Norwalk Veterinary Medical Center Statement on Hybrid Cats
We Love ALL Cats
We love big cats, small cats, wild cats, tame cats, friendly cats, fierce cats and hybrid cats. It is
because we love all cats, that we are doing our part to help protect them. We support the Big Cat
Rescue Foundation and their effort to educate people about exotic and hybrid cats.
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and
abandoned big cats. They are home to about 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species
most of whom have been abandoned, abused, or orphaned. Please see their statement on hybrid
cats and ownership: http://bigcatrescue.org/hybrid-facts/
Hybrid animals whether canine or feline are not afforded the same protection under law as
domestic cats and dogs when they bite a person. A hybrid animal is not able to be considered
vaccinated for rabies by law. No rabies vaccine has been approved or licensed for use in hybrid
animals and there have been no studies to prove the efficacy of the vaccine in these animals.
According to Ohio law a hybrid may be immediately euthanized if it bites a person. When a
domestic dog or cat bites someone and appears healthy they are quarantined for 10 days. If a
hybrid animal bites someone and it appears healthy it is at the discretion of the County Health
Commissioner whether they are immediately to be humanely euthanized and beheaded for rabies
testing. Because rabies testing requires removal of the brain and microscopic examination of an animal’s brain tissue, euthanasia is a requirement for testing.
There is no other form of rabies testing besides death and examination of brain tissue.
Discretionary use of the rabies vaccine in the hybrid animal will not eliminate the possibility of
immediate death if a bite to a human is reported.
Because these animals are therefore at a greater risk of death by euthanasia than a domestic cat
or dog we do not encourage ownership of these animals and we do not accept hybrids as patients.
We do not feel it is fair to the animal to be put in the position of running a greater risk of
euthanasia. Additionally, if you read the information from the Big Cat Rescue Foundation
concerning hybrids they discuss why they do not feel it is fair to the animals to breed them and
create them and keep them as pets. There are many wonderful domestic cats and dogs looking
for good homes. We do not support the exotic pet trade including the hybrid pet trade.