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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > California Spangled Cat: Info, Pictures, Temperament, & Traits

California Spangled Cat: Info, Pictures, Temperament, & Traits

California Spangled cat

The California Spangled cat is a crossbreed of many cat breeds, including, but not limited to, the Angora, Siamese, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair. The resulting cat has a striking and distinct appearance that is evocative of the image of a wild cat.

California Spangleds usually inherit the best traits from their ancestral breeds, all wrapped up in a sleek package with a beautiful spangled spot pattern. The breed was intentionally bred to look like a tiny leopard.

Breed Overview


12–18 inches


8–15 pounds


9–16 years


Gold, brown, white, black, and blue

Suitable for:

Active families, experienced cat owners, people who want to own an active cat


Intelligent, energetic, playful

Don’t let the intent fool you, though. They’re fully domesticated cats with no ancestral connection to living wild cats. There are no restrictions on owning a California Spangled because of this, unlike the Bengal, another domestic “wild cat” cat.

California Spangleds have an energy reserve fit for a hunter stalking through the brush. So, make sure you have a house big enough for your California Spangled to explore and play. They also need a lot of interaction and playtime with people. Ensure you have enough time for your California Spangled since they don’t do well being left alone for long periods.

California Spangled Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


California Spangled Kittens

The California Spangled is a somewhat uncommon breed amongst purebred cats. They’re relatively easy to find in shelters, so there’s no need to buy one if you can find one in your local shelter! Shelters pretty much try to cover the cost incurred by caring for the kitten and don’t charge many extraneous fees.

Before you bring your California Spangled cat home, make sure you have enough time and energy to dedicate to your cat. They require plenty of physical and mental stimulation. They are highly energetic and this can make them a better choice for experienced cat owners or active families.

Temperament & Intelligence of the California Spangle

Temperament-wise, California Spangleds are like little balls of kinetic energy. They are bred to look and act like wild cats without the drawbacks of owning an actual wild cat. Families looking to get a California Spangled cat should consider whether they have the time and energy for the cat.

Additionally, California Spangleds can be clingy. They need near-constant entertainment. So, they hate to be alone. They’ll need plenty of toys and puzzles to occupy them if you’re away for long. It would be best to get a different cat breed if they need to be left alone for long periods; the California Spangled doesn’t handle loneliness well.

Are California Spangleds Good for Families? 👪

California Spangleds will do well in families who are willing to take the time to teach their children how to interact respectfully with their cats. California Spangleds are active, athletic, strong, and willful. They won’t tolerate your children pulling on their ears or tail or manhandling them.

Do California Spangleds Get Along with Other Pets?

A California Spangled will make a great companion for a dog as long as they’re properly introduced to each other. Introduce the two animals slowly; don’t rush them! Keep them separated for a while, so they have a chance to get used to each other’s presence without being able to fight and harm each other.

California Spangled cats have a high energy threshold and an athletic build that allows them to go toe-to-toe with dogs in ways that other cat breeds may struggle with.

California Spangleds have more energy than most domestic cats. A California Spangled’s presence could be distressing to a low-energy cat or an older cat who has started to slow down and relax. If both cats have similar needs for play, companionship, and exercise, a California Spangled could be an excellent addition to the family!


Things to Know About Owning a California Spangled Cat

California Spangled Cats need a lot of interaction with their owners. They are very social cats that were bred as companion animals. They crave the presence of others in their lives and are very extroverted cats. California Spangleds won’t be content to be alone in the home all day. They need consistent mental stimulation to be happy.

Food & Diet Requirements

This breed doesn’t have any specific dietary needs that set them apart from other cat breeds. However, prospective pet parents of a California Spangled should invest in a high-quality, high-protein diet that their cat can eat. A protein content of at least 30% is necessary, though their high energy threshold indicates that the higher the protein content of their food, the better.

Additionally, California Spangleds tend towards the medium-to-large side of the sale, So don’t be surprised if your cat eats more than you expected. They’ll need more food to be satiated with that much energy.

Exercise 🐈

You should expect to spend a lot of time entertaining your California Spangled. They have boundless energy fit for a big cat. Exercise is necessary for cats, and you should consider toys like a cat-sized exercise wheel to help them get all their energy out.

Training 🧶

California Spangleds may need consistent training to help them control their energy. Unfortunately, their high energy is a double-edged sword with training since it can make them harder to train. However, necessary cat training like litter training should be a breeze with these intelligent cats.

Grooming ✂️

Californa Spangleds have a short coat that is not prone to heavy shedding. You will not need to groom your cat often if you get one of these cats. You can get away without ever grooming your cat if they don’t become too tired to do it themselves as they age.

However, California Spangleds have an undercoat that can shed and trap shed outercoat fur. So, brushing your cat may be worthwhile during shedding seasons.

Health Conditions 🏥

California Spangleds have a very varied gene pool and are not known to be predisposed to any particular illnesses. However, that does not ensure that your cat will never become ill. Cat parents should watch their California Spangled for any signs of common cat illnesses.

Male vs Female

Male California Spangleds tend to be slightly larger than females, but there are no meaningful differences between males and females.


3 Little-Known Facts About the California Spangled Cat

1. California Spangleds were a mixed breed that became its own breed.

The California Spangled’s unique appearance was achieved by crossbreeding several breeds, including the Siamese, British Shorthair, Angora, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair.

2. The California Spangled was bred to spread awareness about poaching.

The breed’s originator was screenwriter Paul Casey. He worked in tandem with anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey to produce the California Spangled, a cat that resembled an ocelot or a leopard.

Their theory was that if humans could live alongside and love a cat that resembled an ocelot or leopard, they would be more apt to take action against the poaching of the animals.

3. California Spangleds don’t like to be left alone.

California Spangled cats are known for being a little bit clingy. They need a lot of mental stimulation to be happy. So, being alone in an empty house isn’t their jam. They do best in a home where at least one person is home for most of the day.


Final Thoughts

While the Bengal and Ocicat overshadowed the California Spangled in popularity for many years, the breed is making a comeback. We can all help with the breed’s revival by supporting responsible breeders and adopting cats from shelters to show interest in the breed.

Featured Image Credit: Burhan Oral GUDU, Shutterstock

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