Categories: buying cats

Why should I buy a pedigree cat?

The glib answer is that you shouldn’t buy a pedigree cat. This is because there are many superb random bred cats available and they are cheap or free on adoption. And they are more robust because their gene pool is vast compared to the narrow gene pools of many pedigree cats.

However, keeping a perfectly evenhanded approach to the question in the title, there are some reasons why a person should (‘could’ is better) buy a pedigree cat. You can tell a cat is purebred. They stand out. They are bred to specific criteria and it shows. For example, if you like large cats you can buy a Maine Coon as breeders breed them large. Conversely you can select a small cat like the Singapura, or short legged cats from the dwarf cat stable. There are many dwarf cat breeds.

There are over 100 cat breeds but only about half are mainstream. They are bred to specific colors and patterns etc.. So if you have a specific appearance in mind you should be able to find a breeder who can supply that look.

Also it is said that pedigree cats are more likely than random bred cats to get along with people because character traits are bred into the cat. Although specific character traits per breed are exaggerated the breeds often do have noticeable character traits. This is selective breeding.

If you want a noisy, loyal cat and like sleek, slender lines with a hint of the Orient, then a Siamese or a cat of the Siamese family would suit. If you’d like a smart, highly interactive demanding cat with an exotic presence and have the money, then the F1 Savannah would suit. To select that breed, you’ll like wild cats and you’ll have the space and time to do a decent job.

The point I am making is that you can buy what you specifically like if you have specific requirements. As pedigree cats are rarer than moggies you’ll also have a rarer cat. Some people like that. It makes them feel different.

Indeed some pedigree cats are very rare. They are prized and coveted by others. They are status symbols. Beware thieves! If these are serious considerations then a pedigree cat is probably for you.

You’ll have to spend much more money if you want to buy a pedigree cat. Prices vary a lot depending on the excellence of the cat per the breed standard: anything from £300 to £20,000. You’ll also have to go in search of what rocks your boat whereas random bred cats are everywhere. They come to you are often free. Shelter cats have a price but that is to cover overheads.

I have given some reasons why you should buy a pedigree cat. The true is that the vast majority of people don’t have a specific ‘look’ in mind. They are searching for a nice cat companion and are open to suggestions. That being the case there is little advantage to buying a pedigree cat.

Random bred cats have an infinite variety of coat types and colors. But with moggies, you don’t get the sort of differences in cat anatomy that exists amongst the cat breeds. Cat breeds are nearly always distinct from each other whereas random bred cats are less distinct.

The health of a cat is massively important to cat owners. It is bound to be because there is a lot of heartache and expenditure in cat ill-health. This simple fact supports buying a random bred cat over a purebred.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • I bought 2 pedigree Birman cats, I did my research, I liked how they looked and I liked the breed temperament, I like to know in advance what I am letting myself in for as much as possible, I never regretted it for 1 second, they grew up as expected and had wonderful temperaments as expected, I don't mind paying for that sort of quality, that is why people buy pedigree cats.

    • Alan, thanks for your response. I'm curious about your Birmans health, and if they had any issues. It
      seems that so many pedigree cats and dogs have more inherited health problems.

      They are beautiful cats. People who buy certain breeds for temperament, as I did with my dog, still have genetic issues that crop up. As with the German Shepherd hip problems.

      Persians have great temperaments, but many have breathing problems, like the pug dogs and others.

      There was a Savanna (not spelled right)that used to come begging for food, and the meow was horrible! A beautiful pedigree cat, with a disturbing sound.

      There are many pedigree shelters in the US to consider if someone insists on that. But I understand the desire to raise from a kitten, so you know the background.

      • No health problems at all, they are pretty big and strong cats. They were house cats and so kept out of danger pretty much and didn't have the opportunities to catch any illnesses from outside. Their incredible friendliness made me realize I was a closet cat lover all these years and didn't know it. When you look at this picture you see a pretty cat, I see 10 years of happiness memories and friendship.

    • Alan you are a good example of sensible pedigree cat buying. There are advantages but then again there are also advantages in buying/adopting a random bred. It is swings and roundabouts.

  • I think that pedigree cats tend to have more health problems, just like pedigree dogs.

    I also think that sometimes choosing a pedigree animal may have to do with ego or status. Money can be made from breeding and showing.

    I remember before I selected a dog, I read about various breeds, although having "papers" wasn't important, it was more the temperment I was looking at. I had two small children, and wanted a gentle, protective, medium size dog. I didn't want a high strung dog around my kids.

    I was a bit afraid to adopt a shelter dog, not knowing enough about their past. A cat would be a different thing, and over the years I got cats from shelters, or they found me.

    I decided on the German Shepherd, and we found a nearby breeder, and selected the "runt". This dog proved to be gentle and loyal. She never snapped at or bit any of the visiting children or anyone.
    But she seemed more attentive if there was a strange man in the house, which I appreciated.

    We had a large yard, and spent time with her. She slept in the kitchen, and didn't come into the rest of the house unless invited. I had seen my share of dogs ruling the house, and I didn't want that.

    We tried to mate her with a German Shepherd, but she only had eyes for the mixed breed that roamed the neighborhood. He may have been part shepherd, and was a sweet, handsome, medium size dog.

    She had 4 pups, and the "father" came to visit. She was fine with this, and seemed to trust him.
    The pups looked like German Shepherds, and they all went to good homes.

    I look forward to the answers from people who buy
    pedigree cats, and their reasons, if they can be honest with themselves and us.

    • Nice comment Sandra. It is nice to read about dogs to be honest ;). Makes a change. I don't think we will get many comments because most PoC regulars (that are still around) don't really like the idea of purchasing a pedigree cat or dog. They see it as unethical. I can understand that but there is a place for pedigree cats provided breeding is carried out ethically and provided that efforts are made to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the world. This is happening in the USA but very slowly. There is still too much killing going on at shelters.

  • After Sophie died I hoped to find a similar moggie in terms of build and coat length. I like large, longhaired cats and did consider re-homing an adult Ragdoll. However, most Ragdolls seem to be re-homed as pairs or need to be the only cat in the home. As I already have two cats I had to dismiss that idea.

    I could have bought a Ragdoll kitten, but my conscience wouldn't let me. I kept thinking of all the abandoned adult cats in need of homes. I've ended up adopting a petite 3 year old, longhaired, ginger female from a rescue.

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