If you have a feline friend living in your home, then there’s a chance that they may just be more multi-cultural a guest than you realized. European cats are highly popular and there are a large range of different breeds of European cats that have found popularity around the globe.In Europe, just like the rest of the world, cats are highly popular domestic pets and they are commonly found in many homes – often as the ‘alternative’ to dogs. They are popular among young couples as their independent nature makes them relatively easy to look after, and this admiration of the kitty has resulted in a thriving industry of feline merchandise.
This fixation with anything that purrs has existed for many years, and thus there are many European cats – breads of puss whose origins began in Europe. Following we will look at a few popular European cats.
British Shorthair: The British shorthair is a popular cat breed in cat shows and has been voted as the UK’s most popular breed of cat. The descendents of these European cats were originally brought to Britain by the Romans before interbreeding with native cats and then purposefully cross bread with Persian cats to improve the thickness of their coats. This has resulted in dense coats of hair that coat relatively sturdy bodies. The common ‘British blue’ is known for its blue-grey fur akin to Tom from Tom and Jerry.
Himalayans: Himalayans are another popular breed of European cats from the UK. These have very long hair that is largely identical to the Persian cat except with blue eyes and point coloration which came from interbreeding with Siamese. Thus they are also sometimes referred to as colorpoint Persians. These cats are described as sweet tempered and very intelligent, and their distinctive long hair makes them a popular choice of European cats. Their fur comes at a cost though which is that they require daily brushing to look their best.
Turkish Angora: The Turkish Angora unsurprisingly originates from Turkey and is an ancient and naturally occurring cat breed from the Ankara region. These cats have silky (often and originally white) hair which is medium to long. They have a slimmer body than Himalayans, though they may be related to Persians also. These European cats are closer relatives to their African wildcat ancestors but began interbreeding with local domesticated cats in order to become today’s more popular European cats – the Angora and the Turkish Van.
Siberian: Siberian cats are European cats from Russia. This is also an ancient breed – and interestingly believed to be ancestral to all of the modern long-haired cats (particularly they are thought to be related to the Norwegian Forest Cats from Norway). This suggests that any longhaired cats you may own, even if they are not explicitly European cats, may have a little continental blood in them after all.
Scottish Fold: The word ‘fold’ in the name of these European cats refers to a naturally occurring genetic mutation in the ear cartilage which causes their ears to appear folded forward – a look that is often likened to owls. Previously these European cats were known as ‘lop eared’ after lop eared rabbits. Fascinatingly all Scottish Folds can be traced back to a common ancestor – ‘Susie’ who had the original mutation in 1961.
This post was written by admin on June 2011