California Spangled Cat
Star Spangled Cat

United States

Breed Standard


Cat (Felis catus)
List of Cat Breeds

The California Spangled Cat is a breed of cat that were bred to resemble spotted wildcats, like the ocelot and leopard. They were originally bred in the 1980s and were only ever a rare breed, and were usually expensive, priced between $800 to $2,500. The popularity of two other spotted cats breeds - the Ocicat and the Bengal- overshadowed their development.

Silver cat

California Spangled cat

Inspired by the poaching death of a leopard, the anthropologist Louis Leakey motivated Californian Paul Arnold Casey, Jr. to breed a domestic cat resembling a small leopard, and that this would emphasize how important it is to preserve the leopard. Casey died April 23, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. He was 60 years old.

An interesting fact about these cats is that they were marketed as "his and hers" gifts in the 1986 Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalogue for $1,400. Cat lovers were not happy with the fact that the cats were being marketed like handbags or jewelry. In addition, until 1998, the most expensive cat, bought for $24,000, was a California Spangled. That record was broken by a Bengal that sold for around $41,000.[1]

California Spangled Cats are a crossbreed of many strains of cat, including the Abyssinian, American Shorthair and British Shorthair. Despite their wild appearance, they are completely domestic.

This cat gives the initial impression of being a miniature leopard. It has a long, lean, somewhat muscular body and a low slung walk, along with spots. The most desired shape of spots on the cats is round, yet somewhat blockish. Triangular, oval, or square spots are acceptable also. The Spangle's coat may be any of the following colors: bronze, gold, blue, brown, charcoal, red, black, silver, or white. They have conspicuous cheekbones and light, large whisker pads. Spangles may look wild, but are purely domestic and adore playing and interacting with their people.

Originally bred by Paul Arnold Casey, Jr., a Hollywood scriptwriter, playwright, and author, after his return from Tanzania while working with Louis Leakey in the 1970s. Casey's novel, "Open The Coffin" chronicles his journey in Africa and subsequent breeding that led to the California Spangle.

This animal was ideally bred to resemble a leopard, thus giving the impression of a "House-Leopard". One of many motivations for this breed was that people would not want wear the same type of fur that resembled their pet.

The Spangle was first introduced on the cover of the iconic Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog in 1986. California Spangled Cats are affectionate, social, curious, and extremely devoted to their owners. They are big on eye contact and being in on the action, they love to perch on places that are at your shoulder or eye level so that they can see exactly what is going on. These kitties are known for their well-honed intelligence, athletic abilities, high energy level, and accidental acrobatics. California Spangled Cats love to pounce and have very sharp hunting skills, they also enjoy games that involve a large participation part by their owner.


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