Cat Breeds That Stay Small
Most of us know that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from those that can, quite literally, fit inside a teacup to the giant breeds that are convinced they’re meant to be lap dogs but what about cats? You’ve seen our roundup of big breeds, now take a look at some cats on the smaller side, courtesy of Cat Fanciers’ Association allbreed judge Hope Gonano.
Regardless of their expected size, it’s important to do as much research about your potential pet as you can. Be sure to consider the temperament, personality and history or health conditions of a specific breed before making the commitment to adopt or purchase one from a reputable breeder.)
Known for being the smallest breed of domestic cat, the Singapura is a delicate cat with large ears and eyes. Females are generally smaller and daintier than males and can weigh as little as five pounds, while male Singapuras generally weigh in between six and eight pounds. This active, affectionate breed is also known for its coat, in which each individual hair has two shades: ivory at the base of the hair and brown at the tip. This gives the cat a beige tint similar to the hair of a cougar.
With a sleek, slim figure and a short, fine coat that comes in four colors (seal, chocolate, blue and lilac point), the Siamese is a very refined looking breed. A born chatterbox, Siamese cats are outgoing, social and depend on human companionship. The breed can get very lonely when left alone often and does best when it can be with its people often.
In general, smallness in cats is often caused by too much inbreeding, Gonano said, and CFA breeders tend to prefer to keep their breeds robust. If you’re unsure about the ideal size and weight for your potential cat, talk to a breeder or research the breed standard for your cat to ensure they’re being bred, fed and cared for properly before bringing one home.
A Siamese hybrid that was first developed in England in the 20th century; Oriental Shorthairs are similarly built to their Siamese ancestors and can be on the smaller side. Although their body types are similar to the Siamese, Orientals come in many more color and pattern varieties—over 300!—and are generally not as communicative as the Siamese. Slender and flexible, Orientals are inquisitive by nature and love to join in on their owner’s daily activities.
Described as a medium-sized cat, with females ranging between five and six and a half pounds and males ranging between six and seven and a half pounds, the Cornish Rex is a lean and unusual looking cat. With soft, wavy hair, long legs and an egg-shaped head, the Cornish Rex is a friendly, affectionate breed that loves spending time with its people.
Another refined breed that is generally smaller than other breeds, the Japanese Bobtail has a slim but muscular build and generally weighs between six and ten pounds, depending on the gender. The most striking feature of the Japanese Bobtail is its short tail, which is about four inches long but curls into a corkscrew shape, making it appear even shorter. A bold, loving breed that makes a wonderful companion animal, Japanese Bobtails have soft, silky coats and can be found in a variety of colors and patterns.
Elegant and slender, female American Curls can weigh between five and eight pounds while makes can be between seven and ten pounds. With a well-proportioned build and soft, light single coat, American Curls can be found in many colors and can be either short or long haired. Known for their ears, which are moderately large but curl at the tip, it’s recommended that American Curl kittens not be purchased until after four months of age, once their curl becomes fixed and permanent. Hardy and adaptable, Curls are even tempered and physically affectionate without being too demanding.
A long, dainty breed with a similar build to the Siamese, the Burmese can be divided into two types: European and contemporary. The European Burmese has a longer, narrower muzzle and a smaller head and can be seen in colors beyond the traditional brown (like red) while the contemporary Burmese has a shorter, broader muzzle and head and is generally seen in brown. Energetic, playful and dog-like in their tendency to give and receive affection, the Burmese is an adaptable and friendly breed that loves spending time with its people.
Similar in appearance to the Cornish Rex, the Devon tends to be a bit stockier and have a broader face. With long, skinny legs and a slender build, the Devon Rex has a short coat with a uniquely wavy appearance, similar to that of a washboard. Independent yet friendly, Devon Rexes will shower their people with affection when they’re home and stay out of trouble when left alone.
Though this working cat is on the smaller side (between 6 and 12 pounds depending on its gender), the LaPerm is a sturdy, capable breed that can easily transition from mouse hunter to affectionate housecat. Named for its curly hair, the coat of the LaPerm can be either short or long and appears in a variety of colors and markings. The curls of the LaPerm can also vary from soft waves to tight ringlets.
Another dainty breed with a build that belies its hardiness as an “old country” cat with a history dating back several millennia, the Turkish Angora is long, svelte and graceful. With large ears, a long tail and wide eyes, Turkish Angoras are most renowned for its long, silky coat that seems to shimmer when it moves. An affectionate and intelligent breed, Angoras generally get along well with everyone, from grandparents to children and visitors, and are devoted to their human families.
Jessica is a managing editor and spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.