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Looking for a Purry Friend? Here are the Top Cat Breeds in India
Are you a certified cat-lover who thinks that these graceful creatures have blessed mankind with their presence? Is your phone gallery filled with pictures of cats and kittens and every time you see a video of a cat, you go “awwww”? Then, it's high time that you fully embrace the 'cat person' life by adopting a little purr-baby for yourself. To help you choose the perfect feline companion, here is a list of top cat breeds in India -
1. Indian Billi or Spotted Cat
Origin – Indian Subcontinent
Temperament – Mostly friendly
Life Span – 10 to 18 years
The stray cats roaming around the locality are formally known as the Indian Billy or the spotted cat. These elegant creatures living in Indian streets are known for their rectangular frame, a long tail which almost reaches the shoulder, medium length legs and oval-shaped paws. Their tail is also darker compared to the rest of the body.
Since most Indian spotted cats live on the streets where they have to fight with other cats for food scraps day in and day out, they have emerged as a highly independent, super active breed with an inquisitive nature. But if treated right, they can be loyal and affectionate pets. Moreover, they are very low-maintenance and won't require much grooming.
Indian Billis are easily one of the best cat breeds in India.
You may even find one roaming around your neighbourhood right now! But if there isn't, you can always visit an animal shelter near you to adopt one.
2. Bengal Cat
Origin - USA
Temperament – Affectionate and energetic
Life Span – 10 to 16 years
The Bengal cat descended from the Wild Asian Leopard Cat that sports a similar-looking spotted or rosetted coat. It is one of the reasons why someone may mistake a Bengal cat for a leopard cub at first sight.
One of the most intelligent and athletic breeds of cat available in India, Bengals are agile, graceful, and muscular bodies, requiring a lot of exercise. And when we say that, we do mean A LOT!
If their need for activity is not fulfilled, then you may come home to see them swinging from the fan, things knocked down, electric cables chewed through and so on.
So, if you are getting a Bengal cat as a pet, make sure to purchase cat puzzles and other stimulating toys so that they stay occupied for a long time. You can also teach your Bengal cats to perform tricks such as playing fetch to keep them entertained. To satisfy their need for exercise, you may also take them out for walks outside.
Bengals are also great climbers and will go exploring if given a chance. Hence, you should secure your house properly to make sure they don't escape.
This breed also loves to "talk" and will let you know through adorable and expressive meows all that is wrong with human beings if you dare to ask him or her. So, make sure you are okay with a cat who loves conversations before bringing a Bengal cat home.
Did you know - The Bengal cat breed was created accidentally by a breeder in California named Jean Mill on crossing Asian Leopard Cat with Domestic Shorthairs.
3. Bombay Cat
Origin - USA
Temperament – Affectionate
Life Span – 9 to 13 years
Among the most popular pet cat breeds in India, Bombay cats are known for their short, glossy black coats and piercing green or golden eyes. Because of these features, they look like the miniature version of the Indian black panther, which they were bred to look like. It is also one of the reasons it is named as the Bombay cat.
These felines are also known for their characteristic gait. They walk with a slight sway which is strikingly similar to how the black panther moves.
However, that's where the similarity ends. The Bombay cat is an extremely affectionate creature who sometimes will demand to be petted. They are also very active, so make sure you have lots of cat trees and interactive toys lying around. These cats are also extremely adaptable and will get along well with other pets.
Bombay cats do not need a lot of grooming. Brushing once a week will be enough to remove dead hair and keep their coats shiny and glossy.
4. Himalayan Cat
Origin - United States of America
Temperament - Quiet, friendly
Life Span – 9 to 15 years
Himalayan cats were created on crossing Persian and Siamese cats. This is why they have their characteristic long and thick coats like Persians and the colouring of Siamese.
They also have short legs and thick necks like a Persian.
Himmies are gentle and mild-mannered creatures who make excellent house pets. They can be very affectionate and love cuddles but are also at the same time very comfortable with being on their own. So, if you leave them alone at home, they will either play with a toy or curl up on their favourite chair and go to sleep.
While Himalayan cats can adapt well to different situations, they generally prefer quieter environments and as little activity as possible. Further, their shorter legs do not allow them to jump or climb as much as other breeds.
If you are looking to get a Himalayan cat as your feline companion, you should keep in mind that their coats will have to be brushed daily to reduce hairballs and remove tangles and matts.
