Pedigree or Moggie? – They All Deserve Forever Loving Homes

Tabby Oriental SH
Oriental Shorthair. Photo Credit: Flickr User: DurhamDundee
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

My husband Marty and I still grieve over the recent loss of our beloved Oriental Shorthair kitty, Dr Hush Puppy. His brother, Sir Hubble Pinkerton is very lonely and is missing feline companionship.

Although Dr Hush Puppy will be forever missed, with only one remaining kitty, the house feels empty and is much too quiet. We are feeling ready to begin our search for either two Oriental Shorthairs, Siamese or Rex kittens as loving companions for Sir Hubble and who will also help fill the empty holes in our hearts.

We spend a lot of time with Sir Hubble, playing with him and showering him with love and affection. But it’s truly impossible to be constantly with him. He gets extremely clingy and anxious when we have to leave home.

A couple of weeks ago, on my Facebook page I shared our interest in finding two pedigreed kittens. Some friends were truly supportive of this quest. But as I read through several opposing comments, I was upset by what felt to me to be a form of reversed snobbery toward pedigreed cats in general. Since I am passionate about certain breeds, I immediately felt guilty and became defensive about my love for purebred cats.

Modern Siamese. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.
Modern Siamese. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

I truly admire people who are involved in rescue and who do so much for needy kitties. However there are folks who often mistakenly blame those who choose to have specific breeds of pedigreed cats to be responsible for the cats that end up in shelters. We who choose pedigreed cats seem to get blamed for causing the “killing” of cats in shelters.

In fact one of the top reasons for the huge number of kitties ending up in shelters are the people who neglect or refuse to have their cats neutered or spayed. They thoughtlessly allow their cats to roam freely outdoors with no supervision. There would be far fewer cats in shelters if those owners acted responsibly to prevent the birth of so many unwanted kittens.

I love all cats and I think they are all beautiful. But since I am greatly drawn to the look and temperament of certain breeds, call me a snob if you wish. However, I only purchase or adopt kittens from reputable breeders; the ones who are breeding cats with the goal of improving their lines and breeding all-round healthy and well-tempered kitten.

They place specific contracts on their animals, guarantee the health of their stock and remain available to their clients. Additionally, responsible, reputable breeders will only use a small, select number of cats in their breeding programs, because these are the cats who have the attributes that reputable breeders wish to maintain.

The kittens not chosen for future use in their breeding programs will have the same personalities and similar appearance. But they also need loving homes in which they will be cherished and well cared for. That’s how we were greatly blessed to get Dr. Hush Puppy and Sir Hubble Pinkerton.

Cornish Rex
The cat above is a Cornish Rex called Dax. Photo by Kattenpraat.

It’s the kitten-mills and the clueless backyard breeders only interested in making a quick buck who add to the rescue population. Their greed deprives the cats already in shelters who need homes; it’s not the reputable pedigree/registered breeders. What’s more, if there were no longer any reputable breeders who are responsibly breeding these cats, then these magnificent breeds would quickly become extinct. That would indeed be a shame.

Some people suggested that we should look into a breed rescue agency instead of buying a purebred kitten. At first glance this may seem like a reasonable win-win opportunity. However, in many cases it’s impossible to obtain the background and health history of these kitties, or to be able to contact the breeder for more information which concerns me. Additionally, there are some “breed adoption” agencies that adopt out “lookalikes”, but are not truly legitimate breeds.

I know that I sound defensive and have strong feelings in reaction to some people’s opinion concerning our decision to get two pedigreed kittens rather than adopting from a shelter. But we have always basically “adopted” pedigreed kittens; those who could not be sold due to their various “flaws.” But these precious kittens also needed forever loving homes where they are considered as the most beautiful “Best Cats” and are cherished and doted upon for as long as they live.

Is there really such a big difference in bringing a pedigreed kitty or a “moggie” into our homes and hearts? Isn’t it more important that all cats – no matter what type they are- all deserve loving homes? Share your opinion in a comment.

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13 thoughts on “Pedigree or Moggie? – They All Deserve Forever Loving Homes”

  1. Over the course of my life, most of the cats I’ve adopted were kittens born in a home I knew or learned of. Up until I got a Ragamuffin cat from a woman who had bought him from a highly reputable breeder, but learned that her work schedule didn’t allow her to give Baby the kind of attention this breed needs. I got a great deal, Baby got a new home with full-time people, and the lady knew she’d found him a better home.

