Ashera cat quick facts
Length: 22 - 24 inches (The exact size of these cats is unknown. Since the breed is closely related to Savannahs, these figures represent the length and weight ranges of F1 Savannah cats.)
Weight: Females: 13 to 19 pounds, Males 17 to 25 pounds
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Lifespan: 12 - 15 years or more
Coat length: Short
Coloring: Cream color with brown spots
Grooming needs: Low
Friendliness: Breed alone is not an accurate predictor of individual cats' personalities. However, Ashera cats are generally regarded as having a dog-like personality.
The Ashera cat is one of the rarest and most expensive cat breeds in the world. However, you aren't likely to find this type of cat as the company that developed the Ashera cat, Allerca Lifestyle Pets, has gone out of business. The company's website is now informational only and does not provide an opportunity to purchase the cats.
The breed is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association and there are few, if any, breeders remaining today. In the unlikely event that you are able to find an Ashera kitten, they are likely to come with a large price tag. The breed was developed as a hybrid between a domestic cat and a wild cat with the goal of creating a hypoallergenic cat breed. They are beautiful, large cats with distinctive brown spots. However, the Ashera cat breed is steeped in controversy and much is unknown about the breed.
Ashera cat history
The Ashera cat breed was developed and sold by a company called Allerca Lifestyle Pets. The company was started in 2004, although the first kittens weren't developed until 2006. The breed was said to be a hybrid breed of domestic cat, African serval cat, and Asian leopard cat. However, the company did not disclose the breeding records.
Simon Brodie, the owner of Lifestyle Pets, claimed that the trademarked Ashera cat was a hypoallergenic breed. They may produce less of the Fel D1, one of the proteins that can trigger allergies in some people. Of course, no cat is fully hypoallergenic.
However, controversy surrounds these pricey cats and the Lifestyle Pets company.
- The Savannah Cat Association explains that in 2008, some Ashera cats were confiscated in the Netherlands and that DNA tests revealed that these big cats were actually Savannah cats, a breed that was developed from a hybrid between the African serval and a domestic cat.
- A 2013 report by ABC News revealed that not only were the cats not hypoallergenic, some customers never received the cats that they paid for.
- Claims were made that Brodie started selling Bengal cats as Asheras. Bengals are a hybrid between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat.
Allerca Lifestyle Pets went out of business in 2015. Since the Ashera cat breed is not recognized by any of the cat registries, there are no breed standards or breeding records that can be used to verify the authenticity or characteristics of the breed.
Ashera cat personality
The Ashera breed of cat claims to be a hybrid of wild and domestic cats but is purported to be a good house cat with many dog-like traits. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find an Ashera cat to purchase and since no breed standard exists, specific details about this cat's personality are speculation. The cats are believed to be playful and energetic, so regular play sessions are a must. This will keep the cat from getting bored.
The breed is also said to be quite trainable. You can teach these cats to walk on a leash or to do tricks. Clicker training tends to be effective. Whatever training method you choose, make sure it is based on positive reinforcement.
As the breed is likely closely related to Savanah cats, and may even be a Savannah cat, they likely share many similarities in personality. Savannahs also have many dog-like traits and many even like playing in the water. They can become bored and destructive without enough exercise and play. This can lead them to scratch your furniture or knock things off of shelves.
Ashera cat lifespan and health issues
The Ashera cat's life expectancy is unknown as there is so little reliable documentation for the breed. Some breeders claim that cats can live as long as 25 years. Like the Savannah cat, healthy Ashera cats will likely live into their mid-teens or longer. No genetic health conditions are reported for the breed, although they may face the same potential health concerns as the Savannah cat including:
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a heart condition that causes thickening of the heart wall
- progressive retinal atrophy: a condition that can eventually cause blindness
- pyruvate kinase deficiency: a condition that causes red blood cells to die
Ashera cat grooming and care
Asheras are shorthair cats that are easy to groom. All you need to do to keep their coat healthy is brush them occasionally to remove any loose hair. In addition, keep up with other care requirements including:
- trimming the cat's nails as needed
- brushing their teeth with a veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste
- staying up-to-date with the cat's recommended vaccinations
- feeding a high-quality cat food
- supplying fresh drinking water at all times
Welcoming a new cat into your home
Despite the controversy and high price tag, the Ashera cat is adorable, although cat owners are unlikely to be able to find one. The cat is likely to be quite playful and energetic. Take the time to cat-proof the home before you welcome your new kitten. This includes taking steps like removing any poisonous plants from your home and covering electrical cords that they may chew on.
When you bring your cat home, put them in a single room initially so that they can get used to their new environment. Set up the room with everything the cat needs including:
- food and water
- litter box
- scratching post
- cat tree and shelves
- cat toys
Allow your cat plenty of time to explore at their own pace. Spend plenty of time with them and offer to play. But allow them to come to you when they are ready. Don't hold them to be petted if they want to get away. If you have other pets in the household, make sure to introduce the animals slowly. Ensure the interactions are safe and positive for both animals.
Once your Ashera is comfortable in the home, you can open the door and allow them access to more of the home. Some Ashera cats enjoy being outdoors. Do not allow your cat to roam free. Either walk them on a leash or build a safe outdoor enclosure where they can play. With plenty of patience and play, the Ashera will soon be a fun and active member of the family.