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Breed Education
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European Domestic Cat
European Domestic Cat

European Domestic Cat

European Domestic cats are intelligent, independent felines that come in various shapes, colors, and sizes. But they share one thing in common: They're all easy to love.

Weight

8–15 lb

Size

Medium

Lifespan

12–18 yr

Breed Group

Western

European Domestic Cat History

Cats are among the most popular pets in the world, and Domestics are the most common type of cat. Often referred to as moggies, housecats, or alleycats, European Domestics descendants of random-bred cats.

Domestic cats likely originated in the Fertile Crescent region—an area that includes Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt—about 10,000 years ago. As humans traded their nomadic lifestyle for a stationary one centered on agriculture, wild cats congregated near their settlements to prey upon rodents. Farmers appreciated the pest control, and cats were happy with the abundance of food. Thus, the human-cat relationship began.

Experts believe Greeks and Romans brought Domestic cats to Europe 3,000 years ago. But in the Middle Ages, cats became associated with witchcraft, and their numbers dwindled as a result. In the 1500s, after the plague decimated much of London's human population, cats regained popularity thanks to their rat-hunting prowess. European Domestics have been in the homes—and firmly in the hearts—of humans ever since.

Though Domestics aren't pedigreed cats, some cat associations allow them to compete in shows in a general "housecat" category.

European Domestic Cat Traits

General Appearance

European Domestics come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and builds. Still, they're typically medium-sized and muscular.

Coat and Coloring

The coat of a Domestic cat comes in all colors, patterns, and lengths. Any coat combination that's genetically possible is on the table for this breed.

Distinctive Physical Traits

European Domestics aren't defined by a specific set of physical characteristics. The average Domestic may display any number of adorable features.

European Domestic Cat Temperament

European Domestic cats' personalities are quite varied. They tend to be intelligent, independently minded, and able to take care of themselves. But they can be quiet or vocal, cuddly or aloof. Getting to know the quirks of a Domestic's personality is part of the fun of sharing a home with one.

Because of their background as rodent catchers, European Domestics are typically athletic and agile, with strong hunting instincts. Using feather toys and other items they can pounce on or chase gives them a much-needed outlet for their natural tendencies.

Domestics also tend to enjoy keeping an eye on the outside world. High perches where they can safely look out at birds and other wildlife will keep them entertained for hours.

European Domestic Cat Care

Nutrition

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.

Obesity is a growing health concern for all cats. To keep calories in check, portion out meals using a standard measuring cup, and reduce amounts if your cat gains weight. And keep an eye on how many treats you're giving them. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a cat's daily calories.

In addition to their meals, make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your cat.

Grooming

European Domestics are excellent self-groomers. Still, they need regular brushing to keep their coats looking their best. Shorthaired cats can usually get by with weekly brushing using a rubber or steel comb. 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.

Health

Roughly one out of every three cats in the United States is overweight or obese. Extra weight can contribute to other health risks, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. Your veterinarian is a great resource for tips on how to keep your cat at a healthy weight.

European Domestic Cat Genetic Health Conditions

  • Factor XII Deficiency (Variant 1)

    Factor XII Deficiency is a common blood factor deficiency which does not result in an abnormal tendency to bleed but may have an effect on blood clot stability.

  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency

    Pyruvate Kinase (PK) Deficiency is a disorder that causes anemia due to the breakdown of red blood cells.

  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (Variant 2)

    Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII is a disorder causing weakness, growth retardation, facial and other skeletal abnormalities, and clouding of the eyes.

  • Glutaric Aciduria Type II

    Glutaric Aciduria Type II causes loss of appetite, vomiting and seizures in young cats.

  • Cystinuria Type B (Variant 3)

    Cystinuria is a condition that predisposes cats to form cystine crystals and stones within the urinary tract, which can then cause irritation and blockage.

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

    Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is the most common inherited disease in cats. The disease causes the formation of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure.

  • Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency

    Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency is a metabolic disorder that causes decreased body mass and reduced growth rates in affected kittens and can cause stillbirths in affected queens.

  • MDR1 Medication Sensitivity

    MDR1 Medication Sensitivity is a disorder caused by a defect to a drug pumping protein that plays an important role in limiting drug absorption and distribution (particularly to the brain). Cats with the MDR1 variant may have severe adverse reactions to some commonly used medications.

