What if there were a way to keep a kitten-like appearance and size forever? As kittens age into mature cats, they often leave behind many of their adorable and cuddly features. While still beautiful and often regal animals, there is no doubt that cats grow out of a special kind of cuteness as they leave kittenhood.
But what if there were cat breeds that stay small their whole lives?
There are a surprising number of choices, it turns out, for those interested in owning a small breed of cat, a teacup breed, cats that retain their small size and kitten-ish features through adulthood. There is something for everyone's taste in cat companions, from sweet and cuddly to athletic and smart. All these domestic cats generally don't grow larger than 13lbs or taller than ten inches, and many of them stay much smaller.
Below, we have put together a list of 18 popular small cat breeds of the feline family and some tips if you plan to purchase one from a breeder.
18 Popular Small Cat Breeds
1. Singapura Cat
Singapura cats are one of the smallest of the small breeds of cats. These lovable felines stay in the 4-8 pounds range and don't grow to be larger than 8in, some staying much smaller. They are definitely smaller than your average cat. Singapura cats are athletic and cuddly cats with huge eyes, making them look partially kitten-like even as adults.
The Munchkin cat weighs between six and nine pounds, and they have the shortest legs of all small cats. This cat breed is like a dachshund of cats, and it raises some controversy in the cat world. Because they have short legs, they can't jump very high or even jump at all. If they do jump, pet owners should be aware of the potential joint injuries. Even though these cute and tiny creatures can't jump, this cat breed is very fast and active. They make a great choice for families with children and other cats.
3. Cornish Rex
Cornish Rex cats are long, angular cats that are 11-15 inches tall and 6-10 pounds heavy full grown. They are a very striking breed of cat, with their shaped facial features, large ears, big eyes, and tight curly coats. Because a Cornish Rex's coat consists only of down fur, it is hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for those sensitive to cat allergies.
4. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex shares many similarities with the Cornish Rex—big ears, angular features, doe-like eyes, and a curly coat. The prominence of such features as its eyes and ears is part of what makes a Devon Rex look like a kitten its whole life. Devon Rex is pixie-like cat who loves being with their people, some even enjoy being shoulder cats.
5. American Curl Cat
American Curl cats get their name from the distinct backward curl of their ears. This unique feature creates a very cute and lovable face. These cats also have very soft and fluffy coats of semi-long hair. They are very playful cats but don't make great lappets. They vary some in size, from 8-12 pounds and 9-12 inches tall, but always stay small.
Siamese cats are a very old breed of cat, one of the very oldest. They are 8-12 pounds full-grown and between 8-10 inches tall. Females tend to be smaller than males. They have a distinctive coloring, particularly with the darker spots on their faces and lean, well-muscled bodies. They also have beautiful bright blue eyes and extremely soft, silky fur.
7. Burmese Cat
Burmese is often confused with a siamese cat. While Siamese cats are slender and lean, Burmese cats are strong and muscular. They can get up to 14 pounds, though most generally are a bit smaller. They grow to a height of 10-12 inches. This is a very smart breed of cat, one that can learn tricks, learn to play fetch, and loves to stay active.
Abyssinian cats are another very old breed of cat. They have great personalities since they are smart, strong, and silly, and they love hanging out with their people. Abyssinians also have a distinctive reddish, brown color scheme, often resembling a wild cat. Their coat is silky smooth, and their eyes are generally a stricken shade of green or gold. These little cats are 6-9 pounds and 8-10 inches when fully grown.
9. Sphinx Cat
Sphinx cats are a hairless or nearly hairless breed of cat. They have a sleek, lean build, slender body, and a very friendly temperament. They grow to be 8-10 inches and 6-12 pounds. They can be another good option for those with cat allergies since they are hairless or nearly hairless and so don't shed.
10. Japanese Bobtail
A breed that originated in Japan, the Japanese bobtail was the most commonly sighted street cat in Japan. As the name suggests, have short, docked, fluffy tails. This tiny cat breed can reach 5 to 10 pounds and only 9 inches when it matures. This makes them one of the smallest cat breeds. Japanese bobtail cats are very active and playful. They are also very affectionate and have an average life expectancy of 11 years.
11. LaPerm Cat
LaPerm cats have a unique coiled fur that comes in a great variety of colors. These cats were initially bred for pest control, and their 'permed' coat comes from a mutation in that breeding process. They are lovable, small cats with a weight range of 5 to 8 pounds and a height range of 6-10 inches.
12. Scottish Fold
Scottish Fold cats are particularly adorable given how round their faces are and how fluffy their bodies are. They get their name from the forward fold of their small ears. This unique feature also lends itself to the endearing quality of these cats’ faces. They are 8-10 inches, and 6-14 pounds, so a little bit larger than some of the other small cat breeds, but still adorable.
Toybob cats are named for their distinctive kinked tails. They are not the most energetic cat breed but are extremely affectionate, cuddly, and social. They are quite small, too, even in the small cat breed category, most staying within 4-8 pounds and 8 inches or less.
14. Balinese Cat
Balinese cats look very similar to a siamese cat breed, and they are related. Unlike a Siamese cat, a Balinese cat has a longer coat and is smaller than the average cat as they weigh between 5 to 10 pounds, making them the smallest cat breed. And just like a siamese cat, these tiny cats are very intelligent and enjoy being social, are very affectionate, and can be quite a talker.
15. Dwelf Cat
The dwelf cat is a cross between a Munchkin, American Curl, and Sphynx. The hairless dwelf cat weighs between four to six pounds and is only seven inches in height. Despite their size, they are super active, social, and interactive. And because they have a hairless body, they are hypoallergenic cats, making them an ideal cat breed for anyone with cat allergies.
18. Napoleon Cat
Napoleon cat is a tiny and fluffy cat breed that weighs between 5 to 9 pounds and reaches 7 inches in height. But don't let their petite size and cute appearance fool you. They are a super active and intelligent cat breed. They can be found in almost any color and pattern, and they are great with families, kids, and other pets.
A Word About Reputable Breeding
Because many toy or teacup breeds of cats were formed due to genetic mutation, it is critically important that you verify that your cat or kitten comes from an ethical and responsible breeder.
Small breeds of cats are often at a much higher risk for complications and particular health problems, so you need to ensure that your breeder follows ethical and humane breeding practices. You should strive to ensure that both parents are pedigreed or registered to be sure that your kitten is coming from good stock.
It is always wise to ask to see both cat parents too to have a good idea of what your kitten will grow to look like, particularly when it comes to size. You will also want to know of any potential health risks or complications too. A reputable breeder will be able to give you a head's up on what to expect in terms of potential future health issues, life expectancy, and any special care.
When possible, adopt a small cat breed instead of purchasing from a breeder.
Everyone loves a kitten, and it is often sad to see a once fluffy, miniature, big-eyed baby grow up, even if the adult cat is still beautiful, cuddly, and fun-loving. Small cat breeds are a popular choice for those who love kittens and never want to see them grow up past that adorable baby stage. They are also wonderful for those with limited space. Some hypoallergenic cat breeds are also great for those with animal dandruff sensitivity. There is something for everyone, both in color, form, personality, and activity levels.
Ensure that you buy from a reputable breeder, and you are sure to get a little friend to love for many years, one that won't get much bigger than a kitten and may always look as cute.