This pint sized cat was named after Napoleon Bonaparte, but its history is much more recent. The standard of the Napoleon cat was conceived by a breeder, Joe Smith, who was captivated by the image of a Munchkin that appeared in a Wall Street Journal publication. Smith was himself a Basset Hound, a low-slung breed of dog, breeder and was intrigued with the Munchkin and its genetics. He had the idea of creating a cat breed that has a universal appeal and that looks like a purebred. Thus, he chose the Persian Breed Group to be crossed with the Munchkin in creating the Napoleon.
Smith contact The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2001 for the breed to be added to the list of Experimental breeds. A year later, Smith managed to advance the breed to Registration Only status. This has helped to put the breed on the first rung of the ladder towards championship status. The journey requires a lot of effort and has seen Smith moving on to other projects and passing on the torch to other Napoleon breeders. The most significant breeder was Teri Harris, who presented the breed to the TICA in September 2011. The Napoleon was then moved on to the next step of Preliminary New Breed and begun appearing in shows under that class in May 2012.
Physical appearance and attributes
This is a medium sized cat that weighs between 5 – 9 pounds. It has a semi-cobby body type that has an overall round structure. This is contributed by strong, solid boning; a moderately long, thick, well-rounded mid section; as well as a good overlying musculature. Its characteristic feature is its short legs that are large-boned, well-developed and firm. They extend well into large round paws that are pointing forward. Extending behind the rump is a tail that is short to medium in length, thick and tapers into a rounded tip. In the longhair variety, it extends into a beautiful plume.
The head of the Napoleon is broad and of a great depth. It is set on a relatively short, thick and well muscled neck and is marked by roundness by its round top, cheeks and muzzles. Atop the head is a pair of small to medium sized ears with rounded tip. They are set wide apart to fill in the contours of the head. Viewed in profile the nose presents a slight change of direction referred to as a ski jump in which the tip of the nose tilts upwards slightly. Another distinctive feature is its big full round eyes that are set level and moderately apart, giving it an open and sweet and innocent expression. Eye colors are brilliant and conform to the color of the coat.
The Napoleon can come either in the shorthair variety or the longhair variety. The coat of the shorthair variety is dense, plush, standing away from the body. The longhair variety carries a dense undercoat and is full of life. An immense ruff may also be present. Coat colors and patterns come in a variety and seasonal variations will occur in both standards.
Personality and temperament
Liken to the Persian cat, the Napoleon is a sweet, docile and good-natured breed. However, it does not tolerate solitude, but loves the companionship of its favorite humans, children and other cat-friendly pets. Also, it is more active and playful than the Persian cat and is not hampered by its shortened legs. Its intelligence allows it to find inventive ways of getting around the house as well as climbing onto furniture and bed for a cuddle.
Care and health issues
This is a healthy breed with a general lifespan of between 9 -15 years. Breeding lines associate with the Persian and Munchkin may have a few health issues and these include Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Ensuring that the cat has undergone health checks from responsible breeders is important in making sure that the cat healthy during the point of purchase.
The Napoleon cat requires minimal grooming for the shorthair variety. A weekly brushing will suffice to keep the coat under good maintenance. The longhair variety would require more frequent brushing to remove matt and tangles. To ensure an overall health, care must be extended to frequent teeth brushing with vet-approved toothpaste as well as nail trimming and ear cleaning whenever necessary.
The ideal home
This breed is suitable for indoor living. The family must be ready to take the time to give it the attention and care needed in interactive play since the Napoleon does not tolerate solitude. With its intelligence, activeness and playfulness, the Napoleon will appreciate the provision of interactive toys, cat trees and cat gym sets that would stimulate its brain and encourage an active growth. This easy-going and fun-loving breed can be suited for most types of household, be it children, elderly or other cat-friendly pets. With the right care and attention, the Napoleon will not fail to be the ideal companion, bringing much joy and affections to the family.