Household Pets

A moggy is an English name often given to a cat which is not of pure-bred stock and has no recognised pedigree. In contrast, a cross-bred cat is the result of matings between two different breeds of pure-bred cats, or a pure-bred and a moggy, while a hybrid, such as the Bengal, is the result of mating which took place originally between a domestic cat and a wild cat.

Some of today’s most popular breeds such as the British shorthair are descended from ordinary street cats, with this process still continuing today. Other more recent breeds developed in this way include the Singapura, characterised by its small size. Its origins lie with a group of moggies found on the streets of Singapore in the mid-1970s. Another breed, less well-known at present, but being developed from a similar Asiatic background, is the wild Abyssinian. It is a ticked tabby, like the Abyssinian itself, but retains distinctive solid tabby barring on the legs and elsewhere on the body.

By choosing a moggy, you can be certain of having a truly individual cat. Moggies can occur in basically any colour, but some varieties are more often seen than others. Tabby markings and white blotches are common. Such cats are very rarely pure-coloured, or “self” to use the show terminology. As a result, breeders have often sought to remove traces of white in their pedigree counterparts, with the aim of creating pure-coloured varieties such as the British blue shorthair.

Certain colours which are a feature of pure-bred cats today, such as lilac and chocolate, are unlikely to be encountered in moggies. This is because these colours have been introduced to pure-bred bloodlines by crosses involving breeds from south-east Asia. These are not normally seen in Europe’s native domestic cat population.

Most moggies have a fairly rounded face and stocky body, lacking the more extreme features associated with pure-breds, such as the flattened face of the Persian and the lithe, angular outline of the Siamese. They can be bred in both long and short-haired forms, although the latter are more common. Longhaired moggies rarely have coats that are as profuse as those of their pure-bred counterparts, but they still need more grooming than short-coated individuals.

Such cats are usually very friendly, especially if obtained as kittens, and settle well as household pets. Hardy by nature, moggies are also long-lived, but toms in particular will tend to stray and fight as they mature, so they should be neutered between 6-12 months of age. Females too should be neutered earlier, between 4-6 months, to prevent unwanted pregnancies.