The history of cats and how they “took over the world” is something I always found very fascinating. So I hope you find it just as interesting as I do!
The soft climate in countries around the Mediterranean sea was no problem for cats from Africa. But the more north the cat went, the harder it got for them to adapt. Only cats who could keep themselves warm with low temperatures in the mountains and cold winters could survive. So only the cats with a long, thick fur survived. Those cats could multiply and the long-haired cats were created. They had a soft undercoat and a longer protective upper coat. The long fur was also mean to protect the cat against the elements.
Woods & Mountains
In woods and mountains in Norway and Russia most cats developed a longer and thicker fur that was necessary in their environment. In the 20th century those long furred cats were used with breeders and seen as domestic cats like the European and Oriental breeds the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and the Siberian Cat.
Beside the length of the fur, the color was different per country. Like the Blue Gray Chartreux is seen in Chartres in France a lot, but is probably from Siberia. Around the rivers in Europe like Rhône you can find a lot one-color cats.
In Europe are about 80 million domestic cats. For every household cats lives one stray: a cat that doesn’t have an owner and no home. The number of strays depends if there is a lot of food or not.
On the Hebrides in Scotland live 3 cats per square kilometer. But in the ports in the Mediterranean sea that would be 30 cats. On the Baltic islands and in Poland strays can survive around the farms. Around the Mediterranean Sea the cats have the biggest chance to survive, and live more cats without a home than with a home.
In almost every European country the number cats increases.
Those numbers only count the cats with an owner. Including the global calculation of countries that didn’t had any numbers of cats there 84 million cats in Europe. In many countries like in Spain the number of strays is higher than the total of house cats.
- France – 9.2 Million
- Great-Brittain – 8.3 Million
- Germany – 7.8 Million
- Italy – 6.6 Million
- Poland – 5.5 Million
- Holland – 2.4 Million
- Spain – 2.3 Million
- Hungary – 2 Million
- Czech Republic & Slovakia – 1.6 Million
- Belgium – 1.5 Million
- Austria – 1.4 Million
- Switzerland – 1.4 Million
- Baltic Island – 1.4 Million
- Sweden – 1.3 Million
- Portugal – 1.1 Million
- Denmark – 850.000
- Greece – 800.000
- Norway – 750.000
- Finland – 650.000
- Ireland – 450.000
Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia & Slovenia – 3.4 Million
Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, And Russia (European part) – 24 Million
Cats by Bruce Fogle