In the Philippines, most towns, cities, and villages all share one certain thing in common- the presence of Puspin cats roaming about, going about their feline business. But what exactly is the Puspin cat breed?
PUSPIN (Pusang Pinoy), also called PUSAKAL, is the Tagalog language name for indigenous mixed-breed cats in the Philippines.
Puspin is a short form for the Filipino word- Pusang Pinoy, meaning “Filipino Cat.”
Pusakal is the truncation of Pusang Kalye” which means “Street cat.” Pusakal is the other term used for the Puspin cat breed that is a little on the negative side.
These mongrel cats have been mixed so often that they only share one thing in common- their short hair. To date, they are the most plentiful and popular cat in the Philippines,
Puspin Cat History
The Puspin cat breed has no recorded history regarding where they came from, what breeds they’re related to, and so on.
This cat has been around for several thousands of years, coming from places and times where no one was interested in keeping any written documentation about how a cat has been bred.
Only one cat type, in particular, has been linked to the Puspin genealogy.
Scientists believe that Japanese bobtail cats were introduced into their gene pool at some point in their history. There are genetic signs of this, and an occasional kink or shortened type of tail is produced every now and then in litters.
The theory is that Puspin was sold to Chinese or Japanese customers to help curb rodent infestations that were rampant about 1,000 years ago.
This is where it is assumed that the Bobtail bred with the Puspin overseas, and eventually, the Puspin made it back to their homeland, carrying this new addition into their genetic makeup.
Also, having bred with other slim varieties of Asian cats (Siamese being among them), they are more prone to have a sleeker appearance than other Domestic Short Haired Cats found in other regions around the world.
Aside from traces of evidence reaching back to the Bobtail, there is no research evidence tracing these cats to any other breed, as their genetics are a mishmash of seemingly endless crossbreeding throughout thousands of years.
Puspin cats were around long before the introduction of the Bobtail into their hybrid genetics. In time, as world travel became more doable, foreign cats were introduced into the Puspin’s already diluted gene pool, increasing the difficulty in determining what their original set of ancestors could have been.
Puspin Cat Personality
The Puspin cat has a load of personality and is often revered for its quirky, lovable nature. They tend to have a sweet temperament but can also be aloof or weary when approached by a stranger.
Most Puspin carry a sense of street smarts incorporated into their instincts, as they’ve graced the streets of many a neighborhood for several millennia. How they’re treated while out and about will reflect how they behave around strangers.
There is one thing about their personality that many owners have testified. They are either very quiet or noisy cats, being no happy medium. The noisiness comes either when it’s time to eat or if it’s unable to get the desired attention when it wants to have it.
Sometimes outdoor Puspin likes to visit welcoming homes, staying for a few days or weeks before moving on to their next welcoming household. They’ll eventually find their way back to their original owner when their rounds are done. But before long, they’ll repeat their trek.
It isn’t uncommon for Puspin to come home bearing gifts for their owners. Leaves, fresh kills, or other items may be brought home by Puspin as an offering or maybe even evidence of achievement.
Compared to other breeds of cats (particularly long-haired or brachycephalic breeds), Puspin cats are a breeze to take care of. They are a particularly safe and wise choice for first-time owners.
Puspin Cat Colors
When you take a cat and mix it with an untold number of breeds over an unrecorded number of years, what kinds of colors do you get? The answer is- all of them!
Because of the genetic variety that resides within the Puspin genetic toolbox, the coat color possibilities are endless. However, calico coats are among the most common in the breed.
Calico coat types don’t denote a certain color but rather the number of different colors found in a coat. Three or more colors in a cat’s coat are considered a “calico” coat.
The second most common type found in Puspin is tabby-type coats. A Tabby is a coat of fur that is striped.
When it comes to the Puspin, coat types blended together. For example, a Calico with tabby-type stripes blent into different patches of darker fur.
Any coat combination is possible, and there are also solidly colored varieties out there as well. As stated above, the coat colors and pattern types are endless.
The one thing about the coat of a Puspin cat that can be relied upon is that the coat will be short. Other than that, the color yield of a litter will be anyone’s guess.
Puspin Cat Size and Weight
In other areas worldwide, domestic shorthaired cats are larger and can become heavier than their Puspin counterparts. Being bred with a greater variety of smaller and sleeker breeds tend to make the Puspin a bit more petite than mongrels found in areas where larger breeds entered the mix.
Though slimmer, an array of weights and sizes still comes with this breed’s cocktail.
Puspin cats stand, on average, about 10 inches at the shoulder.
Again, these are averages; many individuals swing on either side of these weight or size measurements.
An adult Puspin can weigh anywhere between 8-15 pounds.
