In 1997, a few cat enthusiasts got together in the Kingdom of Bahrain and created a cat club. The main aim of this club was to insure the survival of a beautiful breed of cat called the Delmun cat.

Many suspect that the Delmun cat is a hybrid/ subspecies of the endangered Gordon’s wild cat (Arabian Wild Cat) that would have been isolated on the Island of Bahrain when it broke off from Saudi Arabia a few thousand years ago. This species of cat could also be the result of Gordon Wild cat hybrid with domestic cats that came off Portuguese ships in the 14th century during their many trips to Bahrain. Another line of investigation has appeared as Dr. Carlos Driscoll from Oxford University has discovered a special ancient domestic cat gene that is rampant in the Delmun population and that might be a main reason for their unique appearance and behaviour. Whatever their ancestry, these cats are one of the most ancient and naturally spotted tabby cats to join the ranks of pedigree cats today.

In 2001, the Bahraini ministry of Social Development gave these cats special status and allowed the cat enthusiast to create the first Cat Society in the Arabian Gulf region. Moreover, in 2006, the Bahraini government extended this to naming the Delmun cat as a National breed.

The Delmun Cat
The Delmun Cat is a lithe and tall cat reaching an average of 12-13 inches at the shoulder, yet is very fine with a wonderful wedged face. The Delmun has a loose pelt like coat on bonny shoulders and is famous for skipping around when happy. The Delmun is not an affectionate cat and doesn’t like being cuddled when fully mature, but will always be waiting for you when your return from work and usually is seen walking children to school or waiting for owners to return from work.

These cats are still hunters in Bahrain and can do without human intervention in regards to feeding. In the wild they hunt lizards and vermin and will climb trees to get to the little birds and their nests. The Delmun is a semi-dehydrated cat and living in one of the hottest climates has adapted to getting very little water. So with little body fat and extreme heat, the Delmun usually breeds once or twice a year and stays with its young till they mature at 4-5 months of age. The young Delmuns look more like bats than cats with their large ears that they grow into by the time they are 5 months old. It has been observed that Delmuns take a long time to mature and can take up to 12 months till they are capable of breeding.

The most unusual feature of the Delmun breed is their webbed feet and their ability to withstand feline diseases like cat flu. This may be proof of their unusual heritage as wildcat hybrids or subspecies. Some of the Delmuns observed in the wild in isolated places on the Island would actually make a whistling sound near the tops of date palm trees and then catch birds as they ventured closer. Also as far as colours have been observed, the rare white Delmun is located in a few places in Bahrain. These cats are known to be the tallest of all the Delmuns and have never suffered from any sun damage. They are born with a small patch of blue behind one ear and by 5 months of age, this patch disappears, leaving a pure white cat.

The Delmun cat as a breed was in danger as many Bahrainis and foreigners brought back other pedigree cats and allowed them to interbreed. The resulting offspring lead to cats that really suffered from the heat and had shortened life spans. Moreover, this also introduced cat flu into the healthy Delmun population. Therefore, the Cat Society and Pet Animals created and put forward measures to insure that these beautiful cats would be safe in their environments.

The Society created a special registration system for Delmuns and a special evaluation system to insure that the breed survives as a healthy intact breed and does not degenerate in the future.

Moreover, in 2003 the Society held the first only Delmun cat show and has since then integrated them into all Pedigree and non-Pedigree cat shows at all levels.

If you need anymore information on this special breed then please go to our website: www.csbpa.com