Cats like to be talked to
The Most Popular Cat Breeds: Traits & Character
Today's cat breeds mainly descend from European, Oriental and Asian domestic cats. The origin of our house cat can be traced back to North Africa, the Middle East, the Caspian Sea and also to Sardinia and Corsica.
Domestic cats - origin
Contrary to what many assume, our house cat does not come from the European wildcat, but from the African wildcat, also known as the falcon. (scientifically "Felis silvestris lybica"). Around 10,000 years ago, the black cat wanted to be close to the people who had now settled down and they appreciated the fact that cats mainly fed on mice. Because mice constantly threatened the granaries of the arable population. That is why cats were often kept as pets on the farms. It was able to live out its original wildness for a long time, unlike most domestic cats today, which are often kept in apartments. The farm cat, which was still a little distant and independent, has now become a domestic cat, and there is often even talk of a social partner.
Wildcats - license plate
Wildcats (Felis silvestris) belong to the cat family. The Felis silvestris is divided into subspecies, such as the European wildcat, which also lives in Germany, and the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). The African wildcat is also often referred to as the black cat. Our house cat is descended from her. Black cats are mostly active at night and sleep during the day. As a rule, they are solitary animals, but occasionally they are found in larger groups. Like our house cat, the black cat hunts by very patiently stalking, combined with quick attacks. Main foods are mice, rats and voles. But birds, insects, fish and martens are also sometimes on the wildcat's menu.
Domestic cat: essence and character
Whether a house cat is more clingy or shy depends on its imprinting phase in the first two to eight weeks. If the puppies have good contact with people, mostly exemplified by their mother, then they will keep their trust for a lifetime. However, if the small cats were born in a hiding place and raised there, one can assume that they will not develop into tame companions of humans. When cats are strays, they tend not to raise their offspring in close proximity to humans. The kittens adopt the fearful, distant and cautious behavior.
Domestic cats that live with humans can be very clingy. Despite this socialization, they still like to live out their instincts. The earlier behavior when hunting - sneaking up and chasing after the prey - the tame house cats now imitate when playing. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arises, they catch and devour mice. Like their ancestors, the blackcats, house cats are still so-called hide hunters. They wait for hours in front of a mouse hole and then attack at lightning speed.
If the instincts run wild with the kitten, it can be dangerous. With the cat health insurance from DFV, your velvet paw is well protected. DFV-TierkrankenSchutz provides up to 100% reimbursement of costs in the event of illness and operations.
What should be considered when keeping cats
If you are buying a cat for the first time, you should find out about its specific living conditions in advance so that the new roommate is fine. If the cat is sick anyway, you should consult the veterinarian. Many ailments are harmless, but cats can also suffer from serious illnesses. If an operation is then also pending, this can quickly become expensive. It is best to protect yourself against it with a suitable cat health insurance. They can cover the cost of the treatment up to 100 percent.
Many factors play a role in the harmonious coexistence between humans and cats. So that everyone feels good, there are a few things to consider:
Cats should be given small portions of food several times a day. Many cats like to decide for themselves when to eat. Then you can simply fill the bowl with a portion of dry food and the cat will serve itself as it wishes. However, you should not offer more than two bowls a day, otherwise the cat is at risk of being overweight. Those who feed moist food can also use an automatic feeder with a sensor-controlled lid. The wet food stays fresh for a long time as the lid only opens when the cat approaches and closes again when the cat walks away.
Cats like to be kept busy and this preference can also be lived up to when feeding. Playing and eating can be combined well by setting up food mazes or filling so-called fumble boards with dry food. If you would like to give additional wet food, you can do so.
Drinking enough fluids is important not only for humans, but also for cats. If a cat receives wet food, it can already cover some of its fluid requirements. Even so, she still has to drink water. If the cat does not want to accept the usual supply of water, you can also try a special drinking fountain: The splashing of the water makes the cat curious and encourages drinking.
