Social media driving trend for pedigree cats, says charity

Cat playing

Cats Protection is championing the humble moggy as new research shows a rise in people acquiring pedigree cats.

The cat welfare charity found that 38% of cats acquired last year (or 600,000 cats) were pedigrees 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.

For many owners, their purchase or adoption of a pedigree cat was driven by a desire to show them off online. Almost 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 those who bought or adopted a moggy. As many as 31% of pedigree owners set up a social media profile for their cat, compared to just 7% of moggy owners.

However, it’s important to be aware of how much more a pedigree cat could end up costing over its lifetime as pedigrees can have an increased risk of health problems.

Almost half of pedigree cat owners (47%) reported their cat later had a diagnosed health issue compared to 29% of moggy cat owners. These health issues included a respiratory disorder or asthma (10% vs 3%), arthritis (6% vs 2%) and obesity (7% vs 3%).

Behavioural issues were also higher in pedigrees, including chewing household cables (13% vs 7%), aggression towards family or guests (14% vs 6%) and hiding (18% vs 12%).

Asked about the cost of veterinary care, 39% of pedigree cat owners said their yearly vet bill amounted to more than £500 compared to just 12% of moggy cat owners.

“While moggies still make up the majority of cats in UK homes, it is clear that pedigrees are coming more and more in vogue,” commented 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.”

Cats Protection has launched its More Than Just A Moggy campaign to remind people of the positive qualities that moggies bring to a home.

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