What’s funnier than watching your cat act like a dangerous lion or tiger while it almost looks like a toy? Domestication of cats made them more docile, cuddly, and smaller, but it is evident that even these smallest of cats still kept some of their feisty temperament.
The fact that domesticated cats are significantly smaller than their wild ancestors is quite important to us. After all, can you imagine having a cat pet that’s as large as a lion? How much cat food would you have to buy every month?
That’s why many cat owners prefer smaller cat breeds. They need less food and less space, and they are overall easier to deal with. Of course, large cat breeds, such as Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest cats, are quite popular, too, and they make great pets. Still, some people do tend to look for smaller breeds, and if you are one of them, take a look at this list of 12 smallest cat breeds that stay small forever!
|Ranking||Breed||Weight (lbs)||Height (inch)||Length (inch)|
In the table above, you can see the overview of the average body dimensions for each breed that we will include on our list. For comparison, Maine Coon weighs 10-25 lbs on average, is 10-16 inches tall, and has a body length of 15-38 inches.
Next, below is more info about each cat breed. Each one of these cat breeds is unique and special, not only because of its small size.
Known as the smallest breed, Singapura cats are relatively rare to find in the US. However, if you have enough time, patience, and money, you certainly won’t regret buying a Singapura cat. This is a great pet choice, and it will stay small forever!
Singapura cats have large heads, ears, and eyes when compared to the rest of their small bodies. Singapura cats have brown ticked furs, also known as sepia agouti. Their tails are blunt and with dark tips.
When it comes to their personalities, Singapuras are playful, active, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, and curious cats. They like to climb and perch from high places, and they will enjoy dog-like games such as fetch and hide-and-seek.
You will have to pay $1500-$2500 for a pet-quality Singapura. If you want a show-quality Singapura, you will have to pay $3000 or more.
Best known for their unusually short legs, Munchkin cats are also one of the smallest cat breeds. Their unique appearance is a result of a genetic mutation, but fortunately, this mutation didn’t affect the life quality of this breed.
Of course, this breed is still relatively young, as it emerged in the 1950s, and the possible effects of this mutation are still being explored. Apart from having short legs, Munchkin cats are known for their large eyes and beautiful plush or silky furs.
Munchkins are outgoing, friendly, intelligent, charming, and charismatic cats. Everything they may lack with their height, they certainly compensate with their sweet personalities.
On average, it will cost you $500-$1500 to buy a Munchkin cat, but the highest-quality specimens could cost you $200o and more!
A mix between Munchkin, Sphynx, and American Curl, Dwelf cats are truly something special. They are also one of the smallest cat breeds in the world, and they will stay like that forever!
Dwelf cats have extremely short legs, just like Munchkin cats, hairless bodies, just like Sphynx cats, and curled ears, just like American Curls. If you want a unique pet, this is a perfect choice!
These cats are intelligent, playful, energetic, curious, active, and sometimes goofy. This cat breed is quite rare, so its average price is between $2000 and $3000, but it can be much higher.
This breed was created by crossing Munchkin and Persian cats. As a result, this new breed has similar body dimensions and proportions to Munchkin cats. From their Persian ancestors, Minuet cats inherited dense furs, round faces, short snouts, and heavy bones.
Due to their short stature, this breed was first named Napoleon, but it was changed to Minuet. Minuet cats still await official recognition from several associations, such as Cat Fancier’s Association, but it is only a matter of time.
These are sweet, gentle, outgoing, loving, and social cats that will require a lot of your attention. They are quite pricey, as their prices start at $2000!
Cornish Rex Cats
Probably the most interesting features of Cornish Rex cats are their unusually large ears and curly furs. However, did you know that they are also among the smallest cat breeds?
Cornish Rex cats have sparse, soft, and curly fur. Their ears are almost as large as the rest of the head, standing upright, which makes them look even bigger. With long and slender bodies, Cornish Rex cats are often compared to Greyhound dogs.
When it comes to their personalities, Cornish Rex cats are active, playful, energetic, curious, friendly, outgoing, intelligent, and slightly goofy.
You can adopt a Cornish Rex cat for a shelter for $75-$150, or you can buy it for $800-$1300.
Another breed that was derived from the Siamese cat breed, Balinese is also one of the smallest cat breeds. At first, Balinese cats were considered a long-haired Siamese variety, but later they were recognized as a separate breed.
With piercing blue eyes and silky soft furs, Balinese cats are quite beautiful. Their fur is also color-point, which means that Balinese cats’ faces are darker than the rest of their bodies. Also, Balinese cats are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds.
Balinese cats have similar personalities to the Siamese, which means they are friendly, affectionate, outgoing, intelligent, and curious. Their price ranges between $800 and $1500.
American Curl Cats
Another small but unusual cat breed is the American Curl. These cats are well-known for their folded, curly ears that give them some sort of a cartoonish appearance. However, American Curl kittens are born with straight ears.
In the 48 hours after the birth, these ears will roll into tight buds, and they will slowly unfurl over the next few weeks until they reach their final form. American Curl cats also have large, walnut-shaped eyes, which makes them look even cuter!
