What is a pedigreed cat?

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A pedigreed cat is a cat with a written pedigree (family tree) of registered cats that are recognized by at least one of the cat associations. There are about 50 breeds but some are only known in some associations. Some are variations of breeds. A Manx with long hair may be a division of Manx in one association and a Cymric in another. In some associations, Siamese are known in many colors. In another association, there are only four colors recognizable with another “breed” called Colorpoint Shorthairs to take care of the other colors. Also be careful of names that sound alike: “domestic shorthair” is the name given to mixed-breed short-haired cats, what some people call “mutt cats.” American Shorthair, on the other hand, is a breed of pedigreed cat.

It is important not to confuse the word pedigree for purebred. A pedigree means that the cat has a written genealogical paper trail behind it, it is part of a breed. It is registered. The word “purebred” is rarely used in the cat fancy. It implies that the cat’s lines are exclusively from one breed. Many breeds have allowed for outcrosses to other breeds over the years. It could have been to introduce a new color, a new pattern, or for the vitality of the breed. All registered cats are pedigreed.

It is also important to realize that most cat breeds come in many colors. Please do not confuse color with breed. You may have a calico domestic shorthair, American Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, Manx, Persian, etc. Cat fanciers call colors by strange words.

Cats are unlike dogs in the sense that the personality traits usually have more to do with the build of the cat rather than the breed. For instance, the svelte build is generally more rambunctious than the cobby build. A Siamese rarely sits still. They may nap for long periods in the sun. They may sleep with you at night, but when they are awake, they are awake! Running, jumping, playing, retrieving, exploring and of course helping you with the dishes, reading the newspaper, and making the bed. A Persian will also sleep for many hours during the day but will probably rest for much of the remainder of the day. Even when they are active, they will probably not jump or climb as high as a Siamese.

A pedigree cat is bred to be domestic and to remain indoors – for life! They are not taught how to hunt or to take care of themselves. What looks like hunting to us is just play to them. Everything is done for them. They groom themselves, use the litter box and are our faithful companions. It is not fair to ask more from them.