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Aegean Cat Facts

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calico Aegean cat with green eyes

The pristine Greek islands are home to dazzling beaches and dazzling architecture. Although not as well known, these islands are also home to the distinctive Aegean cat breed.


Archaeologists believe that some of the first evidence of domestic cats comes from Cyprus, an island nation not far from Greece. Over time, many of the cats on Cyprus began hitching rides on various fishing boats and trading vessels over to Greece.

Perhaps due to their top-notch skills in catching mice, the Greeks welcomed these felines, and these cats have called Greece home ever since. If you were to travel to the Aegean’s home today, you would find them hanging out at boat docks, greeting people at cafes, and lounging in the warm sunshine.

The Aegean cat breed is considered one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds, although they were not recognized as a formal breed until the early 1990s when people began breeding them.

Aegean cats are unique since they are a naturally occurring landrace of domestic cat—similar to the nearby Cyprus cat who resides on the island of the same name. Being a natural cat means that these felines have developed without any human interference.

As their name suggests, these cats originated in the Aegean Sea on the Cycladic Islands, including Andros, Delos, Mykonos, Naxos, and Santorini. On the islands and in the nearby country of Turkey, these cats are known both for being domestic pets and feral cats.

Although they are a common sighting in Greece and Turkey, Aegean cats are rare in nearly all other parts of the world.

gray Aegean cat napping on a burnt orange cushion next to a leaf-printed curtain


The Aegean cat personality makes them a nearly perfect companion for small or large families, families with children, or families with other pets. Aegean cats are friendly and sociable. These felines, who have lived for centuries roaming the streets of their native islands, have adapted well to interacting with people.

In a domestic setting, these cats thrive when they are kept busy, both mentally and physically. As an Aegean parent, you will discover that a cat tree and scratching post are a must. Plus, it’s useful to have many toys available to entertain your four-legged friend. Aegean cats, who are ambitious and intelligent, can often be taught various tricks as well.

Aegean cats have an affinity for the outdoors. Although you shouldn’t allow your cat to roam freely outdoors (for various safety reasons), there are ways that you can still let your feline friend enjoy some fresh air.

If you have a screened-in porch, patio, or sunroom, your cat will surely appreciate it if you keep the door open or allow them some time in these rooms each day. If you don’t have one of these rooms, your Aegean will still appreciate the opportunity to perch on the sill of an open window with a properly secured screen so as to avoid high-rise syndrome.

Another option available to provide your cat with a safe and secure outdoor experience is to build a catio. These small structures (often containing climbing posts or perches) are typically made with screen material, allowing your cat to have a more authentic outdoor experience. Chances are, your pal will enjoy the opportunity to lay in the sunshine and chirp at birds passing by.

Before you bring a cat into your home, be sure to take some cat-proofing steps. For instance, many plants are poisonous to cats, so it will be necessary to either rehome these plants or keep them in a secure place where your feline friend can’t access them.

Physical Attributes

The average Aegean cat lifespan is around 10 years, although there is always a chance that your Aegean cat can live longer or shorter than this average. A cat’s life expectancy can be affected by numerous factors, including their diet, daily exercise, living environment, and whether they have any health conditions.

Considered a medium-sized cat, Aegeans typically weigh 7-10 pounds. Though they often appear lean, these felines are still rather muscular. Their semi-long coat will appear in a bicolor or tricolor pattern, with white being the prominent color. The other colors can include black, grey, red, cream or blue, and the coat can appear in a tabby-striped pattern.

Aegeans have mesmerizing eyes that can understandably catch your attention. Their almond-shaped eyes can appear in various shades of green, and they may even verge to shades of yellow or blue.

Grooming and Care

Aegean cats do not have high grooming needs, but they still require some monthly attention. Most notably, your cat will need to be brushed regularly—the frequency will depend upon your individual cat’s needs. While these felines will shed throughout the entire year, you’ll most likely notice that their shedding increases during the spring and summer seasons.

