HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Seattle couple who were trying to bring three of their Bengal cats to Hawaii have been denied.
In a 2-to-1 vote Thursday, a state Department of Agriculture ad-hoc committee said they can’t keep them as pets here in the islands.
The cats — named Tony, Kurios and Lucifer — are at the state Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa, and will be transported back to the mainland.
The owners will have to pay for those expenses.
Bengal cats are domestic, but have markings that are similar to leopards or ocelots.
The Department of Agriculture described Bengal cats as a relatively new hybrid breed formed by the cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat.
The Cat Fanciers' Association said the breed, “traces its origins to non-domestic ancestors. However, today’s domestic Bengal cat comes only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals and requires no specialized care.”
The state, though, suspected the couple’s three Bengal cats were indeed hybrids with wild cats and so fall under the state’s list of prohibited animals.