We always had Indie cats as a kid. I never complained and yet there was always this urge to get one that had a lot of fur and the so called ‘bushy’ tail. That however was years before. Many years before I started fostering and many years before I started boarding cats at home. Today I have had the luck of being exposed to different kinds of long furred cats and hence decided to dedicate one of my Cat-olgue posts to the topic.
After all my interactions with these cats and several ‘Indie’ or ‘Indian’ cats, I was forced to appreciate some interesting differences. These differences involve their care and their interaction with others hence the title ‘Pedigree versus Indie’. Let me walk you through them.
Please note that I refer to other breeds of cats (other than Indies) as pedigree because that is the terminology that most people use. At the end of the day a cat is a cat!
PEDIGREE VERSUS INDIE: The Size
When you compare cats (Pedigree versus Indie), the pedigree cats seem so much larger in size. This isn’t only due to their body built. It also due to their overtly dense coat. So while the cat’s body maybe small, their size appears larger than life!
This is especially important when you travel. Why? Simply because a pedigree cat is more likely to be heavy. Remember you pay per kg to transport an animal. Very important if you are considering international travel.
PEDIGREE VERSUS INDIE: The Coat
Most people distinguish between the pedigree cats and the Indie cats based on their coat. It is after all the one thing that sets these cats apart from others. Most pedigree cats are associated with long luxurious coats of various colors. That however is a myth. Not all pedigree/breeds have long coats.
Now let’s assume for a moment that all Pedigree cats have long coats because that seems to be what most people want. It makes it simpler to explain. These coats look great in pictures but bear in mind that unlike their short furred counterparts, these coats present with a lot of difficulties.
Did you know that the longer the coat the more the grooming? The longer the coat also means that there is going to be a substantial amount of fur all over your house. When I say substantial I mean substantial!
Most people mistakenly assume that all cat’s can keep their coats in perfect order. Sorry to break that bubble of yours! While cats are essentially very clean animals, a long furred feline finds it difficult to maintain it’s exquisite coat. The fur gets knotted and matted. This in turn makes it a perfect place for the fleas to reside. A long fur feline requires daily grooming and a lot of hygiene.
PEDIGREE VERSUS INDIE: The Indian Weather
The Indian weather is hot and humid. It is a weather that our short furred Indian cats thrive in. Long furred cats however find themselves grasping at the short end of the stick. When people look at me confused, I go on to explain in these terms. Imagine the hot sweltering weather of your city. Let’s just say that the temperature hovers around 30-35 degrees Celsius. When you walk outside you begin to sweat. You start looking for a shady spot to rest.
Now imagine wearing your winter thermals and your heavy winter wear which is meant for really cold climates. Walking down the streets in that kind of attire means that you are going to swoon or develop a heat stroke. Remember what is not comfortable for you is not comfortable for a cat. So if you have a long furred companion make sure to keep them indoors and in a cool environment. Also ensure that plenty of water is available for them to rehydrate themselves!
A cat is a cat and they are companions. The type of cat that you welcome into your homes should depend on the amount of money and time you are willing to spend with them. Pedigree cats are more expensive and are usually the product of backyard breeders. The conditions that these cats are bred in is pathetic and I strongly advocate against buying them.
My work with the Bangalore Cat Squad has taught me many things.
- Opt to adopt.
- People buy pedigree cats without understanding the amount of effort, care, time and money that they need to invest in their pet. The kitten stage slowly evolves into the adult stage. That is when these cats are then put up for adoption. So if you can’t afford a long furred cat then opt for a short fur one instead.
- If you still want a long fur cat and you think you can handle it then join some of the animal groups on Facebook. You will eventually stumble across a number of pedigree cats that need homes because their so called owners do not want them any more. I adopted my cat when she was around 3 to 4 months old. You can read her story here: When We Decided To Adopt
- Be responsible. Cats can give you a lot of love but remember that you need to love them and nurture them in turn!