If you are looking for a pedigree cat, but you are not overly concerned about pedigree papers, it is worth checking your local cat shelter, animal pound or a purebred rescue association.

Pedigree Shelter Cats

Regardless of how much they cost, even pedigree cats can end up homeless for various reasons - unclaimed strays, owner died or unable to keep them, breeder closed down. In one case in the 1990s, a "breeder" abandoned his or her entire breeding stock of Persians near the New Forest; a Longhair rescue specialist put out a radio appeal asking how many cats had been dumped just so she could be sure she had rescued all of them.

Pedigree rescue groups and shelters often work together, but sometimes numbers are such that pedigree cats are homed from shelters. It is always worth checking your local shelter - you may also be saving the cat's life.

Pedigree Lookalikes

A number of traits associated with pedigree cats e.g. colourpoint pattern (found in Siamese and Himalayan cats) have found their way into the moggy (mutt) cat gene pool. Some are due to unneutered pedigree cats straying and breeding and a few are chance mutations which bear an uncanny resemblance to a known breed. In some cases, whole colonies of lookalikes have arisen from a single unneutered female who had one litter, was confined but went on to breed with her own male offspring (The Saga of the Persian Chin Dynasty) producing lookalikes.

About This Gallery

The cats pictured in this gallery all ended up at a cat rescue shelter, most of them in Essex. A few were claimed, but most were rehomed, often with help from specialist rescue societies.  Some are purebred, some are "part-pedigree" (have a pedigree parent or grandparent) and some are lookalikes found in the ordinary moggy population.

I haven't always had my camera with me. In addition to those pictured, I've come across the following at cat shelters: Siamese, Tonkinese, Burmese, Birmans, Longhair Devon Rex variant and British Shorthairs. Some were being held there pending collection by a specialist rescue group, others were homed from the shelter, often to people referred there by a specialist group.

As well as purebreds (some with papers) there have been Birman lookalikes (apart from lacking white mitts) , Abyssinian-types, Somali-types and platinum Tonkinese-pattern kittens (born to a moggy mother), perfectly marked Silver Tabby Shorthairs and unusual cream ticked tabby/bright red ticked tabby shorthairs.


Blue Shorthairs

Colourpoint British Shorthair

Random-bred tortie point

Folded Ears

Random-bred tortie point

Random-bred Colourpoint
(Littermates were black-and-white)

Abyssinian & Somali Types


Three-quarter Persian


Blue Persian

Red Persian

Blue-Cream Persian

Colourpoint Persian (Himalayan)

Colourpoint Persian (Himalayan)

Three-quarter Persian
(littermate of the black-and-white three-quarter Persian)

Three-quarter Persian
(littermate of the blue three-quarter Persian)

(found as a stray, claimed by owner)