When we asked for your help identifying a cat that an Alabama reader caught on camera, we figured that we’d hear more than a few opinions. Bangor Daily News readers love their mystery beasts, after all, and love to guess which species is showing up on video or in a still photo.
This time around, though, we seem to have less than a consensus. Some thought the critter is a hybrid house cat of some sort. Others thought it was a wild animal running loose. And at least one reader said they wish we’d stop wasting their time with such nonsense.
As they say, “your mileage may vary.”
Since many of you have been willing to play along and seem to be having fun with this most recent episode of “What am I?” I’ll share some of the top responses. In order to get the bad vibes out of the way right off the bat, I’ll share the opinion of our one naysayer.
“That’s not even a Savannah or a hybrid, it’s a domestic tabby of very typical size,” the reader said. “Perhaps someone should talk to their neighbors before people write useless articles about a domestic shorthaired cat that likely belongs to someone down the road.”
Ouch. That hurt. Thankfully, not for long. As it turns out, many other readers disagreed with that sentiment.
“I’m pretty sure that’s a Bengal housecat. A housecat for sure,” David Zuk said. “Maybe a Bengal crossbred with another breed?”
From Victoria McIntire: “Savannah cat or if [if it’s] a little larger, [an] ossicat. Sometimes domestic tabby cats have mutated stripes that come in a broken pattern that resemble spots. Most likely a harmless hybrid domestic tabby.”
From Gregory Heter: “To me it looks like a savannah cat. Hopefully the owner is looking for it.”
Other readers thought the cat looked a lot more exotic than that.
One reader said it looked like a serval. Another thought it might be a Florida panther. Jaguarundi, caracal and ocelot were also mentioned as possibilities.
One reader got pretty specific about what kind of cat he was seeing.
“It’s a snow bengal cross, 9.5 to 10.5 pounds,” Jason Forrett said. “This is what happens when people let their asiatic leopard cats go in the wild … It’s like a manx [cat] on steroids.”
One reader didn’t see anything remotely mysterious about the photo. Their opinion: It shows a Maine coon cat.
But our most in-depth response shared included the most food for thought, I think.
“[I’ve got] $50 here in my wallet that says it’s one of about three or four exotic hybrid type cats (maybe a Bengal) that are popular these days,” Robin Parks said. “The barrel (or whatever that is in the background) is the only thing to give some size comparison. But it’s not a big animal. Regular house cats can get that big. I got a feeling it’s somebody’s pet that’s just out doing cat things.”
Parks and one other reader noticed something else about the photo that seems to indicate the cat is a pet.
“In the pic, is there a small compressed area around its neck that might suggest a collar is there?” Parks asked. “I can’t quite tell.”
Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.