People can’t seem to get enough of Thor, a cat in Kortenberg, Belgium, whose gorgeous fur and piercing green eyes have helped launch him to internet super-stardom. The 3 year old Bengal cat, is a crossbreed of a domesticated cat and an Asian leopard cat.
The controversial felines are prized for their beauty, but some owners are unprepared for their “wild” behavior. A first-generation Bengal is descended directly from one domestic and one wild parent, and these cats exhibit fairly “wild” behavior and are difficult to raise as pets, according to the Wild Cat Sanctuary in Minnesota.
But even later generations can exhibit wild tendencies that make them tough to handle. The sanctuary writes that they get around 20 calls each month from owners who are trying to give up their Bengal cats. And some U.S. states and cities have laws banning or placing restrictions on Bengals. Luckily for Thor, who has both stripes like a tiger and spots like a leopard, he appears to be very well-loved.
Thor’s owner, Rani Cucicov, fell prey to Thor’s charms when she found him at a cattery in the Netherlands back in 2013. “We actually came to look at another kitten, but then the breeder said she had another one that was available and then she came with Thor in her hands,” Cucicov told the HuffingtonPost in an email. “We immediately fell in love with his beautiful ‘orange brown’ colors.”
Cucicov knew from the beginning that Thor wasn’t a feline that you see everyday. “That’s because Bengals are not so very common like normal house cats,” she said. “In our neighborhood, everyone that saw Thor for the first time was surprised because they never saw anything like him.”
Thor may look exotic and mysterious in photos, but Cucicov says he has his silly side as well. “He loves to chase flies!” she said. “That comes in handy for us because we don’t need a fly catcher in the house.”
Right now, Thor is focused on being a house cat, but Cucicov admits the attention he’s getting has her thinking about the possibility of calendars and posters. She’d want the proceeds to go towards charities that help animals.
“Maybe this popularity of Thor is a chance to give more attention to animal rescues and shelters and give them a share in it,” she said. “Because although we have not adopted Thor from an animal shelter, I have lots and lots of respect for the people who open their heart for the animals that are not wanted and who try to help them find their forever home!”
Thor is definitely beautiful, but it may be better to look at him rather than be inspired to own a Bengal cat of your own.Members of the breed are very active, and need a lot of mental stimulation.
They also aren’t lap cats and don’t do well being left alone for hours, according to cat behaviorist Marilyn Krieger. And Krieger recommends that those people with their heart set on a Bengal should look into breed-specific rescues and give a cat in need a good home, rather than going to a breeder.
source: HUFFINGTON POST