Aegean Cat Breed Facts and Personality traits
Cats are loveable creatures that can capture anyone’s heart. They can enslave us through their irresistible charm, one paw at a time. Before bringing home a cat into your home, it pays to do a little bit of research about the different feline breeds to find out whether your little furry friend will perfectly fit into your life.
If you are looking for a friendly cat breed, one of the best options is the Aegean. This cat has been around for centuries and is considered one of the oldest domestic felines around.
Aegean Cat Breed Origin & History
Unlike their other feline cousins, Aegean cats are considered a naturally occurring cat breed. These native cats were discovered approximately 10,0000 years ago in the Cycladic Islands. Since the Aegans adapted to the island system, they have a distinct affinity for water and fishing. Once feral, they prowled ports in search of food and companionship.
Their close interaction and dependence on humans for food and protection led to their domestication. In Greece, Aegean cats are considered a national treasure as the only native Greek cat. In fact, efforts have been made to preserve them. Sadly, the Cat Fanciers’ Association and The International Cat Association have yet to recognize the Aegean cat as an official breed.
In Greek, the Aegean cat is called “γάτα του Αιγαίου.” As the name suggests, the Aegean cat originally came from the Greek Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea.
Aegean Cat Breed Personality
Aegean cats are known for their fun and sociable personality. They are a perfect match for families big and small since they are always seeking out human interaction. You can count on this feline to accompany you while relaxing or rope you into a lively play session. It loves being part of the action, so it’s always looking for activities to join.
Their adaptability allows them to connect with families, whether they may be living in big or small spaces. They do not require plenty of room to roam around. Apart from being highly active, the Aegean is also an intelligent cat breed. These cats have evolved and endured for centuries. You’ll definitely won’t have a hard time teaching them tricks, such as finding a hidden box of treats.
Aegean cats also love being outdoors. Provide them a safely enclosed patio where they can climb or lie out in the sun. However, if you have an aquarium or pond, you may want to ensure that your pet fish is safe from their grasping paws. This cat breed loves to fish for their meals, returning to their original way of life in the Greek islands.
Furthermore, Aegans are highly sweet and docile. They won’t cause any trouble with your kids, and chances are they’ll end up being the best of friends. Communicating with an Aegean cat is also relatively easy because it is a clever breed. It will show you exactly what it needs, unlike other cats that tend to be aloof.
Aegean Cat Breed Characteristics (Physical)
While the Aegean cat may not appear as striking as its fancier feline counterparts, it has a unique charm that is hard to resist. Plus, with its friendly personality, you have no choice but to adore this cuddly cat.
Males tend to weigh more than females. A male Aegean ranges between nine to ten pounds, whereas a female reaches around seven to nine pounds. Compared to other cats, Aegean cats are medium in size.
As a rule of thumb, your Aegean cat is at its healthy weight when you can easily feel the ribs along with a little covering of fat. If you can’t feel the ribs quickly, it’s a telltale sign that your cat is overweight. Consider scheduling an appointment with your local veterinarian for a complete checkup. Doing so will help your cat avoid more severe health issues, such as metabolic conditions or heart disease.
The head is relatively average in size and oval-shaped. Arguably, one of the most prominent features of an Aegean cat is the two light and dark colors dividing the body, head, and tail.
Part of an Aegean cat’s beauty is its variety of almond-shaped eyes. Many Aegean cats have different shades of green, blue, and even golden eyes.
Like most cats, Aegean cats have ears with a wide base and rounded tips. These areas are covered with fur that resembles the color of their head.
Legs and Paws
Aegean cats have medium-long legs, which complement their muscular build, especially among males. They tend to appear skinnier than other wild breeds that live in Europe, which often look fat or plump.
Aegean cats have white coats with spots and patterns in various colors like black, white, red, fawn, gray, and blue. The gradient may also be bi- or tri-color, depending on their genetics.
Aegean Cat Breed Lifespan
Aegean cats have a relatively long life span, ranging from 13 to 15 years. It is comparable to other long-lived breeds, such as the Manx, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair, Russian Blue, Burmese, Ragdoll, Balinese, and Bombay. Since it is a highly resilient cat breed, the Aegean cat can easily maintain its health whether they live indoors or outside. However, despite being low-maintenance, they still need tender loving care to live long, happy lives.
