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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had lots of people on recently (it seems to me) asking about what cat breed they have and what their cat might be.

I am not trying to be witchy or offensive, I truly want to know... why does it matter? Does it matter to you if your cat is 1/2 or 1/4 Selkurkinan Smooshterhoffen Cat (Insert breed of choice)? To me that's akin to walking down the street and saying "Native American, Irish, Italian, Welsh, North African, South African... " etc as you pass people. Will you love your cat less if it doesn't have some exotic wild rare cat breed in it? We've had people who seem DESPERATE to find some exotic name to put on their cat.

I would say, from what I've learned on CF, that probably 95% of cats found/adopted are moggies/muts/mixes and unless your cat came from a breeder then it's a Domestic short/medium/long hair.
 

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Maybe part of it is a curiosity about their kits, to find explanations for certain traits, kinda like looking up your family tree?

I was horrified when I was advised to keep the Norwegians as indoor cats, just because they're purebred and would be expensive. They have four legs and pointy ears - the same as any other cat. They're not possessions, they're... Family. I live in a safe neighbourhood with no traffic and no predators, so they go out - like every other cat I've ever owned. They're treated no differently to all the moggies Ive ever owned.
 

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Two reasons I can think about people asking the "breed question":

1. A large propotion of dogs are of a specific breed, and you can tell which breed by just looking at them. Most people are not familiar with cat breeds, so they would assume cats are similar to dogs and, thus, most cats must be of certain breeds.

2. For many breeds, there are breed-related health problems. So if you know what breed is your cat (if he/she is of a certain breed/mix), then you can pay special attention to these problems.

And also it's like a fun fact. Just like people talking about their Irish/German/Russia, or whatever heritage they have in their bloodline.

Of course there are people who just want to brag about their cat. "Hey! My cat is a XXX! Very rare isn't it?" All I can comment on that is... Stop being so shallow...
 

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I've asked on here what my kittens were. More for an explanation of their markings than breed.
I love them all the same but though it would be cool to know what their markings are called.

I may be quite ignorant when it comes to cat breeds, if I'm honest, all I knew of (before joining here) were Persian and Siamese.

I don't care what my cats are, they are my kitties and I love them no matter what! The little moggies :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I can understand asking about markings. That is a basic description of your cat. We use colors and markings as a basic description. "Yes, mine is the black and white tuxedo over there." or "I have a black cat." Just as we would say "My wife is the blond over there."
 

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Well, I can understand asking about markings. That is a basic description of your cat. We use colors and markings as a basic description. "Yes, mine is the black and white tuxedo over there." or "I have a black cat." Just as we would say "My wife is the blond over there."
My cat is the grey one with 3 less teeth than she had 2 weeks ago. I've never had anything but mixed breed cats... never cared. It's all about personality and fit for me... I don't care if they are the silliest looking, funniest looking (to others) cat out there... it's all about the connection!
 

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I think it comes down to people just liking the idea of having something exotic and not being educated on cat breeds. They don't realise that cats aren't like dogs, where if a dog looks related to a certain breed it could very likely have that in its history... so there's tons of people that think black cats have a Bombay in them, or spotted cats are related to the Bengal, or gray cats are a Russian Blue, and most notably, people that that think color pointed cats automatically are "Siamese".

Not much you can do about it. I don't think it's any horrible fault on the owners, it's just that not everyone spends the time to understand the finer points of cat coat colors and other various genetic factors and cat breed histories; or lack of histories in domestic short/medium/long haired cases.
 

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Maybe part of it is a curiosity about their kits, to find explanations for certain traits, kinda like looking up your family tree?

I was horrified when I was advised to keep the Norwegians as indoor cats, just because they're purebred and would be expensive. They have four legs and pointy ears - the same as any other cat. They're not possessions, they're... Family. I live in a safe neighbourhood with no traffic and no predators, so they go out - like every other cat I've ever owned. They're treated no differently to all the moggies Ive ever owned.
Not mine! :crazy
 

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Probably a variety of different reasons depending on the person. For some I'm sure it's the hope that they might have some "exotic" or "rare" breed, or at least the desire for other people to think that they do. I guess they see it as some kind of badge of honor or cool thing. I see it with dogs a lot too...people with a normal husky/german shepherd/spitz mix proudly insisting their dog is "part wolf."

But for others I think it's just curiosity, fun speculation, and/or looking for useful information. Certain breed-specific traits can be more obviously linked to having a particular breed somewhere in their heritage (the pointed gene, for example, is recessive so my understanding is that means there's a pretty good chance a pointed cat has some oriental breed somewhere in their background, and it's probably a safe bet that a very large cat with a long fluffy coat that looks like a norwegian forest cat probably is part norwegian forest cat at least).

