Cats have been popular human companions for over 9,500 years. They can sleep for up to 20 hours in a day and can fall asleep anywhere. That's where the term "cat nap" comes from. Did you know that in Ancient Egypt, the cat was the goddess of the home?
One of the most popular cat breeds in the world, Abyssinian cats were bred from one single cat, name Zula, who came from Egypt and mated with an English tabby. They are streamlined, thin cats that love to play and explore. With relatively short hair and great intelligence, they do very well by themselves and love to interact with their human playmates.
There are over 100 colors of the most common breed of cat, the American Shorthair. These cats originated in Europe and came over to America on ships, where they hunted rats and mice. Most American shorthair cats are not "pedigreed" - to have a pedigree, the cat must have both parents of the exact same breed.
The American Wirehair is a genetic mutation of the American Shorthair breed. They are strong and muscular and feature coarse, curly hair. This fur is pleasant to the touch and some of the cats even have curly whiskers! American Wirehairs are the rarest breed of cat, with only 22 alive today.
Very new in the cat world, Bengals were domestic cats bred with Asian Leopard Cats, a very select pedigree, to produce cats that look like leopards but behave like friendly household animals. Since the pedigree is so new, some cat associations like the Cat Fanciers' Association, haven't recognized it yet.
Originally from Birma, these beautiful cats look like the Siamese, only they have longer fur and little white socks on each foot. Originally very popular in Europe, they were almost wiped out during World War II. In fact, only two Birman cats survived the war. They were bred together and are the parents of all the Birman cats alive today.
Bombay cats are black and originally bred to look like panthers. They have yellow or copper eyes and are good indoor cats. Overall, Bombay cats are extremely affectionate and love constant attention. They are loud purrers and favorite lap cats, a great pet for any home.
Bred in France in the 18th century, the Chartreux cats have gorgeous grey coats and yellow eyes. Because of unique skulls, they always look like they're smiling. These are elite, powerful cats who were once prized as hunters. French President, Charles de Gaulle was the owner of several Chartreux cats.
The first Cornish Rex was a genetic mutation discovered in Cornwall, England in the 1950's. These cats only have down hair on their bodies. If they are kept indoors, they are very friendly animals that constantly seek their owners out for a little extra warmth. A lot of people like Cornish Rex cats because they do not shed their hair.
Himalayan cats are Siamese cats bred with Persian cats. They have the beautiful coloring of the Siamese and the long, bushy coat of the Persian. They are friendly and intelligent pets. A Himalayan cat was featured in both "Meet the Parents" movies - his name was Mr. Jinx.
Legend has it that the first Pixie-Bob cats were domestic cats bred with bobcats. There is no evidence of this claim, but Pixie-Bob cats look and act a lot like their wild cousins. They have no tail and large feet with more toes than normal domestic cats. They're not very affectionate, so people argue this is evidence of their bobcat roots.
This ancient breed of cats comes from Southern Asia and Siam, or Thailand, hence their name. They have remarkable white coats with black markings around the nose and tail. Siamese cats are prone to hearing loss, making these cats dependant on their human owners. As a result, they make very loyal pets.
Somali cats are long-haired Abyssinians. They have rust-colored coats and long, bushy tails. Twice a year they shed most of their hair, becoming very hard to clean up after. They are frequent favorites at cat shows because of their beautiful coat. Their overall appearance has earned them the nickname "Fox cat."