ALL CAT BREED PROFILES

Aegean Cat: A Well-Balanced Choice That’s Perfect for Any Lifestyle

Aegean Cat in a Grecee landscaoe
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

Just like humans, cats too can have all sorts of different characters. Some are playful; others are lazy. Some are social and vocal, whereas others are quiet individualists. It’s very common for new cat owners to get a cat at random and then be unhappy with her because she doesn’t suit them.

That’s why it’s crucial to think what cat you want beforehand and to find the right breed for you. Perhaps you like the looks of the Aegean cat breed, or you’ve heard that they are easy to care for, but you’re not sure whether their personality and actual traits will suit your lifestyle and needs or not.

The Aegean cat doesn’t have fancy looks but is nevertheless one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world. The Aegean cat is very water-friendly thanks to the countless years they’ve spent living with Greek fishermen, so bath times will be a breeze. Additionally, since they haven’t been purposely overbred over the last couple of centuries, Aegean cats are very healthy.

Grey And White Aegean Cat Laying With Head Up

Simply put, with an Aegean cat you’ll get a pet that doesn’t look too special, but actually really is. We’ll explain in greater detail exactly what traits other than their unusual affinity to water and good health make them so special. By elaborating on their personality, care features, and compatibility with children or other pets, we’ll help you figure out whether an Aegean cat is really the one for you or not.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Low maintenance

  • Health: Very good

  • All Around Friendliness: Very good

  • Exercise Needs: Moderate

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired, Natural Breed
SizeAverage
WeightMales: 9-12 pounds

Females: 7-9 pounds
Lifespan9-12 years

If you are looking for a cat that is exceptionally social and people-friendly, you’re in the right place. Aegean cats have been around people since the dawn of humanity, so they are used to human company. The Aegeans are a largely unrecognized breed by most international breeding organizations, but they are actually one of the oldest domesticated cats in the world.

Aegean cats are native to Greece and the Balkan Peninsula. They are named after the Aegean Sea that stretches between Greece and Turkey since they are said to have come from the island of Cyprus—one of the many islands populating the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. They have been a part of the Greek way of life for millennia and are considered a Greek national treasure.

Cute Aegean cat and a Greece landscape

As for their appearance, Aegean cats are medium-sized—just a little bigger than the typical Western European street cat. Their coat is short-haired and is either bi-color or tri-color with white being the main color. The other one or two colors can range from black and gray to yellow and orange.

Aegean cats make friends very easily, and they like to play and explore. They are not hyperactive like some other breeds, however, and are not ones to become destructive out of boredom. This balanced personality makes them great additions to almost any family and any cat owner—even if there are other cats or dogs, kids, or frequent guests there.

Main Highlights

  • The Aegean cat is just recently becoming recognized as an official breed. This isn’t because of anything in the cat breed itself—just that no one has bothered to do it until now. The Aegean cats are otherwise one of oldest domesticated cat breeds in Europe and the world.

  • The Aegean cats have an affinity for water. This isn’t surprising considering they’ve spent the last 10,000 years living with fishermen and seafarers.

  • These cats have very well balanced personalities. They are playful, curious, and active, but they are not hyperactive and like to rest too. An Aegean cat can be both a bundle of joy in your lap and a play friend.

  • Thanks to their history around people, Aegean cats are very social. They easily befriend dogs, other cats, kids, and even strangers. As long as they are properly introduced, of course.

  • Because even to this date their status as an official breed is still being debated, Aegean cats have never been officially bred as other breeds have. As a result, they are very healthy and suffer from almost no genetic diseases.

  • They are medium-sized and short-haired. In terms of coat care, Aegean cats aren’t much of a bother. Aegean cats will be set with a quick weekly brushing and standard nail, dental, and ear care.

  • Their coat is either bi-color or tri-color. White is always the primary color, typically on the belly, but it can cover up to 90% of the coat.

Breed History

The history of the Aegean cat is one of unrecognized potential. The Aegean cats started to be considered as a distinct cat breed not more than a couple of decades ago. To this day they are still not recognized by any official cat registry such as The International Cat Association or The Cat Fanciers Association.