In my case some of it is fun curiosity. I've always been interested in genetics so I like trying to figure out what genetic combinations could have produced my cats. But it's also been terribly useful because both my cats have had both oriental-breed-specific health issues, and behavior typical of an oriental breed. Having a guess about some of their heritage helps me understand them better I think. Knowing digestive issues are common in siamese cats helped steered me in the direction of changing Athena's diet to solve her health problems rather than trying endless courses of guesswork medications when she turned up negative for parasites. Talking to people with purebred siamese (or similar behavior breeds) and siamese mixes has helped me manage Apollo's behavior issues and figure out how specifically to deal with both their odd behavior quirks. As anyone with similar cats knows, cats with this style of energy and level of social desire can be challenging and it's been pretty comforting watching videos about siamese cats and learning, "Oh, okay, this is normal behavior for a cat of their likely heritage and there are specific ways I can deal with it."

It's very obvious my cats aren't purebreds. They certainly don't look it, and it doesn't actually matter to me whether they have any siamese heritage at all or if it's 50 generations back or whatever. I didn't even know I liked the behavior traits of that breed until I ended up with cats with very siamese personalities along with their pointed genes so i certainly wasn't searching for an obvious siamese mix. But between their behavior, health, and appearance I feel safe assuming there is probably some siamese or other high-energy, pointed, oriental breed in each of their backgrounds somewhere and I feel like that does help me understand that part of them better.
 

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Ahh, I have to say- I HATE this too. I never click on posts that say 'what breed is my cat?'... If you have to ask, then your cat isn't a breed. Most cats are moggies, and moggies are wonderful! Just be happy to have a healthy, happy cat!

I know I have two Ragdolls, but I'm most definitely not a purebred snob. I have a moggy too, a black and white cat, but she lives with my parents. I have to say, she has been much healthier and easy to care for than the Troublesome Twosome over here. The only reason we got Ragdolls is because I love big, fluffy cats and always just wanted a Ragdoll, as odd as that sounds. And you can't just have one... You know! :p

I do keep mine indoor only though. Mainly as they were adult cats (16 months and 2 years) when we got them, and had never been outdoors. But also because they have absolutely no road sense (etc) and would most definitely get stolen or hurt as they are too trusting.
 

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If you have to ask, then your cat isn't a breed.
Very true. questions on colours are a bit different.

All mine are indoors and not because they are pedigree, but because that's how I believe all cats should be unless in an enclosure or harness & lead. Most breeder contracts state the kitten/cat must be kept indoor too or in an enclosure/harness.
 

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I'm sure most of the time it is just for fun. I actually think we do a disservice to people by saying a "cat is just a cat". There is often an attitude that cat breeds don't matter and you can just go and pick out whatever cute kitten you see. There are some personality differences between breeds that people should be aware of. While it isn't as drastic as that between dogs, a person wanting a quiet companion would be unhappy with a Siamese, or similarly vocal breed. Others couldn't handle the activity level and independence of a Bengal.

I think it best that there be some breed awareness before buying or adopting a particular cat.
 

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I'm sure most of the time it is just for fun. I actually think we do a disservice to people by saying a "cat is just a cat". There is often an attitude that cat breeds don't matter and you can just go and pick out whatever cute kitten you see. There are some personality differences between breeds that people should be aware of. While it isn't as drastic as that between dogs, a person wanting a quiet companion would be unhappy with a Siamese, or similarly vocal breed. Others couldn't handle the activity level and independence of a Bengal.

I think it best that there be some breed awareness before buying or adopting a particular cat.
Agreed.
Plus, it's just kind of fun trying to figure out what genes may have played into the adorable little furball that is your kitty.

I foster cats and when I post them on Petfinder I need to pick a breed or two. There is no doubt, you get more hits if you mention a breed other than DSH/DMH/DLH- even if it is a mix. Right now I have a delightful 6 month old Snowshoe Mix kitty for adoption. Yes- she is a moggie- but has so many snowshoe characteristics I've labeled her a snowshoe mix to try and find her a home. People that love the look or personality of the snowshoe will search under that heading first.
 

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People are curious about what kind of predisposition their cats have and it is quite true that specific breeds of cats do have a tendency toward specific behaviors. It is harmless curiosity and also somewhat a point of pride in their individual babies.

For example, my Tux Cat has a Siamese tubular body and Siamese active, curious, into everything attitude while also having the black body with white under parts of a bicolor visual look. Her sister, Velcro, is a blue and tan tortie with the long wispy hair of an Angora/Persian and with the cobby body of a Persian as well. These two cats are from the exact same litter and were the rescues my BFF and I rehabbed three and a half years ago.

I find it a harmless curiosity of cat owners who are trying to understand their cats better.
 

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Maybe part of it is a curiosity about their kits, to find explanations for certain traits, kinda like looking up your family tree?

I was horrified when I was advised to keep the Norwegians as indoor cats, just because they're purebred and would be expensive. They have four legs and pointy ears - the same as any other cat. They're not possessions, they're... Family. I live in a safe neighbourhood with no traffic and no predators, so they go out - like every other cat I've ever owned. They're treated no differently to all the moggies Ive ever owned.
Yeah, I hate having to keep Arwen indoors 100% of the time, but we have coyotes close by. I'd rather not her wind up a snack for one of them! All of our babies are indoors only for the same reason. And none of them(except Arwen) are purebred anything. Frodo is the closest as 1/2 maine ****. But still...I'm sure they would love to go outside every so often.
 
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