There is some debate as to how many recognized breeds of cat actually exist worldwide – somewhere between 41 and 73 apparently! Whether a pedigree feline or an unrefined moggy, cats somehow manage to exude an air of superiority which seems to say “You lucky minion, I shall allow you to look after me.” They have an elegant poise and can provide you, their loyal owner, endless joy by simply allowing you to stroke their silky fur coats. If you are lucky they may reward you with a purr, just to encourage you to keep up the good work! Let’s take a look at 8 cutest exotic cat breeds:
If you are looking for a sweet natured feline, resembling a beautiful ball of fluff, then this kitty-cat is for you. As its name suggests the attractive long-haired Persian originates from Persia (or as its now known – Iran). Initially Persians were always gray, but tactical breeding has resulted in them now being available in many colors, it has also lead to their prominent cheeks and huge eyes (which add to their charm). They have an air of grace about them and it’s no secret that Queen Victoria was extremely fond of the breed, no wonder Persians have notions of grandeur!
These medium to large sized felines have history, it is believed that their ancestors can be traced back to cats brought to the United Kingdom by Caesar and his Roman Legionnaires! Careful breeding enhanced their appearance and some of the most beautiful attended the very first cat show at Crystal Palace in 1871. British Shorthairs come in many colors (and can have different patterns and markings). The most popular is the British Blue, with its striking color and luxurious fur coat. They are quite robust cats, relatively independent and very, very chilled out – one of their favorite past-times is contentedly snoozing.
The origins of the semi-longhaired Birman cat are a little mysterious. Often described as the “Sacred Cat of Burma,” some believe their ancestors were guardians of an ancient temple within a monastery in Burma. Somehow the Birman breed appeared in France in 1919 and became popular due to their stunning light colored fur coat with contrasting darker points, face, tail and ears. In fact, there are now twenty different colors of Birman cats – that’s what we call a cat-alogue of choice! They have mesmerising blue eyes and those thought to be a perfect example of the breed also have four vivid white paws.
The Burmese is thought to originate from Burma, Thailand and Malaya and is renowned for its beautifully soft, glossy coat – stroke it until your heart’s content. Cats are not always known for their active role in family life, but these furry felines love being the centre of attention. Despite their graceful demeanor they are playful pets and enjoy being sociable. Originally Burmese cats were often a rich brown color but now there are a whole spectrum of colors including gray-blue, orange, cream, gray-pink and even mixed e.g. brown tortie (brown with a hint of red).
Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat has a name that gives the game away in terms of where they came from. Yes, you’ve guessed they originated in Norway! To be more precise their ancestors were thought to be the domestic pets of non-other than… the Vikings. Picture Leif Erikssone, famous Viking leader, stroking his beloved pussy after a difficult day dealing with hostile natives. Norwegian Forest cats are known for having long bodies and profuse tails. They also love the water (seemingly unusual for cats), are apt fishermen and have a dense waterproof coat.
Some believe the Siamese cat can be traced back to ancient Egypt (due to its similarities with the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast). However, history indicates that Siamese cats were adored pets in Siam, Thailand (hence their name) as far back as the 1600s. Even there they were linked to spiritualism and were thought to be spirit guardians, some believed that the souls of deceased owners would inhibit their cat after death. Siamese cats have very striking eyes – a dazzling blue color and can be loyal pets (if they like you), in which case you are honored as they are a little highly strung.
There is some debate about the origins of this cat, many think it came from the Archangel Isle in Russia, but others consider it more likely to have Spanish or Maltese ancestors. In which case Spanish or Maltese Blue would be a more appropriate name. These felines are graceful and often have piercing green eyes, their fur tends to be quite thick but remains silky to the touch and there is almost a silver tinge to their blue-gray coat.
The Turkish Angora originates from Turkey, to be specific – Ankara (which used to be called Angora). It is an attractive semi-longhaired feline with a silky fur coat and a recognizable bushy tail. This breed has even made it into the movies – six of the James Bond movies feature evil villain Blofeld and on his lap languidly sits his adoring white cat (a Turkish Angora). Initially all Angora cats were white, but selective breeding has now seen the arrival of other colors and patterns. As for temperament, this cat is inquisitive and likes to explore, which gives them a mischievous streak.