    I’ve since gotten another purebred Muffin from the same cattery, a gift after the breeder passed away.

    Truth be told, if I ever adopt another cat this lifetime (unlikely), it’ll be another Ragamuffin or a Ragdoll. I’ve fallen in love with the breed. So I understand how you feel, Jo. My current household has a clowder of 5: my Muffin, Buster, 17-year-old rescue Rao, and 3 beautiful Moggies, Eleanor Rugby, Fluffernutter, and Espur. I’ve done my share.

  2. I think that you should get what your heart tells you to get, and what fills your needs and the cats needs as well. As you know we have eight dogs and three horses. All but one of our dogs are rescues. One of our horses is also a rescue. They have worked out very well for us, but everyone has their own particular place in their heart for something that suits them.
    make the decision that fits your needs, not what matters to anyone else.

  3. Yes, there really is a difference. Pedigree breeders, regardless of how responsible or reputable, are still, nonetheless, bringing new cats into a world already heavily overpopulated by cats. Furthermore, they (and those who adopt from them), have decided that some cats are more desirable–regardless of how ‘good’ the reasoning may be.

    And you’re right, those who mindlessly let their cats wander without spaying and neutering them; and those kitten farms are greatly to blame.

    However, at the end of the day, those ignorant mindless folks, and those responsible, reputable cat breeders, are all achieving the same thing: adding to an already overpopulated cat world. The only difference is, the mindless folk, either because of true ignorance or because of blatant stupidity, either don’t know better or just don’t care. Of course those “don’t care” ones—well I’ll leave out what I really think of them.

    But the cat breeders–the ones you speak of–DO know, and claim to love cats–all cats…but in reality, especially those with certain traits…and really…even at the cost of adding even more lives to an already overpopulated world.

    The difference: one side doesn’t know better/doesn’t care. The other side knows better/cares. What does this come down to? Snobbery? –At best. Hypocrisy is more like it.

    Case in point: if you truly love animals, you love them as they are. You don’t play God and decide whose/what’s better/more desirable and thereby ensure clean blood lines. If you truly love all animals, you know that already, in their truest forms as the are, are as pure as they can be.

    1. I share your sentiments.

      It always puzzles me that the majority of people who prefer pedigrees, almost always want kittens. They rarely seem consider the idea of buying retired breeding cats or adopting from one of the many rescues which specialise in re-homing adult pedigree cats.

      Much as I admire the beauty of some of the breeds, I couldn’t (in all good conscience) pay a large amount of money for a specific look, when I can offer a home to any one of the stray cats in my neighbourhood or local rescue?

      Each to their own, but so long as there are moggies living rough, I’ll be inviting them to move in with me.

      1. Michele S,

        I would love to find a retired kitty. In fact many years ago we were trying to adopt a really lovely Oriental Shorthair spay and when we visited the breeder Dr. Hush Puppy jumped onto my head, wrapped his paws around my neck and purred like crazy. HE picked me- and I fell in love with him on the spot. We adopted him and the white Oriental spay named Izzy.

        Very sadly however, no matter what we did, the little girl couldn’t warm up to us. She hid under the sofa for six weeks, not coming out except to eat and use the litter box. Dr. Hush Puppy was her only companion- and we were very sad that she did not respond to us at all.

        The breeder finally decided that Izzy was so strongly bonded to her that she agreed to give us Sir Hubble Pinkerton in exchange for Izzy. She took Izzy home and kept her as a pet in her home for the rest of her life. We were thrilled with Sir Hubble and we don’t regret these adoptions- Sir Hubble and Dr. Hush Puppy at all. Hubble is the love of my life (cat wise) and he makes my life so much richer.

        So we would be thrilled to find a retired show cat or breeder– make no mistake – I would be overjoyed.

        1. Jo: It’s a shame it didn’t work out with Izzy, but at least you gave her a chance to see if she would settle. I understand the importance of finding the most compatible fit for Sir Hubble, especially at such a sensitive time in all of your lives.

          After Sophie died, I seriously considered adopting an adult Ragdoll and researched a number of re-homing groups. However in the majority of cases they needed to be an only-cat or came in pairs. Neither of which was a viable option as I already have 2 cats and could only offer a home to 1 more.

