Japanese Cat? No, it's Greece's National Treasure, the Aegean Cat.

Japanese Cat? No, it's Greece's National Treasure, the Aegean Cat.

The Aegean cat, also known to some as the "Izian," has recently become a hot topic in Japan due to its resemblance to the Japanese cat. However, this breed has its own unique characteristics, differing slightly in personality from the Japanese cat. This article will introduce you to the Aegean cat and what makes it special.

Table of Contents

  1. Where did the Aegean Cat come from?
    • 1.1. Why the Aegean Cat hasn't spread worldwide
    • 1.2. How it became known worldwide
  2. What is an Aegean Cat like?
    • 2.1. What is the personality of an Aegean Cat?
    • 2.2. Why does it look like a Japanese cat?
    • 2.3. A reliable companion as a house cat
  3. Things to know if you live with an Aegean Cat
    • 3.1. Are Aegean Cats strong against diseases?
    • 3.2. Be careful with water!
    • 3.3. It's hard to find an Aegean Cat in Japan

1. Where did the Aegean Cat come from?

The Aegean cat originates from Greece, having lived in the natural environment there for centuries. Originating from the Cyclades Islands, this cat species has gradually expanded its habitat. It has been known to accompany fishermen on their boats, traveling between the islands.

In Greece, where fishing is a major industry, rats can be a problem in fishing towns. The Aegean cat has lived in Greece as a kind of guardian, hired to deal with these rats. They have lived off fish given by fishermen and hunting rats, and it's only recently that their name has become known worldwide. As a result, while visitors to Greece may encounter the Aegean cat, it remains relatively unknown in Japan.

1.1. Why the Aegean Cat hasn't spread worldwide

Despite being a long-standing resident of Greece, the Aegean cat was only registered as a breed in 1990. It is only recognized by Greek associations, which limits its appearances in cat shows and, consequently, its global recognition. Strict standards for breed registration and the fact that Greek breeders are primarily responsible for their propagation contribute to their limited distribution. However, as the Aegean cat is considered a national treasure in Greece, it may gain international recognition in the future.

1.2. How it became known worldwide

The spread of the Aegean cat's fame can largely be attributed to the internet and social media. While cat breeds have traditionally gained recognition through cat shows, the digital age has allowed for the sharing of photos and stories about these cats online. Photos taken in Greece featuring Aegean cats have circulated, highlighting their status as national treasures, thereby increasing their international profile.

2. What is an Aegean Cat like?

There are not many Aegean cats living with families outside Greece, due to most breeding activities being confined to Greece and limited international distribution. However, their resemblance to Japanese cats has piqued interest. The Aegean cat is known for its intelligence and affection towards humans, traits developed from living in natural environments and tourist-heavy Greek cities. Unlike Japanese cats, Aegean cats do not fear water, often walking on beaches and jumping onto boats, a testament to their Greek upbringing.

2.1. What is the personality of an Aegean Cat?

Aegean cats are smart and affectionate towards humans. Their intelligence is a product of their natural upbringing, and living in tourist-rich Greek cities has made them comfortable around strangers. Their history in Greek port towns has also made them unafraid of water, distinguishing them from Japanese cats.

2.2. Why does it look like a Japanese cat?

The Aegean cat's physical appearance closely resembles that of Japanese cats, with similar body and facial structures. This similarity is due to the comparable climates of Japan and the Greek Cyclades Islands. Cats evolve to adapt to their native environments, and both Aegean and Japanese cats have evolved to thrive in their respective climates.

2.3. A reliable companion as a house cat

Having lived alongside fishermen for centuries, Aegean cats are not hostile towards humans and are accustomed to living within human habitats. They are also adept at pest control, making them valuable companions in households.

3. Things to know if you live with an Aegean Cat

Living with an Aegean cat requires awareness of certain precautions. While they are adaptable and recommended for those seeking to avoid genetically inherited diseases, care must be taken around water to prevent accidents. Despite their scarcity in Japan and the challenges of finding a breeder, those interested in living with an Aegean cat may find ways to bring them home, as there are no legal restrictions or regulations against doing so in Japan.

In conclusion, the Aegean cat, with its charming personality and appearance, is a breed that many may find appealing. While difficult to find in Japan, the possibility of living with one remains open for those truly interested.

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