Cats without access
For cats that are only kept in the apartment, it is important to design the environment in a species-appropriate manner. The cat should have the opportunity to withdraw. If several cats live in one apartment, there should be at least one room per cat so that the animals can get out of each other. Hiding places, space to run around, climbing furniture such as a scratching post, shelves or free window sills are just as important. There must be one sleeping place for each cat, and cats love it when they can lie on a blanket on the windowsill. It is best to secure windows that are open more often with a cat net. The same goes for a balcony, because cats like to have fresh air. Both the litter box and the food bowl are ideally located in a quiet place where the cat is undisturbed. Cats love variety, so special intelligence toys can provide new sensory impressions. Cardboard games are also very popular with them. Animals that are exclusively in the apartment can be offered cat grass more often. This is helpful in choking out indigestible hairballs. To do this, cats in the wild simply eat grass on their own.
Dangers to cats
In order to be able to offer cats as much security as possible in the apartment, one should not leave any pointed or sharp objects lying around. Poisonous plants, cleaning agents or cleaners should also be out of reach if possible. Windows and balconies can be secured with a cat net. The cat could get tangled in strings lying around. These should be kept safe. Curious or hungry cats like to rummage in the trash can. The contents can be dangerous for cats, for example if there are sharp bones in them. A tightly closing lid or the storage of the trash can behind a cabinet door offer the necessary security.
Cats love to play. The more variety and attention they get, the happier they are. It's not just about having fun, but also about deepening the bond between humans and animals. As a cat owner, it is best to have some toys in stock. It starts with the exciting food maze and doesn't have to end with classic mouse toys. Caves or tunnels made from simple cardboard boxes are also popular with cats. Safety is important with all toys. Swallowable or sharp objects should not be used. ¬– If a cat is not given a playful challenge, it is more likely to damage furniture or other furnishings by scratching.
Castration and sterilization
Whether a cat should be neutered or neutered is not an easy decision. During castration, the gonads responsible for producing hormones are removed from the cat. These are the testicles in a hangover and the ovaries in a cat. During the sterilization process, the cat's spermatic ducts are severed, and the fallopian tubes for cats. In this case, the animals are no longer able to reproduce, but retain their sex-typical instincts and behaviors. These are completely eliminated with a castration. As a rule, cats are therefore usually neutered instead of neutered.
If a cat lives exclusively in the apartment, the first signs of sexual maturity are the right time to have the animal neutered. A cat that is free to roam should not be neutered for long if possible. Otherwise, sexual maturity will only be noticed when the cat has run away or is pregnant. As a rule, neutering is carried out when a cat is sexually mature. The development often differs in the individual races, but also in the sexes. The procedure can be performed on some cats as early as six to eight months of age, and on others as early as eight to 14 weeks. It is best to discuss the right time with the veterinarian.
Cats can suffer from a variety of diseases. Therefore, one should always be very attentive to changes in behavior, as they could indicate an illness. Even if many diseases are mostly harmless, you should definitely consult a veterinarian.
Cats can become infected with pathogens that cause disease in many situations. For example, when sniffing each other, licking or playing and fighting. Timely and consistent vaccinations help against bacterial or viral infections. In addition to a basic vaccination, from the eighth week onwards, repeat vaccinations against certain pathogens are also indicated. Depending on the life situation of the cat, different vaccinations can be useful. It is best to seek advice from your vet.
Cats as vectors of disease
Cats can transmit diseases to humans. These are often unspecific bacterial infections of the skin due to scratches or bites. The pathogens can also lead to more serious diseases, especially in immunocompromised people or during pregnancy. These are, for example, toxoplasmosis or the so-called cat scratch disease, also known as "cat scratch disease", as well as cat pox.
