Popular Cat Breeds and Interesting Facts

First, A Brief History of Cats

Cats are descendents of the African Wild Cat and were domesticated by the Egyptians. In Ancient Egypt, cats were thought of as magical and god like. Cats were so special that the Egyptians even had a cat goddess named Bast. Killing a cat in ancient Egypt was a crime and any person who killed a cat was to be sentenced to death. Families mourned the death of a cat by shaving their eyebrows. They were entombed and mummified alongside their human companion.

The Ancient Romans introduced cats to Europe. Europeans did not worship cats, nor did they think cats to be magical. Cats were popular among Europeans. They were kept as companions and appreciated for eliminating rodents.

The Medieval Times were a dark and horrifying chapter in the cats' history. As fear of paganism grew, it was widely believed that cats were 'agents of the devil'. Cats were tortured and burned alive.  Anyone who had a cat as a pet was thought to be a witch and also sentenced to torture and death. Soon cats in Europe became scarce.

Theorists believe that the Black Plague that swept through Europe in the 1400s was a direct result of elimiating cats throughout the continent. Disease was thought to be brought on by the climbing rodent population. Without cats around to kill off rodents, disease spread.

Cats made a comeback in the 1800s. Cat shows began in the 19th century and cats are popular to this day.

 

Some Popular Cat Breeds

 There are many different breeds of cats.  Here are just some of the more popular ones.

Abyssinian

Abyssinians are one of the oldest breeds of cats. These gorgeous short haired cats are medium length, very slender and muscular with beautiful almond shape eyes that range from brown to green. They weigh anywhere from 8 to 10 pounds. Abyssinian cats have an Ancient Egyptian look to them and are believed to have originated in Egypt. Their coat is spotted, silky and dense. Their ears are large and pointed. Their limbs and neck are long which make these gorgeous creatures appear very graceful. Abyssinians are not lap cats. They are expert hunters, very playful and love attention. Abyssinians are also intelligent and sensible. They will not take unnecessarry risks. They crave human companionship and are prone to depression if not given daily attention.

The Abyssinian Cat
The Abyssinian Cat
Bombay
Bombay

Bombay

Wouldn't you love to have a minature black panther as a pet? You're in luck. The bombay cat is a perfect choice. Bombays are medium sized, short hair cats that weigh around 8 to 10 pounds. They have a shiny and silky jet black coat. Their eyes are a beautiful copper color. Bombays are a newer breed and were first bred in the 1950s. The bombay is not your typical cat. They are far from aloof. They are warm, affectionate and like to be part of the family. The Bombay is a perfect cat for people who are used to having dogs as pets. You can even take a bombay out for a walk on a leash, like you would for a dog.

American Shorthair
American Shorthair
Bengal Cat
Bengal Cat
Maine Coon kittens
Maine Coon kittens

American Shorthair

The American Short Hair is a medium to large cat with an athletic build and strong, powerful legs. The coat is short, dense and thick. American Shorthair cats shed during the springtime. Females weigh from 8 to 12 pounds and males weigh anywhere from 12 to 15 pounds. They are prone to weight gain. American Shorthairs' coat can be any color but is widely recognized as the silver tabby cat. These sweet kitties are very affectionate, adaptable, social and gets along with other pets including dogs. They also get along great with children.

Bengal Cat

Bengal is a new hybrid breed. Bengal cats originate from the crossing of the domesitc cat with a small Asian Leopard cat. Bengals are short hair, large, sleek and muscular with an exotic leopard coat. Females weigh between 7 to 11 pounds, while males can weigh up to 18 pounds. Their markings can be marble, spotted or rosettes with a light colored belly. Bengal cats are happy, energetic and extremely intelligent. They are playful and even love water.

Maine Coon

One of the first American breeds was the Maine Coon. These cats are native to the state of Maine, where the it is also official state cat. Maine Coons are big boned, large cats that are gentle in nature. A male maine coon can weigh anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds, while females weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. They are long hair to medium hair cats with a thick, shaggy coat. Their coat and eyes come in many different colors. Maine Coons are known as 'Gentle Giants' and get along well with children and other pets. They are also very loyal human companions.

