Moggy or moggie (plural moggies) in
Commonwealth English is an affectionate term for a domestic
cat, but is
also used as alternate name for a
cat whose ancestry and
pedigree are unknown or only partially known. Because of this mixed
ancestry and free-breeding, a moggy can either be very healthy, or, if
from an inbred feral colony, genetically unsound and sickly. However, as
feral colonies are often left without any form of human intervention and
veterinary attention, the sickly generally do not live past
kittenhood, leaving the colony as a whole healthy.
The origin of the word moggy is not a corruption of the word 'mongrel', as
many believe. It was first recorded in 1911, and was
possibly derived from maggie, margie or mog, all short
forms of the female name Margaret. It is thought this was first used to describe
an ungainly lumbering old cow, and it may even have been a minor rural English
name for any cow; since 'moggy' was used in several 1800s English dialects as an
'affectionate name' for a cow. As rural people flocked to the cities during the
latter part of the Industrial Revolution, it seems likely that the cow moggy became
maggie, applied as a term of abuse for a dishevelled old woman or older
The origin is obviously confused, but as the early
20th century the streets of London became
filled with very many unhealthy looking stray cats, it would have been natural
to apply the term moggy to describe these unfortunate creatures.
United States, a more common term for "moggy" is "alley cat."
A non-feral moggy makes an excellent household pet.