All About the Magpie Cat: A Unique Breed With a Unique Personality


The Magpie cat breed originated in Australia, where the first Magpie kittens were born in the 1980s. Breeders crossed a black domestic shorthair with an Abyssinian to produce a cat with the Aby’s ticked coat pattern and playful personality, but with the stockier build of the moggy.

  • The result was a medium-sized cat with a short ticked coat, expressive eyes, and an energetic, mischievous temperament.
  • Early breeders aimed to create a cat that embodied the cheeky and bold nature of the Australian magpie, a native bird famous for swooping at passersby during mating season.
  • The breed gained recognition and a loyal following of owners seeking a quirky feline companion.

Over time, breeders worked to refine the Magpie cat and fix desirable traits. Today’s Magpies are known for their striking black and white coats, yellow to amber eyes, and outgoing, playful personalities.

Magpie Cat Appearance

Magpies have a sturdy body, short legs, and a plush double coat. Their most distinctive feature is their black, gray and white ticked fur, which resembles the plumage of their namesake bird. Magpies have a rounded head, wide nose, and medium-sized pointed ears. Eye color ranges from gold to copper.

With their amusing antics and bold coats, the mischievous Magpie cat is truly an original. If you’re looking for a feline friend with loads of personality, the Magpie could be the perfect choice. These quirky cats are sure to steal your heart and lift your spirits with their playful ways.

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Physical Characteristics of Magpie Cats

The Magpie cat breed is truly unique in both appearance and personality. Physically, Magpie cats are medium in size with a muscular, athletic build. Their most striking feature is their distinctive black and white coloring.

1. Fur

Magpie cats have a short, sleek coat with random splotches of black and white fur, giving them a “piebald” appearance. No two Magpies have the exact same pattern, so each cat is truly one-of-a-kind. Some Magpies have large patches of black and white, while others have a speckled salt-and-pepper look. A Magpie’s fur pattern is random and asymmetrical.

2. Eyes

Another distinctive trait is their eyes. Magpie cats often have one blue eye and one green or yellow eye, though some have two blue eyes. Their unusual eyes, combined with the black and white fur, give Magpies an exotic look.

3. Ears

Magpie cats have large, upright ears that are also black and white. Their ears seem almost too big for their head, giving them an alert and inquisitive expression.

4. Tail

A Magpie’s tail is long, thick, and bushy. Like the rest of their coat, their tail has splotches of black and white fur in an asymmetrical pattern. When a Magpie cat is active or playful, they will often puff out and swish their distinctive tail.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Here are some of the temperament and personality traits;

1. Affectionate Yet Independent

Magpie cats form close bonds with their owners and love spending time together. However, they also value their independence and like having time to themselves. They may greet you at the door and enjoy cuddling and playing, but will then wander off to nap in a sunbeam or bat around a toy on their own. Magpies are playful and enjoy interactive toys that stimulate their active, clever minds.

2. Intelligent and Curious

Magpie cats are highly intelligent, curious animals. They like puzzles and learning new tricks to show off to their owners. Their curiosity also means they tend to get into mischief at times, exploring cupboards and knocking items off tables. Be sure to cat-proof your home by securing anything the Magpie might bat around, chew on, or swallow.

3. Vocal and Communicative

Don’t expect a quiet, aloof cat. Magpies are very vocal and social, chirping, trilling and chattering with their owners. They use a range of sounds to communicate their mood or get your attention.

4. Require Daily Interaction

This energetic, social breed requires daily interaction and play with their owners to be happy and well-adjusted. Magpies can become bored, anxious or develop behavioral issues if left alone for long periods. They are best suited to homes where someone is around for most of the day to give them attention, affection and mental stimulation.

The unique appearance and vibrant personality of the Magpie cat makes them appealing to the right owner. If you’re looking for an intelligent, social and entertaining feline companion, the Magpie could be the perfect choice! However, their demanding natures mean they require an owner who can commit the time needed to keep them happy and well-adjusted.

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Magpie Cat Care and Health

As a unique breed, the Magpie cat has some specific care and health needs to keep in mind.

Grooming a Magpie cat requires daily brushing to minimize shedding and tangles. Their medium-length coat needs frequent brushing, especially during seasonal changes when their undercoat grows in. Use a slicker brush and undercoat rake to remove loose hair. Bathing a Magpie cat is only needed a few times a year, unless they get particularly dirty. Be sure to brush them first to remove tangles before bathing.

Magpie cats need high-quality food to maintain their health and gorgeous coat. Feed your Magpie cat a diet specifically for their life stage (kitten, adult, senior) and size. Look for a formula with animal-based proteins like fish, chicken or lamb as the first ingredients. Magpie cats can be prone to obesity, so measure out portions and stick to a regular feeding schedule. Always have fresh, clean water available for your Magpie cat.

Take your Magpie cat for regular vet checkups to monitor for any health issues. Some Magpie cats can be prone to dental problems, so brushing their teeth regularly and dental cleanings from the vet are important. Watch for signs of other problems like skin conditions, ear infections or joint issues and have them checked out right away. With proper care and nutrition, a Magpie cat can live up to 15 years or more.

Magpie cats need opportunities for exercise and play to stay physically and mentally stimulated. Engage your Magpie cat in interactive play with feather toys, laser pointers, tunnels and scratching posts. Puzzle toys that dispense treats as they play can keep them entertained when alone. Be sure to trim your Magpie cat’s nails regularly if they are not worn down naturally from scratching posts.

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Finding and Adopting a Magpie Cat

Finding and adopting a Magpie cat requires patience and persistence. Below are places you can find it;

1. Search Shelters and Rescues

Check with local animal shelters, humane societies, and cat rescue groups regularly. Let them know you’re interested in adopting a Magpie cat so they can alert you if one comes in. Some rescues specialize in rare breed cats, so search online for “Magpie cat rescue” and the name of your state. Be willing to travel to visit a cat that catches your eye.

2. Contact Breeders

Reputable Magpie cat breeders can be hard to find, but are worth contacting. Search online for “Magpie cat breeders” and check sources like the Cat Fanciers’ Association for breeder listings in your area. Expect a long waitlist and be prepared to travel out of state if needed. Breeders can also help match you with a cat that fits your lifestyle.

3. Check Local Classified Ads

Don’t forget to search classified ad sites like Craigslist, Nextdoor, and local Facebook groups. Owners sometimes have to give up pets due to life changes, and will post ads to find them new homes. Be extremely cautious meeting any prospective cat to ensure it is actually a Magpie, and get any medical or ownership records.

4. Be Patient

It can take weeks, months or even years to find the right Magpie cat for you. But when you spot that one quirky, chatty, mischievous little furball that captures your heart, you’ll know the search was worth it.


Bringing a Magpie into your life is a big commitment, so take your time and make sure you find a cat whose energy level and personality matches well with your lifestyle.

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