Purebred cats (and dogs for that matter) can be one of the biggest, most exciting additions to our family. It’s not just because they’re cats, which is great in and of itself.
It’s also because it’s a significant and super interesting research process for the avid cat lover. You can Google just about everything you need to know about cat breeds beforehand to help decide which cat to get.
For example, you can search cat breeds by temperament, physical needs, potential health needs and even lifespan. For many of us, knowing a future cat will suit our indoor (or outdoor) lifestyle before we get them can be a major boon.
Of course, there are two sides to every coin. And given that we love all cats whether pedigree or not, we’ve decided to unlock both sides and you can take it from there…
What is a purebred cat?
Breed standards are guidelines set by breeding associations. These set the standards for the ideal appearance and temperament for different cat breeds. A purebred cat is one that meets these criteria and fulfils our expectations of breeds markers.
Pedigree is different to purebred. Purebred refers to the cat’s gene pool and pedigree means the gene pool/lineage has been documented on a breeding register.
At some point in every cat’s ancestry, is a cat that was a no-name-cat-breed. The origin story of each breed usually begins with an avid cat-lover. This cat mum or dad loved their feline friend and began breeding them with lookalike cats to continue their legacy.
And so on and so forth for a good many generations (of documented family lines for them to be pedigree) and voila! A purebred cat breed is made.
New breeds are created all the time. When a breeder develops a new breed, it will need to be developed over generations and then be evaluated before it qualifies and gets added to the breeding register.
Pedigree cat registers
Pedigree cat breeders must register with a cat association and follow breeding standards and rules. So, if you’re planning on buying a purebred cat, check to see if the breeder’s registered first. That way you won’t end up buying a lookalike meow at an exorbitant price. And you can avoid getting foiled by a breeding scam.
If you’re also a dog lover, read up on to find a reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills.
There are many international and local breeding registers. A quick Google will tell you about the biggest international ones like The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
and The International Cat Association (TICA)
. You can find out about their annual cat shows or learn about specific breeds and more on their websites.
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of some Australian ones:
- Australian Cat Federation
- Australian National Cats Inc.
- Feline Association of South Australia
- NSW Cat Fanciers Association
- Cat Owners’ Association of Western Australia (COAWA)
- Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Australia and Victoria (GCCFV)
Pros of purebred cats
As mentioned earlier, if you want a cat who’s smart, sporty or even talkative you can find out which breed matches these or any other qualities beforehand. Which just makes being a first time pet owner so much simpler. For instance, you can Google friendliest cat breeds (if that’s your number one point) and make your selection from there.
In addition, you can do a little research on what kind of health issues your favourite cat breed is prone to and select a pet insurance policy accordingly.
Of course, knowing what breed your cat is means your vet is likely to know a lot about them upfront too. Which means makes it sooo much easier to plan for your breed’s needs in terms of fitness and diet.
And of course, when someone asks you what type of cat you have, there’s the chance a lively conversation will ensue. Maybe they have the same breed of cat or they know some stuff about your cat’s breed.
You can almost hear the conversation going something like this… “I also have a Burmese cat!” and “my cat also does that thing exactly like your cat!” Naturally, laughs are likely to ensue.
Read about these different cat breeds and their personalities.
Cons of purebred cats
When it comes to purebred cats, there are some pitfalls too. For instance, the predictable traits of a breed are sometimes achieved through inbreeding.
Because, as the CFA (the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats) says on its website: “It is perfectly acceptable to breed related cats and register their offspring. Inbreeding is the breeding of closely related cats, such as father to daughter or mother to son.”
Inbreeding can have some fallouts when it comes to health, and even when pedigreed cats aren’t inbred the genetic breeding pool is usually small. Cats do inbreed in nature too, but to counterbalance this, they also mate with completely unrelated cats. This keeps the gene pool dynamic and healthy with fewer genetic defects.
If you’re getting a purebred, it’s wise to research the breed so you’re familiar with the inherited disorders they’re likely to develop. This way you can be better prepared mentally and financially if they happen.
And speaking of finances, there’s a larger financial outlay when buying a purebred cat. Because you are paying for generations of attentive breeding.
Note that despite the careful breeding (or, should we say, because of it) purebred cats’ lifespans don’t tend to be as long as more genetically diverse cats. This could be something that makes a moggie (non-purebred) more attractive.
Ultimately, the bond between you and your cat will come down to their unique cat-personality. Regardless of whether they’re moggie or pedigree. Which is why it’s important to consider adopting a pet from a shelter. The cat of your dreams may be waiting there for you.
A few things to consider are:
- Adoption fee: Cat shelters charge a nominal fee (which may cover vaccinations and desexing)
- Adult cats: Cats are usually hugely adaptable. You might become besties with an adult cat just as easily as a kitten
- Kittens: Cat shelters often have kittens too. But it can be sad to have the older cats overlooked when they may be your best friend in waiting
- Purebred cats: It may surprise you to hear it, but shelters do often have purebred cats up for adoption. However, it may be hard to verify their pedigree
The American author Kristin Cast says, “cats choose us; we don’t own them.” We couldn’t agree more! Regardless of if your cat’s a pedigree or moggie, they’re bound to make your life better in every way.
You can make theirs better too, with cat insurance. So they can get vet and other medical treatment if and when they need it. Plus it’s good for your pocket because it helps reduce health related costs like routine check ups and medication.
Purebred cats – over to you
Of course, all cats – whether they’re Siamese, Persian or a wonderful mix of who knows what are 100% cat. Tell us about yours in the comments below: