Meet ‘London’s most expensive cat’ which is part leopard and costs £ 4,000
During the lockdown, people were isolated and lonely, and demand for a pet skyrocketed.
And suddenly a rather adorable cat has become a golden feline.
But with that comes the fact that the dishonest – ranging from opportunistic thieves to organized gangs – have cashed in the demand for the furry wonders.
My London spoke to the owner of Pearl, a Bengal cat currently on sale for £ 4,000 – considered the most expensive in London – about what it’s like to try to whip such an expensive pet .
Soufiane El Khalili, 27, from Edgware Road, explains that there is a method to this madness.
A Bengal cat is a niche breed, crossed between a traditional domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat – hence their leopard-like fur.
READ MORE: Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home recall cat food after more than 150 cats die
Despite their wildcat genetics, Bengal cats are widely regarded as safe pets.
He said the reason Bengal cats are so expensive is that they are crossed with feral cats.
“It’s the generation of the cat that affects the price, this cat is an ‘F2’ so it’s the price,” he said.
“So, for example, an F3 – this cat’s children – will be more expensive than an F4, which I sold for £ 1,000.
“But like any cat, they are inexpensive to maintain, only around £ 20 a week.”
“F” followed by a number refers to the number of generations of the leopard cat. For example, an F1 will be the child of a cat crossed with the feral cat, and an F2 (which is Pearl’s classification) will be the grandchild of the feral cat.
However, to have an F1 cat you need a pet license, which he says can cost thousands of dollars.
Soufiane is also aware that some people may raise their eyebrows at the prospect of having a wild animal roaming the house, but he insists they are adorable.
“It’s not dangerous, they’re so cute and kind, like a normal cat, but cuter,” he said.
However, as demand for pets has skyrocketed, opportunists have jumped on the bandwagon to make a quick buck.
“Make sure the vet has carried out adequate checks and be sure to check the cat yourself before leaving a bond, as there isn’t much you can do other than that,” Soufiane explained.
Although Pearl is of great financial value, Sofianne says he doesn’t feel like he’s constantly in danger of being attacked, even when he has people coming to see her.
The awesome new newsletter from MyLondon The 12 packed with news, views, features and opinions from all over the city.
Each day we will send you a free email around noon with 12 stories to keep you entertained, informed and uplifted. It’s the perfect read for lunch.
The MyLondon team are telling London stories to Londoners. Our 45 journalists cover all the news you need – from town hall to your local streets.
Never miss a moment by signing up for The 12 newsletter here.
However, he knows that thefts of pets – especially cats and dogs – have recently exploded.
He said: “Anyone trying to steal my phone would be bad enough, but if they stole my cat I would feel bad.
And he claimed he was determined to be a moral breeder, as opposed to one who only produces kittens for profit.
“I don’t want to breed them more than four times, a maximum of 4 times, because it is not pleasant for the cat,” he said.
He also hates breeders who keep cats in cages because it is “not human”.
Do you have a story you think we should tell? If so, send an email to [email protected]