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Egyptian Cat Breeds in The ancient Egyptian civilization
The ancient Egyptian civilization revered cats to the point that one of their goddesses, Bastet or Bast, was represented in the form of this feline and considered the divinity of the home and protector of the family.
A cult of this type is not surprising since several breeds of cats have their origin in those distant lands. If you want to know what they are, we present to you in Animal Expert this complete list of breeds of Egyptian cats. Keep reading!
Origin of the Egyptian Cat breeds
Although the great evolution of the Egyptian Cat breeds was in the 50s, its breeding began 3000 years ago, so it can be seen in Egyptian cave paintings. In ancient Egypt, these whiskers were already kept as domestic cats to keep grain stocks free of mice.
List of breeds of Egyptian cats
The origins of the Abyssinian cat are not very clear, but everything seems to indicate that it comes from the Ancient Egyptian cat breed. However, its name comes from Abyssinia, a name that was previously given to the territory of Ethiopia, from where the first specimen of this breed that was shown in the United Kingdom came.
It is characterized by being a light, agile, and playful breed, which presents a sand tone in the fur, similar to that of cougars, darkening towards the spine and clearing up in the stomach.
2-African wild cat
It is a breed derived from the wild cat, which was domesticated by the ancient Egyptians. It weighs up to 7 kilos and has short ash-yellow or gray fur, with dark stripes from the back to the tail.
It is characterized by being an independent and hunting variety, with a calm character, but at the same time territorial.
The Mau cat is probably the most popular of the Egyptian cat breeds, of which there are records in the murals that have been discovered about the past of this civilization. “Mau” is the word they used to call cats, similar to the sound these domestic cats make. it’s one of the most expensive cats in the world
It is characterized by presenting a grayish-brown coat, lighter on the abdomen, with specks of dark spots throughout the body, which become stripes on the tail and extremities.
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other breeds of cats from Egypt?
Surely, when you think of cats originating in Egypt you remember the sphynx, or you may know it as Egyptian Sphynx Cat, but the reality is that the origin of this breed, according to studies, is Canadian. So, there are no other cats originating from this area?
To understand this it is necessary to go back to antiquity, specifically to the moment when the cat began to transform into the domestic feline that you know today. With the heterogeneity of coats and shapes that cats present, it is not surprising that the origin of their domestication is curious, especially when thinking of other feline species that did not achieve this symbiosis of coexistence with humans.
different species of cats
Today there are around 27 different species of cats, of which a single subspecies is domestic. What does this mean?, regardless of the breed of the cat and its external characteristics, in terms of genetics, they all belong to the same subspecies. Now, was this subspecies domestic since its appearance on Earth? And, if not, how did you come to strengthen your ties with the human? The answer, in this case, goes back to the antiquity of the Egyptian civilization.
The most widely accepted hypothesis today indicates that the North African wild cat was very common in the lands of ancient Egypt before civilization reached the breakthroughs for which they are known. At that time, the first settlers would begin to take advantage of the fertility of the banks of the Nile River to grow cereals, but this, as usual, attracted the presence of rodents that damaged the crops, a chaotic event for the inhabitants, since the river only offered its waters once a year, so that food depended on accumulating cereals for the other seasons. In response to this situation, it is believed that villagers should have allowed cats to be present as a simple way to control the plague of mice. This would be one of the first approaches of the felines to the human being, from which both species took advantage.
Ancient Cats in Egypt
By the time Egypt became the civilization that bequeathed the monuments we know today, its inhabitants had already lived with cats for 4,000 years, to the point of turning them into gods and venerating them as faithful companions.
It is believed that it is from a species of North African cat, Felis lybica , that the rest of the domestic cat breeds known today originate. Seen this way, it could be said that, in a way, all the cats we have at home have an Egyptian ancestor.
Cats in Egyptian Mythology
Ancient Egyptians worshipped many animals for thousands of years. Animals were revered for different reasons. Dogs were valued for their ability to protect and hunt, but cats were thought to be the most special. Egyptians believed cats were magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck to the people who housed them.
Ancient cats in Egypt was so honoured and To honour these treasured pets, wealthy families dressed them in jewels and fed them treats fit for royalty. When the cats died, they were mummified. As a sign of mourning, the cat owners shaved off their eyebrows and continued to mourn until their eyebrows grew back. Art from ancient Egypt shows statues and paintings of every type of feline. Cats were so special that those who killed them, even by accident, were sentenced to death.
According to Egyptian mythology, gods and goddesses had the power to transform themselves into different animals. Only one deity, the goddess named Bastet, had the power to become a cat. In the city of Per-Bast, a beautiful temple was built, and people came from all over to experience its splendour.