Cats Protection says that 38% of cats acquired in 2022 (or 600,000 cats) were pedigrees such as Ragdolls or a Scottish Folds while 47% (or 750,000 cats) were moggies – a cat produced through non-selective breeding such as a tabby or a ginger. This is the narrowest gap in living memory.
Worryingly, nearly a third of pedigree owners (29%) said they chose their cat because they could get social media likes for them compared to just 5% of moggy cat adopters. 31% of pedigree owners set up a social media profile for their cat compared to just 7% of moggy owners.
Pedigrees can also come with increased risks of health problems, with almost half of pedigree cat owners (47%) reporting their cat later had a diagnosed health issue compared to around a nearly a third of moggy cat owners (29%). Health issues included a respiratory disorder or asthma (10% vs 3%), arthritis (6% vs 2%) and obesity (7% vs 3%).
Behavioural issues were higher too including chewing household cables (13% vs 7%), aggression to family or guests (14% vs 6%) and hiding (18% vs 12%). In all, 39% of pedigree cat owners said their yearly vet bill came to more than £500 each year compared to just 12% of moggy cat owners.
Pedigree owners also forked out more cash for their prized pet. Nearly two thirds (64%) paid a fee of between £101 and £2,000 for their pet compared to one in five (23%) moggy cat owners who paid over £101.
Following these findings, Cats Protection has launched its More Than Just A Moggy campaign to remind people of the positive qualities that moggies bring to a home and provide more details of the risks around adopting a pedigree cat.
“While moggies still make up the majority of cats in UK homes, it is clear that pedigrees are coming more and more in vogue,” says Nicky Trevorrow of Cats Protection’s Behaviour team.
“Breeds such as Persians, Sphynxes and Scottish Folds might be trending, but these cats generally come with a higher price tag and a greater risk of health and welfare problems.
“Moggies overall are less expensive to acquire and care for, and they offer their owners the same love and companionship as pedigrees can. There are thousands of moggies waiting for new homes across our branches and centres and all are vet-checked, microchipped, neutered if old enough and come with four weeks’ free insurance which is a big plus for anyone looking for a new cat. Every penny counts when it comes to caring for felines.”
Further details of More Than Just A Moggy can be found at www.cats.org.uk/morethanjustamoggy