on 06 Feb, 2018
The domestication of cats goes back at least as far as ancient Egyptian times. There, they were revered as godly and are often depicted in the art of the time. It is thought that the ancestors of domesticated cats are the African Wild Cat that still lives in North Africa and The Middle east today.
As Apex predators, cats would control the population of vermin such as rats and mice. Such vermin would often be found close to human habitats as there were plenty of scraps and other food for the taking. This bought cats and man close together, and man was in no hurry to expel their natural pest control system. Over time, the two would begin to come ever closer and cats became more than just a wild animal that lived nearby. Instead, they became a welcome member of the family and started living in peoples’ homes. This symbiotic relationship became popular world-wide, and cats formed a part the fabric of civilisations across the planet.
In addition to serving a practical purpose, cats were also prized for their aesthetic appeal, and people began breeding them to accentuate certain characteristics. This lead to different breeds arising with different characteristics. Many were still bred as hunters and for other practical roles. Others were bred simply just to look good.
Popular Cat Breeds #10: Ragdoll Cat
The ragdoll is a newcomer to the list of domesticated cat breeds, having arrived as recently as the 1960s. Their emergence is credited to a lady named Ann Baker, from California. She was a Persian breeder and bred her own cat which was of Persian origin with a long-haired, white-mitted Tom. The resulting offspring formed the basis of the breed, and Baker formed the ragdolls of America group. There are many fanciful theories behind the breed, including some outlandish suggestions of CIA involvement and aliens. None of these have been shown to be true, of course.
The ragdoll got its name from its tendency to just completely relax and flop into the arms of anybody that picked them up. It is a very docile breed and are known to greet their owners at the door and follow them around the home. They are also fairly easy to train and can easily be taught to use a litter tray and avoid scratching furniture.
Popular Cat Breeds #9: Russian Blue Cat
Unlike so many other domesticated cats, the Russian Blue was not created by way of selective breeding. Instead, they are a breed that occur naturally without human influence. They are also often known as the Archangel cat, because that is the name of the port from which British sailors discovered them and took them home. It was in the late 19th century that the breed came into demand, and they were given their own official category in shows in 1912.
The Russian Blue is known for its dense coat, which is a throwback to its origins of living in a cold climate. They are a gentle, shy cat but still like to play from time to time. They tend not to pay much attention to strangers, but are known for their devotion to their owners.
The Russian blue is generally easy to look after, but they do tend to eat too much so their diet needs to be monitored. They can generally be found lazing around the home, looking for some attention from their owners.
Popular Cat Breeds #8: Siberian Cat
The first recorded mention of this breed was at a cat show in England in 1871. Before that, it is though that the cats moved with human immigrants from Russia to Siberia. It is an ancient breed, and all modern long-hair domestic cat breeds are thought to share DNA with the Siberian. They didn’t arrive in America until 1990, and their demand was limited due to the high costs of importing them. They remain a popular breed in Britain and throughout Europe, however.
Having originated in harsh conditions, the Siberian cat is a large, rugged breed with a long coat to help keep out the cold. They are also very agile for their size, and can often be found relaxing up high on furniture.
The Siberian is an independent cat that likes to look after itself where possible. It is still friendly and affectionate, however, and makes an excellent family pet.
Popular Cat Breeds #7: Siamese Cat
The Siamese cat takes its name from its place of origin, Siam, which is now known as Thailand. It is first mentioned in the mid-14th century in a book called “The cat-book poems”. The book tells that the cats were rare and anybody that owned one would become very wealthy. Legend has it that this prompted the invading Burmese king Hsinbyushin to return to Siam and round up all the cats for himself. They were first taken to Britain and America in the late 19th century, and the fist Siamese Cat club was founded in 1901.
Siamese cats are an intelligent breed, and they crave attention. They are often considered to be more dog like in personality, and form strong emotional bonds with their favourite people. The Siamese does not do well if left alone and depression is not uncommon among individuals that spend too much time without the company of people or other cats. It is common for them to be brought in pairs to help provide each other with the company the crave.
Popular Cat Breeds #6: Persian Cat
Not much is known about the origins of the Persian, although it is thought that it is an ancient breed that originated in Iran. The first official record of it being exported was in 1620, where they were taken to Italy. In 1871, an individual appeared in a cat show in England. The breed was a favourite of Queen Victoria, giving it a celebrity status which help the breed to see a rise in popularity. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the breed was taken to America, although they saw a quick rise in popularity once they did arrive.
