Cats can grow into various shapes and sizes, but there are some breeds that will remain diminutive and petite for life. These so called small cats can be categorized into different groups such as dwarf cats, miniature cats and teacup cats. They are also sometimes referred to as “pocket cats” or “toy cats”. There have also been controversies about the breeding of small cat breeds as the size and structure of such cats are seen as a form of deformity and it raises ethical issues when unscrupulous breeders try to breed and sell such cats just because there is a demand for it.
Responsible breeders will do selective breeding that involves consideration of the health of the cat. They will also avoid inbreeding which leads to health issues. How petite can a cat get? This article will highlight some of the most popular small cat breeds around the world. These cats are the result of centuries of domestication and have proven to be excellent indoor companions.
The Singapura cat is usually half the size of an average cat breed. A female Singapura can weigh as little as 5 pounds while a male one usually weighs between 6 – 8 pounds. It possesses a delicate body and a pair of large eyes. While small in size, the Singapura is bold in attitude. This is probably due to it being related to the Abyssinian cat. The origin of the Singapura is suggested to have begun from the importation of American cats in Singapore. It was then exported to other countries after the breed has been established.
The smallness of the Munchkin cat is contributed in part by its particularly short legs, which is unlike other small cat breeds. Hence, it is much shorter than most average and small sized cats. It is considered a relatively modern breed that came to be established in the 1980s. A Munchkin can weigh between 5 – 9 pounds when it is fully grown. The short legs are a result of genetic mutation, but poses no specific health issues and no limitation to jumping, running and leaping; albeit the heights and distance covered is not as great as an average cat. This is a playful and active breed that is at the same time friendly and sweet.
The Cornish Rex
Not only is it considered small, the Cornish Rex cat is one of the few unusual looking cat breeds. Its face shape and ears resemble those of the Siamese cat and weighs between 6 – 10 pounds. Its unusual appearance lies in its lack of outer coat. It possesses only a soft and wavy undercoat that feels like down feathers. This extremely curious and sometimes demanding breed remains kittenish throughout its entire life. Known also for its intelligence, the Cornish Rex is responsive to its name.
The Devon Rex
The Devon Rex cat is very similar to the Cornish Rex, but nonetheless has its own uniqueness. It weighs between 5 – 10 pounds and has very large low-set ears and huge round eyes. The Devon Rex has a slightly stockier built and broader face than the Cornish Rex. Its coat is short and wavy in appearance and is fuzzy to the touch. This small breed has a big personality and is very affection. It possesses great agility skills and can often be spotted on high perches. Like the Cornish Rex, it remains playful into adulthood.
The American Curl
The American Curl cat can come in various sizes, but the weight of most bends towards the lower end of the scale, i.e., between 5 – 9 pounds. This breed has a distinctive look from its ears that curl backwards. While this is a result of genetic mutation, it poses no harm to the ears or its health. Besides its extraordinary curled ear, it also has an exceptional personality marked with affection and friendliness.
The above mentioned cats are all recognized as formal breeds. There may be more petite cat breeds in the future as breeders continue to experiment with crossbreeding the existing ones with other cat breeds. Potential ones include Kinkalow (a cross between the American Curl and Munchkin) as well as Lambkin (a cross between Selkirk and Munchkin).