The Smallest Cats in the World

The Smallest Cats in the World


Smallest Cats In the WorldThe average cat weighs around 10 – 12 pounds and is roughly 18 inches in length. However, just as there are miniature dog breeds, there are miniature cats.  (Picture By Wikipedia)

The smallest officially recognized breed of cat is the Singapura. This muscular little cat weighs 5 – 8 pounds when fully grown, and has a huge personality. They tend to be friendly, outgoing, and affectionate. The Singapura was brought to the US from Singapore in the 1970s (there is some controversy regarding the exact year), and was approved for championship status by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1988. However, Singapuras aren’t the smallest cats in the world.

Also among the smallest cats are the dwarf cats and teacup cats. These breeds are not recognized by cat registries such as the Cat Fancier’s Association or The International Cat Association. Many animal lovers say that it’s cruel to intentionally breed cats with deformities. Even so, they have an allure about them and are quite popular among breeders.

Dwarf cats are bred to exhibit the condition of dwarfism (which is usually due to an endocrine malfunction). They weigh around 5 – 8 pounds, and have short legs in addition to their small size. To produce healthy cats, breeders must be careful and avoid inbreeding. Those who share their homes with dwarfs say these cats can do almost anything their longer-legged counterparts can do. 

There are several breeds that are currently recognized by the Dwarf Cat Association. The first and probably most well-known breed is the Munchkin. Munchkins have been around since 1983, when a teacher in Louisiana found a pair of short-legged cats under a pickup truck. These cats are playful and love to run on their short legs. Breeders have since crossed Munchkins with other breeds, which resulted in new breeds such as: the Minskin (Munchkin, Devon Rex, Burmese and Sphynx), Napoleon (Munchkin and Persian), Lambkins (Munchkin and Selkirk Rex), Bambino (Munchkin and Sphynx), Kinkalow (Munchkin and American Curl), and Skookum (Munchkin and LaPerm). Breeders are also working to develop a marbled or spotted dwarf cat called the Genetta by crossing Munchkins with Bengals, Savannahs, and Oriental Shorthairs. 

Teacup cats and miniature cats are smaller versions of full-sized cat breeds. These are truly the smallest cats in the world, but despite their name, they are not small enough to fit in a teacup. They weigh 3 -7 pounds and can be no more than 12 inches long. Unlike dwarfs, teacup cats have normal body proportions. They’re produced through selective breeding and are still quite rare. Some kittens grow to be normal sized cats, so one can never be sure they are getting a teacup cat until the kitten is at least six months old. The most common miniature cat is the MiniPers, a diminutive Persian or Himalayan. In the 1990s, Munchinese cats (miniature Siamese) were bred as well, however, this has been stopped due to health issues. There are a few cats that qualify as teacups among other breeds, such as the Russian Bobtail and American Bobtail.

If you’d like to adopt one of the world’s smallest cats, make sure you go through a reputable breeder to ensure a healthy pet.

Tell us if you think cats should be deliberately bred small?