Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Aphrodite Giant Cat (Cyprus Cat) Info: Facts, Pictures & Behavior

Aphrodite Giant Cat (Cyprus Cat) Info: Facts, Pictures & Behavior

Aphrodite Giant Cat

The Aphrodite cat, also known as the Aphrodite Giant or the Cyprus cat, is one of the few naturally occurring cat breeds. These large, family-friendly felines evolved from the feral cats living in Cyprus with no human assistance. Various experts believe the breed slowly developed throughout the mountains in Cyprus. Due to their large size, they were successful hunters.

Breed Overview


13–14 inches


11–24 pounds


12-15 years


All colors except lilac, mink, and chocolate

Suitable for:

Large families, families with children, and active singles


Affectionate, loyal, lonely without humans

The Aphrodite Giant is one of the planet’s oldest cat felines. While some breeders claim that the Aphrodite Giant cats are directly evolved from the ancient cats from 9500 B.C., organizations like the World Cat Federation (WCF) and The International Cat Association (TICA) actively refute these claims. According to TICA, the Cyprus cat did, in fact, evolve from the feral cats. The Aphrodite breed was officially recognized by TICA in 2017.

Aphrodite Giants are large, athletic, and well-muscled, and are very adaptable to active lifestyles. These cats are known for being gentle, loving, and very intelligent. TICA’s overview of the breed describes them as affectionate, social, and almost dog-like in some of their behavior towards their owners.

Aphrodite Giant Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-catAphrodite Giant Kittens

Aphrodite giant kitten
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

Aphrodite Cats are considered a rare breed. As such, they are definitely not affordable. If the Cyprus breed is not available in your area, you might have to travel or be on a waiting list. While Cyprus breeders can be hard to find, shelters are always an option! Not only are you saving money, but you are also protecting the little furry friend from possible euthanasia.

When you bring an Aphrodite Giant cat into your home, you can expect to have a loyal kitten by your side. They’re very dependent on people so make sure you can have enough time and energy to dedicate to your cat.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Aphrodite Giant

You might think that these large, profitable hunters have equally intense personalities, but they are very calm and sweet family pets. Aphrodite cats are often considered gentle giants. They are known for bonding closely with their chosen humans while also getting along well with other family members. Aphrodite Giants enjoy being in the middle of large, active families or just sitting on your lap. They are social, friendly, and silly. Cyprus cats are laid back but also highly intelligent. They enjoy playing games, learning tricks, and training with their humans. These sweet kitties are the ideal pets for any cat-loving family.

However, because the Cyprus cat is so social and loves the company of humans or other pets, they should not be left alone for any extended time. You should be prepared to spend lots of time snuggling with your Cyprus; these gentle giants love being spoiled. Give them treats, lots of brushing, and quality time!

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

While some cat breeds are considered independent or aloof, others – like the Aphrodite Giant – bond closely with their owners and other family members. If you are after a kitty companion who loves kids, large families, and people in general, the Cyprus cat is for you. These family-friendly felines accept new friends relatively quickly and do not take long to warm up to their forever home families.

Aphrodite cats often establish life-long bonds with children. Supervising your cat during any introduction is always recommended, but Aphrodite cats are one of the most accepting breeds when it comes to small humans. The furry friends will always stay by your child’s side.

Remember that Cyprus cats love interacting with large groups and families. They will rarely run and hide themselves away when surrounded by noisy and distracting family parties. Aphrodite Giants seldom hide themselves in an enclosed space like other felines. They might be gentle with humans, but separation anxiety can cause Cyprus cats to become destructive. While it is the perfect family pet, if you travel frequently or don’t spend a lot of time at home, the Aphrodite will not be a good fit for you.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The friendliness of Cyprus cats extends to more than just their immediate family. Aphrodite Giants enjoy socializing with other cats and dogs just as much as they enjoy time with humans. Of course, introducing your Aphrodite to other household pets at a young age is more beneficial, but even adults are accepting of other dogs and cats.

It is not recommended to have small reptiles or rodents as pets, if you plan on getting an Aphrodite Giant. Small pets are not suitable family members because of the Aphrodite’s hunting skills and high prey drive. If you have a snake or other small reptile, like a gecko or Bearded Dragon, you cannot keep an Aphrodite in the same household. Reptiles happen to be the Aphrodite Giant’s favorite prey.

Ultimately, early socialization of your family members, children, and other domestic pets with your Aphrodite really makes a difference. Make sure to reward your feline friend for their good behavior and positive interactions!

divider-catThings to Know When Owning an Aphrodite Giant:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

In the wilds of Cyprus, the Aphrodite depended on the dense population of snakes, rodents, and other reptiles on the island. It is a highly active, playful breed. As a general rule of thumb, cats should be given premium cat food rich in protein and with few fillers. The ideal food should include essential vitamins and minerals. The food also needs to be rich in fiber, amino acids, and omega3 fatty acids. While dry food can contain more nutrients than wet, it lacks moisture and negatively affects your cat’s daily water intake.

