A designer cat with a beautiful coat, or a typical tabby with the most beautiful personality, and an inspiring story to match!
Oodles and oodles of Groodles, Cavoodles, Labradoodles, and Schnoodles, just to name a few, can be found far and wide all across the globe. Designer, or hybrid dogs, are becoming increasingly popular, and are filling the pockets of breeders and pet shops everywhere. But has anyone stopped to think that maybe there are cat versions of these designer dogs? After a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Savannahs, Bengals, Chausies and Caracats of the world are the feline version of the ever growing varieties of designer dogs. Designer dogs serve no purpose, they don’t herd sheep, pull carts or hunt game, they have no history that makes them who they are, someone just decided to breed a Poodle with every other dog breed they could think of. The same goes for wild hybrid cats, they didn’t come over on a solider’s ship after the Abyssinian War, like the Abyssinian cat did, they weren’t given as a gift to the British Consul-General hundreds of years ago by the King of Siam, like the Siamese cat was, and they certainly don’t claim to have travelled from Persia to Italy in 1620 with Pietro Della Valle, like the Persian cat did! No, their history consists of someone taking a wild cat, who should never have been ‘owned’ by humans to begin with, and breeding it to your typical moggie. Quite a sad and disappointing history, if you ask me…
There are two types of cat breeders, in my opinion, irresponsible breeders who just want to breed good looking cats to make money, and reputable breeders, who breed because they have a passion for a specific breed, and want to see that breed flourish and positively develop. And while I’ll agree that today, there are reputable designer cat breeders, I even happen to know some, I do think that the initial reason behind breeding a wild cat with a moggie was the $5,000 – $20,000 adoption fee! While it’s incredibly hard to believe, people are willing to pay that much for unique, unusual looking cat that can sometimes outgrow a medium sized dog! But is it fair to charge that much money for a cat based solely on its looks and its fancy ‘breed’ name? With the amount of money people are paying for these designer animals, I could adopt a huge number of shelter cats, who would otherwise die. In fact, I could probably start my own shelter! Buying a cat based on its looks is incredibly shallow and self centred. A cat is not defined by its coat quality, ear placement, and type, it is defined by its unique individual personality, characteristics and life story. I feel that designer cats, or perhaps I could even risk going as far to say all purebred cats in general, are encouraging people to buy cats based on their physical exterior, rather than their personalities, which is who the cat truly is!
Could I argue that designer and pedigree cats are promoting cats in shelters? Yes, absolutely! I volunteer at a shelter twice a week, and it breaks my heart to come in week after week and see the same cats, patiently waiting to be adopted. What’s worse is that there’s a constant flow of unwanted, neglected or abused cats coming in, this flow is stronger than the flow of healthy adoption cats walking out the door with their new owners. While I play with the shelter cats, and hope that next week I won’t see them because they’re in their new homes, I can’t help but think of all those people who just bought a $5000 wild hybrid because they thought it was the most amazingly unique looking cat they’ve ever seen! I’ve got some advice for these people, spend a few hours at a shelter and get to know all the cats, then maybe you’ll learn that the amazingly unique coat on that wild hybrid, is no match for the amazingly unique, and priceless personality, that comes with a shelter cat!
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a designer cat, adopt from a shelter, shelter cats can be as little as $75! Then maybe you can spend thousands on spoiling your little survivor rotten!