Cats have been around this world for a long time. Many people know that the Ancient Egyptians loved their cats so much that they treated them like gods. This fact means that domestication allowed cats to become a part of human life around 3,000 BCE. However, there is evidence that this process began as early as 10,000 years ago.
Here is a list of the oldest cat breeds that people have brought into their homes to show how long people have cared for cats. Some items on the list are pretty obvious, while others may come as a surprise. There is no definite answer to the oldest or second oldest cat breed in history. Many experts continue to debate this, as peer-reviewed historical proof can be challenging.
1. The Egyptian Mau
Ancient Egyptians mummified what can be considered the Egyptian Mau ancestors in the same tombs as pharaohs. This fact makes the Mau potentially the oldest cat breed of all. Even though it’s not clear that Egyptian Maus were the first cats to be tamed, they are one of the few naturally spotted cat breeds. Papyri and frescoes from 1550 BC show cats with spots that look like our Egyptian Maus.
Some experts regard the Egyptian Mau as the world’s oldest domesticated cat breed. Egyptian Maus were mummified with pharaohs, so they could be with them in the afterlife, keep them safe, and show them the way. It suggests they were adored pets long before 1500 BCE and possibly even before 10,000 BCE. In ancient Egyptian literature, drawings and hieroglyphs. These cats, for ancient Egyptian society, were loyal and trustworthy friends.
2. Japanese Bobtail
People are initially drawn to the Japanese Bobtail because of its comparatively short tail, one of its defining characteristics. Many people believe that they are lucky bringers, much like rabbits. This phenotypic manifestation is a consequence of a recessive gene in this breed. The consensus amongst knowledgeable individuals is that they were already in use in Japan by the 5th century.
The Bobtail was Japan’s most famous stray cat throughout a significant chunk of the country’s history. The Bobtail continues to play an important role in the mythology of many regions around Japan.
This lovely feline was born in Ancient Persia, which included parts of modern-day Iran. There is no scientific agreement on when the first Persian cats were born. Still, we know that the first officially registered specimen was brought from the province of Khorasan (Greater Persia) to Italy at the start of the 17th century.
But the Turkish Angora had the most significant effect on how the breed looks now, and that was set in the 1800s when it became part of English culture. The Persian quickly became the most famous cat breed in the world because of how beautiful and friendly it is.
4. Turkish Angora
Many people believe that the hilly regions of Turkey were the cradle of the Turkish Angora. It’s possible that the way these animals lived contributed to the development of their silky, medium-length fur coats. It wasn’t until the 1600s that this old breed with a white fur coat was first recorded in France!
The Manul cat was a small breed of cat that the Tartars domesticated. Some people believe that this specific feline, which has extremely soft fur, is a direct descendant of the Manul cat.
5. Turkish Van
The Turkish Van comes from Turkey’s Lake Van region, central and southwest Asia, and southwest Russia. These cats are essential to the culture of Turks, Armenians, and Kurds. As a result, these groups frequently saw the Turkish Van as a national symbol dividing the country.
The breed was brought to the UK in the 1950s. However, its ancestors are considered as old as those of the Angora. This is why the Turkish Van is regarded as one of the world’s oldest cat breeds. Even though the Angora and the Van look similar, they are different breeds with different genetic lines. If you are considering getting a Turkish Van as a pet, keep in mind that it is a dominant cat that needs to be socialized from the time it is a kitten, ideally within the first eight weeks, if you want it to get along with other animals.
The Chartreux, often known as a “Carthusian,” is one of the world’s oldest cat breeds. While many think the French created the breed in France, where it became more widely recognized in the 1930s, many experts believe these cats were introduced to Europe during the Crusades. They are thought to originate on the border between Iran and Turkey.
The most popular idea is that the Chartreux’s forebears, like Turkish Angoras, were feral mountain cats from the Middle East. Historians believe the cats were brought to France by traders or Crusaders in the 13th century. Once in France, The Carthusian monks carried the breed at the Grande Chartreuse Monastery in southeastern France.
7. Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats, sometimes known as “Wegies” by cat enthusiasts, are said to be derived from cats that crossed the oceans aboard Viking ships. Viking cats, indeed! The forebears of the Norwegian Forest Cats may have included black and white shorthair cats brought to Norway from Great Britain by Vikings sometime after 1000 AD, as well as longhaired cats brought to Norway by Crusaders.
The Vikings brought the ancestors of these cats to Europe at approximately 1000 CE. The Vikings used to keep these vast cats on their ships to help control the overpopulation of rodents. Without these loyal friends, there would have been a lot more sickness, and it would have been hard to keep food tasty for a long time.
The native Thai cat breed is called the Korat, which also goes by the name “lucky cat.” Around 1350 CE, they made their first appearance in written records. The stunning blue color of their fur and the emerald color of their eyes drew attention to these adorable kittens, and so did the fact that they are among the world’s tiniest domestic cats. The average weight of an adult Korat ranges between 2 and 4 kg.
Although the Korat is one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world, its popularity in Western countries has only recently risen. It was in the 1960s that it was made available in the United States.
9. Siamese Cat
The exact origin of the Siamese cat breed, like most feline things, is buried in mystery. People have yet to determine where Siamese cats were first bred and domesticated. Some claim they were produced by royalty, while others believe Buddhist monks bred them. However, the Tamra Maew, or ‘The Cat Book Poems,’ a Thai document dating from the 14th century, mentions dark-pointed cats and argues that the Siamese is an ancient breed.
These cats are descended from ancient sacred temple cats in Siam (modern-day Thailand). “Tamra Maew” (“The Cat Book Poems”), a 14th-century Thai book, mentions cats with dark points and dark masks. It implies that the Siamese is an ancient breed beloved by royalty and Buddhist monks.
The continent of Africa, on which modern-day Ethiopia is situated and which was historically known as Abyssinia, is the native habitat of the Abyssinian cat. Midway through the year 1868, the first specimens arrived in Europe.
Nonetheless, it was in the twentieth century that the CFA acknowledged its existence. It has a startling resemblance to the appearance of the Libyan Felis, which was a wild ancestor of current domestic cats.
11. Russian Blue
A breed that dates back centuries, the Russian Blue is also commonly referred to as the Archangel Blue. The latter title originates from a Russian port from which it is supposed that Russian seafarers brought the cat to Europe and, eventually, the United Kingdom in 1860.
It wasn’t until this point in time that records were kept for such an ancient breed. There are legends circulating in Russia suggesting it has been kept secret for many centuries. This was because the Russian Tsars and their families were the only ones who were allowed to accompany the ambassadors.
Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, and various ancient cat breeds still exist today. The oldest breeds are the Egyptian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Persian, Turkish Angora, Turkish Van, Chartreux, Norwegian Forest, Korat, Siamese, Abyssinian, and Russian Blue. Other contenders for this list are the Manx, Maine Coon, Siberian, and Singapura.
Each of these breeds has unique characteristics, from appearance to personality. While these breeds are considered the oldest, many more breeds can provide pet owners with a wide variety of choices.
No matter which cat you choose, you must be an educated pet owner and research the breed best for you and your family. Cats are intelligent and loving companions, and with proper care and attention, they will bring years of joy and happiness to any household.