As the owner of a cat, you are liable for any damage caused by the animal. For example, if someone is bitten by a cat, they can claim compensation from the cat owner. To do this, however, it must be proven beyond doubt that a certain cat actually caused the damage. If you live in a rented apartment and keep a cat there, you may also be held liable for damage caused to the rented property. If you ever have a case of damage with a cat, it is best to seek advice from a lawyer or your insurance company.
As the owner of a cat, you can tell quickly when the animal is feeling uncomfortable. Often the cat no longer goes to the bowl, hides in the apartment or shows other noticeable changes in behavior. Then you should go to the vet with your cat. It's good when you have taken precautions and have cat health insurance. With DFV animal health insurance you can choose between different insurance classes. Starting with the “Comfort” tariff, through “Premium”, to “Exclusive” with a reimbursement of costs by the vet of up to 100 percent.
Popular breeds of cats
Every cat has its very own character. For example, she can be shy, trusting, cuddly or wild. That depends, among other things, on how she grew up or how she was socialized. However, their behavior and appearance are decisively influenced by their race affiliation. Depending on the specific breed of cat, an animal will require different training and care.
- Domestic cat from the state of Maine, USA.
- Presumably brought to the northeastern United States by emigrants from Europe or Asia Minor in the 19th century.
- Maine Coon was recognized internationally as a breed in its own right in 1982.
Character and essence:
- Sociable, friendly and sociable animal.
- Often referred to as the "Gentle Giant", the gentle giant among domestic cats.
- Cats are very fixated on humans and get along just as well with other cats.
- Is intelligent and alert. Don't like to be alone.
- Also nicknamed "dog cat" because you can walk with it like a dog. In addition, she fetched diligently.
- Ideal cat for families with children.
- Life in the apartment is enough for her. But now and then she likes to be in nature.
- She is so skillful with her paws that she is quickly able to open doors or even water taps.
- The Maine Coon is very intelligent and easy to raise.
- If you guide her accordingly, she can be house-trained quickly.
- Usually she does not grow up until she is three years old or later.
Care and health:
- The Maine Coon needs regular brushing. This can become a pleasant and binding ritual between humans and animals.
- The cat is not demanding in this regard.
- If the origin can be traced back to strong inbreeding, it can be prone to allergies. Dietary nutrition is then required.
- If the Maine Coon comes from a healthy breed, it usually reaches an age of twelve years. Otherwise, hereditary diseases and inbreeding can drastically reduce life expectancy.
Norwegian forest cat
- It is first mentioned in literature in the 1930s.
- In 1977 she was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.
- The Norwegian Forest Cat is believed to have emerged from a cross between native domestic cats with the Turkish Angora or the Persian cat.
- The Norsk Skogatt (Norwegian Forest Cat) is often referred to as the Norwegian National Cat.
Character and essence:
- Thanks to its attractive appearance and friendly nature, the species is very popular.
- She is cuddly, playful, intelligent and very social.
- Doesn't like being alone. She is friendly towards children and animals living in the household.
- Needs a lot of exercise. But doesn't have to live outdoors.
- An ideal house cat for an apartment.
- Warning: she learns quickly how to open doors.
- She loves shared experiences with her people.
- Every now and then a trip to the garden or the surrounding area is welcome.
- Can be brought up well, as very intelligent.
- Quickly fits into family life.
- The cat species can be house trained without any problems.
- Didn't grow up until I was three years old.
Care and health:
- The fur needs to be brushed regularly.
- Sensitive fur brushing strengthens the relationship at the same time.
- Problem-free boarder.
- Can be prone to allergies if there is strong inbreeding. Must then be fed diet.
- Bred healthily, the Norwegian Forest Cat can live to be twelve to fifteen years old.
- The Bengal cat, a domestic cat breed, is the result of a cross with an Asian wildcat.
- After numerous crossings, the wild cat, which was originally considered untamable, became a house cat, which outwardly still reminds of the wild Bengal cat.
- In 1986, the United States' Pedigree Cats Registration Authority (TICA) recognized the new breed. Later she was also recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.
