There's no denying that kittens are cute, and while all cats are beautiful and adult cats have an undeniable grace and appeal all their own, many cat owners have nostalgic memories of the kitten stage of their cat's life, and wish their cats had stayed small and tiny for a while longer! If you are considering getting a new cat or kitten and hope to bring home a small cat that will not grow to a large size and will retain a striking resemblance to its small kitten appearance even after it has reached its adult size, you may be wondering which cat breeds are a good bet.
While all cat breeds, even those that tend to produce larger cats, can produce smaller specimens on occasion, and many domestic cats are naturally small in size, there are a few cat breeds that are usually just a little smaller than your average feline. Check out this list of the five most popular recognized small cat breeds.
1) The Singapura
The Singapura is considered the smallest cat breed in the world, with most cats of this breed being half the size of the average cat. The Singapura has a small and delicate body with long ears and large eyes. They are very active and playful, and love to climb! The Singapura is closely related to the Abyssinian cat and although the breed was established in Japan, it appears that its origins are American cats that were imported to Singapore and then exported once the breed was established.
2) The munchkin HE MUNCHKIN
The Munchkin is a cat whose body is only slightly smaller than most cats, but has particularly short legs, making it much smaller than the average feline. The Munchkin is a relatively modern breed, which only became established in the 1980s. They are playful and active, and don't let their short legs stop them from having fun! He is able to run and jump like a normal cat, although he is not able to jump as far or as high. The Munchkin's short legs are due to a genetic mutation in the founding cats of the breed, which is sometimes associated with a series of inherited health problems within the breed as a whole. If you are considering buying or adopting a Munchkin cat, we strongly recommend that you seek out additional information on the health implications of the Munchkin breed.
3) The cornish rex HE CORNISH REX
The Cornish Rex is one of the two unusually coated breeds of cats on our list. These cats are small and playful, with a very kittenish appearance. Their fur is very soft and wavy, and is called down in breeding circles. The shape of their face and ears is similar to that of the Siamese cat, and they share the characteristics of the Siamese breed, namely intelligence, talkativeness and a tendency to bond strongly with their owners.
4) The devon rex
The Devon Rex originated from a breed very similar to the Cornish Rex, and while there are undeniable similarities between the two breeds, they are very distinct from each other. The Devon Rex is another small breed with a great personality and intelligence, and can even be taught to do tricks like a dog can! They have a small, slender body and large bat-like ears. The Devon Rex again has a wavy or curly coat, but is distinguished from the Cornish Rex by a different genetic defect. Breeding a Devon Rex cat with a Cornish Rex cat will result in a cat with a normal, non-curly coat, as the gene for each coat mutation itself will not be dominant when crossed with another different gene, even though it has the same effect! They also have very short whiskers, which can also be curly in appearance!
5) The American curl HE AMERICAN CURL
The American Curl comes in a variety of sizes, but most cats of this breed fall towards the lower end of the scale. In addition to being small and generally attractive to look at in terms of size and proportions, they are also distinguished by the characteristic curly ears that give this breed its name. They need a little extra care for their ears by cleaning them to keep them healthy, but they are otherwise an undemanding, healthy and active cat breed. They are very easy-going and friendly, and also have a tendency to play, making them a good choice for families with older children.
Other cats that remain small
The five cats listed above are all recognized as official breeds by at least one of the world's cat authorities; however, many other types and potential future breeds of small cats are currently in the formative or experimental stages, many of which are Munchkin cats bred with various crosses. Please note, however, that the GCCF does not recognize the Munchkin cat breed or any other cat breed with a mutation that causes a harmful deformity that compromises the health and welfare of the breed.
Other small breeds that we may hear more about in the future include
- The Kinkalow a cross between a Munchkin and an American Curl.
- The Napoleon a cross between a Munchkin and a Persian.
- The Lambkin is a cross between a Selkirk Rex and a Munchkin.