We all know that kittens grow up quickly, and while our adult cats are just as wonderful and adorable, we always miss the kitten days. In this article, we discuss those cat breeds that remain tiny, like kittens, for the rest of their lives!
However, not every feline matures into an adult animal. Some domestic cat breeds are naturally small or have been explicitly bred to be so.
It’s worth noting that some cats are willing to pay a high price to remain small. Excessive breeding of domestic cats can result in severe, life-altering, or fatal health problems, lowering their quality of life.
Except for fuzzy giants like the Norwegian Forest and the Maine Coon, many domestic cat breeds prefer to remain small. Here are 22 cat breeds that stay small.
The Munchkin is a new breed of cat distinguished by its very short, stumpy legs, which result from a genetic mutation. Despite their cute appearance, the species has sparked debate due to its possible health and mobility issues.
They range in weight from five to nine pounds. Munchkins are still agile and fast runners despite this. However, don’t expect them to jump high!
When the International Cat Association formally recognized the breed in the 1990s, it was met with backlash.
The Singapura is among the most miniature cat breeds, with wide eyes and ears, and the first Singapura cats were reportedly bred from three “drain cats” from Singapore in the 1970s. Still, the cats were later discovered from the United States.
According to most vets, the Singapura weighs four to eight pounds. Females are probably smaller than males, but both breeds are lighter than others.
3. American Curl
Another new cat breed is the American Curl, which is distinguished by its unusually curled back ears. Breeders started selectively breeding the cats to produce the American Curl in the 1980s after a natural genetic mutation first appeared in a stray black kitten in California.
They may weigh as little as five pounds or as much as ten pounds, but most are in the smaller category. American Curls, like Rex Breeds, are known for their ears. However, they have unusual ears that curve backwards, resulting from a common genetic mutation.
4. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex’s fur is known for being exceptionally fine and curly. Cornish Rees, unlike other breeds, only have an undercoat of skin, rather than the standard outer fur, middle layer, and undercoat. The species is due to a genetic mutation in a litter of kittens born on farmland in Cornwall, England, in the 1950s.
Most cat breeders estimate that they weigh between five and nine pounds, with females falling on the lower end of the scale.
5. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is a shorthaired cat with a curly, fluffy coat similar to the Cornish Rex. They are knowledgeable and are said to be capable of learning complicated tricks, but in true feline fashion, motivating them can be difficult.
According to the Cat Fancier’s Association, they weigh just about six to nine pounds when fully grown.
While Siamese cats have a reputation for being arrogant, they are friendly and like to communicate with humans. These sleek cats have almond-shaped blue eyes, wide ears, and point colouration, which means they have a pale body with a darker tail, darker paws, and darker ears. They are thought to have originated in Thailand.
According to CFA, these cats are light on their feet and typically weigh about six pounds. They can, however, reach a size of 14 pounds. If you’re looking for a tiny cat, the Siamese may not be for you.
The Balinese is a long-haired domestic cat breed that is also known as the Siamese’s long-haired variety. It is a natural mutation of that breed, but it does not originate in Indonesia, as the name implies. After Siamese cats were introduced into the United States in the 1800s, the first Balinese cats were born.
8. Russian Blue
Russian Blue cats possess green eyes and a short, thick coat that is silvery in colour. Before being brought to Europe by sailors in the 1800s, the breed is thought to have originated in the Russian port of Arkhangelsk.
While the Abyssinian cat resembles the African wildcat, it is a domestic cat that is small to medium in size. Soldiers are supposed to have brought it to Europe from Ethiopia in the 1860s, and it is noted for its playful demeanour.
The Minuet, formerly known as the Napoleon, is a cross between Persian and Munchkin cat breeds. The International Cat Association has recognized the breed founded by Joseph B. Smith, an American Kennel Club judge. Their agility isn’t considered to be hampered by their short legs. They weigh between five to nine pounds under all that fur.
The Lambkin is a hybrid of a Munchkin with short legs and a Selkirk Rex with long legs. Small legs and a distinct, fluffy coat differentiate this dwarf breed, which is thought to have been developed in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
The Dwelf is an unusual-looking cat that incorporates the Munchkin’s short legs, the Sphynx’s hairlessness, and the American Curl’s curled tail. The breed is stocky and short, standing just 6 to 7 inches tall. Because of their selective breeding, these cats, like other designer cats, may be susceptible to issues. According to TICA, they weigh between four and nine pounds.
14. Japanese Bobtail
The Japanese Bobtail is a domestic cat species with an unusual bobtail that resembles a rabbit’s tail. The tri-coloured Japanese Bobtails, which are native to Japan and Southeast Asia, are thought to bring good luck. They are usually smaller than domestic cats.
The Javanese, also identified as the Colorpoint, is a dog breed similar to the Balinese but was created in the United States. The species, like Siamese cats, is known for being vocal and for enjoying engaging with humans and playing.
The LaPerm is noted for being very affectionate and is named after its unusual curly hair. The breed first emerged in the United States in the early 1980s as a mutation of cats bred for pest control, but it quickly gained popularity due to its attractive appearance. Oregon’s Linda and Dick Koehl were the first to develop the breed.
