Affectionate Aphrodite Giants

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Katerina Anyfandi
Beautiful, elegant and affectionate are some qualities that qualify Aphrodite Giant cats. Here’s more about this companion breed with loyal, pleasant and touch of wild.
 
 
Originated around some 9500 years ago in Island of Cyprus, Aphrodite cats are believed to be separated from the inner country of Cyprus and due to the hard circumstances of living in cold, wet winters and very dry hot summers, they developed their tremendous coats and huge boning, which holds true for the short-haired breeds as well.
 
In the history
Ancient historical background of the breed dates back to 328 AD when St Helena visited the Island of Cyprus where almost all of its inhabitants were totally deserted due the result of a drought that had lasted for 36 years. She found the Island to be swarming with snakes. On her return to Constantinople, she arranged for an entire shipload of cats from Egypt and Palestine to be sent to the Island to devour the poisonous snakes. The cats were able to breed for 1200 years with little outside influence; this has resulted in a breed of cat which is unique, robust, and extremely healthy. The descendants of these cats are today cared by the nuns of the monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats on the outskirts of Limassol.
 
First identification
Aphrodite cats were formally identified by international cat judge Andreas Mobius in November 2008 during a visit to Cyprus. In addition, he drew up a standard of points and the cats were named at this time.
 
Salient features
These cats are good looking, large-boned and semi-longhaired. They are big and strong. They look elegant with lean muscular body. They have a long back and neck. Their face is triangular while ears are large. Their tail is bushy and back legs are significantly longer. In short-haired breeds, tip of the tail is more slender than the heavy root. Their coat is soft and cotton-woolly. They have a semi-long coat with undercoat in winter, while a much shorter and no undercoat in summer.
 
Colour patterns
Aphrodite Giants are found in all colours, patterns and divisions, with the exception of pointed colours and mink. Solid colour should be without white. In bi-colours, non-regular colour setting is desired.
 
Temperament
Loyal companion with a pleasing personality but with a touch of wild… that’s how an Aphrodite Giant is. This cat is vocal and extremely affectionate.
 
Healthy breed
Until today, no genetic diseases had been recorded as this breed survives over 9,500 years.
 
Ultimate recognition
Aphrodite Giants received recognitions from WCF (World Cat Federation) and ACF  (Australian Cat Federation). In August 2014, eight Aphrodite Giants travelled to the US for the recognition mission.
 
(Katerina Anyfandi is president of Association Felina Greece, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.)

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