Considering it is improbable you are sending your beloved pet out hunting for their food, it will be unable to rely on snakes or rodents to stay hydrated. You can add wet food to your cat’s dry food for the extra moisture.

Dry brands of cat food, on average, hold less than 12% to 14% water. Cats must drink 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water daily for every 5 pounds of body weight. For example, if your cat is 12 pounds, your cat needs to be drinking 9 to 11 ounces of water daily. Wet food, on the other hand, contains 70% to 80% moisture. A healthy mix of dry kibble and wet food is ideal for your feline companion. If your cat prefers kibble, you can buy a pet fountain to encourage more drinking. Cats enjoy sipping from running water streams!

AphroditeCyprus__Shutterstock_Jaroslaw Kurek
Image Credit: Jaroslaw Kurek, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

Aphrodite Giants have long hind legs and high energy. They love to leap and climb and run and play. A small, cramped space like a small apartment is not ideal for the mischievous goofballs. They need a large space and an environment built for climbing and exploring.

Cyprus cats are active, intelligent furballs. They need space to burn off energy and play. The crazy felines need lots of mental stimulation to remain satisfied. A single toy will never be enough to keep them entertained and engaged. Laser toys, puzzles, robotic mice, and complex cat trees are the perfect toys for Cyprus!

Training 🧶

Because of the Cyprus cat’s intelligence, it learns new things very quickly! You won’t have any issues training them for the litter box. However, make sure you purchase a litter box big enough for adult cats that can weigh up to 25 pounds.

An Aphrodite Giant is the perfect feline companion to learn new tricks. If you’ve seen videos of pets communicating through buttons with their owners, these friendly felines are perfect for tackling that challenge. You can even leash train your Aphrodite to go out on walks with enough patience!

Grooming ✂️

Aphrodite Giants can have long or short hair, but they require daily brushing. Not only is this a great bonding experience for you and your kitty, but it can help reduce hairballs and shedding around your home! Frequent grooming is always recommended, but you can get by brushing every other day if your Aphrodite has short hair.

Even if your cat might uses scratching posts and runs around the house, it will still need its nails clipped at least once or twice a month. You will also need to keep its teeth clean. You can ask your veterinarian about techniques on nail clipping and getting the cat’s shining fangs camera ready!

Health and Conditions 🏥

Because the Cyprus is a natural breed, it doesn’t have many of the issues that plague hybrid species. Aphrodites evolved naturally from the feral cats in Cyprus and therefore experience few medical issues.

Minor Conditions
  • No known genetic diseases or disorders
Serious Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • hairballs

Male vs Female

The most noticeable difference between female and male Aphrodite cats is their size. Male cats weigh around 15 to 24 pounds, while females average 10 to 14 pounds. Regardless of the gender of your feline friend, both sexes have the same loving personality. They would both make amazing additions to your cat-loving family!

However, unfixed Aphrodite cats are very likely to mark their territory inside your home. They may become anxious when cats of the opposite gender are around. Getting your kitten spayed or neutered will help ward off the naughty behaviors.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Aphrodite Giant

1. According to a Byzantine myth, Aphrodite cats were sent from Egypt to Cyprus in A.D. 328 by Helena of Constantinople to eradicate the venomous snakes ravaging the island.

St. Helena brought over two shiploads of cats from Egypt to Palestine to combat the snakes in the monastery. Aphrodite Giants are natural predators due to their large size and ability to hunt prey like snakes.

2. While considered a new breed in the formal cat world, Aphrodite cats are one of the oldest.

In 2004, a French archeologist found cat skeletons dating back over 9,500 years. Not only are these skeletons the oldest ever found, but they are also the oldest example of a feline living with humans. That would make these skeletons older than the oldest Egyptian sketches by over 4,000 years!

3. The monastery Saint Nicolas of the Cats used Aphrodite cats as pest control.

The monastery was founded in the fourth century. Prior to its opening, the number of Aphrodite cats on the island declined. The women inhabiting the monastery were responsible for restoring the numbers of Aphrodite cats until the population was no longer in a vulnerable state.

divider-catFinal Thoughts

The highly active, friendly Cyprus is a welcome addition to any home. Aphrodite Giants are as likely to have midnight and midday zoomies as they are to curl up in your lap and cuddle for hours. Active families and those with small children will enjoy the Aphrodite’s company as much as any single owner. The big, loveable furballs require lots of attention, but they reward you with affection of their own! You will find lifelong companionship and loyalty with a Cyprus by your side.

Featured Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanski, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets