If you’ve ever thought about getting a cat, you’ve probably noticed that some breeds are more well-liked than others. What, however, makes some breeds so unique? And why is it crucial to understand the various cat species? Owning a cat has many advantages, such as being a dependable friend and a low-maintenance pet that requires less attention overall. Additionally, for dog lovers, find out about Australia’s favorite dog breeds here.
Cats are among the most popular pets in Australia, and it’s no wonder with their imaginative playfulness and independent spirit. Below are some of the top 10 cat breeds in Australia.
The Abyssinian Cat
Domestic short-haired cats of the Abyssinian breed are known for their eye-catching ticked tabby coats, in which individual hairs are banded with various colors. They’re also referred to as Abys. Although it is believed that Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia, was the original home of these cats, the name “Abyssinians” was given to them because it was where the first cats to be displayed in English shows were said to have been brought from. Genetic studies indicate that parts of Southeast Asia’s Indian Ocean coast may have been its true origin, and colonialists and traders passing through Calcutta are thought to have brought it to Abyssinia.
The Abyssinian was among the top five most popular breeds according to The Cat Fancier Association and The International Cat Association in 2016, despite previously being thought of as a relatively uncommon breed in comparison to others. The distinctive look of the breed has been compared to that of human fashion models because it appears longer, leaner, and finer colored when compared to other cats. Cats typically have curious, active personalities, and they frequently follow their owners around and promote the play. They also have a sense of affection and a desire for interaction, which are other dog-like traits. The large, upright ears and ticked coat of abys give them a distinctly wildcat appearance. They can be demanding of attention and are a very social breed. They thrive in households with multiple cats due to their social nature. Abyssinians are constantly moving, either playing or exploring; they are not cuddly lap cats.
The Australian Mist
Australia is where the Australian Mist cat breed was created. It is a hybrid of the Abyssinian, Burmese, and Australian Tabby cat breeds. To create a short-haired cat with a spotted coat, the Burmese, Abyssinian, and various domestic short-haired cats were crossed in Australia starting in 1975. When cats with marbled coats rather than spots were accepted as members of the breed in 1998, the name “Spotted Mist” was changed to “Australian Mist.”
Medium-sized, short-haired cats known as Australian Mists have rounded heads and big eyes. Australian Mists shed very little hair, so brushing is not necessary frequently. The coat patterns have three components: the pattern itself; the ground color, which is paler than the pattern; and the appearance of a misted veil, which is brought on by random ticking in the areas of solid color. The face and neck also have colored lines, and the legs and tail are ringed or barred. Their average lifespan is 15 to 18 years.
The Burmese Cat
The Burmese cat is a type of domestic cat that was developed in the United States and Britain but is thought to have originated in Burma, possibly close to the Thai-Burma border. One female cat named Wong Mau, which was brought from Burma to America in 1930 and crossed with American Siamese is the ancestor of most contemporary Burmese. From there, which is unusual among pedigreed domestic cats, American and British breeders created distinctly different Burmese breed standards. However, those that do refer to the British type as the European Burmese. Most contemporary cat registries do not formally recognize the two as distinct breeds.
Compared to other breeds, Burmese cats in Europe and Australia have a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus. Due to the genetic distinctions between Americans and other Burmese, American Burmese do not share this increased risk. Although it was once thought that the Burmese breed had a particularly high incidence of flat-chested kitten syndrome, recent research has raised some questions about this claim. A 1980 study that was funded by the UK Burmese Cat Club came up empty. The breed typically lives between 10 and 17 years.
One of the first distinct breeds of Asian cats was the Siamese cat. The original Siamese cat breed descended from the Wichianmat landrace, one of several cat species indigenous to Thailand, rose to prominence in Europe and North America in the 19th century. The modern-style Siamese is distinguished by its carefully honed, more extreme features, large ears, triangular head shape, elongated, slender, and muscular body, and various point coloration patterns. The modern Siamese bears little resemblance to the original stock aside from coloration, and the more moderate, traditional, or old-style Siamese, with a significantly rounder head and body, has been reinstated by numerous registries as the Thai cat.
The Oriental Shorthair and Colorpoint Shorthair developed to increase the variety of coat patterns, the long-haired variant most commonly known as the Himalayan, and hair-mutation breeds, such as the Cornish Rex, Sphynx, Peterbald, and blue-point Siamese cat, are some examples of breeds developed by crossbreeding with other cats that the Siamese is among the foundation stock of. There are two distinct types of Siamese cats: the traditional type, which has an apple-shaped head and a slightly chubby body, and the modern type, which is extremely lean and has a wedge-shaped head.
Maine Coon Cat
A sizable domestic cat breed is called the Maine Coon. One of the first native breeds to exist in North America. The breed was developed in Maine, the official state cat of the United States. The breed enjoyed popularity in cat shows in the late 19th century, but when long-haired breeds from other countries were introduced in the early 20th century, its survival was put in jeopardy. Since then, the Maine Coon has made a comeback and has risen to become the third most popular pedigreed cat breed globally.
The Maine Coon is a big, sociable cat, which may be why people sometimes refer to it as the “gentle giant.” The Maine Coon is primarily recognized for its size and a thick coat of fur, which enable the big cat to survive in the harsh climate of Maine, where they were first discovered. The Maine Coon is frequently referred to as having dog-like traits. Due to this cat’s large size, experts have observed that the breed is beginning to develop certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.