          I was prepared to wait for the ‘right’ Ragdoll to become available, but then I was informed of 2 moggies taken in by a local rescue. They’d been abandoned (in a terrible state) in a flat by their previous owners. One of them had already been re-homed, but the other was still in foster care. Only knowing the cat was a 3 year old, ginger female and sociable with other cats, I agreed to take her sight unseen on a trial basis. I’m delighted to say she’s been the perfect addition to my little cat family. She’s confident (but not pushy) which was a great relief for myself and Charley, whom Sophie used to bully when she was alive 🙁

          Although only 10% of U.K. cats are pedigrees, we have a number of rescues here specialising in breeds. My friend has a lovely Devon rex (retired stud cat) and a work colleague has adopted several Bengals through another rescue. All of the cats came with their pedigree paperwork too.

          My reasoning for not buying a pedigree kitten is that people will always want them, but sadly that’s not true for moggies in rescues, especially adults. It breaks my heart to hear of cats continually being overlooked simply for being older or less “pretty” than others.

          I do however respect that everyone has their own reasons for making their choices and understand that not everyone will share my opinions.

    2. Your argument is flawed, “If you truly love all animals, you know that already, in their truest forms as the are, are as pure as they can be”, why do you think animals go extinct? They have flaws, if they don’t change when there is a need they die out. I like Birman cats and have had two for 15 years, only vet checkups, don’t tell me moggies are healthier, the flawed ones are dead already. The world would be a sadder and less beautiful place without Pedigree cats and if we all paid a decent price for our cats they wouldn’t be roaming the streets breeding like crazy. If you truly love animals you wouldn’t keep a cat or any animal at all, you would leave it in it’s natural habitat. It’s your need they fulfill not theirs.

      1. “if we all paid a decent price for our cats they wouldn’t be roaming the streets breeding like crazy”.

        Personally I don’t equate the price tag some humans place on a cat’s looks, with the quality of care another person will provide that animal with.

        If a higher purchase price were the guarantee of a good life, how do pedigrees end up being used by backstreet breeders or get surrendered to rescues for re-homing, becoming victims of abuse?

        There are responsible, caring owners and sadly some truly terrible ones, but that’s down to the human and not the cat, it’s looks or how much it cost.

  4. I don’t share the dominant culture’s passion for telling others what to do and “shaming” them if they don’t (as long as they are not hurting anyone!); but, that said, I am very passionate about cats, and believe those who truly love cats love ALL cats, so while one cat is homeless and in need, that cat should be adopted first of all. Of course we all have our own preferences — mine is, aesthetically, for black cats — but I would strongly encourage anyone wishing to adopt to visit their local shelter, ACC, sanctuary or rescue.

  5. Sandra Murphey, No. CA, USA

    We have to follow our hearts and minds when seeking a new cat or kittens. I think most people are led only by emotion, which is understandable.

    Knowing that pedigree breeds can carry genetic health issues is a consideration, but if that’s not a concern, and the funds are available to treat those things, then adopters make choices based on this knowledge, and past experience.

    Years ago I heard a Siamese cry, and decided I’d never adopt one. Then I heard a Savanna’s (or Bengal) cry, and added that to my “Do not adopt” list.
    Normally my preference would not be too adopt a semi-feral who’d lived on the street for the first year of her life. My best experience has been to adopt kittens, so I have more control over their lives from early on.

    At this stage of my life, having a kitten isn’t wise.
    I adopted 1 yr old Mitzy purely based on emotion, to save her from being euthanized as “unadoptable”.

    She’s a beautiful, but a wildly independent feline that I’ve grown to love, as I have many before her. She will be my last cat, for practical reasons of difficulty in finding housing with a cat. Most all rentals say “no pets”. This, unfortunately adds to the numbers of animals in shelters.

    1. I am extremely sad to read your post, and hope that you will reconsider, as many communities DO have lots of rentals for cats and their families. Very recently, statistics have been compiled on just that subject; I do not have the link but encourage you to search it and read it. Wishing you and your beloved cat all the very best!

        1. IDK about that, Michael; if you knew me you might think differently! But one thing is indisputable: I DO love and care very much about cats.

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