The Persian is a breed that does a good job of sitting around the home looking good. While do they enjoy affection, they are not the type of cat that will pester you for cuddles. They are also likely to keep away from strangers, but enjoy being around the people they know and love. The Persian has a long, flowing coat, which will need to be groomed on a daily basis to help prevent matting.
Popular Cat Breeds #5: Sphynx Cat
It was in the Canadian province of Ontario in 1966 that the Sphynx first started as a breed. It was by chance that a kitten in a litter was born without hair, and this individual helped to create the breed we recognise today. This individual was bred with other cats to try and reproduce the hairlessness, and other cats that were born hairless were also introduced to the breeding program. Its striking appearance has made it a popular breed, yet it is also known for its wonderful personality.
The Sphynx is a cat that is known for its boundless energy, and can often be found climbing on anything it can, including its owners. They love attention, and they love to play, and they are often quite happy to be the clown of the family entraining everybody around.
An extroverted breed, the Sphynx makes a great companion for people that can give it the attention it craves. It also does well with other cats, and even dogs.
Popular Cat Breeds #4: Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat came about as a result of genetic experimentation in the 1970s. A group of Asian Leopard cats were to be tested because of their partial immunity to feline leukemia. They were cross-bred with domestic cats to help further the experiments. Once the experiments were complete, the cats involved were then handed to Jean Sugden, an amateur breeder with an interest in producing such hybrids. She found some difficulties in starting a breed but got a break when she found a feral cat that was actually living with a Rhino in an Indian zoo.
The Bengal is a breed that is full of energy, and it loves to make the most of its flexibility by jumping up to high spots in an around the home. It is also known for its love of water and has even been noted to enjoy having a shower with its owners. They do retain some of their wild heritage and have a tendency to catch any animal they can, including fish.
Popular Cat Breeds #3: Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian forest cat is thought to have been around during the time of the Vikings. It is even thought that the cat was aboard the boat of the legendary Viking explorer Leif Erickson. In the early 20th century, there was an attempt to begin an official breeding program for the Norwegian forest cat, but WWII nearly led to its extinction. Breeding programmes were rekindled after the war, however, and its popularity began to rise. The breed wasn’t introduced to America until as late as 1980, and it soon took hold as a popular breed in the United States.
Having originated in the cold climates of Northern Europe, the Norwegian Forest cat is a hardy breed. They are very energetic and can often be found climbing and exploring every spot of the home and garden. Despite their tough interiors, they have a soft centre and love to give and receive attention. They are also a chatty breed, and like to hold long conversations with their owners.
Popular Cat Breeds #2: Savannah Cat
The Serval is a species of African wild cat, and it was this wild cat that was bred with a domesticated breed (Siamese) to produce the Savannah cat. A newcomer to domesticated cat breeds, the first Savannah cat was born in 1986. A breeding programme was started, and the Savannah was officially recognised as a breed by The International Cat Association in 1996.
The Savannah is an outgoing breed that just loves to explore. It is also known as a jumper and is often found sitting on high furniture in the home. They just love the company of people and other animals and require a lot of attention. This is not a breed that is likely to leave you alone to get some peace and quiet. They also love to play with objects around the home and also love to play with water. Savannah cats tend to enjoy playing fetch and can even be taken for a walk on a lead, leading to some people likening them more to dogs than cats.
Popular Cat Breeds #1: Maine Coon Cat
The origins of the Maine Coon cat are unclear, although it is known that is has been in America since the early colonial period. There are many theories on how the breed came to be, some plausible, while others are just downright ridiculous. A popular theory is that they were bred from a racoon and cat hybrid, which is just not possible. One commonly accepted theory is that they are the result of breeding between cats that were local to America, and a long-haired cat that came on boats with the English.
As the largest of all domestic cat breeds, the Maine Coon is a hardy cat that is full of confidence and loves to explore. This is a friendly breed that loves to play. One reason for its popularity is its devotion to its owners. The Maine Coon has a long coat which will require regular grooming, it is also important to ensure that you play with them as much as possible to help them to get the exercise that they need.
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