How to Decide Between Purebred or Mixed Breed Cats?

A girl holding a ragdoll cat and a mixed breed cat looking up from the couch

Deciding what type of cat to get home can still be overwhelming because there are many factors that you need to consider. One of these would be whether you want a pure breed feline or a mixed breed. Read on to understand how one is different from the other.

The Pure Breed Cat

Also known as the pedigree cat, these felines represent a small percentage of the cat population.

Pedigree is referred to the record of your cat's ancestry and parentage. These cats are bred to conform to specific criteria or breed standards approved by an organization that certifies cat breeds in a specific country. While guidelines may vary, there are established minimum requirements that a cat must have to qualify under a specific feline breed. Common examples are Persian Cats, Siamese Cats, Ragdoll, British Shorthair, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Pure Breed Cat

When you opt for a purebred cat, you have a clear idea of its behavior, size, and characteristics. Note that these cats are bred almost to exacting standards so if you have a Cornish Rex, you can expect it to have large ears with a slim built and a coat that is down-haired.


  • Animal-Human Compatibility– although many factors can influence a cat's temperament, with a purebred, you are more or less certain of its temperament.
  • Overall Appearance – admit it; the first thing that we consider is how the cat looks. Most would like a cute cat that would make you go "aww!" With pure breeds, you have a good idea of how your cat will look like in 6 months to 3 years from now.
  • Cat Competition and Shows – getting a purebred can help you participate in competitions and shows. Some shows do allow mixed breed cats too but in a different category.



While a purebred cat may bring you pride and pleasure, you also have to work with a couple of compromises:

  • Health Issues – genetic diseases are more prevalent in purebred cats due to inbreeding. They also usually have a shorter lifespan, and any detrimental health issues would be passed on to future generations.
  • Expensive to Buy and Maintain – pure breeds are more expensive, especially if you get one from a reliable cat breeders who can provide you with the cat's history and lineage. Since health issues are likely to occur in the adult stage, you have to factor in medical costs too.

The Mixed Breed Cat

Non-pedigree cats are harder to define since they have zero standardization. With so many variations within the breed, it is safe to say that a mixed breed is a cat that doesn't belong to any particular breed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mixed Breed Cat

With mixed breed cats, every day is a surprise. Finding one is also easier because most shelters and animal rescue organizations are filled with mixed breeds of varying ages and sizes.

With a mixed breed cat, you can expect some of the following advantages:

  • The satisfaction of sharing – when you adopt a mixed breed, you share your love and your home with a pet in need of one. You also end up helping another cat because by adopting, you help free up space in the shelter, which means a new cat can be rescued, fostered, and assisted.
  • Resilient Heath – mixed breeds are less prone to genetic health conditions usually common in inbreeding.
  • Unique Physical Looks – because these cats are products of varying breeds, you may end up with a cat who is one of a kind. The patterns and coat colors that your cat will develop will be a wonderful suspense.

As with pure breeds, getting a mixed breed would also have its own drawbacks:

  • Too much randomness – A baby cat may grow out to be bigger than you wanted. With a mixed breed, you also have no idea of the space and care it will require. You need to wait it out and every day will be a learning experience for you and your cat.
  • Zero History – as with most mixed breeds, especially if you are getting one from a shelter, there is no definite lineage. Many of these cats have negative and traumatic backgrounds which can explain trust issues and behavioral problems if any.

Should you choose a pure breed or a mixed breed cat?

There is no wrong decision here. Getting a cat of either breed is purely your choice, but adopting a mixed breed is the need of the hour. With millions of cats entering shelters across the country annually (not counting strays), rescue centers need all the help they can get.

Consider your options, but as long as you become a responsible cat parent and are happy with your choice, then it's a good cat and human ending.


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