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The Three Oldest Cat Breeds in the World

Siamese
These cats are descended from ancient sacred temple cats in Siam (modern-day Thailand). A Thai manuscript from the 14th century, “Tamra Maew” (“The Cat Book Poems”), mentions cats with dark points and dark masks. It insinuates that the Siamese is a very old breed and was very close to the hearts of Royalty and Buddhist monks alike.

Norwegian Forest Cat
The ancestors of these cats were brought over to Europe around 1000 C.E by the Vikings. The Vikings used to keep these large cats on their ships to help take care of the festering rodent populations. Without these loyal companions, the rate of disease would have been much higher, and it would have been hard to keep food edible for very long.

Egyptian Mau
Until we have developed time travel, it is impossible to know for sure which the oldest species to be domesticated was. However, the general consensus is that the oldest domesticated breed of cat in the world is the Egyptian Mau. It is because Egyptian Maus have been found mummified alongside pharos to keep them company and provide safety and guidance in the afterlife. It means they were beloved pets long before 1500 B.C.E. and even as far back as 10 000 B.C.E. They are also depicted in many ancient writings, pictures and hieroglyphs as trustworthy and noble companions.

Written by: St. Vital Veterinary Hospital

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Last updated: August 3, 2021

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