17. Oriental Long-Haired
Oriental Long-haired female cats are thin, weighing less than 8 pounds. It has a long, triangular head, pointed ears, and wide eyes and is highly playful and intelligent.
The Somali cat is thought to be the Abyssinian cat’s long-haired version. In the late 1960s, breeders developed a long-haired Abyssinian cat known as the Somali cat. They are caring and enjoy spending time with their humans, even though they need daily grooming.
The Genetta is a dwarf cat with very short legs and a striped or marbled coat that is still being produced by breeders. They are thought to have originated from several breeds, including Bengals, Ocicats, and Munchkins, responsible for their short legs.
The Bambino is a modern, experimental cat breed that is a hybrid between a hairless Sphynx and a Munchkin with short legs. The first litter of bambino cats was discovered in 2005, and since the breed is so new, little is known about it. However, because of the possible health issues that the cats might have, their species’ creation has been criticized.
The Minskin is a cat breed created by intentionally crossing the Munchkin with the Burmese and the Devon Rex with the Sphynx. They have short legs, big ears, and prominent whisker pads, as well as sparse coats. Paul Richard McSorley developed the breed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1998.
The Kinkalow is a cross between the American Curl and the Munchkin cat breeds. As a result, these dwarf cats are an unusual breed with short, stocky legs and curled ears. The International Cat Association has designated it as an Experimental Breed.
What Are The Smallest Cats You Can Get?
The Singapura is the smallest cat breed, with many of them weighing less than 2 kg. They have a trim, muscular body and are very agile, which means they are still up to no good.
Munchkin cats are tiny due to a gene mutation that causes their legs to be shorter than they should be. They have a medium-sized body, but their shoulder height is very low to the ground, making them one of our tiniest breeds. Munchkins are remarkably agile, and despite their lack of jumping ability, they are lightning-fast on the floor.
Cornish Rex cats are a small breed known for their distinctive coat. They have the ‘down’ fur that makes up a typical cat’s undercoat, making them beautifully fluffy and hypoallergenic.
The Devon Rex, like the Cornish Rex, has a coat made entirely of down feathers, making them incredibly soft to the touch. Another resemblance between these two breeds is their small size, so they have made our list of the most petite cats.
The ears of American Curl cats curl back towards the skull, making them smaller than average cats (unlike the Scottish Fold, whose ears fold forwards). They usually weigh less than 5 kg, but individuals can differ significantly due to a large gene pool.
Siamese cats have a long body, but they’ve made a list because they’re a lightweight breed. These cats are usually less than 5kg in weight but have a lean and muscular body.
The Siamese and the Balinese share many characteristics, which is unsurprising given that the Balinese is purebred long-haired Siamese. As a result, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Balinese rarely weights more than 5 kilogrammes and has a similar build to the Siamese.
The Dwelf, despite not being a recognized breed, deserves to be included. This cat is incredible, combining three distinct breeds’ unusual characteristics to create a cat that appears alien-like. A tiny Dwarf/Elf – Dwelf cat is created by combining the Munchkin’s short legs, the American Curl’s curled paws, and the Sphynx cat’s hairless body.
What is a Teacup Cat?
Dwarf cats and munchkin cats are other names for teacup cats. Munchkin cats are a well-known small cat breed. They’re a smaller cat with thicker legs. These cats have chondrodysplastic dwarfism, which is a medical condition. The gene is lethal if two munchkin breeds are bred together. Munchkin breeds are coupled with other cats as a result. Teacup cats, on the other hand, are not the same as munchkins. Teacups are diminutive in every way. These occurred as a result of random mutations. Unfortunately, there are specific genetic hazards associated with haphazard inbreeding, which may contribute to diseases. This is why picking a trustworthy breeder is so crucial.
Teacup Cat Characteristics Include:
- When fully grown, no more than 10 pounds (preferably between three to six pounds)
- Cats that are smaller or “mini” versions of regular cats
- Shorter legs
Dwarf Cats Come in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes
Under the Experimental Breed group of the International Cat Association or TICA, the following dwarf cat and mini cat breeds are recognized. There are some of them:
- Genetta (Teacup cat x Savannah x Bengal x Shorthair)
- The Lambkin (Teacup cat x Selkirk Rex)
- Minskin (Teacup cat x Sphynx)
- Napoleon (Teacup cat x Persian)
- Skookum (Teacup cat x LaPerm)
Some of these new breeds are so rare that their life expectancy is unknown. It’s also difficult to predict their mood. However, there are several general temperament suggestions for small cats. They are gregarious, playful, and curious. They are active cats who enjoy exploring and interacting with a variety of stimuli. Teacup cats are ideal for senior citizens and families with children. Due to their small scale, however, caution must be exercised. Teacup cats, like teacup dog breeds, require gentle handling.
How Much Does a Teacup Cat Cost?
