Have you ever heard the term “Moggy cat”? While the word might not be as familiar to Americans, in the United Kingdom, mixed breed or non-pedigree cats are often described informally as Moggy cats. It is believed that the word comes from “mongrel,” or perhaps “Margaret,” or “Maggie,” names that commonly were used to describe an unkempt old woman.
Moggy cats, then, are the felines that the majority of us have taken in as parts of our families. Moggy cats come in all shapes, colors, sizes and patterns. They are much less expensive than pedigree breed or purebred cats, and often, are much less easy to home. Here, we will discuss the characteristics and benefits of having a Moggy cat.
History of the Moggy Cat
The Moggy cat is a domesticated cat of mixed breed, descended from the African wildcat. We humans started domesticating cats when we began farming, about 10,000 years ago. Mutations occurred, as some cats living in colder climates developed longer, thicker coats, and some cats residing in warmer climates became hairless.
Some breeds of cats today are the result of spontaneous mutations (such as the Scottish Fold, the Sphynx, the Devon Rex, and the Cornish Rex). Others are man made (such as the Australian Mist, the Havana, and the Ocicat).
Experts say that if humans stopped breeding cats selectively, cats would eventually revert to their wild type, a short-haired cat with a tabby pattern. Today, Moggies may be used in breeding programs to introduce a specific desired trait or to increase the genetic pool.
Because Moggies are not derived from one particular breed of cat, sometimes their temperament can be unpredictable. As they have such a wide gene pool, two kittens from the same Moggy litter can have completely different personalities and temperaments. You won’t always know what you’re getting when you choose a Moggy cat, so prepare for, and enjoy, the unexpected!
Types of Moggy Cats
Although the short-haired gene is dominant among Moggies, they do come in long-haired varieties as well. Short-haired moggies are lower maintenance, requiring less grooming. Breeds within the short-haired Moggy group include Manx, Burmese, Bengal, British Shorthair, and Savannah.
Long-haired Moggy cats do require more grooming, and owners should expect more shedding from them, too. Examples of breeds that are long-haired Moggies include the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, the Norwegian Forest Cat, and the Persian.
There are also hairless Moggy cats. They require regular baths, as their skin is not protected by fur and will dry out easily. Sunscreen is also recommended in order to protect their delicate skin from the sun. Examples of these Moggy cats include the Bambino, the Sphynx and the Peterbald.
Colors and Patterns
Moggies come in all coat colors and patterns. This includes tabby (both brown and silver), tuxedo (black and white), ginger, black, grey and white, tortoiseshell, calico, caliby, ginger and white, white, grey, and white and pointed (including flame, lilac, blue, chocolate and seal).
Moggies tend to live longer than purebred cats. The average lifespan of a Moggy is 10 to 14 years. If living indoors, Moggies can live up to 20 years.
Moggy cats have a reduced risk of health problems, as they are not bred for certain characteristics. The variation in their genetics means that they are generally healthier and stronger (and some would even say, more intelligent) than purebred cats.
Feeding, Grooming, and Caring for a Moggy Cat
Moggies are typically short-haired, as that gene is dominant. They will require little grooming help from you, as they are self-sufficient. You might need to brush them to cut down on the incidence of hairballs (with the exceptions noted above for hairless and long-haired Moggies). Generally, however, moggies are considered to be low-maintenance kitties.
Reasons to Choose a Moggy Cat
If you are looking for a cat that you can keep outdoors and indoors, a Moggy is a better choice than a purebred. The Moggy can be happily alone outdoors for greater parts of the day, as they tend to be more independent than a purebred cat. The Moggy’s intelligence and hardiness also serves it much better in the outdoors, as it is more suited to that environment than the delicateness of a purebred cat.
Those who enjoy showing cats need not despair, as you can show a Moggy cat! Cat shows typically have a section for household pets (Moggies) who aren’t purebred.
Moggies are healthier, sturdier, and smarter than purebred cats, on average. They are the perfect house pets because of the combination of their good health, high intelligence, low maintenance requirements, and variety.
Moggies are adorable cats who are looking for a good home. Often, they are overlooked at shelters in favor of purebred cats. Moggies are also much cheaper than purebred cats. Their easy maintenance will also make them less expensive to have as part of your family in the long run. If having a purebred cat isn’t important to you, choose a Moggy and give him or her a good home.