What do you call a cat that is mixed breed?

The phrase “mixed breed” is misleading because it implies that the cat referred to is the result of a mating between two cats of different breeds. This is incorrect because we are in fact referring to random bred cats, which is a better description.

Draco a glamorous moggie cat
A superb show moggy! Photo copyright Helmi Flick. This is a tabby. It is possible to show moggies at cat shows.
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‘Random bred cat’ implies a cat who is the offspring of a mating between two cats of no breed i.e. random bred feline parents. The offspring is obviously a random bred cat. The breeding is randomised because it is without human intervention or without being controlled by a human cat breeder who selects the cats that are to breed. When a cat is random bred they are described as a moggie which can also be spelled ‘moggy’. The latter is the favoured spelling I believe.

So in answer to the question in the title, you call a mixed breed cat a moggy or the more polite “random bred cat”.

Random bred (free living) tabby cat.
Random bred (free living) tabby cat.

Random bred cats can be show cats and many are. They are not purebred, pedigree show cats but random bred show cats and sometimes equally glamorous and why not? There are some beautiful random bred cats such as the cat below, photographed by a professional cat photographer at a cat show in America.

Calico random bred with no tail. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick

It is a subtle point but sometimes random bred cats are nearer the true orginal of a cat from a cat breed than a purebred cat. For example the Turkish Angora in Turkey today is more accurately a Turkish Angora than the selectively bred ones in America because their genetic makeup is more closely aligned to the origin Turkish Angora. They are the real Turkish Angoras and they are Turkish street cat moggies. See the cat below, a real Turkish Angora.

A real Turkish Angora
A real Turkish Angora. A street cat in Turkey.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

1 thought on “What do you call a cat that is mixed breed?”

  1. We just call a cat as described in the story as a tabby cat. The term ‘mixed breed’ is still used in some software that shelters use. Shelter software doesn’t allow free typing; it’s either purebred or mixed and one must be chosen in order to continue the input.

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