region No standard exists for the alley cat
An alley cat, also called a house cat, is a cat that does not have a specific certified breed and may be a crossbreed. As opposed to the term purebred cat which designates a cat whose breed and the absence of crossbreeding are certified. The certificate of belonging to a breed is called a pedigree. It is often confused with the European purebred cat, due to the fact that in many European countries there are cats whose parentage is unknown - therefore the purity of the breed - and which have all the characteristics (morphology, character, health, etc.) of the European race. Etymology Cats like to walk on the heights. It is not uncommon for cats to walk, meet, even copulate in the gutters of houses. The kittens born from these encounters, whose father is unknown, took the name of alley cat. By extension, we call alley cat any cat whose ancestors are not known with certainty and therefore, of which we cannot guarantee that they are not a cross between two different breeds of cat. Related breeds All breeds are descended from alley cats, from which subjects with physical particularities have been reproduced (spontaneous genetic mutations, physical appearance that stands out from the crowd, original color). Some more directly than others, because subsequently the new breeds were crossed with others and took them away from the original type. Still very close to the alley cat we find: the European the American Shorthair the British Shorthair The alley cat in art One can find alley cats on many paintings and in particular on those of famous French painters. The poster designed for the famous Parisian cabaret Le Chat Noir by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen is perhaps the best known. The latter also painted cats in other paintings. We can also see a black cat on the painting named Olympia by Édouard Manet, which we can assume is an alley cat, much more present at this time than the purebred cat.
The origins of the alley cat are those of the domestic cat in general. We do not know for certain the origin of the current domestic cat, but it is probably the fruit of crossbreeding between the Asian ornate cat, the African wild cat and then the European wild cat. The name “cat de gutter” was used by Parisians to designate stray cats walking on the roofs. Today, in France, the vast majority of households with cats have alley cats. They are also authorized to participate in exhibitions under certain conditions. They must be neutralized (sterilization or castration) and registered with an association.
There is also no common trait among alley cats. It is mainly influenced by living conditions, education and weaning.