Character and essence:
- The nature of the Bengal cat is very different: some cats are reminiscent of a normal house cat, others of a wildcat.
- Even after many generations of breeding, the wild animal aspect can reappear again and again. It expresses itself in great shyness. Many animals react with stress around people or want to break out of the cramped apartment.
- If a Bengal cat is tame (as a variant of the house cat), then it retains the impressive jumping power of its wild predecessor.
- Keeping a Bengal cat in the apartment can only succeed if the animal is not too wild. The tame house cats among the Bengal cats can be kept quite normally.
- Every now and then the animals do not use their litter box consistently.
- A Bengal cat socialized by the breeder can be trained well.
- Then living together in one apartment can also succeed.
Care and health:
- Only the fur of the Bengal cat needs to be brushed from time to time.
- The Bengal cat's food demands are the same as those of other domestic cats.
- Because the breeding history is still very short, there is no data on the life expectancy of the species. In the case of inbreeding, however, one must assume a shortened life expectancy.
- The British Shorthair (also British Shorthair) is one of the oldest domestic cats that has been bred to have a certain appearance and character.
- The cats were presented in London's Crystal Palace as early as 1871.
- They are available in different colors today. The blue cat, also known as the British Blue, is the most popular pedigree cat in Germany.
- It is also known here as the Carthusian cat.
Character and essence:
- She is really relaxed. Not a trace of nervousness.
- The British Shorthair can develop a close bond with their humans.
- It is very suitable as a family cat. The stress tolerance is high.
- She likes to move around in nature and also catches a mouse once.
- She is playful, loves to cuddle and enjoys being petted.
- It is undemanding and frugal, but needs a close relationship with its owners.
- The British Shorthair is ideal as a house cat for the apartment.
- She is very fond of outdoor activities and hunting games.
- The cat is easy to train and usually house-trained quickly.
- The cats do not grow up until they are two years old.
Care and health:
- Brushing the fur is part of regular care.
- The British Shorthair is actually a problem-free boarder. Every now and then, however, it can be quite fussy and demanding.
- With healthy breeding, cats can live to be twelve to fifteen years old. In the case of inbreeding, it does not reach this age.
- Siamese cats are the oldest domestic cats bred for a specific appearance.
- According to tradition, their typical shape originated in Thailand, which was previously called Siam.
- Starting in England, Siamese cats were bred as pedigree cats after 1884.
- Along with the Persian cats, they became one of the most popular noble cats in Europe.
- Due to the increasing breeding of pedigree cats, their appearance has changed in the last few decades: the Siamese cats have become slimmer, more graceful and long-legged. In order to obtain the desired traits quickly, the focus was on inbreeding. As part of this development, the so-called “new type” came about. The shape of the skull is triangular, tapering to a point.
Character and essence:
- She is known for her gentle and kind nature.
- She builds a close bond with her people.
- The Siamese is a real family cat.
- Siamese cats often follow their owners like a dog.
- Siamese cats are easy to keep in the home.
- They don't like being alone. They would be happy to have a suitable second cat nearby. They also get along well with other pets. After a certain period of getting used to, they can even get along with a dog.
- The Siamese cat is easy to train and, with a little guidance, can be house-trained quickly.
Care and health:
- Every now and then the fur brushing is on.
- She is a trouble-free boarder.
- If the cat has been bred carefully and healthily, it can live to be over 15 years old. When inbreeding, the Siamese cat has a lower life expectancy.
- A very young breed of noble cats from the USA.
- In the 1980s, the breeder Ann Baker presumably selected Siamese and Angora cats specifically in order to achieve the special coat color.
- The term ragdoll functions as a play on words and means something like "rag doll".
- It is considered to be the largest house cat in the world.
- Acromelanism (partial albinism) developed due to a genetic defect introduced during breeding. Numerous hereditary diseases also plague some of the cats.
- The breed was recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1991.