Persian
Persian
Ragdoll
Ragdoll

Persian

Persian cats were favored by nobles in France and Italy. Because the Persian is such an old breed, it's difficult to say where they originated. Persians are one of the most popular breed of cat. These adorable cats have a fluffy appearance and a pansy face. Their coats are very thick and very long. They can have any colored marking and colored eyes. They have a wide head, short legs and very wide eyes. Their weight can range from 8 to 13 pounds. Persians are known to be quiet cats. They are sweet, gentle cats with an adorable soft meow.

Ragdoll Cat

Ragdolls were first bred in California back in the 1960s by a woman named Ann Baker. Ragdolls are large beautiful cats with piercing blue eyes. Ragdolls are a semi-long hair breed. Females can weigh up to 15 pounds and males can weigh up to 20 pounds. Born pure white, as adults they can range from white, seal colored or chocolate colored. Ragdolls have a gentle and relaxed nature. They are affectionate, love to cuddle and are easy to care for.

Russian Blue

Another very old breed of cat. Due to the name, it's assumed that the Russian Blue originated in Russia, but origins are unclear. Russian Blue cats are very attractive with their silky silver-blue double coat and bright green eyes. They are of moderate weight and weigh around 8 to 12 pounds. Russian Blues are short hair with a mild temperament. These pretty cats love to follow their owners around and generally favor one human over the others. Elegant and reserved but at the same time, they are very playful cats.

 

Russian Blue
Russian Blue
The Siamese Cat
The Siamese Cat

Siamese

The Siamese cat originated in Southeast Asia. Siamese cats are hard to miss with their striking almond shaped blue eyes and coat. These gorgeous cats are short hair and have a light coat, usually white, light beige or cream colored.  The face, ears and paws are darker colored. The body of a siamese is slim and muscular. A female Siamese can weigh anywhere from 8 to 11 pounds while their male counterparts can weigh up to 15 pounds. Siamese cats are very social and talkative. They are also very intelligent and love being around people.


Domestic Shorthair and Longhair Cats

Domestic Shorthair and Domestic Longhair are names given to cats of no particular breeds. These cats are mixed and are the most common type of cat. Since mixed cats do not come from breeders they are less likely to be inbred. Due of this, they are less likely to have any health issues.

A beautiful long hair calico cat
A beautiful long hair calico cat
Kim is a tuxedo cat.
Kim is a tuxedo cat.
Bailey is a striped tabby cat.
Bailey is a striped tabby cat.
Ramona is a calico and tabby mix.  Notice the different colors in her coat combined with stripes.
Ramona is a calico and tabby mix. Notice the different colors in her coat combined with stripes.

Tabbies, Torties, Tuxedos and Calicos

Contrary to popular belief, these cats are not breeds. These names describe coat patterns that are found in many breeds. Coat patterns can influence sex and unique traits in a cat.

Tabbies can be striped, spotted or marble. They can be male or female, however, orange tabbies are almost always male. All tabby cats have an "M" marking on their forehead.

Calico and Tortoiseshell (or Tortie Cats) will always be female. These strikingly beautiful cats are very colorful. Calicos will have little (if any) black color to their pattern. Torties have more of a black coat and will have no white in their pattern.

Tuxedo cats are black and white. The color contrast is attractive. They can be male or female and are thought to be highly intelligent.

 

Tortoiseshell cats are small and unusual looking cats.
Tortoiseshell cats are small and unusual looking cats.
Spritz is a beautiful black cat with a shiny coat.  She's brought lots of good luck to her human companions.
Spritz is a beautiful black cat with a shiny coat. She's brought lots of good luck to her human companions.

Are Black Cats Unlucky?

In Medieval Europe, it was believed that witches were able to turn themselves into black cats. This could be where the superstitions about black cats being bad luck came from. In Britain and Ireland, however, black cats are thought of as extremely lucky.

A Final Note...

Cats are wonderful companions. Whether you choose a purebred or a cat from a shelter, these amazing creatures will add more love to your life. While all cats have different personalities, there is one thing they all have in common. They have never forgotten that they were once worshipped and obviously think they still should be.