Luckily, Aegean cats are not products of selective breeding, which makes them generally healthy. No genetic-related diseases are specifically linked to this type of cat. However, beware of breeders who do not offer a health guarantee on Aegean cats. A reliable cat breeder will be honest about health problems concerning their cats or kittens. Similar to other breeds, these cats have the potential to develop genetic or other health problems.
Obesity is one of the most common issues that cat owners have to deal with. Visit your local veterinarian when your cat is gaining more weight than usual. He can suggest feeding and activity guidelines based on your cat’s breed and age. Offering nutritious, low-fat, and high-fiber food will help your cat lose its extra weight. You may also need to motivate your feline friend to be more active by providing toys that will encourage it to stretch, run, and leap. A fishing-pole type of toy with feathers, for instance, is a go-to option.
You may also create an obstacle course or tunnels made of empty boxes, baskets, or bags. Fortunately, Aegean cats are a playful breed, so you won’t have a hard time keeping them occupied. Giving them plenty of attention will also prevent your cat from overeating and oversleeping.
In addition to obesity, kidney diseases are common among older, outdoor cats. These conditions occur when 75% or more of the kidney’s tissues fail to carry out their filtering function and hinder the process of separating toxins from the body.
Your feline friend may become infested with fleas at least once in its lifetime. Researchers found out that most cats have fleas upon birth. However, you can solve this problem with the proper medication or products available at local pet stores.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Another health problem that many pet owners fear is the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which attacks your cat’s immune system, making it more prone to a variety of other illnesses and infections. Symptoms of FIV include fever, dental disease, discharge from the eyes and nose, poor coat or hair loss, sneezing, and swollen lymph nodes.
Additionally, heartworms are common parasites that can affect both cats and dogs. These parasitic organisms grow inside the heart and lungs of your feline, eventually filling the organs and choking them over time.
Plaque that is not cleaned from your cat’s teeth may also cause periodontal disease. The plaque that turns to tartar (hard yellow or brown deposits) can eventually cause your cat’s teeth to fall out. To avoid this problem, try to give your Aegean cat a mixture of dry and canned food to clean the teeth.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Urinary Disease
A common cat illness that can also affect your Aegean cat is the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLTUD). Cats suffering from this disease may lick their genital area excessively and have blood in the urine. They may also avoid urinating due to urethral blockage, which is fatal if left untreated.
But what causes FLTUD? This cat disease may be due to bladder stones, untreated infections, and urinary tract blockages. Your trusted veterinarian may recommend pain medication, antibiotics, and increased water intake for your cat.
If your Aegean cat is frequently sneezing, coughing, having teary eyes or sores in the mouth, it may be due to respiratory problems, which are often viral in nature. Feline Panleukopenia, for example, is an infectious disease among cats. Symptoms include fever, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and dehydration. Kittens are less likely to survive this infection, which makes vaccination a crucial part of prevention.
How to Care for an Aegean Cat
Aegean cats, since time immemorial, have been known for being a smart and athletic breed. As a pet owner, you’ll then need to ensure that your fur baby is always physically and mentally stimulated. How can you keep your Aegean cat moving? Purchase a cat tree where so it can freely climb.
Leaving smart toys and interactive treat dispensers around the home is also a perfect way to keep your Aegean cat mentally stimulated. If you are new to feline maintenance, schedule yearly wellness vet visits for your Aegean cat. It also helps if you pay attention to its nails and ears to look for signs of dirt buildup and infection.
Fortunately, unlike other cat breeds, Aegean cats require low maintenance when it comes to grooming. However, it’s worth noting that their plush coat gets thicker in winter. Typically, shedding is moderate, and brushing your Aegean cat a couple of times a week should be fine.
Aegean cats are also very adaptable, which means they can live in almost any climate. They will need, however, adequate shelter and fresh water, especially when the temperature rises. Your cat needs a place to scratch its paws to remove the old outer nail sheath and expose the smooth claws underneath. Purchasing scratching posts for your home is an excellent idea.
All cat owners need the following items:
- Water bowl
- Food dish
- Premium-brand cat food
- Interactive toys
- Comb or brush
- Safety cat collar w/ ID tag
- Scratching post (at least three feet high) or scratching pad
- Cat carrier
- Litter box
- Cat bed or box w/ warm blanket or towel
Vaccination is also a must, depending on your cat’s health and age. When taking your Aegean cat home, it needs a clean and comfortable space to rest and sleep. Use a soft and warm blanket or towel to cover its bed, and wash the linen regularly. If your new feline friend is allowed to stroll outdoors, attach an identification tag to its safety collar.
