Are There Any Breeds of Cats That Stay Small?

Cats come in all shapes and sizes; however, what if you want a cat who won’t outgrow their kitten size?

Good news is that there are breeds of cats which tend to remain smaller. An example is Munchkin cats with short legs due to genetic mutations.


Named for Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, these cats feature short legs due to a genetic mutation. With average-size bodies and friendly personalities, Munchkin breed cats make excellent additions for households with children, dogs, and other pets.

  • Munchkins may have small legs, but they’re capable of leaping onto furniture with ease and moving quickly around a room.
  • Munchkins are lively and engaging individuals, needing both mental and physical stimulation in order to avoid boredom.
  • Munchkins may appear feral at first glance, but these social cats make wonderful companions and form strong bonds with their primary caretakers.
  • Although easy to train, Munchkins have short or long fur depending on your preference and generally lead healthy lives despite having an increased chance of having a condition known as lordosis that causes their spines to curve downward.


Establishing a new breed of cat requires extensive work. While some breeders focus solely on making money, others are committed to the health and welfare of their felines. When searching for breeders that care about your feline friends’ wellbeing, consider those that allow visitors to visit the cattery so that you can witness where your future feline friend was raised with proper attention and care.

Minuet was developed in the 1990s by Joe Smith, an established basset hound breeder who also worked with short-legged Munchkin cats. Its features include:

  • A doll-face appearance and large, round eyes.
  • A semi-cobby body showing signs of roundness with overlaying musculature.
  • It is medium-sized yet strong enough to run freely around a home and easily climb stairs; yet gentle yet loving in nature with close bonds to its human companions.


This rare hairless cat breed, developed by Paul McSorley in 1998 from hairless Sphynx and Munchkin cats, does not qualify for recognition by the International Cat Association as an official breed. His intention was for a hybrid breed that combined characteristics from both breeds; short legs similar to Munchkins while also possessing the rexed sparse coat and pointed fur points found on Sphynx and Devon Rex cats would create his ideal of the perfect hybrid cat.

Minskin is an intelligent and active feline who enjoys playing with her human family. Her playful and curious nature keeps her exploring its surroundings quickly adapting to new environments. However, due to extreme cold temperatures she prefers being indoors in winter; grooming sessions for Minskin should take place regularly to maintain healthy ears.


Dwelfs are friendly cats who thrive around people. They can get along well with other pets if introduced gradually; however, sudden changes can be upsetting to them. Grooming should take place regularly to maintain healthy skin; due to their higher metabolism it’s essential that an appointment be scheduled with your veterinarian in order to avoid overfeeding your dwelf.

This unique-looking cat is actually a new breed created through hybridization of three distinct breeds:

  • Taking cues from both Munchkin and Sphynx breeds for short legs.
  • Its curled ears come from the American Curl breed.
  • With short legs from Munchkin providing hairlessness, while curled ears from American Curl add curling ears – this combination creates a small feline with elf-like features who weighs four to nine pounds fully grown; only recently did the International Cat Association recognize them under its Experimental New Breed category.


Like their Munchkin parent breed, Bambinos are highly active and playful cats who love exploring every corner of their homes and finding new ways to play with their family. Keep in mind, however, that hairless cats in general are susceptible to health-related issues including bacterial skin conditions and pectus excavatum (a malformation of the sternum that causes their chests to appear as though ‘caved-in’).

As these cats have short legs, they are also more prone to hereditary muscle weakness and need regular physical and mental stimulation in order to remain in good physical and mental health. Exercise and enrichment play an integral part in this. To maintain both their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as prevent boredom or destructive behaviors. They usually get along well with children and dogs but should always be monitored. Generally social cats, these companions need company or risk becoming lonely over extended periods.

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