocelot, in a zoo in French Guiana. All the kittens were said to have died except for a lone female who lived until adulthood. This was not so much planned as not prevented. No other reports of this particular pairing has been reported either in captivity or in the wild.
The offspring of a male lion and a tigress. Cited as the largest cats on the planet these hybrids take up to six years to reach full growth and are much larger than even tigers. Historically at least one specimen even grew beyond 1, pounds. The offspring of a male tiger and a lioness. Currently they're not as popular as ligers but historically speaking this may have been a reversed scenario years ago.
The offspring of a male jaguar and a lionness. An accidental litter of jaglions was born back in at the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario Canada so they are physically possible. The offspring of a male leopard and a lioness. The offspring of a male leopard and a tigress.
The offspring of a leopard male and a jaguar female. Furthermore they appear to be able to breed further generations. When crossed with a lion they produce the much famed Congolese Spotted Lion. The offspring of a male lion and a female leopard. The offspring of a male tiger and a female Jaguar.
There is at least one case of this - an animal by the name of Mickey was born at the Altiplano Zoo in San Pablo Apetatlan, Mexico in The offspring of a male tiger and a female leopard. The offspring of a male lion and a leopardess. The offspring of a cougar and a leopard. Oliver the once suspected "Humanzee" Primate Hybridization Besides birds, primates are probably the most numerous hybrids found in wild populations.
In fact, they are far more common in their natural setting than they are in captivity, so much so that scientists and zoos seeking new wild specimens of gibbons have been met with consternation in trying to find pure specimens. In fact, this is an issue with many monkey species who don't seem to mind plundering the gene pools of their neighbors.
There have also been reports of baboon and macaque offspring and in captivity baboons apparently have no issues with substituting rhesus monkeys for a proper mate. Unlike the aforementioned orangutans can interbreed between their two species Bornean and Sumatran but the resultant offspring are often feeble, weak, and carry a high infant mortality rate.Cat VS Skunk
But of course, the king of all hybrids, the most wonderfully taboo, are any of those involving humans. The most notorious of which is the much-maligned humanzee. Chimpanzees and Bonobos share the most DNA with humans so it would be logical if a human hybrid exists it' probably be a humanzee but who would create such a beast? All pervy jokes aside the most likely home for these creatures, if they ever did exist, would be a lab.
There was at least one public attempt to create a humanzee using a woman who volunteered for this study in the USSR. She failed to conceive but there have been wild speculations about the attempts of other countries, especially in the light of much better fertility science. Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybeerelying on their thick fur to protect them from stings. The skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and eats the guard bees that come out to investigate.
Mother skunks are known to teach this behavior to their young. In addition, in California, skunks dig up yellow-jacket small hornet nests in summer, after the compacted soil under oak trees dries out and cracks open, which allows the yellow-jackets to build their nests underground.
During the day, they shelter in burrows which they can dig with their powerful front claws. Skunks are not true hibernators in the winter, but do den up for extended periods of time. However, they remain generally inactive and feed rarely, going through a dormant stage. Over winter, multiple females as many as 12 huddle together; males often den alone. Often, the same winter den is repeatedly used. They are short-lived; their lifespan in the wild can reach seven years, with most living only up to a year.
Before giving birth usually in Maythe female excavates a den to house her litter of four to seven kits. They are placental, with a gestation period of about 66 days.
Facts and Myths About Mammal Hybridization
About three weeks after birth, their eyes open. The kits are weaned about two months after birth, but generally stay with their mother until they are ready to mate, at about one year of age. The mother is protective of her kits, spraying at any sign of danger. The male plays no part in raising the young. Skunks are notorious for their anal scent glands, which they can use as a defensive weapon.
They are similar to, though much more developed than, the glands found in species of the family Mustelidae. Skunks have two glands, one on each side of the anus.
These glands produce the skunk's spray, which is a mixture of sulfur -containing chemicals such as thiols traditionally called mercaptanswhich have an offensive odor. A skunk's spray is powerful enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers. The smell aside, the spray can cause irritation and even temporary blindness, and is sufficiently powerful to be detected by a human nose up to 5.
We saw also a couple of Zorrillos, or skunks—odious animals, which are far from uncommon. In general appearance, the Zorrillo resembles a polecat, but it is rather larger and much thicker in proportion. Conscious of its power, it roams by day about the open plain, and fears neither dog nor man. If a dog is urged to the attack, its courage is instantly checked by a few drops of the fetid oil, which brings on violent sickness and running at the nose. Whatever is once polluted by it, is for ever useless.
Azara says the smell can be perceived at a league distant; more than once, when entering the harbour of Monte Video, the wind being off shore, we have perceived the odour on board the Beagle. Certain it is, that every animal most willingly makes room for the Zorrillo. It is to a skunk's advantage to warn possible predators off without expending scent: Skunks usually do not spray other skunks, except among males in the mating season.