Overall, the cat is average in size and a touch lighter than mixed breeds in the United States, Europe, Africa & Asian Mainland.
Puspin Cat Grooming
Grooming is not an issue in daily, weekly, or monthly brushing. Their fur is short and easily maintained. This is one of the reasons why the Puspin is the cat of choice in the Philippines- less work and no need for grooming costs.
Puspin does a great job taking care of their coat all by themselves. Bathing is no issue either under normal circumstances.
However, bathing will become necessary if the cat gets into something that it shouldn’t have or if fleas are present in the fur.
Bathing can be a daunting task for the owner, as, like most cats, Puspin won’t be too tolerant when it comes to water or soap lathering in its fur- particularly if it isn’t used to being bathed.
If the owner intends on keeping the Puspin indoors, nail clipping should be considered to save a little wear and tear on the walls and furniture. However, this isn’t a good idea should the owner decide to allow it to go outdoors from time to time, as it would become a disadvantage to the cat if it gets into a scuffle or needs to climb to safety.
Puspin Cat Feeding
Puspin cats will eat just about any kind of cat food out there. Canned, wet food, or dry, either will satiate this kind of cat.
However, lifelong indoor cats might develop a more refined taste for one or the other. But when it comes to primarily outdoors cats, they will eat whatever they find that fits their description as food.
Mice, frogs and toads, lizards, or any small critter may be on the menu. Remember, these are cats, and despite how cute, cuddly, and friendly they may be, they are still natural predators. When outdoors, they tend to lean on their natural instincts rather than following the norm reserved for indoors.
Puspin Health Issues
As any living being on the earth would experience, Puspin is not immune to wind up with health issues. Having said that, this is an area where Puspin is preferred over standardized breeds.
Puspin suffers from fewer inherent health concerns than other cat types. They are overall healthy, hearty, and share a natural resistance to problems that plague other breeds.
On average, “hybrid vigor” is one of the reasons why these cats are so resistant to diseases.
Hybrid vigor is a phenomenon that happens naturally in the wild but is also replicated deliberately through breeding programs. This term is used for several reasons, being defined differently, ranging from flora to fauna. With cats, it’s used as the following…
In short, hybrid vigor happens when fresh genes are introduced into an existing gene pool that may include certain things that are missing. Missing things such as genetic materials could remove a tendency toward genetically carried or inherent diseases.
In other words, a more robust gene pool, where gaps are filled and things that are weak become strengthened genetically. This doesn’t go on with purebred cats, as they are far more streamlined genetically.
The more genetically streamlined a breed may be, the more likely the breed will inherently be prone to certain diseases. The more genetically diverse the cat, the greater the chances that certain inherent health risks are removed.
Puspin cats are not free from trouble, though, as aforementioned- all breeds (or anything that’s living, for that matter) suffer from something. So regular vet appointments should be considered to keep the cat’s health in check.
Puspin Cat Lifespan
Puspin cats can live anywhere between 13-20 years old on average. The reason they often live for so long goes back to the previous section about their health.
Hybrid vigor has, over time, given the Puspin a great immune system and fewer inherent health concerns. These things coincidently lead to a longer life and a healthier appearance in their twilight years.
Puspin Cat Price in the Philippines
Puspin cat price remained under 100 Philippine Peso(PHP) or just under a couple of dollars in the U.S. Pricing is difficult to find because this breed is adopted for free in many places around the Philippines.
Mixed, shorthaired cats are the most affordable types of cats to buy worldwide. They don’t come with the pedigrees or papers you’d want from a purebred cat breed. For these reasons, they are considerably cheaper.
Compounding this in the Philippines is the abundance of the Puspin. Their high numbers, combined with their mixed history, cause them to be the lowest-priced cat in the Philippines.
Prices will vary from place to place within the country, but generally, if someone wants a Puspin cat, they need look no further than their local animal shelter. Determining factors that will reflect in the price are whether or not the cat has had a checkup by a vet or whether or not it’s been neutered.
Puspin cats are generally far cheaper than their purebred counterparts, a common theme worldwide. Generally, mixed breeds have always been cheaper to buy than any purebred.
While owning a purebred cat comes with a certain status, owning a Puspin cat comes with a certain charm. These friendly cats don’t exist in such a great number in the Philippines because they’re such a problem or are nasty cats.
If that were the case, they’d have been depopulated long ago. These cats are beloved by those who own them, treated like friends out on the streets by those who come across them, and are often presented with treats by feline enthusiasts wherever they frequent while in town.
So, if you intend on relocating to the Philippines and would like to take in a cat, your best bet would be to hit up any animal shelter nearby the location you’re thinking about moving to. No doubt, you’ll find a friendly little Puspin cat that’s been waiting for you!