Character and essence:
- The Ragdoll is very friendly, sociable, intelligent and people-oriented.
- She doesn't like to be alone and open to children and other animal roommates. She is very talkative.
- The Ragdoll is a real family cat.
- Often you can take her for a walk like a puppy dog.
- A ragdoll is easy to keep in the home.
- The species is frugal, but needs an intimate relationship with its owner.
- The occasional stay in the garden or small hunting trips are good for her.
- The Ragdoll is easy to train and, with a little guidance, can be house-trained quickly.
- If the ragdoll is descended from a reputable breeder who has taken good care of both the parent animals and the kittens, the Ragdoll will quickly adapt to the habits of the new family.
Care and health:
- When the coat is changing, you have to brush your coat every day.
- Otherwise it is sufficient to groom the silky fur at regular intervals with a brush. Cat and owner can often enjoy this very much.
- She is usually a trouble-free boarder. However, if it comes from strong inbreeding, the Ragdoll may be prone to allergies and then need dietary nutrition.
- If the cat has been bred carefully and healthily, it can live to be twelve years old. In the case of inbreeding, hereditary diseases can significantly reduce life expectancy.
- The Savannah cat is descended from crosses of the African wild cat Serval with various breeds of domestic cats.
- As a pet, the cat can usually only be kept from the fifth generation of branches after crossing. The hybrid cat is still too wild in the fourth generation.
- The Savannah is recognized by the TICA in the USA. Other renowned pedigree cat associations such as the Fédération Internationale Féline do not.
Character and essence:
- The nature of the Savannah varies: it can resemble a house cat, but in many cats it is also the wild animal that dominates.
- After only a few generations, a wild animal cannot be completely domesticated.
- Even if the young animal pretends to be a cuddly cat, it may be that with sexual maturity the wild animal-like comes to the fore. This can be expressed in extreme shyness, aggressive behavior and the urge to break out of the apartment.
- It is not recommended to keep a Savannah cat if you cannot meet the requirements.
- When keeping a cat of the F1-F4 generation, special holding regulations apply and in many cases the keeping of cats is notifiable. The rules differ in the individual federal states.
- Even in a Savannah of generation F5 and later that is bred as a supposed house cat, the wild animal-like can still determine the behavior.
- Due to the wild animal behavior that still often emerges, no general statements can be made about the possible upbringing of this cat species.
- The Savannah cat's diet should be based on the needs of their ancestors. So she should either be bared like the servals or receive dead rats or chicks.
- The dead food animals can be bought frozen and then thawed at normal room temperature before feeding.
- In the zoo, the serval can reach an age of up to 20 years. There is no data available on the life expectancy of Savannah cats due to the very short breeding history.
- It is one of the oldest pedigree cats in the world.
- For a long time it was called the "French cat" because a French imported it from Persia to France.
- By the middle of the 19th century, the British were leaders in breeding Persian cats. Until around 50 years ago, they were also known as the "Angora cat".
- Progressive breeding led to an ever shorter nose and the associated deformation of the skull. As a result, the cats suffered from serious breathing and eye problems, among other things. That is why it is often referred to as a so-called torture breeding.
- To be considered a real Persian cat, the animal does not need a misshapen skull. This undesirable development of the last few years should be corrected in the future.
Character and essence:
- The Persian cat is very friendly, gentle and people-oriented.
- She is a real family cat: sweet, attentive and very intelligent.
- A quiet life is most comfortable for the Persian cat. She feels comfortable in an apartment. Every now and then she likes to be in nature.
- Persian cats are very relaxed and affectionate. But they can also be stubborn and proud at times.
- A Persian cat is ideal to keep in the apartment.
- The intimate relationship with her people is very important to her. She doesn't particularly like being alone.
- She also gets along well with other animal roommates. The familiarization between cat and dog requires a little patience.
- The Persian cat is easy to train because it is intelligent and alert.
