Ancient Egyptian revered cats for their representation of Goddess Bastet or Bast in the form of a cat. This goddess is known as the goddess of the hearth and the protector of the family. Such a cult is not surprising since several feline breeds have origins in these distant lands. Although Egyptian cat breeds origins have evolved a lot over the centuries to be differentiated breeds today, there are, however, common characteristics inherited from their ancient ancestors. Among these common traits, let us note a calm and majestic temperament, although they remain good hunters but also, in terms of appearance, slender and athletic bodies decked out with large ears which always seem alert.
Contrary to what you might think, very few breeds of cats find their origins in Egypt. In this article, we invite you to discover the 3 Egyptian cat breeds, which are the following:
African wild cat
Read on to learn more about these fascinating Egyptian cat breeds inherited from ancient Egypt!
Egyptian Cat Breeds
The origins of the Abyssinian cat are unclear, but everything seems to indicate that they go back to ancient Egypt. First, however, his name comes from Abyssinia, a title formerly borne by the territory of Ethiopia, from where the first specimen of this breed was imported to the United Kingdom.
Abyssinian cats are light and agile. Their coat is sand-colored, similar to cougars, darker towards the spine and lighter at the stomach. His very fine face contrasts with his large open ears, and a feeling of elegance emerges from his finely muscled body. The Abyssinian's eyes are expressive and usually have a bright, light color such as yellow or green.
Also, the Abyssinian has a very friendly and playful character: they are indeed very lively, and they will often be surprised to jump, sniff and take an interest in everything that passes under their nose. They enjoy cat trees and cat towers to satisfy their needs to play. Although what will interest them most of the time, he will be their master with whom they are very affectionate.
Small amusing detail: the Abyssinian is one of the rare cats to love water.
The Egyptian Mau breed is probably the most popular of the Egyptian cat breeds. We have even found representations of them on ancient Egyptian wall paintings, which seem to be the most represented cat breed among Egyptian cat statues. "Mau" is the word used by the ancient Egyptians to call cats, his sound similar to that emitted by these domestic felines.
On the behavioral level, it is quite paradoxical: the Egyptian Mau is a very independent cat while being possessive and lovingly taken care of. On the other hand, he is calm once accustomed to his new home and entirely reserved with strangers.
How to recognize an Egyptian Mau:
The Egyptian Mau may, at first glance, appear very similar to other more common cat breeds, so here are some physical characteristics to distinguish it: The Egyptian Mau is characterized by a coat between gray and brown, lighter on the abdomen, with speckles or dark spots all over the body, which become stripes on the tail and at the ends.
It was said of the Egyptian Mau that he was the pharaoh's cat: indeed, the spots he wears on his head are very similar to the traditional make-up of the pharaohs, patterns, and representations found on sarcophagi and engravings. You can check this link to find your little Pharaoh's best houses that can be their palace.
One of the Egyptian cat breeds is the African wildcat or gloved cat, a breed of cat derived from the wildcat the ancient Egyptians domesticated. This name includes two subspecies of wild cats: the wild cat of sub-Saharan Africa and the wild cat of South Africa. However, the African wild cat is not to be confused with the sand cat, a hunter who lives in the arid deserts of the Sahara and the Middle East.
He's smaller than his cousin, the European wildcat. He weighs up to 13 lb and has short ash yellow or gray hair, with dark stripes from the back to the tail. He is slightly larger than ordinary house cats. Conversely, he is a solitary animal that lives mainly at night, so he is challenging to observe in his natural habitat.
The African wildcat inhabits grassy and forested areas throughout the African continent, although he is also found in the Middle East.
He is a breed of independent hunters with a calm character, but at the same time, he will not hesitate to defend himself to keep his hunting territory. Although it is common in the African savannah, his population gradually decreases due to his hybridization with the domestic cat.
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Are There Any Other Egyptian Cat Breeds?
Are you surprised not to find the Sphynxo63ng the list of Egyptian cat breeds? Well, in fact, according to several studies, this breed of cat originated in Canada. So there are only 3 breeds of cats from Egypt?
To answer this question, it is necessary to go back to antiquity, more precisely to the time when the cat began to be domesticated by humans to become the feline we know today. Because of the heterogeneity of the coats and the forms that these cats present, it is rather curious that they have reached this stage of domestication, especially when one thinks of the other feline species which have not reached this symbiosis of coexistence with the cat. 'To be human.
Today there are about 27 different species of cats, of which only one subspecies is domestic, but what does this mean in practice? Well, regardless of the breed of the feline and its external characteristics, in terms of genetics, they all belong to the same subspecies. However, is these subspecies originally domestic? And if not, how did he become familiar with the Man? The answer to this question goes back to the antiquity of Egyptian civilization.
The most widely accepted hypothesis today states that the North African wildcat was very common in the lands of ancient Egypt before civilization had made the progress for which they are known. At that time, the first settlers began to take advantage of the fertility of the banks of the Nile to cultivate cereals, but this attracted, as usual, the presence of rodents which damaged the crops, a chaotic event for the inhabitants, because the river offered them its waters only once a year when the Nile flooded, and food depended on cereals accumulated during other seasons. In response to this situation, the villagers are believed to have democratized the cat's presence on their land as a simple means of containing the invasion of mice. This would be one of the first connections between these felines and humans, which would have benefited both species.
When Egypt became the famous civilization that bequeathed the monuments we know today, its inhabitants had already lived with cats for 4,000 years, making them gods and revering them as faithful companions.
The rest of the domestic feline breeds known today are believed to have originated from a North African cat species, Felis lybica, among the oldest cat breeds. Seen in this light, one could say that, in some way, all the cats we have at home have an Egyptian ancestor.
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