Teacup cats will cost anywhere from $700 to $2,700 on average. The breeder, the cat’s background, and the colour are all things to consider. Maintenance and medical costs could cost an extra $300 – $500 per month.
Keep An Eye Out For Bad Breeders.
Sick cats are the product of bad breeders. Make sure you do your homework while searching for the perfect breeder. Some breeders, similar to the problem with “puppy factories,” are unconcerned about their cats’ health and well-being.
Signs That You’re Dealing With a Bad Breeder
- Refusing to let you see the cat’s birthplace or parents
- A breeder who only sells their puppies on Craigslist or other classified websites.
- Irrational or suspicious of you or the cat’s new adoptive home
- Has kittens at all times (there are breeder limits)
- Prices that are too good to be true
- There will be no microchips, deworming, or vaccinations.
- There’s no way to know if you’re genetically healthy.
Teacup Cats Are Linked to Genetic Conditions
There are some questions about genetic health problems in teacup cats due to interbreeding or selective breeding. Here are some of the mainly common health problems that teacup cats face:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Epilepsy and other neurological disorders
- Shorter Lifespan
- Eye problems, such as blindness
- Kidney problems
- Bone problems (bowed legs, jawbones, etc.)
- Problems with reproduction
- Slow growth rate
Most families cannot take their cats home until they are at least five months old due to their size. What is the reason for this? Owing to their small size, teacup cats are more fragile than other species.
Remember to ask for a health certificate, proof of vaccination, proof of deworming, proof of spaying or neutering, and a signed document that stipulates no genetic problems anywhere you get your teacup pet.
Cats That Stay Small And Don’t Shed
Due to a genetic alteration, the Sphynx is a naturally hairless cat, making it a popular option among cat allergy sufferers.
According to Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Sphynx has just a smidgeon of fur on the nose and a smidgeon of peach fuzz-like skin [on the body]. However, don’t mistake this for ‘no upkeep.
All cats’ skin excretes oil in the same way yours does, but since the Sphynx lacks a coat to absorb this oil, pet parents can notice it where their cat likes to lounge.
Gentle cleaning of their body will help minimize this oil. Also, these cats make excellent snuggle partners.
While the Cornish Rex has fur, its coat is curly, short, and close to the body, which means it sheds less than other breeds. Since the Cornish Rex is such a playful breed, it may be ideal for those looking for an engaging playmate for themselves or their other pets.
Another curly-haired breed with a short coat is the Devon Rex. The Devon Rex can form a strong bond with their owner and enjoys being pampered. They demand attention, and it isn’t tricky to give it to them.
Of course, all that love means more hair, salvia, and allergens on your clothes, so be cautious and consult your doctor if you’re particularly sensitive.
The Burmese cat is a small cat with a fine, short coat with less fur than other breeds. According to the Cat Fanciers ‘ Association, they have a lot of love for their owners and want to be by their side as much as possible—but without being overbearing. Even with a toy, some Burmese can play fetch!
Although you can imagine this breed’s fabulously fluffy coat covering any sticky surface in your home, Hope Gonano, an all-breed judge for the Cat Fanciers’ Association, believes the species is relatively low-shedding. The Birman’s non-matting coat, according to Gonano, needs very little grooming. Birmans are also known for being gentle and affectionate. They are intelligent and curious animals who react well to training and can easily adjust to living with children and other pets.
Russian Blues, another limited shedder, shed once or twice a year over a two- to three-week span and are quick to groom. The Russian Blue’s hair often sticks out at a 45-degree angle, allowing you to practically trace patterns into it, which will stay there until you smooth them out with your fingertips. The Russian Blue is a compact breed with a graceful, muscular build, a gentle disposition, and is known for being quick to train.
The Exotic Shorthair, also known as a shorthaired Persian, has a thick and dense coat that sheds very little, but it does take some combing to remove any dead fur. Exotic Shorthairs are an incredible, relaxed breed that is affectionate and adapts well to city or country living.
Siamese cats have low-maintenance coats that owners can brush with a fine-tooth comb. They’ll shed very little until the dead hair is removed. The Siamese, which comes in the seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac point and has big ears, distinctive blue eyes, and a sleek, slender figure, enjoys being around and talking with their people.
Oriental Shorthairs are also quick to groom because of their Siamese ancestry. Oriental Shorthairs, like Siamese, are long and slender, but they come in a variety of colours and patterns, including ebony, pure white, bi-colour, and tabby. These kitties are a caring, entertaining breed that enjoys being the centre of attention. If neglected or left alone too long, they may become sensitive.
Managing Your Cat’s Allergies
Avoiding cat allergies is the best management. Still, if you can’t stay away from these cute and snuggly animals, there are measures you can do to aid with the side effects.
Pet parents should also do the following to lessen the impact of allergies on themselves and others:
- After petting or playing with their cat, they should wash their paws.
- Remove unwanted hair from clothing with a lint roller.
- Vacuum and dust their home often eliminate excess fur and consider using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter in their vacuum designed to absorb and filter beautiful particles.
- Bathe and brush their cat regularly to reduce loose hair and dander.