- If she comes from a reputable breeder who has taken good care of both the parents and the puppies, she will easily adapt to the habits of the new family.
Care and health:
- A Persian cat's coat requires careful grooming. It needs to be brushed every day.
- Most cats are very fond of brushing as it gives them extra care. When brushing you should pay attention to possible knots in the long fur and carefully loosen them.
- The Persian cat is a problem-free boarder.
- If the cat has been bred carefully and healthily, it can live to be twelve years or older.
FAQ about cat breeds
How many cat breeds are there in the world?
Breeding cats produced different breeds. They are more similar to each other than the known breeds of dogs. A distinction is made between cat breeds in short-haired, long-haired and semi-long-haired breeds. Only the Persian cat and its color variants belong to the category of the long-haired breed. There are around 100 cat breeds across Europe. It is not possible to say exactly how many there are worldwide, as the criteria of the international associations are not uniform.
What are the smartest breeds of cats?
As a rule, they are called a cunning or intelligent breed of cats if they can be trained well. The animals are very attentive, turned towards people and motivated to imitate behavior. Intelligent races also always adapt well to their surroundings. The coexistence with other animals is mostly harmonious. - The abilities of cats can be promoted if you spend a lot of time with them and play. Intelligent cats are also curious and interested in what's happening in their environment. Among other things, the following breeds of cats are included: Abyssinian cats, Siamese cats, Bengal cats, Burmese cats, Cornish Rex, Savannah cats and Scottish Folds.
Which cat breed for allergy sufferers?
There are so-called hypoallergenic cats, i.e. cats that are less likely to cause allergies. They include Balinese, Javanese, oriental shorthair cats, German-Rex or Selkirk Rex as well as Sphynx and Siberian longhair cats. However, since every allergy sufferer can react differently to the individual breed, it is best to try out for yourself which breed is most suitable.
Which breeds of cats go together?
Cats are usually social and sociable pets. But they do not go well with each of their conspecifics. If you want to get a second cat, it should match the type of cat already living in the household. A calm, shy cat and a wild, playful cat do not harmonize optimally. In addition to the character, the age of the two four-legged friends should also be approximately the same. Based on the specific characteristics of a breed, there are some that go particularly well with one another. These are, for example: Norwegian Forest Cat and Abyssinian Cat or LaPerm, Oriental Shorthair and Exotic Shorthair Cat or Scottish Fold Cat. The Persian cat gets along with all breeds of cats that are not too lively. Thai cats and Sphynx, Selkirk Rex or Persian cats also go well together. If you take into account the characteristics of the cat already living in the apartment when choosing the second cat, harmonious relationships can arise. Strong character contrasts should be avoided as much as possible.
Which cat breeds are suitable for purely home keeping?
Before you buy a cat, you should find out whether the type of cat is also suitable for keeping in the apartment. A breed that needs to be outdoors will suffer from being kept exclusively indoors. However, there are some breeds that can be easily accustomed to living in the home, for example: Abyssinian, Balinese, Bengal cats, British Shorthair cats, Chartreux (Carthusian), Devon Rex, Maine Coon, Norwegian forest cat, Persian and Ragdoll.
Which breeds of cats do not shed much?
There are some breeds that lose very little hair and at the same time require little maintenance of the coat. However, grooming becomes more and more intensive when a cat has a longer coat. Then an animal also sheds more heavily. The Maine Coon cat is an exception to this rule. The following breeds do not shed much either: Siamese cats, Oriental shorthair cats, European shorthair cats, Burma cats, Bengal cats.
Which breed of cats is particularly suitable for children?
Being able to play with a cat can mean great happiness for children. Cats are often playmates and comforters all in one. However, it must be made clear to children from the start that cats are not toys. Some breeds of cats particularly enjoy having children around them. These include ragdolls, Siamese cats, Siberian cats, Maine Coons, Turkish Angora cats and Persians.
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