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Aphrodite Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Chelsea Mortensen Profile Picture

By Chelsea Mortensen

Aphrodite's Giant Cat in the grass

Height: 10 – 15 inches
Weight: 12 – 24 pounds
Lifespan:  8 – 12 years
Colors: Any except colorpoint or mink
Suitable for: Active families, multi-pet households, families with children
Temperament: Friendly, energetic, gentle, social

If you are a cat person, you’ll fall in love with this gentle giant from Cypress! The Aphrodite cat, also known as the Cypress cat, Cypriot cat, or Aphrodite’s giant, is a newer breed that hails from a mountainous island in the Mediterranean. The original Cypress cats have lived on this island for thousands of years, but it’s only within the past few years that breeders have attempted to standardize these cats into an official breed that can be shared around the world. These cats are distinctive for their large, muscular bodies and their legs, which are slightly longer in the back. Both these traits helped them be successful in rocky, mountainous environments. They are also gaining recognition for their friendly, extroverted temperament.

Aphrodite Kittens – Before You Bring One Home…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

3 Little-Known Facts About the Aphrodite Cat

1. Cypress Cats Go Back 9,000 Years

Cypress has some of the oldest cats anywhere! Remains of a cat found in a grave from 7500 BCE have been called the oldest evidence of cat domestication in progress. This cat was likely a Near Eastern Wildcat—the wild breed our domestic cat is descended from. It’s unknown if this cat is an ancestor of today’s Cypress cat, or if these cats were domesticated later.


2. Records Trace Cats Back to an Ancient Monastery

Although we’re not sure how that cat connects to modern-day Aphrodite cats, we do know more about Cypress’s more recent cats. In the 4th century AD, a monastery to St. Nicholas imported some cats from the mainland to deal with a pest problem. Today, more than 1,600 years later, the monastery, known as St. Nicholas of the Cats, still operates and is home to cats very similar to the Aphrodite.


3. The “Aphrodite’s Giant” was developed in 2006

The cats living on Cypress were recognized to be unique for decades before any attempt at creating a breed took place. In 2006, a group of breeders came together to create a breed based on the local cats, which they named the “Aphrodite’s Giant.” Over the next few years, it gained recognition with two major cat registries and has become a well-established breed.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Aphrodite

The Aphrodite Cat is an intelligent cat that’s known for being outgoing and energetic. Some owners compare their cat to a dog because of its temperament, but it will still have typically feline traits, including a sense of fastidious cleanliness. It doesn’t always love to be picked up or cuddled, but it will happily play with you and enjoy some gentle pets.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

These cats are generally good for families, as long as they are supervised around young children. Their love of play makes them ideal for busy families and older children to play with, and they can adapt well to a hectic household with people around for much of the day. They are fairly patient with children, but they don’t tolerate being pulled and prodded. You should make sure that children are closely watched around Aphrodite cats until they are old enough to play with cats safely and let your cat have space when needed.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Aphrodite cats generally get on well with other cats and dogs. They are generally confident and able to stand up for themselves, so they aren’t easily intimidated by dogs, but they can dominate smaller dogs and shy cats. If you plan to have a multi-pet household, introduce your pets slowly so that they can become accustomed to one another without conflict.

Aphrodite cats shouldn’t be given access to small pets like fish, small birds, or rodents. If you have small pets in a cage or tank, make sure that they are kept secure and consider putting the enclosure outside of your cat’s reach.

Things to Know When Owning an Aphrodite

Food & Diet Requirementscat emoji

These cats are hearty eaters with high energy, so it’s important to feed them high-quality food with a high protein content and meat as the first ingredient. You should feed your cat two smaller meals a day if possible. Some active, energetic Aphrodite cats are good at self-regulating hunger and have a fast enough metabolism to stay at a healthy weight easily, but as your cat ages, you will have to be more careful in your feeding to avoid obesity. Because these cats have large frames, it can be easy to miss a little bit of gained weight, so consulting with a vet can help you make sure your cat is at his ideal weight.

Exercise 🐈

These cats need space to exercise and are usually highly active. They love climbing trees and similar toys. They have slightly longer hind legs that allow them to make powerful leaps and bounds, so lots of space to run, jump and climb is essential. They aren’t the best suited to small apartments and do best in a house with plenty of vertical and horizontal space.

Cypress cats also need lots of mental stimulation to keep from getting bored. This includes getting a variety of toy types and spending time playing with them daily. Wands, balls, puzzle toys, and a variety of other toys will help your cat stay entertained.

Training 🧶

These cats are intelligent and friendly, so training for basic tasks like using the litter box should come naturally. They also often take to a leash easily, letting them explore the outdoors and get exercise outside. Due to their energy, they can be destructive cats, and training them away from destructive behavior works best if you give your cat plenty of stimulation and acceptable alternatives, such as cardboard scratchers, so that they have ways to let off steam without ruining your furniture or carpet.

Grooming ✂️

Aphrodite cats come in shorthair and semi-longhair coats, and each coat is slightly different. Shorthair cats rarely need grooming, although they might appreciate the occasional brush. Cats with longer hair benefit from occasional brushing.

Along with brushing their fur, proper dental care is important for your cat’s health. Tooth cleaning toys and feline toothbrushes are on the market today, and consulting with your vet can help you figure out the best way to care for your cat’s teeth.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Cypress cat breed is both a newer breed and developed from hardy, wild-type cats, so it is a very healthy breed. There aren’t any conditions that are known to occur in Cypress cats more frequently than in the average cat, and there aren’t any known genetic disorders in the breed’s gene pool. However, it’s still important to have regular check-ups with your vet to make sure that your cat is staying healthy and to keep an eye out for health issues, since no cat will be in perfect health.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • None known

Male vs Female

The biggest difference between male and female Aphrodite cats is in their size. Males are often much larger, with females rarely growing above 14 pounds. and males often reaching 24 pounds. or more. They have similar personalities, with males being slightly more laid back overall, but a lot of variation between cats.

Both male and female cats are happiest and healthiest if spayed or neutered. This will make your cat live longer, protect against health problems, and reduce behavior issues such as aggression, territorial behavior, and spraying.

Final Thoughts

This new breed of cat is a loving, friendly giant that is sure to send a cupid’s arrow straight to your heart. Their large size and beautiful appearance make them stand out, and they have friendly, outgoing personalities to match. Although keeping a high-energy cat can be a handful, they are definitely worth the effort. After thousands of years of being cloistered in Cypress, we’re glad that we get to see these cats spread throughout the world!


Featured Image Credit: Aphrodite’s Giant Cat in the grass (Apanag10 via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

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