Origin of feline breeds

Apr 20 , 2021

Origin of feline breeds

The cat, like other species of animals, evolved from a wild state. At what point did the primitive cat become a domestic cat? Unlike other animals that were domesticated by man, the cat was self-domesticated, which speaks volumes about its great intelligence and character.

Evolution from primitive cat to domestic cat

Many years have passed since the appearance of the primitive cat. Its evolution has been extraordinary until it became a domestic cat. Approximately 10,000 years ago the wild cat or felis silvestris appeared in history, which did not differ too much from the ancestors of the felines.

How did the evolution of cats occur? As we have seen, the evolution of cats is very interesting because, unlike other animals, the cat was self-domesticated. This happened because of the need for food and, of course, the survival instinct. The process began when man developed agriculture and with it the storage of grains, which in turn attracted rodents.

The oldest feline breeds in the world

1. Egyptian Mau

For many experts, the Egyptian mau could be considered the oldest breed of cat in the world. Their ancestors are estimated to have been retracted for the first time more than 4000 years ago, in Ancient Egypt. The breed would have begun to be perfected by the Egyptians themselves who were in charge of selecting the best specimens to create the optimal representation for the revered feline figure.

Despite its age, the breed was introduced to Europe during the 1950s at the initiative of Princess Natalia Troubetzkoi. Quickly, it was welcomed as an adored pet for its remarkable elegance and beauty, as well as for having a very special character.

2. Japanese bobtail

The Japanese bobtail draws attention for its very short tail, similar to that of a rabbit, which is the result of a recessive gene present in this breed. It is estimated that their ancestors existed during the 5th century. However, these kittens were introduced to Japan (the country that is credited with creating the breed) 1000 years ago. For many years, the bobtail has been Japan's iconic stray cat and, to this day, it is an important character in local folklore.

3. Persian cat

These beautiful furry are born in ancient Persia, where today the territory of Iran is located. There is no scientific agreement on when the first Persian cats were born, but we know that the first duly registered specimen was imported from the city of Khorasan (Persia) to Italy in the early 1600s.

However, the aesthetic pattern of the breed that we know today has been influenced by the Turkish Angora and was established in the 1800s, after its introduction into English society. Quickly, due to its remarkable beauty and affectionate nature, it became the number 1 of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

4. Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora is a natural breed that originates from the Ankara region, in central Turkey, where it is regarded as a national treasure. It is estimated that this breed was introduced to Europe by the Vikings, probably during the 10th century. However, it begins to be officially recorded in some French writings from the 16th century. It should be noted that for many years the term "angora" was used to refer to many long-haired feline breeds.

Although the breed can have different colors, the most valued Angora specimens are those with totally white fur and one eye of each color (heterochromia). These cats are more reserved, they prefer to live with one or two people and greatly value their tranquility. Therefore, they are not usually suitable for large families or with young children.


5. Turkish Van

The Turkish van is a breed indigenous not only to the regions near Lake Van in Turkey, but also to central and south-western Asia and south-western Russia. These cats have an important cultural value for Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish citizens, being considered a controversial national symbol.

The breed has been incorporated into England in the 1950s, but its lineage is estimated to be as old as that of the Angora, which is why the Turkish Van is also considered one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. In relation to this, it is important to note that Angora cats and Van cats are different breeds with different genetic lineages, although they have generated a lot of confusion due to their aesthetic similarities.

For those considering adopting a Turkish van as a pet, it is important to note that it is a dominant kitten that will need to be socialized from a puppy (preferably in its first 8 weeks) to live peacefully with other animals.

6. Chartreux

The chartreux, also called "Carthusian", is one of the oldest breeds of cats in the world. Although its creation has been attributed to France, where it began to be portrayed in the 1930s, it is estimated that these cats were introduced to Europe during the Crusades. Currently, they are estimated to originate from the Iran-Turkey border.

A curiosity about these kittens is that they have a long childhood, taking more than 1 year to mature and reach adulthood. In addition, we must highlight its beautiful orange eyes and its bluish fur, something similar to Turkish blue.

7. Norwegian Forest

This natural breed is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world because it is directly descended from the Nordic wild cats that accompanied the Vikings in their boats to control the proliferation of rats. It is a long-haired cat with a large and robust body (it can weigh between 7 and 9 kg), with a very lively and affectionate temperament. Due to their large size and high energy, they are better adapted to open spaces and they love to enjoy outdoor activities.

8. Korat

The korat, popularly known as "the lucky cat", is a natural breed originating in Thailand, whose first records date back to the year 1350. These kittens attract attention not only for their beautiful blue color of their fur and their bright green eyes. , but also for being one of the smallest kittens in the world. An adult korat usually weighs nothing more than 2 to 4 kilos.

Despite being also among the oldest cat breeds in the world, the korat has regained some popularity in Western countries in recent decades. In fact, its introduction in the American continent was in the 60s.

9. Siamese

Of course, the popular Siamese cat could not be missing from this list of the oldest cat breeds in the world. Currently, we can speak of modern Siamese and traditional Siamese (or Thai). There is still no agreement on the origins of the ancient Siamese, but it is estimated that Thai cats already lived in the 14th century, in their place of origin, the kingdom of Siam (present-day Thailand). Its arrival on the European continent happened in the 19th century, in England, where it quickly gained space in the exhibitions of the London Cristal Palace. However, the breed was recognized in the 1950s and the first clubs were founded in the 1980s.

The Siamese are recognized for their very loving and extremely loyal temperament, being able to create a unique relationship with their guardians. In addition, its short coat is not only beautiful, but also very practical to keep, clean and healthy. And her bright blue eyes are simply irresistible ...

10. Abyssinian cat

The Abyssinian cat is native to the African continent, where today we find Ethiopia (formerly called Abyssinia). Its first specimens arrived in Europe in mid-1868, but the breed has been recognized by the FCA in the 20th century. Its appearance closely resembles the Felis libica, the wild ancestor of domestic cats.




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