Personality-wise, American Curls are outgoing, friendly, curious, playful, gentle, and affectionate. They are rarely found in adoption shelters, but if you want to buy one, it will cost you between $1200 and $3000.
Apart from being one of the oldest cat breeds, Abbysianian cats are also one of the smallest cat breeds. Another interesting thing about them is that they were one of the most popular cats in ancient Egypt, and we all know how much Egyptians loved their cats!
Abyssinian cats are also well-known for their ticked furs, with each hair being covered in bands of different colors. This pattern is also called agouti, and most Abyssinian cats are orange-gold, but some are tawny, sorrel, blue, and fawn. The fur color determines the eye color.
These cats are considered the most intelligent cat breed, but they can also be real jesters. They also like to steal your things, so keep that in mind when you can’t find your sock or car keys! If you still want to buy one furry bandit, it will cost you $500-$1200.
Devon Rex Cats
Another curly cat on our list, this breed is also one of the smallest cat breeds. They are also one of the most hypoallergenic cats. Often compared to Cornish Rex because of their similar appearance.
However, it was determined that their specific appearance is caused by a different mutation and on a different gene than in Cornish Rex cats. Still, just like Cornish Rex cats, Devon Rex cats have soft, sparse, and curly furs. They also have unusually large and rounded ears.
Devon Rex cats are smart, active, playful, mischievous, and people-oriented. They are often called a “monkey in a cat suit,” which tells you everything about their personalities. And price? “Measly” $1000-$300!
Japanese Bobtail Cats
Did you know that in many cultures, cats were believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and fortune? One of these cats was a Japanese Bobtail cat breed, a breed that was highly valued in Japan. It is also one of the smallest cat breeds.
Just like their name suggests, these cats have “bobbed” tails, which are much shorter than normal cats’ tails, and sometimes, they are almost non-existent. Japanese Bobtail cats can come in many colors and patterns, but the most common are those with calico (tri-color) fur patterns.
Japanese bobtail cats are sweet, affectionate, loyal, active, playful, curious, and mischievous. Their price ranges from $600 to $1600.
Probably one of the most popular breeds in the world, Siamese cats are quite small, actually. Many other cat breeds were derived from the Siamese breed, and there are so many pop culture references to Siamese cats.
They are mostly known for the color-point pattern of their fur. This fur pattern is a form of partial albinism. It is characterized by a dark coloration of the face, limbs, and tail. Siamese eyes are almond-shaped, slanted, and deep blue, which makes a beautiful contrast to the rest of the dark-colored face.
Siamese cats are vocal, loving, intelligent, playful, curious, determined, affectionate, and active. Their price ranges from $75 to $150 if you decide to adopt and $400-$1500 if you decide to buy.
This cat breed is one of the breeds that were derived from the Siamese cat breed. At first, Burmese cats were called Chocolate Siamese, as they were considered Siamese cats. However, breeders persisted in making Burmese cats a separate breed, and eventually, they succeeded.
Burmese cats are known for their short, glossy, and satin-like furs that can be brown/chocolate, sable, champagne, platinum, and blue. Their eyes are walnut-shaped and yellow, gold, or amber.
Burmese cats are loving, loyal, devoted, affectionate, gentle, playful, determined, and intelligent. Their price is $600-$1000, or $75-$150 if you decide to adopt.
Pros and Cons of Small Cat Breeds
Each cat is different and unique, regardless of its breed, age, gender, and size. Still, there are some general characteristics that determine whether they would be a good pet for you or not.
Many people like small cat breeds because they look extremely cute. However, there are other pros and cons of choosing small cat breeds, and you should consider them to see if they are the best choice for you.
Some of the pros of getting a small cat breed are:
- They eat less than larger breeds.
- They require less space.
- Small cat breeds have longer life spans.
However, there are also some cons to owning a small cat:
- Small cat breeds are more vulnerable to injuries, which can be quite problematic if you have larger pets or small children that could unintentionally hurt your small cat during playtime.
- These breeds, especially those with dwarf characteristics, are more prone to certain genetic diseases.
- If you don’t have time or energy for a hyperactive cat, you should avoid small cat breeds and instead choose a more laid-back large cat breed.
Of course, this is only a brief overview, and you should do a bit more research before making a final decision.
Are Small Cat Breeds Healthier Than Large Ones?
The answer to this question is tricky, and it depends on multiple factors. However, in general, small cat breeds usually have longer life spans. On the other hand, they are also more prone to various diseases, especially those rare breeds that have narrow gene pools.
Larger cat breeds are also more resilient when it comes to various injuries. Not only are they hardier, but they are also less likely to get injured at all. Larger cats are usually less active and energetic than those small breeds that always look for some trouble.
If you are looking for a cat that will stay small forever, look no further than these 12 smallest cat breeds. These breeds are small, affectionate, cute, cuddly, playful, and everything you could want from a pet!
Featured Image Credit: Tasy Hong, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons