Cat lovers know that cats could easily be man’s best friend—if only man would allow it. Most cat breeds out there are way smarter than their canine counterparts, but they’re just as adorable, loving, friendly, and incredible. One such breed that exhibits those traits is the Gato cat. Not many people are familiar with Gato cats for a reason, but they’re some of the best cats you could ever have as a pet. If you’ve never heard of the Gato cat breed before, this article highlights the 20 things you should know.
1. Exotic cats
To start off, it’s important to say just how exotic Gato cats are. There are many exotic cat breeds out there, and Gato cats are basically the product of the combination of some exotic cat breeds. Does this make the Gato cat extra exotic? We’d like to think so. Gato cats are actually a combination of the Siamese cat breed, the Himalayan breed, and the Egyptian Mau. Although not much is known about the history of the Gato, we do know that it takes various traits from all three exotic cat breeds.
In comparison to the breeds that it takes its traits from, the Gato cat breed tends to be on the smaller side. At its smallest, a full size Gato can be anywhere from 7 to 9 inches in height and only about 6 to 9 pounds in weight. It’s safe to say that they are small and adorable. Imagine seeing a Gato kitten (or several). They are tiny and not too far off from their adult counterparts as can be seen here.
3. Fur lengths
Most cats will have a descriptive length of fur that’s the same across all cats from that particular breed. That doesn’t apply to the Gato cat. Most Gato cats will have a short, velvety fur. This is a trait that’s probably inherited from the Siamese or the Egyptian Mau. However, there are some Gato cats that have medium length coats. Likely inherited from the Himalayan, this trait for the Gato is not as common. The difference in fur lengths between Gato cats is awesome to see and is yet another reason why this breed is so unusual.
Apart from difference in coat lengths, almost all Gato cats will look different from the next. This breed comes in a variety of coat colors and a mix of patterns as well. The typical coat colors they come with include white, black, brown, orange, and tortie. Tortie is short for tortoiseshell cat and is descriptive of a certain red and black mottled pattern on the fur of some cats. Gato cats can have tortie fur color, but it’s also fairly rare. The various coat colors could be mixed together or they can be standalone on a Gato cat’s coat.
One thing that might be easier to identify on the Gato cat is its body shape. Because it is a mixture of breeds that have different body shapes, the Gato cat breed has a particular shape when compared to other cats. While it is generally small, Gato cats have long legs and long bodies. It may seem odd to see at first, but it actually works for the overall shape and body of the cat.
While some cats tend to shy away from too much attention, that’s not true with Gato cats at all. These are not the type of cats that like to be left alone too much. In fact, they will require your attention more than any other pet you might have. Gato cats like interaction with humans and other pets as well.
If Gato cats like your attention, you can bet that they’d love your affection as well. While they are considered to be affectionate more than other breeds, Gato cats will not smother you with affection. They will look for love and attention from you, but they aren’t needy in a way that they are attached to your leg all the time. This is the reason why Gato cats are perfect for families looking for a cat that’s not snobby but rather is more loving.
Because of the way they seek attention and give affection, you can bet that Gato cats are some of the most laid-back cat breeds there are. Because they like to be friends with people and other pets, Gato cats do not like fighting or confrontation and will do whatever it takes to avoid it. That could mean that they might walk away when feeling threatened or simply disappear when their humans or other pets in the home gets irritable. Gato cats are very relaxed and will even feel for your vibe when your not in the mood to play.
Speaking of playing, Gato cats are one playful breed. Its personality is basically rounded out by its playful trait. Gato cats are affection, laid-back, and extremely playful. This is probably because they have an enormous amount of energy that they have to burn off each day. This is a trait that Gato cats probably inherited from the Siamese cat breed, which tend to be overly playful and highly intelligent cats. Siamese cats are playful, but they also tend to be mischievous. That’s not a problem you would ever have with Gato cats because of their relaxed personalities—a trait they actually inherit from the Himalayan breed.
Most people know that cats don’t need much grooming. They actually groom themselves. This is one of the reasons why many people opt for cats instead of dogs. When it comes to Gato cats, grooming is minimal; but it does exist. Because of the nature of a Gato cat’s fur, it’ll need brushing weekly in order to remove loose fur. If this isn’t done, Gato cats’ fur will become matted and grow unhealthy. Regular brushing will also reduce shedding.