Yet, at the same time, the Aegean cat is categorically one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world. Various archeological evidence placed the Aegean cat as a domesticated breed in Greece and Cyprus (an island in the Mediterranean Sea, close to the Aegean Sea) some 10,000 years ago.

Cute Calico Aegean Kitten Sitting

Cyprus itself is believed to be the origin of the breed, and from there the cats moved mainland—probably on Greek fishing and trading vessels. The cats were no doubt domesticated for their mousing potential in farms, shipyards, and ships.

The modern Aegean cat is also considered to be closely related to the Turkish Angora cat. This is not surprising since the two breeds have lived in neighboring countries for almost a thousand years.

The reason this ancient, classical breed is yet to be recognized by any international registry is that while its origins are clear and distinguished, its recent history includes a lot of unintentional and uncontrolled mixing.

Tabby And White Aegean Kitten Laying With Head Up

In Greece and the rest of the Balkan region, the Aegean cat’s population hasn’t been controlled in any way for the past centuries. There are a lot of wild and homeless Aegean cats that interbreed with whichever other cat breeds they meet—hence why the breed’s physical appearance varies so wildly.

Nevertheless, the historical origin of the Aegean cat breed is categorical and exceptionally significant. As one of the oldest breeds in the world, the Aegean cat is a national treasure in Greece and makes for a very people-friendly and loving pet.

Size

What you’d get with an Aegean cat is a feline that is larger than the typical Western European cat but is still not too large. Aegean cats are medium-sized—ranging from 9 to 12 pounds for males and 7 to 9 pounds for females. Aegean cats have medium-sized round paws, as well as wide, rounded ears. Their eyes have a typical almond shape and can have a lot of variations in color—such as blue, green, and yellow.

Personality and Character

Aegean cats are smart and lively. They love to play, to explore, and to learn new things. Curious by nature, they also love to “talk” and communicate with their family. If you are looking for a cat that you can teach to fetch, the Aegean is a great choice.

While they are lively and friendly, they are also not too intrusive. Aegean cats love to have a bit of time for themselves as well. This makes them perfect for cat owners that want a “balanced” cat—one that they can play and have fun with, but also one that doesn’t get destructive out of boredom when left alone for a bit.

Aegean Cat playing with a little mouse

One key aspect of the Aegean cat personality is their curiosity and free spirit. This breed hasn’t just been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they’ve also been mostly allowed to roam freely the streets of their towns and cities.

As such, Aegean cats love to go outside. If you have a nice, securely enclosed yard, an Aegean cat will love to spend some time there every day. But make sure that there’s no way for your cat to escape. If given a chance, an Aegean cat will gladly go exploring like the ancient Greeks themselves, and they may get lost.

Finally, as you’d expect from a breed that was domesticated by a nation of fisherman and seafarers, the Aegean cat can be quite fond of water. This makes it easy to bathe them. The breed is also considered an excellent partner by amateur or professional fisherman. However, this makes aquariums or koi ponds undesirable at home.

Health and Potential Problems

Health concerns are as common among cat owners nowadays as they are among dog owners, and that’s understandable. With the amount of selective breeding that various cat breeds have gone through in the past couple of centuries, genetic health problems are rampant among a lot of the most popular breeds across the world.

Aegean Cat sitting next to a wall

As far as the Aegean cat goes, however, this is much less of a concern. As we mentioned above, this breed is still largely unrecognized by cat breeding institutions precisely because it hasn’t been selectively bred. As a result, Aegean cats are a very healthy breed and are mostly devoid of genetic diseases.

Of course, we emphasize on “mostly.” Don’t think that if you get an Aegean kitty, you’ll have absolutely nothing to worry about. They are still living animals like any other and can develop other non-genetic health problems throughout their life. You’ll have to vaccinate them against common feline diseases such as the:

  • Rabies

  • Feline calicivirus

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis

  • Feline leukemia

  • Distemper

Regular deworming should go without mention as well. Plus, genetic problems aren’t 100% out of the question since you can’t be sure of the exact ancestry of each particular Aegean kitten. This is why, if possible, you should always get your cat from a certified and trustworthy breeder that is able to provide you with a health certificate and parental history of the cat—just as you would do with any other cats.

Care Features

As a very healthy breed, Aegean cats don’t require an awful lot of care to stay healthy. The typical care that Aegeans need just like the rest of their feline brethren is nail trimming and ear cleaning, aside from the usual baths.