By brushing your cat even once a week, you can help even out the oils in their coat, decrease the likeliness of knots in the fur, decrease the likeliness of hairballs, and help reduce the amount of hair that your cat will be dropping in your house and on your clothes.

Around once a month, you will also need to trim your cat’s nails. Most cats naturally wear their nails down on scratching posts, but more often than not, their nails will still require additional trimming every few weeks. If you are hesitant about which clippers to use or how to cut your cat’s nails safely, talk to your veterinarian about recommended products and helpful tips.

It is also essential to check and clean your feline’s ears every few weeks to once a month. Any signs of unusual redness or bad odor may be the sign of an ear infection. In this instance, it will be necessary to take your pal to the veterinarian to get a check-up and some medicine.

Regularly cleaning your cat’s ears means you will hopefully reduce or altogether avoid having such issues. Be sure to use a cat-safe ear cleaning solution and never use cotton swabs, as these can cause pain or injury to your cat’s ear.

It’s additionally helpful to brush your cat’s teeth. Regular brushings can help reduce the chances of your friend developing any dental problems. By introducing these grooming items to your cat as early as possible, you can help your Aegean become more accustomed to each process. Be sure to make each experience a calm and positive one.

Besides staying up to date with your Aegean’s regular grooming routine, it is essential to their overall care that you provide them with an age-appropriate and nutritious diet. Obesity is a serious issue that can affect any cat. Once a cat becomes overweight, a slew of other health issues is likely to arise as well.

Be mindful not to feed your feline any human snacks. Not only can human food cause your cat’s waistline to increase, but many human foods can be harmful to cats.

To help manage your cat’s weight, it’s additionally helpful to monitor how many kitty treats you feed them every day. Try cutting back the amount they receive or try substituting with healthy treat alternatives.

Providing an appropriate amount of exercise will also help keep your cat’s weight under control. Aegeans are naturally playful and friendly, so they will gladly play all sorts of games with their family. There are even games that can provide mental stimulation and exercise for cats—it’s healthy to challenge their minds.

calico Aegean cat resting on a wicker stool at home

Common Health Issues

Overall, Aegeans are a remarkably healthy cat breed. Due mainly to their natural breeding, these felines are not pre-disposed to inheriting any breed-specific genetic health conditions. That being said, not all Aegeans are excused from developing a health issue at some point in their life.

To best monitor your pal’s health, it is necessary to always schedule them for an annual check-up with their veterinarian. Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding a health problem, so even if you believe your pal to be in good health, it’s vital to take them for their yearly appointment nonetheless. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Fun Facts

There’s always more to learn about the fun-spirited Aegean cat breed. Check out these cat facts!

  • Aegeans are the only native cat to Greece and are considered a national treasure.
  • The Aegean cat may be related to the Turkish cat breed, Angora.
  • These felines love the water, probably because they have always lived near it. These cats are not shy to get near or play with water, and in their home country, you can often find them hanging out at fishing ports.
  • Because Aegeans love the water so much, it is best to make sure that they cannot gain access to your fish tank or any pond you may have. These cats are known to go fishing, and you probably don’t want your fish to go missing.
  • The Aegean cat typically enjoys being part of the hustle and bustle of an active home. If you are not home often and your cat will be spending most of their time home alone, then an Aegean probably isn’t the cat for you.
  • If you want an Aegean of your own, there’s a good chance that you will have to go to the islands of Greece even to find one, and then you will have to fly with your cat back home.

These cats genuinely are one-of-a-kind. Aegeans have been around for centuries, so there’s always more to learn about this fascinating breed.

Name Suggestions

As a cat breed that is native to islands, it seems the perfect opportunity to pick a water-inspired name for your Aegean cat. Here are a few of our recommended names.

  • Ren
  • Captain
  • Talise
  • Misty
  • Caspian
  • Nixie
  • Dory
  • Jacques
  • Pearl

If you are ever lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet an Aegean cat, chances are you will fall in love with this charming breed in no time—and you’ll understand why they are a treasure of Greece.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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