When it comes to shedding Short-haired Gato cats are known to shed less in comparison to other breeds. As mentioned earlier, regular brushing helps regulate shedding as well. However, if you happen to own a Gato cat with more of a medium-length fur, chances are you’ll have to deal with more shedding than expected. Regular brushing will also help. If brushing is not done regularly and properly, you might be dealing with more hairballs and matting than you’d like. Your cat ingests loose hair when they groom themselves, so eliminate this problem by getting rid of any loose hairs with a good cat brush.
12. Special Siamese
We’ve already talked about how much Siamese cat traits is visible with Gato cats. However, there’s an even more special relationship between these two cat breeds. Any Gato cat that has a predominant breeding with a Siamese cat will have more characteristic and obvious physical traits. These animals will have lilac markings and unusual patches around their faces. The most incredible trait, however, are striking bright blue eyes. These blue Gato cat eyes are some of the most mesmerizing you’ll ever see in the feline world.
13. Mix breeds
Because of their peculiarity and special traits, Gato cat breeds are favored among breeders to mix with other breeds. This is the reason why you’ll come across many Gato mixes out there. For example, some of the most common Gato breed mixes include the Gato Sphynx Elf, Gato Siam, Gato savannah, Gato American curl, Gato manx, Gato laperm, and more. With these mixes, you can pick up some more predominant physical traits such as the Gato blue eyes, but personality traits can be picked up just as well.
It isn’t often that you come across a Gato cat in the neighborhood. Because of how exotic they are, Gato cats are actually pretty rare. They’re not as easy to find, and often cat owners will have to travel to a particular Gato breeder in order to get one. The rarity of the Gato cat breed only adds to its mysticism. There’s also a good possibility that people may already own Gato cats without knowing. The characteristic traits of a Gato breed are so particular that you’d have to know them to identify them.
15. Not recognized
Here’s another fact that probably contributes to the anonymity and mystery of this cat breed. If you tried to search for the Gato cat breed in any or all the official cat breed registries out there, you wouldn’t find it. That’s simply because the Gato cat breed is yet to be officially recognized by any cat association. The qualifications for being recognized is difficult to meet, and it isn’t likely that the Gato cat breed will ever be official.
16. Food requirement
Being that they are a small breed, you can expect not to spend too much money on cat food when it comes to the Gato cats. That being said, Gato cat owners can then invest in better and healthier cat food. It’s important to remember that like any other in the cat family, Gato cats prefer and need a high protein diet. They shouldn’t be eating too many carbs, grains, fruits, or vegetables—even though these are okay in small portions. Gato cats want meat, and they are at their healthiest when they have a diet that’s rich in protein.
Gato cats are highly energetic and playful; this we already know. They like interacting with their humans and fellow pets, but this isn’t always possible in some households. Like many pets, Gato cats will get bored if left alone for long periods of time. Because of this reason, Gato cats must have toys at home to play with. However, they can’t just have any other cat toy. Gato cats need toys that will challenge them both mentally and physically. Don’t be surprised if your cat gets bored too soon with a new toy. They are smart and will figure things out easily.
One adoring trait that Gato cats have is their vocalization tendencies. Gato cats like to communicate with their humans and will do this through various sounds. They are particularly vocal when they play or are trying to get your attention. Cats are known to vocalize in many ways. Apart from the usual meowing and purring, Gato cats can also chirp, trill, chatter, chirrup, hiss, yowl, and so forth. Each of these sounds mean something different for you cat, so it’s important you get to know your Gato to know what it wants from you.
Gato cats have impressive lifespans. At the very minimum, these cats can live for at least 15 years or more. Of course, there are internal and external factors that could affect this lifespan. With proper care and diet, a healthy Gato cat can live much longer than 15 years. The opposite is also true. Gato cats, like any other breeds, are sometimes genetically predisposed to some health issues. Even if a cat is well-cared for, there are still some health risks that can shorten a Gato cat’s lifespan.
No one knows for sure where the name Gato comes from, but Spanish speakers know it clearly. Gato is actually the Spanish word for “cat.” Whether this was a simple play on words for the original breeder of the Gato or is another name altogether is something that we may never find out. Either way, it’s a playful name for such a playful and fascinating breed. It’s almost as if the Gato cat was made to embody the species.