Irish Domestic Cat
Irish Domestic cats run the gamut when it comes to personality and appearance. That means there's bound to be one just right for you.
Irish Domestic Cat History
Like all cats, the Irish Domestic can trace its roots to the Felis silvestris population, particularly those near the Fertile Crescent. Experts believe the pet cats we know and love today descended from these wildcats roughly 10,000 years ago. However, when and how those domesticated cats found their way to Ireland is unconfirmed. They likely arrived courtesy of industrious settlers and invading armies nearly 2,000 years ago.
What's not up for debate is the enduring popularity of cats in Ireland. In fact, cats were so beloved that in the Middle Ages, a set of laws known as Catslechtae described penalties associated with mistreating these feline friends. And today, there are approximately 325,000 cats keeping households company throughout Ireland.
Irish Domestic cats are not pedigreed cats. Rather, they are random-bred cats that have developed in Ireland and adapted to their native environment. Despite lacking purebred status, some cat associations allow them to compete in shows in a general "housecat" category.
Irish Domestic Cat Traits
Irish Domestics come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and builds, though typically, they are medium-sized with well-balanced bodies.
Coat and Colouring
These cats come in all coat colors, patterns, and lengths.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Irish Domestics don't have a defined breed standard. The typical Domestic may display any number of adorable features.
Irish Domestic Cat Temperament
An Irish Domestic's personality can vary greatly. They can be quiet or vocal, playful or mellow. However, they are generally intelligent, free-spirited cats.
Irish Domestics are often athletic cats and natural hunters. Using feather wands and other toys they can pounce on or chase are great ways to keep them active and engaged.
Domestics also tend to enjoy high perches where they can safely look out at birds and other wildlife.
Irish Domestic Cat Care
Irish Domestic cats thrive on a high-quality diet. Because nutritional needs vary for kittens, adults, and senior cats, choose a formula that's age-appropriate for your pet.
To prevent overfeeding, carefully measure portions and reduce amounts if your cat gains excess weight. And keep an eye on how many treats you're giving them. As a guideline, treats should be kept to 10% of a cat's daily calories or less.
In addition to meals, provide your cat with plenty of fresh, clean water.
Irish Domestics are typically excellent self-groomers. Still, they need regular brushing to keep their coats looking their best. Weekly brushing is usually enough for shorthaired cats. Longhaired cats are more prone to tangles and mats and may require daily brushing.
In addition to combing, trim their claws monthly to prevent overgrowth. Overgrown nails are more likely to snag on something, become torn or damaged, or even grow into the paw pads—leading to pain or infection. In addition to clipping, a scratching post will help keep your cat's nails in good shape and satisfy their instinct to scratch.
Finally, all cats need regular dental care—including at-home teeth brushing and professional dental exams and cleanings.
Obesity is a growing concern in cats. Extra weight can contribute to other health risks, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. Your veterinarian is a great resource for tips on keeping your cat at a healthy weight.
Reviewed 21 June 2022 by Annette Louviere, DVM