Cats come in all shapes and sizes, here are a few stories about five Asian and African cat breeds.
Egypt : Where Cats Are Royalty
Everyone is familiar with the highly stylized cat-hieroglyphics appearing on almost every Egyptian monument, but not many know that the breed that prompted the adoration, the Egyptian Mau, is one of the most singular cat breeds on earth.
Its distinctiveness comes from the fact that it’s one of the very few breeds that sport naturally spotted coats, and, with their green eyes and their cheetah-like quickness, this compact and powerful cat that tiptoes across the ground is highly prized.
Rare – only about 3,000 left in the world – and cherished, the Egyptian Mau, is indeed royalty!
Japan : No Tail? No Problem!
Anyone who knows Japanese folklore knows the Japanese Bobtail as this sweet breed’s place has been firmly established in the oriental isle’s culture and history.
Bobtails have naturally occurring rabbit-like short tails, which are caused by a genetic mutation, almost always have coats of sparkling white fur and are natural chimeras with odd-colored eyes (usually blue and gold).
Known as singing cats because of their beautiful vocal tones, bobtails used to work for a living hunting rats for Japanese silk merchants, but, these days, this highly prized, friendly and energetic breed lives in the lap of luxury.
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Kenya : From Deepest Darkest Africa
Named after the African forest where they first came to the attention of the Western world, and only recognized as an official breed by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1993, the Sokoke are large, energetic and affectionate cats.
They bond deeply with siblings, parents and owners and boast a curiously patterned modified-tabby coat that resembles the bark of a tree.
This is, in fact, how they got their previous name, Khadzonzo, which, in Kigiryama, the language of the Kenyan Giryama tribe, means “looks like tree bark”.
With their brilliant green eyes and gorgeous heart-shaped faces, the Korat, which, up until recently were only given as gifts and never sold, is one of the most beautiful breeds.
Compact and stocky, Korats are known for their thick slate-blue and silver-tipped fur, and, although once known as the Blue Siamese, they hardly resemble the Siamese of popular imagination.
Korats are extremely loving and playful, and, although they don’t show often because the breed is relatively rare, everyone loves this beautiful and vocal cat when they do!
Ethiopia : Out Of Africa
The Abyssinian breed found its way from Ethiopia, previously Abyssinia, to the United Kingdom when British soldiers returning home from the 1868 Abyssinian War took their favorite kittens home with them.
These large, demonstrative and sometimes silly felines have since spread all over the world and are known for their unique ticked tabby coat, their large butterfly-like ears and their slightly arched back.
Graceful and spirited, Abyssinians love company and can get quite depressed if left alone for long periods of time.
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