Why do people abandon purebred cats?

by John McKay
(Toronto, Canada)

About 15 years ago I purchased a cat from an an animal shelter in Toronto. We knew nothing about it’s breed.

We later learned he is a relative of the Ragdoll family called a RagaMuffin.

He is the joy of our life, I have never seen an animal so people friendly.

Since this is a rare breed, I was wondering how would he end up in an animal shelter? Did the owners not know anything about the breed? He is orange and white with short stubby legs.


Hi John…. thanks for visiting and raising this interesting question.

I hope you don’t mind me changing the title and adding to your post. I think the title reflects your query.

First, things first. Are you sure that your wonderful cat is a purebred RagaMuffin cat? The only certain way to know is through a pedigree, which as you probably know is a document as to parentage and may include a certificate of some sort. In short there is documentary evidence.

Now, all that said, it seems to me (from running this website) that it is not that uncommon for a purebred cat to end up in a cat shelter.

On the face of it this is strange. People who adopt a purebred cat have usually bought the cat at some expense and they are (or should be) beautiful cats. So why relinquish the cat?

It’s about people…! They do the strangest things and people can be very fickle. I am guessing a bit but suppose the person who adopts a purebred cat has the wrong mindset, the wrong attitude towards cat caretaking.

Suppose the person adopting a beautiful purebred cat likes beautiful furniture in a beautiful house and the cat is an accessory to all that..

Suppose they have misguided expectations and as a consequence are disappointed because caring for a cat bring tons of rewards for the human but it also brings some work! Perhaps these people don’t want to do the little jobs that good cat caretaking entails; litter duty being the most obvious.

There is one story that comes to mind instantly and you may well have seen it already on this site. It is the classic case of the abandoned purebred cat, also a RagaMuffin and the journey to finding a loving caretaker:

The RagaMuffin and the Princess

This is the star of the story:

Café Mocha Valencia

The cat in the story is one of the most beautiful that I have seen, a champion cat, a cat show stunner. Perhaps the answer as to why purebred cats are abandoned is in this story.

Best Regards

P.S. If you have a photo please upload it using the same form and I will add it to this page.

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Why do people abandon purebred cats? to RagaMuffin Cat

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Why do people abandon purebred cats?

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Dec 13, 2010
Another case of – uh – baby love.
by: Susan Bearder

My 82 year old mother having lost her very old burmese brother and sister cats to old age (Cat in the Box) thought that would have to be the end of it for her iro cats in the home. However another cat loving friend suggested she adopted an older cat and took her to a local shelter where there were a number of candidates. I am amazed to say that she now has two 6 year old tabbie sisters – very large – called Jasmine and Jade. They are all learning to get on with each other and because of the weather they haven’t yet been out. The reason they were up for adoption? The previous owners are having a baby….. photos will follow…..

Sep 13, 2010
thrown out cats
by: kathy

We had a problem in our area at one time with people letting their Bengals go. We all know they can be demanding cats. They also like to climb on everything. Not that they cant be trained. My neighbor I had at one time let her Spangled cat go because they felt it could survive on mice and whatever else it could catch. I am a firm beleiver in the keeping my cat indoors unless Im with it or on a leash.

Sep 12, 2010
A couple more ideas
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Besides what has already been said, I have a couple more suggestions:

First of all it seems as if many shelters have a habbit of labeling mixed bred cats as belonging to particular breeds. Unless the cats have papers to prove their purebred origin, this is of course misleading towards the adopters. It doesn’t have to be fraud, maybe it’s just done for convenience reasons – or snobbishness…

Also let’s not forget that people tend to die before they expect to and often has not made provisions for their cats. Many elderly people have cats and many lonely people too. In some cases the cats may actually have become their surrogate family and friends. And some of these cats will of course be purebred.

Finn Frode avatar

Sep 11, 2010
by: Ruth

Yes it happens many times with purebred cats as well as ordinary cats (although to me no cat is ordinary, each and every one is special, unique and beautiful)
The cat is the baby until the ‘real baby’ comes along,then suddenly the cat is out in the cold.
Very sad.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 11, 2010
My guess
by: Susie Bearder

is baby replacement. Purebreds can often be part of a certain degree of company replacement or status. Not necessarily thought through that a pure bred can be a lot more demanding than a moggie. If baby comes along then it is possible to find imaginitive reasons for, uh, rehoming

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