India has such an old culture that it has to have a connection with cats. We hope the most popular cat breeds in India can shed some light on this connection.
Indian culture is so deep and varied that even if you live half of your life in India, you may not completely understand it as an outsider. For instance, what we call Indian food is not even a small fraction of the Indian cuisine. But let’s focus on the cat breeds in India because we cannot cover a culture that is thousands of years old.
In this list of top 5 cat breeds in India we wanted to honour one of the native and most common cat breeds in India, too. Therefore, we added Indian Billi cat (a.k.a. spotted cat) to our list as +1. I wish we could cover all cat breeds in India but that is simply not possible.
Although there are many native cat breeds in India, most are not accepted as separate breeds by the major cat associations so there are no standards for them. But I have learned from my good friends in India that some cat organizations such as ICF (Indian Cat Federation) are working hard to get some of the native cat breeds recognized by the rest of the world.
Now let’s have a look at the most popular cat breeds available in India.
1 – Bombay Cat
Although the name of this cat breed is Bombay, it was first bred by Nikki Horner in Louisville, Kentucky with the aim of having a cat that resembled a mini black panther. Horner used sable Burmese cats and black American shorthair cats to achieve her goal and after 7 years of work, she created the Bombay cat breed.
A Bombay cat is typically characterized by being all black from its nose to soles and even mouth. This is a trait that is not found in other black cats. Bombay cat may look as tough as a metalhead, but inside they are really soft. Bombay cats are very social kitties even towards strangers. They are also very attached to their families.
2 – Himalayan Cat
Himalayan cat is actually not from Himalayas. It is called Himalayan due to its colour. Cat Fanciers’ Association
(CFA) considers these kitties a sub-breed of Persian cats with the exception of their colourpoint coats and blue eyes and even calls them Himalayan-Persian cats.
Himalayans are very docile cats that are devoted to their humans and seek their attention, but they don’t harass them for attention like some other breeds.
It is best to call them human-oriented because most of the time they prefer to do whatever their humans do instead of playing on their own although they are completely capable of entertaining themselves with whatever toy they can find.
3 – American Bobtail
It may seem unusual to see American bobtail among the most popular cat breeds in India however there are quite a few American bobtails there. These are large and muscular cats with a wild look and their bobbed tails is not the only reason behind their popularity.
American bobtail is a dog-like cat or in other words they are acting more like dogs than cats. They are so social that that they greet guests at the door and get on well with kids, other cats and dogs. They can be good travel companions if they are trained early and bond really well with their humans.
4 – British Shorthair
It is no wonder how British shorthair found its way to India considering Britain directly ruled India for about a century between 1858 and 1947. Actually, India is still a member of the Commonwealth, but this is another topic with a lot of discussion.
British shorthair is an easy-going and sweet-natured kitty that is not as active as some other cat breeds. They like to stay with their humans and observe them but don’t like to be picked up and carried around. They prefer staying beside humans rather than taking a nap on their laps.
It is a quiet and dignified breed that is devoted to its humans. It requires minimal grooming, but you need to pay some attention to its diet since it is prone to obesity. It also happens to be one of the most popular cat breeds in the U.S., too
5 – Egyptian Mau
Don’t get me wrong, Egyptian Mau is a rare breed of cat from Africa, but this doesn’t lower its popularity in India. Among all the beautiful cat breeds in India, Egyptian Mau might be my favourite. It has so much charisma with its wild look that I don’t think anybody can resist it.
This kitty is the fastest of domestic cats. It is clocked running more than 30 mph, so you guessed right: IT HAS A LOT OF ENERGY! The good thing is they are so intelligent that they can easily learn playing fetch or walking on a leash. They are also very loving cats which are very fond of their families and can accept other pets, too.
+1 Indian Billi (a.k.a. Spotted Cat)
If you ask me Billi is among the best pet cat breeds in India because it is native to India. ICF has collaborated with many Indian colleges to carry out research on the Billi to further understand and document its unique traits and we may see it as an official breed in major cat associations in the coming years. Who knows?
Although most of the Billi population live in groups in streets and avoid human contact, they are not wild cats. They live in and near cities and towns where finding food is easier. They are generally stray cats that live about 10 years but when they live indoors they can live up to 20 years.
They can easily adapt to living indoors and is a loving and friendly cat once the trust between the cat and human is established. It is also the most common of the cat breeds in India.