Why a Pedigree Cat Might Be Right for You

Pedigreed Cat Breeds - Birman, Russian Blue, Maine Coon
Alan Robinson, Animal Photography; Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography; Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography
Fans of pedigree cat breeds like the Birman, Russian Blue and Maine Coon appreciate their distinctive looks and fascinating histories.

When Dr. Sarah Miller's family decided to get a cat, the choice was obvious: two Maine Coon kittens. As a veterinary cardiologist, Dr. Miller had seen many Maine Coons in her practice, and she liked the breed's generally laid-back personality and large size.

The kittens are 7 months old now, and Dr. Miller says they have been a great choice for her family. At 14 pounds each, they are large enough to be good playmates for her three young daughters. “The girls can do anything with them,” she says, and the kittens will "just sit there and purr. One of them is obsessed with water, and he has jumped in the bathtub with them. They are just hilarious and great.”

The cats also get along with Lucy, Dr. Miller’s aging Golden Retriever. One kitten, Vincent, spoons with Lucy and enjoys kneading the dog’s belly.

Pluses of Pedigrees

Why choose a pedigree cat over a domestic shorthair or longhair? Like Dr. Miller, you may prefer a cat with a tendency toward certain traits such as personality, size or coat type. For instance, some pedigree cat breeds may be more likely to get along with dogs and children or enjoy walking on leash. Some, such as Oriental Shorthairs, tend to be talkers, while others typically let out nothing more than the occasional gentle mew. If you are a boater or have a swimming pool, you may choose a cat breed that is known to enjoy playing in water. (Of course, every cat is unique, so even with pedigree cats, there's no guarantee that a cat will display specific behaviors associated with the breed.)

“I chose my Maine Coon, because I'm more of a dog person, and I liked that Maine Coons were described as being the most ‘dog like’ of the cat breeds,” says pet owner Carol Gravestock. “Fred was mellow, loved dogs and the water, and would fetch." 

She adds, "I know you can get this temperament in any cat, but choosing a breed that has been intentionally bred for this type of personality increased my chances of getting a cat most suited for my home and lifestyle."

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