Precious little is known about the early development of the Aegean cat, although it is popularly attributed to the Cycladic Islands of Greece where it began life as a feral cat, prowling fishing ports in search of food and companionship. Many believe this is where the breed fostered its natural affinity with water, having learnt to swim as a means of survival. It is also how the breed became domesticated, having evolved to interact with humans for its food and protection. The Aegean was officially developed in the early 1990s and became popular outside native Greece, although today it is still considered a rare breed and is difficult to come by. The Aegean cat is thought of as a national treasure in Greece, and efforts are being made to preserve it.
A medium-sized cat of muscular build, the Aegean is a semi-longhaired breed that requires regular grooming. With almond-shaped eyes in variations of green, the face of an Aegean is honest, intelligent and expressive. The thick, moderate-shedding coat is commonly seen in bicolour and tricolour deviations, with white as the predominant colour. Black, cream, blue and red are additional colours observed. Some Aegeans have tabby striping in their coat, although this is not a breed standard. In some rural communities, Aegean cats are utilised in pest control about the home and farmstead.
Due to their natural love of people and their want to be included, the Aegean is a highly sought domestic pet, being well suited to indoor living. Perhaps one of the most companionable breeds of the feline world, the Aegean is known to get along with children and other house pets when introduced to them gradually. Highly intelligent, the breed has evolved to survive on more than instinct alone and will find that hidden box of treats in no time! On average, a healthy adult Aegean will weigh 10 pounds, with a typical life expectancy of 13-15 years.
Due to the relative rarity of the Aegean, any genetic or breed-specific conditions are difficult to determine. It is thought, however, to be a highly resilient and healthy breed, whether kept as an indoor or outdoor cat.