Choosing your cat or kitten is a really exciting time, and part of this will be deciding if you want a purebred cat or a domestic shorthair (more commonly called ‘moggies’). There are advantages and disadvantages of both pedigrees and moggies, and the choice will come down to who will fit best with you and your family!
Pedigree cats, while all individuals, are more likely to show the traits associated with their breed – for example Siamese cats are likely to enjoy play, and also be quite vocal! Purchasing a pedigree kitten allows you a little more certainty regarding personality, which might be important as kittens fix their world view very young but don’t demonstrate their adult personality until they are a little older. You are also more likely to be able to spend relaxed, quality time with mum at a breeders – in a rescue centre mum is likely to be at least a little stressed, and this can have a huge impact on cats. Kittens, just like us, are likely to take after their parents so if you can see that mum has the sort of personality you are looking for, you have a higher chance of her kittens taking after her. That being said, where personality is concerned, there are never any guarantees!
Cost is also an important consideration. Pedigree cats are expensive with many kittens selling for many hundreds of pounds. The higher risk of inherited disease in some pedigree cats, such as polycystic kidney disease which is common in Persians, also means they are generally more expensive to insure, as they have larger vet bills on average compared to moggies. Pedigree cats may also be more at risk of theft, although many cats are wary of strangers.
Moggies, or mixed breed cats, are exactly that – a melting pot of genetics. This gives them some great advantages, especially in the disease stakes, as mixed breeds tend to have fewer inherited medical conditions. This mix of breeds, however, makes it a little less set what you will be getting. The personality traits of multiple breeds are buried in there, and it can be impossible to predict what traits will come out on top! That said, many of the traits are a little less extreme than in pedigree cats, so you can find you get a nice mix.
Cost is also a consideration. Fees for purchasing moggies are usually much cheaper than for pedigree cats, and this is worth considering, although it should be noted that there will still be all the costs associated with a new cat, which includes vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and neutering, if these haven’t already been done. The reduced risk of inherited diseases, however, does mean you may be less likely to find yourself shelling out for long term conditions later in their life, although even moggies are prone to long-term conditions such as chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Because of this reduced disease risk, it can be cheaper to insure moggies too – cheaper and healthier are two very good reasons to consider getting a non-pedigree pet!
Regardless of whether you choose a pedigree cat or a moggie, if you get a kitten ask the breeder to give you a contract of sale for them – you can read more about these on this page.