However, because Himalayan cats are hybrids, they are also prone to several health problems such as difficulty in breathing, heat sensitivity, higher risks of ringworms, polycystic kidney disease etc. So you may want to ensure you have pet insurance for it too :)
5. Siamese Cat
Origin - Thailand
Temperament – Energetic, affectionate, loyal
Life Span – 10 to 12 years
Out of all the other cats mentioned here, Siamese cats enjoy a special status. They are among the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world. As per an ancient Thai manuscript, these cats were first seen in Thailand around the 14th century!
Also, did you know? The colour of a Siamese cat's coat changes according to the external temperature.
They are very elegant creatures with a triangular-shaped head, tall ears, long-straight nose and an equally long tail.
A Siamese is an independent cat breed in India with a hint of stubbornness. It will, thus, be challenging to make them do something that they don't want to. They are also very social and affectionate animals who will loudly demand attention from their parents.
Siamese cats have short coats and brushing once a month is enough to remove dead hairs, matts if any.
6. Persian Cat
Origin – Persia (Iran)
Temperament – Calm, quiet, selectively sociable
Life Span – 10 to 17 years
Like Siamese, Persians are also an ancient breed, known for their thick, gorgeous coat and beautiful blue eyes. They have a short, cute face with a round head, short ears, and chubby cheeks. Show-Persians have a snubbed nose whereas the more traditional ones, sometimes known as 'Doll-face' have a prominent nose.
Persians are sweet-tempered felines with an air of calmness around them. They are indoor cats who prefer to curl up on a chair and observe the world go by, rather than jumping and playing around. They are also sometimes willing to amuse their humans by playing with a feather toy.
Persians are also very undemanding as far as cat breeds in India go. While they would love to be petted and showered with all the attention in the world, they are equally content to be on their own while the parents are away at work or busy for long hours of the day.
Parents of a Persian, however, must remember that their coat will need daily brushing and combing to keep it glossy and tangle-free. They will also need to be bathed once or twice a month so that the coat stays clean and soft. A Persian cat's eyes also water a lot, so they need to be cleaned daily to remove tear stains and other eye-debris build up.
7. Maine Coon
Origin – United States of America
Temperament – Gentle-mannered, sociable
Life Span – 12 to 17 years
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breeds in India, as well as, the world that can weigh up to 18 pounds and go up to 40 inches in length. They hold the record for being the world's longest cat. This breed is native to the United States and is the official cat of Maine state. One of the most interesting yet unusual facts about this breed of cat is that they love water.
These soft, gentle giants are amiable and affectionate creatures who can form a bond with almost anyone, including friendly dogs. Any time they want your attention, they will walk up to you and chirp and trill at you. The members of this breed also like to hold long 'conversations' with their owners if encouraged.
However, because of their substantial size, cat-parents should pay proper attention to their diet. It is best if you can consult your veterinarian regarding a proper diet plan. This breed of cat also has a thick, silky coat which will need regular brushing and combing to keep it smooth and tangle-free.
Maine Coon cats need a lot of space to run around and be crazy, so they are more suitable for houses with a backyard. But if you live in an apartment and are considering adopting a Maine Coon, make sure to get lots of cat toys and trees. You can also leash-train them and take them for regular walks.
8. American Bobtail
Origin – United States of America
Temperament – Affectionate, bold
Life Span – 13 to 15 years
The American bobtail, named so for its short tail, is an extremely intelligent, interactive and friendly feline. Because of their playful disposition, they are often considered to be golden retrievers of the feline world. They can also be taught several tricks such as playing fetch and hide and seek. The American Bobtail also likes to spend time with his or her parents and will sometimes nag you to play. These energetic kitties also love going on walks and can easily be leash-trained.
However, this is a slow maturing breed and can sometimes take up to three years to fully develop.
Bobtails can quickly adapt to any situation and get along with everyone, including small children, other cats and dogs. They also have a mischievous side to them and can sometimes run away with a shiny object that they take fancy to.
They have a short and luxurious undercoat which should be brushed once or twice to keep it smooth and healthy.
These are some of the best cat breeds for homes in India.
Now, whichever breed you opt for from the above-mentioned ones, remember to adopt instead of buying if possible. Even though many of the species mentioned here are not that common, you should still check in your local shelters first. Or, you may consider contacting members of the cat community who may have kittens for adoption.
Also, make sure that your lifestyle is compatible with the unique personality of the breed of your cat before bringing them home. It will only make life easier for both of you!