They say a dog is man’s best friend but then there are a lot of cat loving people too. Cats have been worshipped since the time of ancient Egypt and these furry creatures have found their way into people’s hearts. There is a vast difference how cats and dogs have become domesticated and scientists believe that the ancestors of domestic cats made their way from Southwest Asia into Europe some times in 4400 BC. This is when they started hanging around humans and became acceptable pets in a household. Check out these 15 unique cat breeds and their origins.
The Siberian Cat
The Siberian cat is a type of Russian domestic cat that has been around for centuries. It was developed as a formal cat breed in the eighties and can vary from medium to large cats in size. One particular cat study revealed no differences in the genetics of wild and domestic cat breeds. The only traits that told them apart were their tabby coat markings which some feel only began appearing in the Middle ages and dates back to the Ottoman empire.
This is a cat breed that is known for its color paint coat and blue eyes. These are quite large and muscular with long soft and silky coats. Ragdoll cats were developed by an American breeder Ann Baker in the sixties and are quite docile with a good temperament making them ideal family cats.
Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian forest cat has its origins in Northern Europe and has adapted to cold climates. It has a glossy top coat that is very long featuring water shedding hairs and a wooly undercoat for insulation that keeps it also warm.
The Bengal Cat
This is a domesticated cat breed that was bred form hybrid domestic cats like the Asian leopard and the Egyptian Mau. The hybrid is what gives them distinct features like the golden shimmer. The Bengal cat has a wild type of appearance due to its variety of markings like marbling and rosettes.
The Bombay Cat
Among cat breeds, the Bombay cat has short hair and has been developed by breeding a Black American shorthair cat with a sable Burmese. The result is a sleek cat that looks more like a mini panther. Asian cats are usually given the name Bombay cats.
The Russian blue is a cat breed with several types of colorings and markings form a dark slate grey to a silver color. Their signature feature is a short dense coat that reflects the Russian breed. The coat is a standout feature and the cat has been around for more than a century.
The Himalayan Cat
The Himalayan cat is a sub breed with a long-haired cat that is almost like a Persian with one exception. It has blue eyes and a paint coloration. This was derived because of cross breeding between the Persian and the Siamese.
The British Longhair
The British Longhair is a semi long haired medium sized domestic cat that has its origins in Great Britain. Evolutionary geneticist Eva Maria Geigel says “I think that there was no need to subject cats to such a selection process since it was not necessary to change them, they were perfect as they were.
The Maine Coon
Maine Coon cats are quite popular in North America and is also one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. Its physical appearance is marked by its distinct coloring and also has great hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds that is native to the State of Maine. It is also the official state cat of Maine.
The Siamese Cat
The Siamese cat is of the first Asian cat breeds to be distinctly recognized and was derived from a breed known as the Wichianmat, a cat variety native to China which was brought to Thailand. The original Siamese became an extremely popular cat breed in North America and Europe in the 19th century.
The Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora is one of the Turkish domestic cat breeds which is very ancient and originated as a natural cat breed in Ankara region of Turkey. Records of the cat date as far back as the 17th century and is significantly recognized for its mutation of color white and long hair.
This domestic Burmese cat breed is also regarded as the Sacred cat of Burma. Its main features are its long hair and color point with a silky coat and deep intense blue eyes with contrasting socks or gloves on its paws. The name was derived from the word Birmanie which is French for “Burma.”
The Egyptian Mau
Among cat breeds, the Egyptian Mau is one of the world’s most famous and arrest of cat breeds. Their features are characterized by the medium short size hair and spots which can be found only on the tips of the hairs of the coat.
The Scottish Fold
This is another domestic breed of cat with a gene mutation that affects its cartilage throughout its body. The mutation causes its ears to fold and bend forward and downward towards the front of its head giving it an owl-like appearance.
The Abyssinian is another domestic breed of cat that has a distinct ticked tabby coat with individual hairs banded with different colors. Known commonly as Abys, it originated in Abyssinia and looks quite regal among cat breeds. O see more breeds of cats go the Fb page of OMG Meow who has a comprehensive list of cats and their origins.