Regular teeth-brushing is also highly recommended; Aegeans aren’t any more prone to dental problems than any other cat breed, but that doesn’t mean that you can be negligent with their teeth.

Orange-And-White-Fluffy-Aegean-Cat-Walking

If you are letting your Aegean cat roam in the yard (as he or she will want you to do), then extra care against ticks and mites will be needed. That, and making sure that the yard you’re letting your kitty in is truly secure, as we’ve mentioned above. Other than those rather typical cares, you shouldn’t have to do much else for your Aegean cat.

Feeding Schedule

As a medium-sized cat, the Aegean doesn’t need to be fed too much. After all, they are fairly active but not hyperactive. Typically, you’d want to feed your Aegean pet 3 or 4 times per day with portions that correspond to his or her size and age. A mix of dry and wet food is also recommended.

If you aren’t home for most of the day and giving them 4 meals per day is impossible, make sure to feed your pet at least 3 times. This doesn’t mean that you need to feed your cat once every 8 hours; some of the meals can be further apart to accommodate your work schedule, while others can be closer together.

an Orange-And-White-Fluffy-Aegean-Cat eating

A 10/7/7 or even an 11/7/6 mean schedule is also acceptable. Just make sure that the meal after the bigger pause is also bigger and richer than the other two. Even if this feels unbalanced and counter-intuitive at first, it is still much better than 2 meals per day following a 12/12 feeding schedule. So, just pick a feeding pattern that best fits your own schedule and stick to it. Like all other cats, Aegeans appreciate and need consistency in their habits.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Aegean cats have a short-to-semi-longhaired coat. Their fur is usually with a bi-color or a tri-color pattern that can vary quite a bit. White is typically the main color and is always present in the breed’s coat.

White can make up anywhere between 1/4 and 9/10 of an Aegean cat’s coat. The other colors can be black, red, fawn, blue, gray, orange or brown. So, as you can see, you can have several Aegean cats, and they won’t look too much alike, other than the bi-color or tri-color scheme of their coats.

Aegean-Cat prepared to take a bath

As short-haired cats, grooming them is as easy as it is for other such cat breeds. Just brush their hair once per week with a wire sticker brush. This should be enough to help them get rid of their dead hair and skin cells and to prevent problems with hairballs.

Like most cats, the Aegeans are prone to more shedding during the spring and autumn seasons, but if they are fully domesticated and don’t go out, they’ll shed all year round due to living under artificial light.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

As we’ve mentioned, due to their long-lasting history close to people, Aegean cats are very friendly and social. They love to interact, they love to meet new faces, and they love to play.

The intelligence and the loving nature of Aegean cats make them great for households with children and most other pets. With the right attention from their owner, Aegean cats can be taught to tolerate even the most active dog breeds.

Of course, as with any other cat, you’d need to teach your children how to play with their new Aegean buddy. The fact that this is a people-friendly breed doesn’t mean that the Aegean likes to be tossed around or dragged by the tail. If your kid plays the cat too roughly, expect your pet to be unhappy and even to lash out.

As for other pets, with their rather balanced personality, Aegean cats can get along with any other cat breed—as long as the two individual cats’ characters aren’t too at odds with each other. Aegean cats can get along with dogs too, including the more active dog breeds, as long as their owners acquaint them properly.

As far as other smaller pet animals are concerned—such as birds, hamsters, rabbits or fish—Aegean cats are still cats and might view them as potential prey. Fish, in particular, are risky with Aegean cats since these cats don’t shy away from water.

Wrap Up

As you can see, Aegean cats make for great family pets. They have a very balanced personality and are neither hyperactive nor too passive. They are very social and won’t be a problem with kids, with a lot of other pets, or with strangers.

Fluffy White and orange Aegean Cat Sitting

They are also very healthy, so they aren’t difficult to take care of. If you wanted a cat that is of a “special” and interesting breed, Aegean cats might not have been recognized as a pure breed by a lot of organizations, but at the same time, they are one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world. And that’s pretty special.

Looking for a low-maintenance, well-balanced cat breed? After reading this article, do you think you have found it in Aegean cats? Or do you have another breed in mind? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.

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