Three kittens cuddled together of different colours

Types of cats

Choosing a cat is an exciting time for a family. You may be wondering which type of cat would suit you and your lifestyle best. Whether that's a moggy or a pedigree, we'll talk you through what you need to know.

Moggy cats

The term ‘moggy’ is slang for a non-pedigree cat. These are the most common cats that you’ll see around the UK and are a great choice for pet owners. They're also easily found in rehoming centres, so you can give a cat in need a home.

Moggies, in general, tend to have fewer health issues than pedigree cats.

Adopt a cat

Pedigree cats

Pedigree cats are bred to look a certain way. Some are bred for their personality traits, but most are bred for the way they look.

Mating cats of the same breed reduces the genetic pool. If care is not taken, this can increase the risk of cats having health problems. This is not helped by breeding cats that look cute because of a disability, such as short legs or flat faces.

There are good breeders out there who are very careful when selecting cats to breed. So, if you're looking for a pedigree cat, be sure to:

  • do your research on the breed
  • ask the breeder about the parents and the litter's health

Find out more on how to spot a good breeder and what to look for when choosing a kitten.

Health issues in pedigree cats

Like dogs, cats can suffer from genetic diseases that can be passed on from parents to their kittens.

In some cases tests are available to detect these diseases. It’s worth asking the breeder if they have had the kittens checked by a vet.

We do see some common health issues with certain breeds which we have listed below.

Health issues with Persian cats

  • Short-nosed breeds (also known as brachycephalic) struggle to breathe. This is because of their face shape. They sometimes need vet treatment to help their breathing.
  • Need daily grooming to keep their long coat free of tangles. This is something they can’t do themselves.
  • A high percentage are also affected by polycystic kidney disease. This can lead to kidney failure.

Health issues with Burmese cats

  • Can have a higher chance of diabetes
  • Some young cats can suffer from low levels of blood potassium. This causes severe muscle weakness.
  • Kittens can have serious issues with their head and brain development. This is often fatal at birth.

Health issues with munchkin cats

Short legs may look cute, but the characteristics of the munchkin cat can cause them pain. It also makes it harder for them to do things that other cats find easy, like jumping from one place to another.

Health issues with Siamese cats

  • Siamese cats can be cross eyed
  • They can have a condition called amyloidosis. This is where a substance called amyloid builds up in the liver and can lead to liver failure.
  • They can also be affected by a problem in their brain and skull development, which can lead to seizures
  • Are at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer

Health issues with Scottish fold cats

Given their name because of the way their ears fold over, this breed have been created to look cute. The reality is that they have been born with a flaw which affects the development of their cartilage. This extends to their bone cartilage, so their bones don’t develop properly. It leads to very painful arthritis.

Health issues with sphynx cats

  • Being hairless means these cats need extra attention when it comes to daily care. They need a light wash (not a bath) every few days. This is to reduce the oil build-up on their skin.
  • They need sun protection in the heat and don’t do well in cold weather either
  • They are also prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is a particular type of heart disease.
  • Are at risk of hereditary myopathy (muscle weakness)

Health issues with ragdoll cats

Like the sphynx cat, these popular breeds are born with a gene that can lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is a particular type of heart disease and can cause heart failure.

Health issues with Maine coon cats

  • Like the sphynx cat, these popular breeds are born with a gene that can lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is a particular type of heart disease and can cause heart failure.
  • Have a high risk of developing hip dysplasia


Some people look into hypoallergenic cat breeds due to pet allergies. It's important to note that sadly, they don't exist. Find out more about this in our advice on hypoallergenic cats.

Health issues with manx cats

  • Bred to have short tails, or sometimes no tail. This can cause problems with the nerves and bones in their spine. In extreme cases, this can lead to incontinence (wetting or pooing themselves) or paralysis.
  • Having no tail also means they can struggle to balance and communicate with other cats

— Page last updated 04/01/2023