Cat Breeds From Europe: 3 Cat Breeds That Originate From Europe
Europeans have been breeding cats for centuries, with some dating back to the Middle Ages. The most popular breeds are the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Turkish Angora. Let’s look at three different cat breeds from Europe!
It’s easy to fall in love with the wide variety of cat breeds from Europe. These cats have been around for centuries, and they come from such a beautiful part of the world. Some European cats are becoming rare because there aren’t many breeding programs in place to keep populations stable.
The following article will discuss three popular European cat breeds that you may not know about. This information will help you learn about their origins while also helping you plan your next pet acquisition.
Cat Breeds From Europe
Here are three breeds of cats from Europe; Norwegian Forest cat, Turkish Angora, and Turkish Van. They are all long-haired breeds of cats with beautiful fur, which needs to be regularly groomed.
1. Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats are an ancient breed that’s large and powerful. Many myths surround their origins, but it’s thought they were bred to help Vikings keep their boats free of vermin. These cats later worked with Norwegian farmers as mousers. The thick coat of these cats kept them warm during cold winters in Norway, where they could survive the harshest of climates.
Norwegian Forest cats are a natural breed that has become celebrities in their native Norway. There are many folk legends about the cats, and they are often called ‘fairy cats.’
Unlike most breeds of cats, the Norwegian Forest cat doesn’t mind getting wet and can swim and catch fish from lakes and rivers. These cats’ numbers dwindled at the beginning of the 20th century, and they were considered a rare breed. In the 1930s, breeders attempted to increase numbers, but their efforts were hampered due to world war II. During the 1970s, an extensive breeding program was set up to save the breed. Today the breed is thriving and is a popular family pet across Norway and Scandinavia. They are generally very healthy and have a long life span of about 16 years.
2. Turkish Angora
Turkish Angoras, like Norwegian Forest Cats, descend from domestic cats that were living thousands of years ago. These Turkish cats are prized for their beautiful white coats that are soft and silky. They are a medium sized cats with a lifespan of between 12 and 18 years and semi-long hair that needs to be groomed regularly.
Turkish Angoras and Norwegian Forest Cats have a lot in common. They both descended from domestic cats and served as pest controllers in parts of Europe until World War II. Turkish Angoras also became very rare, and a breeding program was set up by Ankara Zoo to preserve the species. The zoo concentrated on breeding white angoras with blue, gold, or odd-eyes. Today, these animals are very popular with people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. They have become a national treasure and are nicknamed Ankara. In the 1950’s a breeding program was started in the USA and the cats spread worldwide.
Turkish Angoras are very active, friendly animals that love to play with humans or other pets. They get along well with children and love their families. These cats are extremely intelligent and athletic, which can make it difficult for them to get enough exercise in a typical household.
3. Turkish Van
Turkish Vans have been nicknamed ‘the swimming cats’ due to their abilities in the water. These cats are another long-haired breed from Turkey which have been bred using the Van cat and other Turkish breeds. They originate from mountainous areas of Turkey and Armenia.
Van cats lived on the shores of Lake Van, where they survived by catching fish. The Turkish Van is a beautiful cat with chalk-white fur that’s soft and silky. These cats have a dense double coat which is shed in the summer to help keep the cats cooler. Turkish vans are loving and affectionate. They are playful and have the reputation of being dog-like. They follow their owners around and like to participate in family activities such as swimming, running around, and even skateboarding. They are also affectionate and love to cuddle.
If you’re looking for a long-haired cat breed, you may like to consider the Norwegian Forest cat, Turkish Angora, or Turkish Van. If you own a long-haired cat, ensure you brush her fur regularly to keep it in good condition. Regular brushing will help stop your cat from getting furballs, reduce the likelihood of matting and get rid of loose hairs. Check out some of our other articles that list cat breeds from their countries of origin below.