Remember to use an elastic panel since it is more comfortable to wear, and you can easily remove it from your cat. Carry your Aegean cat like how you will normally pick up a feline. Put one hand behind the front legs and the other under the hindquarters. Avoid handling your cat by the scruff of its neck or by its front legs. Aegean cats do not require over-the-top grooming to keep their coat in superb shape.
However, it does not mean that you should not allot time for their maintenance. To groom your Aegean cat, use a comb designed for short coats to remove the debris and loose hair. This keeps the hair neat and minimizes shedding around the house. Massage its skin while you brush to stimulate circulation.
It’s safe to say that Aegean cats love meat. If you deliberately put other food on its plate, chances are it will reject what you offered. When feeding an Aegean cat, never forget that they share a common ancestor with the tigers, pumas, and lions. Naturally, you can’t expect this cat to eat an apple or drink milk because that’s not something they would normally have when hunting in the wild.
You also should not compare your Aegean cat’s diet to your typical omnivore meal since it mostly eats fats and proteins. It also doesn’t tolerate man carbohydrates since its body cannot process them well. Too many carbs can lead to health-related consequences like diabetes.
While marketed products can be enticing, there’s no guarantee that your Aegean cat will receive the proper nutrition it needs by serving it “natural” or “premium” cat food. Consult your local vet to know whether dry or wet food suits your cat’s needs. Observe whether your Aegean cat exhibits any digestive problem. If so, replace your cat’s menu with something else.
Is your cat is a picky eater? Then it may go on a hunger strike, most especially when the food you give is not appetizing. If your cat’s stomach is empty for a long time, it can lead to liver failure. Slowly swap your Aegean cat’s food, and take note of how it reacts. Serve small portions of the new food you want to introduce.
The amount of food your Aegean cat requires depends on its lifestyle and other medical conditions. Listen to what your trusted vet recommends to help keep your cat healthy and fit. It’s also important to avoid giving your Aegean cat too many treats to help it get nutritious food that it needs to thrive. According to experts, there are three ways to feed your cat.
- Meal feeding: Your cat will only be given food at specific meal times during the day. This practice allows pet owners to monitor the amount of food that their cat consumes.
Ideally, you should feed kittens at least three times a day. Once they’ve transitioned to adulthood, once or twice a day may be enough.
- Free feeding: Free feeding is also another way of feeding your cat, which means that it has access to food at any time of the day. Dry food is recommended for free feeding since wet food can only last so long.
However, cats that are free fed tend to overeat and become obese. It may also be challenging to check whether your cat is eating well or not.
- Mixed feeding: This method involves serving canned food at least twice a day while dry food is served freely. Your cat is allowed to eat multiple times per day on its own schedule. Nevertheless, this method can sometimes feel like free feeding, making your cat more susceptible to unnecessary weight gain.
Add fish to your Aegean cat’s regular menu. This breed is historically an island cat, so it’s used to eating fish meat in its traditional environment.
Children, Family, & Other Pets
Generally, Aegean cats are well-behaved cats that don’t have a hard time adjusting to any family. Plus, they are affectionate breeds that adore attention and even love to be snuggled from time to time. The good news is Aegean cats can get along well with children. They have tons of energy to burn, but they are not as hyperactive as your dog. Nonetheless, they get along with canines and can even play with them.
No cat breeds are genuinely hypoallergenic, but if you have a family member with allergies, an Aegean cat may be a smart choice. Its short coat is easy to maintain, especially if you devote yourself to keeping your home cat-hair free.
More About This Breed
Since Aegean cats are not a recognized breed, it will be difficult to find a breeder. You’ll need to ensure you are getting an actual Aegean and not a similar-looking cat. You may also try to look for Aegean cats at a shelter. However, this is a game of chance, so it may be a hit or a miss situation if you are looking for this specific breed. One perk that may spark your interest in owning an Aegean cat is that it is inexpensive, unlike more well-known cat breeds.
Nonetheless, the price depends on its pedigree, markings, and gender. If you can get an Aegean cat from the Cyclades Islands, you may have to spend more bucks. Aegean cats are ideal pets for people who are looking for an active and highly sociable animal. The bottom line is that this breed of cat is Greece’s pride, making it more valuable in ways that money cannot buy.