Are you thinking of adopting a cat and not sure whether to declaw or not? Read my hub on declawing:

http://amymarie5.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Cats-Should-Not-Be-Declawed

Love dogs? Learn about some really cool breeds here:

http://amymarie5.hubpages.com/hub/Uncommon-Dog-Breeds


**All pictures used for this hub were legally obtained from Google Images.

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Comments 16 comments

pinkydoo profile image

pinkydoo 5 years ago from New York

My cat Coco-Puff is a Tortie.....I THINK! She has white paws and a white chest - but no white in her actual pattern! I remember thinking she was a Calico, and having someone argue, "No, no,no..she's a Tortie!" I had always thought Calico and Tortie were actual breeds - now, thanks to your hub, I know the terms just apply to coat colors and patterns. Thanks for such an interesting and enlightening hub!!!


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL Author

Hi Pinky,

I'm so glad you enjoyed my hub. My first cat was a tortie and I always assumed it was a breed. People also used to tell me she was a calico so I guess people get those two confused!! Thanks for commenting.

Amy


J Sunhawk profile image

J Sunhawk 5 years ago from South Carolina

Cats are magical. If you wish you had a cat, the cat community will hear you and one will arrive at your doorstep. Don't try to ignore it. The cat is yours. And vice versa.


Your bestie  5 years ago

Spritz.....she is all over the net! What a fun read.


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL Author

Thanks Bestie!!! Yep Spritz is a famous kitty isn't she? Love her too ;)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Wow - I love this hub! I am a cat lover too, and this is so full of great information about breeds and gorgeous photos! Rated up.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Very interesting information about they way Ancient Egyptians regarded cats. I had heard something like that and I appreciate you clarifying it. Interesting theory on the black plague! I had a Russian Blue cat that lived to be 22 years old! Thanks for suggesting this Hub to me! I enjoyed it! Great information on different breeds. Well researched and executed!

JSMatthew!


Hub 5 years ago

pretty intresting hub.


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

My cat is a Russian Blue, they are such beautiful and affectionate cats. Yet, mine any way is strictly a one person kinda cat. Other people around she runs and hides, but never from just me. Voted you up here, and useful.


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL Author

Hi Fluffy77! My mom has a Russian Blue, she is just the cutest little cat ever. She is very friendly, even with the dog, which I haven't seen a lot with cats. She's also very playful. They are one of my favorite breeds. Thanks for commenting!


Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

Miss Lil' Atlanta 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Amymarie_5,

Oh wow, what interesting cat breeds. Now honestly I'm definitely a dog person, but I'll admit lately cats have really grown on me. I'm actually starting to like cats so much that I've even considered maybe getting one sometime.

Btw I really enjoyed the hub, and I like how you covered so many types of cat breeds. Personally, I think that the Bombay cats and Bengal cats are something that I would definitely consider owning.

I'm especially going to look more into the Bombay cats since you said that they're good for people who are used to owning dogs.


icountthetimes 4 years ago

We used to have a Tortoiseshell. They are beautiful and friendly. Our current cat is half siamese and very talkative. She isn't as friendly as some of the cats we've had in the past, but that might be down to the fact that she used to be a stray and may have been mistreated prior to that.

On TV the other day I saw a piece of pixie bob cats. They seem to be adorable and really friendly. If we get another cat I'd quite like one of those :).


Johnlikens 4 years ago

Thanks for the great info - a nice primer. I just rescued a tuxedo cat. Tough and not afraid of my dogs!


tbrian123 profile image

tbrian123 4 years ago from colombo, Sri Lanka

nice article...!!! love Persian cats a lot..


beth 4 years ago

hi. im having a mild problem identifying my middle kitty's pattern. she is a shorter tempered female, 4 yo...her coloring is predominately gray (some dark shades) and very very little tan. her markings hiwever, are that of a brindle nature. she is not a tortie from what i have learned bc of her color. and the mix if coloring is exactly as brindle is-completely mixed sporadic hairs with absolutely no pattern. i heard cats cant b brindle. but her pattern most certainly is. so im confused now.....anyone able to help?


bloomfroever 2 years ago

i want a kitten i really want a black cat i going name her selina

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