Skip to Content

What are mix breed cats called?

What are mix breed cats called?

Mix breed cats, also known as domestic shorthair cats or moggies, are the result of mixed breeding between different purebred and mixed breed cats. They are extremely common and do not belong to any standardized breed. A mix breed cat may have the features and personality traits of multiple breeds in its heritage. The specific breed history of a mixed breed cat is usually unknown.

What Are Some Common Names For Mixed Breed Cats?

Here are some of the most common names used to refer to mixed breed cats:

Name Description
Domestic Shorthair A catchall term for mixed breed cats with a short, dense coat.
Domestic Longhair A catchall term for mixed breed cats with a long, fluffy coat.
Moggy A affectionate term used in the UK to refer to mixed breed cats.
Alley Cat Feral and stray cats are often mixed breeds.
House Cat A general term for cats mainly kept as pets regardless of breed.
Tabby “Tabby” refers to the classic swirled coat pattern seen in many mixes.
Tuxedo Cat Refers to the black and white coat pattern resembling formalwear.
Torbie A mix of tabby coat pattern with tortoiseshell patchwork colors.
Domestic Cat A fully encompassing term for any ordinary house cat.

As you can see, most common names for mixed breed cats refer to their appearance, coat patterns, lifestyle as pets, or status as ordinary cats of no particular breed.

Why Are Mixed Breed Cats So Common?

There are several key reasons why mixed breed cats are considerably more common than purebred cats:

  • Random mating between different cats produces kittens of varied breeds.
  • Many owners do not purposefully breed purebred cats.
  • Stray and feral cats breed freely with no controlled mating.
  • Purebred cats are expensive, mixes are often cheaper or even free.
  • People adopt cats based on personality rather than breed.
  • Purebred cats require controlled breeding; mixes happen naturally.

Essentially, controlled cat breeding aims to produce purebred kittens of a single specific breed. However, random uncontrolled cat mating results in offspring of blended ancestry. The average house cat is a mix of breeds resulting from generations of random mating. Deliberately breeding purebred cats takes effort and planning, but mixes happen naturally all the time.

What Do Mixed Breed Kittens Look Like?

Since mixed breed kittens can inherit a wide range of physical features and coat colors/patterns from their diverse genetic heritage, their appearances can vary tremendously.

Some things that mixed breed kittens may exhibit include:

  • A coat that is long, short, fluffy, sleek, dense, coarse, thin, etc.
  • A solid coat, multi-colored patches, tabby stripes, spots, ticking, points, etc.
  • Any eye color like amber, green, yellow, blue, odd-eyes, etc.
  • A range of body types from small to large.
  • Various face shapes, ear shapes, tail lengths.
  • Unique coat colors and patterns.

There is no single look that encompasses all mixed breed cats. Each individual mixed kitten could have a totally unique combination of physical attributes and no two look exactly alike. Over time, if allowed to breed freely, mix breed cats become more genetically diverse looking.

Do Mixes Have Predictable Coat Colors/Patterns?

While mixed breed cats can inherit any coat color or pattern, some of the most common include:

  • Tabby: Swirled stripes on a light or dark background.
  • Tortoiseshell: Patchwork of red, black, and orange.
  • Tuxedo: Solid black body with white paws, chest, and face.
  • Calico: Patchwork of white, orange, and black fur.
  • Torbie: A mix of tabby stripes and tortoiseshell patchwork.
  • Bicolor: Any color coat with areas of clean white.

These coat patterns commonly appear in mixed breed cats. However, a mixed kitten may exhibit a totally unique color/pattern unlike any standardized breeds. Over generations, their coats become increasingly diverse.

What Personality Traits Do Mixes Have?

Since personality is also inherited, mixed breed cats tend to have very variable temperaments. They can exhibit combinations of traits like:

  • Extremely affectionate and “lap cats”
  • Playful and kittenish throughout adulthood
  • High energy and very active
  • Very vocal cats that meow frequently
  • More aloof, calm, and independent
  • Cautious and shy around strangers
  • Confident, social, and outgoing
  • Intelligent working cats that like learning tricks

There are no hard rules for predicting a mixed cat’s personality. Getting to know their individual quirks is part of the fun of living with a mixed breed cat! Their wide genetic background results in unique personality combinations.

Are Mixes Typically Healthy Cats?

Mixes tend to be relatively healthy overall for several reasons:

  • They have very genetically diverse backgrounds.
  • Random mating reduces risk of inherited illnesses.
  • Recessive disease genes are less likely to be expressed.
  • They exhibit “hybrid vigor” from their wide mix of genes.

However, mixed cats can still be prone to some common feline illnesses like:

  • Dental disease from lack of grooming.
  • Parasites if not dewormed properly.
  • Urinary tract infections from inadequate hydration.
  • Obesity from overfeeding and inactivity.
  • Upper respiratory infections from contagious viruses.

Responsible care and veterinary oversight is important to keep any cat healthy, mixed breed or purebred. But their diverse genetics gives mix breed cats an advantage.

Are Mixes Suitable For People With Allergies?

There is no guarantee that any specific mixed breed cat will be hypoallergenic. However, on average, they may provoke slightly fewer allergies than purebred cats.

  • Allergies are caused by proteins in cat saliva, skin, urine.
  • Some pure breeds produce more of these proteins.
  • Mixes exhibit more natural variation in protein production.
  • No cat is 100% non-allergenic, but mixes have lower overall allergen levels.

For people with mild cat allergies, a mixed breed cat may potentially trigger fewer allergy symptoms. But this is not predictable on an individual basis. Meeting the parents of a mix kitten provides more clues about allergen levels.

Do Mixes Make Good Family Pets?

Mixed breed cats have several qualities that make them excellent family pets:

  • Typically have outgoing, affectionate personalities.
  • Thrive on attention, playtime, and interaction.
  • Are adaptable to household changes.
  • Usually have an even temperament.
  • Are inexpensive to adopt.
  • Have robust health from genetic diversity.

For families that want a friendly, loving cat companion that integrates seamlessly into the household, a mixed breed cat is an ideal choice. They bond strongly to their families and accept children, dogs, and other pets when socialized early.


In summary, mixed breed cats have many endearing nicknames but are most commonly known as domestic shorthairs, moggies, or just good old alley cats! They exhibit extremely diverse physical features and personalities since they inherit genes from various ancestries when allowed to randomly mate. These charming genetic mutts make delightful, adaptable family pets well suited to households with kids, dogs, and other animals. What unites all the mixes is not a breed standard but their devotion as companion cats.