10. American Shorthair
When settlers sailed from Britain to North America they carried cats on board ship as working cats to protect the stores from mice. Many of these cats “settled” in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early this century a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats. The American Shorthair is also called the Mouser because they caught mice on ships. – Wikipedia.org
The pointed cat known in the East as “Siamese” is one of several breeds of cats from Siam described and illustrated in manuscripts called “Tamra Maew” (Cat Poems), estimated to have been written in the 1700s. It is often said that the breed was first seen outside their Asian home in 1884, when the British Consul-General in Bangkok, Edward Blencowe Gould (1847–1916), brought a breeding pair of the cats, Pho and Mia, back to Britain as a gift for his sister, Lilian Jane Veley (Veley went on to co-found the Siamese Cat Club in 1901). However, in 1878, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes received “Siam”, a gift from the American Consul in Bangkok; this cat was also the first documented Siamese to reach the United States, and predates the Siamese’s arrival to the UK by 6 years.
The name ‘Abyssinian’ refers to Ethiopia, but most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt. Genetic research suggests the breed originated near the coast of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased animals from wild animal traders. The breed was developed in Egypt. The breed is sometimes believed to have originated from one Egyptian female kitten named Zula, who was taken from a port in Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England. This theory is not established because there is no solid link between Zula and the cat first listed as an Abyssinian in 1882. Many sources repeat the story that the Abyssinian breed is a few thousand years old and comes from Ancient Egypt, as the cats resemble those in ancient paintings. There are also stories that wild ‘Abyssinians’ live in parts of North Africa today. -Wikipedia.org
7. Russian Blue
The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that originated in the port of Arkhangelsk, Russia. They are also sometimes called Archangel Blues. It is believed that the first Russian Blues were brought from the Archangel Isles to England and Northern Europe in the 1860s by sailors. The first recorded showing of the breed was in 1875 at the Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat. The Russian Blue competed in a class including all other blue cats, until 1912, when it was given its own class. The breed was developed mainly in Russia and Scandinavia until after World War II. During and following World War II, due to a lack of numbers of Russian Blues, some people started cross breeding it with the Siamese. Although the breed was in America before the war, it was not until after World War II that American Breeders created what is known as the modern Russian Blue that is seen in the US today. This was done by combining the bloodlines of both the Scandinavian and English Russian Blues. The Siamese traits have now been largely bred out.
6. Norwegian Forest Cat
The breed is very old, and occurred as a natural adaptation to the cold climate of the region, but it was not regarded as anything other than a standard house-cat until the late 1930s, when a small number of ‘Skaukatten’ were shown in Germany and received very favorably by the judges. World War II brought an abrupt end to the fledgling Norwegian show cat industry, and the breed was forgotten until the 1970s. The cats are now being bred and shown in several countries. The first international association to accept the breed was FIFe, in 1977. -Wkipedia.org
5. Maine Coon
The ancestral origins of the Maine Coon are unknown. There are only theories and folk tales. One such folk tale involves Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, who was executed in 1793. The story goes that before her death, Antoinette attempted to escape France with the help of Captain Samuel Clough. She loaded Clough’s ship with her most prized possessions, including six of her favorite Turkish Angora cats. Although she did not make it to the United States, her pets safely reached the shores of Wiscasset, Maine, where they bred with other short-haired breeds and evolved into the modern breed of the Maine Coon. -Wikipedia.org
The Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat, formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat (“ALC”). Bengal cats have “wild-looking” markings, such as large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly, and a body structure reminiscent of the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis). The Bengal cat has a desirable “wild” appearance with a gentle domestic cat temperament, provided it is separated by at least three generations from the original crossing between a domestic feline and an ALC. The name Bengal cat was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (P. b. bengalensis), and not from the unrelated Bengal tiger. -Wikipedia.org
In terms of history, the Havana Brown is a hybrid or man-made breed. This cat is the result of carefully planned breeding for a specific genetic design which is an indication that brown Siamese cats once existed because this cat is part siamese. Another name for this cat is Swiss Mountain Cat.
2. Savannah or Ashera
Savannah cats are the name given to the offspring of a domestic cat and a serval — a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat. The unusual cross became popular among breeders at the end of the 20th century, and in 2001 the International Cat Association accepted it as a new registered breed. Interestingly, savannahs are much more social than typical domestic cats, and they are often compared to dogs in their loyalty. They can be trained to walk on a leash and even taught to play fetch. Bengal breeder Judee Frank crossbred a male Serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese (domestic cat) to produce the first Savannah cat (named Savannah) on April 7, 1986. Frank’s Savannah attracted the interest of Patrick Kelley, who purchased one of Savannah’s kittens in 1989. Kelley was one of the first enthusiasts who worked towards establishing a new domestic breed based on a Serval/domestic cat cross. He approached many Serval breeders to help in the development of this new breed, and finally garnered the help of breeder Joyce Sroufe to work with him in taking the steps needed to have the new breed recognized. -Wikipedia.org
Lifestyle Pets also markets a hybrid cat under the name “Ashera.” Several of the cats sold under the Ashera name were actually of the Savannah cat breed. -Wikipedia.org
In general, it’s not clear when longhaired cats first appeared, as there are no African Wildcats, which are believed to be ancestors of domesticated cats, with long fur. There were claims in the 1800s that the gene responsible for long hair was introduced through hybridization with the Pallas cat, however, research in the early 1900s refutes this theory. An Angora/Persian from “The Royal Natural History” (1894) The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported from Khorasan, Persia into Italy in 1620 by Pietro della Valle, and from Angora, Turkey into France by Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc at around the same time. The Khorasan cats were grey coated while those from Angora were white. From France, they soon reached Britain.Longhaired cats were also imported to Europe from Afghanistan, Burma, China and Russia. Interbreeding of the various types were common especially between Angoras and Persians. Recent genetic research indicates that present day Persians are related not to cats from the Near East but to cats from Western Europe. The researchers stated that “Even though the early Persian cat may have in fact originated from ancient Persia, the modern Persian cat has lost its phylogeographical signature.”