  • Cystinuria Type B (Variant 2)

    Cystinuria is a condition that predisposes cats to form cystine crystals and stones within the urinary tract, which can then cause irritation and blockage.

  • Cystinuria Type B (Variant 1)

    Cystinuria is a condition that predisposes cats to form cystine crystals and stones within the urinary tract, which can then cause irritation and blockage.

  • Factor XII Deficiency (Variant 2)

    Factor XII Deficiency is a common blood factor deficiency which does not result in an abnormal tendency to bleed but may have an effect on blood clot stability.

  • Myotonia Congenita

    Myotonia Congenita is a condition that results in stiff movement and delayed relaxation of muscles after exercise.

  • Acute Intermittent Porphyria (Variant 2)

    Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is caused by faulty enzyme activity and results in brownish discoloration of the teeth and urine in affected cats.

  • Acute Intermittent Porphyria (Variant 5)

    Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is caused by faulty enzyme activity and results in brownish discoloration of the teeth and urine in affected cats.

  • GM1 Gangliosidosis

    GM1 Gangliosidosis causes muscle tremors, uncoordinated movements, and blindness.

  • Hyperoxaluria Type II

    Hyperoxaluria Type II is a kidney disorder leading to severe weakness and kidney failure in young cats.

  • Vitamin D-Dependent Rickets

    Vitamin D-Dependent Rickets results in skeletal abnormalities caused by low blood calcium levels.

  • Hemophilia B (Variant 2)

    Hemophilia B, or Factor IX Deficiency, is a blood clotting disorder that can result in tiredness, decreased appetite, fever, lameness, and prolonged bleeding times after injury, trauma or surgery.

  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI Modifier

    Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI Modifier causes a mild degenerative joint disease, but only if one copy of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI is also present.

  • Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria

    Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria (CEP) is caused by faulty enzyme activity and results in brownish discoloration of the teeth and urine in affected cats.

  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I

    Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I is a disorder causing failure to thrive, facial and other skeletal abnormalities, tremors, and clouding of the eyes.

  • Sphingomyelinosis (Variant 2)

    Sphingomyelinosis causes progressive incoordination and tremors, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and changes in the lungs.

  • Hemophilia B (Variant 1)

    Hemophilia B, or Factor IX Deficiency, is a blood clotting disorder that can result in tiredness, decreased appetite, fever, lameness, and prolonged bleeding times after injury, trauma or surgery.

  • GM2 Gangliosidosis

    GM2 Gangliosidosis causes muscle tremors, uncoordinated movements, difficulty eating, and blindness.

  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI

    Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI is a rare disorder causing dwarfism, degenerative joint disease, and clouding of the eyes.

  • Dihydropyrimidinase Deficiency

    Dihydropyrimidinase Deficiency is a condition that causes tiredness, weakness, vomiting, and high levels of ammonia in the blood.

  • Sphingomyelinosis (Variant 1)

    Sphingomyelinosis causes progressive incoordination and tremors, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and changes in the lungs.

  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (Variant 1)

    Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII is a disorder causing weakness, growth retardation, facial and other skeletal abnormalities, and clouding of the eyes.

  • GM2 Gangliosidosis Type II (Discovered in Domestic Shorthair cats)

    GM2 Gangliosidosis Type II causes muscle tremors, uncoordinated movements, difficulty eating, and blindness.

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

    Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia is an endocrine disorder which leads to aggression, abnormalities of the genitalia, and excessive drinking and urination.

  • Earfold and Osteochondrodysplasia (Discovered in the Scottish Fold)

    The Earfold and Osteochondrodysplasia variant results in the breed defining folded ears of Scottish Fold cats and is associated with skeletal malformations and arthritis.

  • Acute Intermittent Porphyria (Variant 1)

    Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is caused by faulty enzyme activity and results in brownish discoloration of the teeth and urine in affected cats.

  • Cystinuria Type 1A

    Cystinuria is a condition that predisposes cats to form cystine crystals and stones within the urinary tract, which can then cause irritation and blockage.

Knowing if your European Domestic Cat is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.

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