A Cyprus cat with tabby markings on a white coat, lounging in jacaranda leaves.
(Photo Credit: AlexWonderPic | Getty Images)


The Cyprus cat, also known as the Aphrodite Giant or Aphrodite Cat, is native to the sun-soaked landscapes of the Mediterranean island from which it takes its name. A unique feline breed with antiquity-steeped history, these cats have become an integral part of Cyprus’s cultural tapestry. These remarkable cats reflect a resilient spirit and adaptability that have allowed them to thrive in the island’s diverse environment.

Characterized by a lean and medium-sized frame, short dense coat, almond-shaped eyes, and bushy tails, Cyprus cats possess distinctive physical traits that set them apart. Beyond their appearance, Cyprus cats have a friendly and intelligent temperament. Forming close bonds with their human companions, these cats have played historical roles as guardians against rodents in homes, grain stores, and ships.

When considering a Cyprus cat, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a Cyprus kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Cyprus cat breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: Cyprus Island, with a lineage potentially stretching back over 5,000 years, considered one of the oldest cat breeds.
  • Size: Slender and tall, medium (7-12 pounds), with an overall athletic build.
  • Coat: Short or semi-longhaired, comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solid, tabby, bi-color, tortoiseshell, and ticked.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, curious, adaptable, affectionate, enjoys human interaction and playtime.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate – they love exploring, climbing, and games, but can also adapt to quieter lifestyles.
  • Training: Trainable with positive reinforcement due to their intelligence and desire to please.
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing for short-haired, more frequent for semi-longhaired, to prevent matting.
  • Health: Generally healthy, known for their longevity, but some potential for genetic health conditions
  • They are also known as the Cypriot cat, Saint Helen cat, or the Aphrodite Giant.
  • These cats are linked to a Byzantine Monastery that had a venomous snake problem, and used cats to rid the monastery of vermin.
  • The earliest record of cat domestication exists on Cyprus, and about 9,500 years old.
  • Unfortunately, a cat coronavirus devastated the population of cats on Cyprus, but leftover Covid medication is helping.

Cyprus Pictures

Cyprus History

According to feline lore, the Cyprus cat is an ancient breed that has been living in the mountains of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus for so long that they actually predate Egyptian cats by around 4,000 years!

Back in the 4th Century, the Cyprus cat breed was said to be imported to a Byzantine monastery in a bid to get on top of an infestation of snakes and vermin. Due to the breed’s history of originating from mountainous regions, it’s rare to see a Cyprus living closer to the water. These days, you may find the Cyprus in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the breed for you!

Cyprus Size

The Cyprus is a medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary. Most Cyprus cats weigh between eight and 16 pounds, with the females often being smaller than the males.

Cyprus Personality

First of all, it’s important to note that the Cyprus cat is a very energetic breed of feline who needs to be kept active. This means regular play times with the humans in their life are a must, along with a living environment that is large enough to let the cat run around and explore. This is vital to ensure that the Cyprus gets their required daily exercise, which will help keep the cat happy and prevent them from becoming frustrated and possibly developing behavioral issues.

Adding a cat tree or other form of cat furniture to your home is an essential requirement for adopting a Cyprus. Beyond their athletic nature, the Cyprus is also a social feline who will usually enjoy being around the humans in their life; although, it should be mentioned that some accounts of living with a Cyprus have suggested that the breed sometimes does not enjoy being picked up or handled.

Cyprus Health

The Cyprus is generally considered to be a healthy cat; although, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. There aren’t any breed-specific health problems associated with the Cyprus, but always keep an eye out for signs that your cat might be in distress or pain.

Cyprus Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Cyprus’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your Cyprus cat’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition, which is vital for such an energetic breed. The Cyprus’s ears should be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection.

Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your Cyprus. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques. Finally, the Cyprus will appreciate a cat tree to play and interact with. This will help keep the cat active and physically satisfied, so definitely consider adding one to your home!

Cyprus Coat Color And Grooming

The Cyprus is usually found sporting a coat with tabby patterns, but they’ve also been spotted in a range of colors. When it comes to grooming a Cyprus, brushing the cat once a week should suffice. This will help keep the feline’s coat in good condition and also ward off the chances of mats forming. Use the grooming time as an opportunity to bond with your cat.

In terms of climate, most Cyprus cats are fairly adaptable, a virtue credited to their hardy origin in the mountains. Just remember to always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The Cyprus cat is normally a good fit for families with young kids. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides. Supervise early interactions between young children and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the Cyprus is said to fare well with most other domestic animals. But always make sure to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets. Sometimes these relationships are very much dependent on the individual pets’ personalities. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your Cyprus for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Cyprus Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Cyprus cats because they are a somewhat uncommon breed in many parts of the world. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Cyprus cats, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:


Life Span
12 to 15 years
8 to 16 pounds
Country Of Origin


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