Cow Cat

The Cow Cat: The very familiar moo cat.

cat that has cow markings

Not a specific breed but a coat pattern.

Cats with cow markings are commonplace, we see them here we see them there.

These monochrome beauties are almost as prevalent as cats with the familiar tabby markings.

Why did folks start calling these white and black felines ‘cow cats’?

It’s very likely because of the similarity of the coat pattern of the Holstein, (or Frisian,) cow. A cat with the cow patterning also often gets called a ‘moo cat.’

You will also hear them called, pied, harlequin, particolored, magpie or patched cats.

Most are mixed breed or moggies, and that brings in another connection between these cats and cattle. The term moggy is sometimes shortened to ‘mog’, and in times past mog was sometimes used as a slang term for . . . a cow.

Often, but not always, the cat’s coat will be more white than black, with the black splotches in a random pattern (unlike the Tuxedo Cat’s coat which has a pattern that is more clearly defined.)

Many a cow cat also has the familiar black Mask that makes them look rather like a bandit; others have a Cap, an area of black on the top of their head.

If they also have a large black patch on their back, that pattern is known as ‘cap and saddle.’ Almost always the tail is black, with perhaps just a spot of white at the tip.

Just because they are commonplace does not mean moo cats are not wonderful cats, they are.

cow catMoo. Many cats with cow patterning have larger areas of white than this one does.

Some people have claimed that black and white cats, including cow patterned, love playing in water and are apt to wander far from home.

It is highly unlikely that the bi-colored coat influences the behavioral tendencies of the cat.

These cats have a wide range of personalities, a moo cat can be a cat that always wants to be around you, or a cat that keeps herself to herself, a lap cat, or a cat that prefers to be out and about, an aloof cat or one that is is affectionate, a cat that likes a lot of humans around them or prefers to have just your company.

The coat markings make no difference whatsoever to the character of the cat.

The Disruptive Patterning Of The Cow Cat

cow cat scratching tree

You may realize that a tabby’s coat with its stripes or swirls help to camouflage the cat, but did you know that the pattern of a moo cat’s coat does that too?

masked cat
Cat with a mask, typical of many black and white cats

It might seem that black and white would make pretty poor camouflage because the cat’s coat would stand out against both light and dark backgrounds. But in practice it doesn’t happen that way.

The highly contrasting black areas on a white background provide the cow cat with disruptive patterning, it makes the cat’s outline far harder to distinguish than that of a solid colored animal, this is particularly so in the twilight hours when cats are at their most active.

Predators have difficulty seeing the cat, so it lives longer and has more opportunity to pass on the genes that produce the disruptive patterning.

The camouflage pattern not only helps protect the cow cat, it also helps it hunt prey.

The way a cat hunts is to stalk until quite close and then pounce upon the unfortunate prey, the black and white patterning helps even when the cat is moving.

In world war one, many warships were camouflaged with disrupted black and white patterns to make it difficult for the enemy to tell from a distance if the ship was moving towards or away from them.

moo cat

The invention of radar made that kind of camouflaging obsolete for ships, but not of course for cats.

If you want a cat that is very good at being a good old cat, a wonderful pet and the best friend you could wish for, then a cow cat will suit you just fine.

The Singapura Cat
If you are owned by a Singapura cat you will have help with any chores you are doing. Very good natured and naturally inquisitive, a Singapura has to join in and help you.

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