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The Aegean cat

It is almost certain that during your visit on a Greek island you encountered a cat, either wandering in the whitewashed alleys or by  fishermen’s nets at the local port. However, did you know that the Greek island cats belong to a rare indigenous breed? Well, the Aegean cat originates from the Cycladic islands and is a naturally occurring domesticated breed. Although the Aegean cat became an officially recognized breed in the 1990s, archeologists have discovered traces of it leading back to the antiquity. For centuries the Aegean has found shelter on the over 220 inhabited islands scattered in the sea, after which they were named. It is therefore considered as one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world!

The Aegean cat developed naturally, without any human intervention. According to experts this allowed the breed to adapt very well to its natural environment and humans. They have a semi-long haired coat that protects them during winter and shed every summer. They are active, vocal and overall social cats that make a great family companion. Moreover, because of the way they developed Aegean cats are free of the genetic diseases the majority of other breeds faces. Thus, an Aegean ranks high among the healthiest cat breeds.

In case these facts have not moved you yet, there is another special trait that distinguishes this typically Greek cat. The Aegean is not afraid of water! Aegean cats are known to befriend fishermen and even catch fish themselves. So, do not be surprised if you happen to see a cat taking a dive at the Aegean sea this summer! After all the Aegean cats make the most beautiful unexpected travel companion.

For those of you that wish to learn more about this special cat that populates the Greek islands, I included a great video produced by Animal Planet.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwpb82qLfUE[/embedyt]

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