GENERAL BREED INFO

World’s Smallest Cat Breed: Small Bundles of Fun

small kitten
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

We all know how appealing kittens can be. Many people, cat lovers especially, feel that kittens are full of grace and cuteness at the same time. We all wish that cats could retain their kitten-cuteness even in their adulthood as well as their small size. If you want a cat that can look like a kitten longer than others, you might want to find the world’s smallest cat breed.

As with most beings, kittens become bigger as they age. Small cat breeds are different because this group of cats become mature but remain smaller compared to other breeds. They will not reach full adult size like other cats but will look like overgrown kittens instead.

You might be wondering if all of these are true or what breed of cats are able to remain small yet become adults at the same time. Well, you’re in the right place because this article will talk about the world’s smallest cat breeds: namely the Singapura and the Munchkin. We will explain the characteristics of each breed to make it easier for you to choose.

#1: The Singapura

Singapura cat and kitten

This is one of the smallest cat breeds in existence and is known for their large eyes and ears. The Singapura is small and petite with a delicate looking body. But don’t judge a book by its cover—these cats are active, playful, and love climbing.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: very adaptable and very friendly

  • Grooming: does not require regular grooming

  • Health: they are generally healthy

  • All Around Friendliness: wary towards strangers at first but friendly and affectionate to family

  • Size and Weight: approximately 4-6 lbs.

  • Lifespan: approximately 9-15 years

Highlights

Singapura cat playing

  • Established from the “drain cats” found in Singapore during the 1970s.

  • Closely related to the Abyssinian cat.

  • A natural breed and not cross-bred with other breeds.

  • Considered as a national treasure in Singapore.

  • Impish, inquisitive, intelligent, and full of energy.

  • Likes leaping on high places.

  • It only comes in 1 color: brown ticked agouti.

Breed History

The breed was originally a street cat brought to the United States from Singapore during the 1970s by Hal and Tommy Meadows. The breed got its name for the Malay word for Singapore. During the 1980s, and chanced upon the Singapura on a visit to Singapore. The cat was imported to the US for breeding.

Size

They might be one of the world’s smallest cats, but the Singapura is a stocky and muscular feline. They have a short, fine coat and adult females usually weigh as little as 4 pounds while adult males tip the scales at a maximum of 6 pounds.

Personality and Character

Singapura cat watching

These cats may be small, but they know that they are in charge. The Singapura is a highly active, curious, and affectionate cat. You can expect them to act like a supervisor and oversee everything that you’re doing.

They are also very social and do not like being left alone. This breed loves getting attention from their family so much that they are in danger of becoming a pest.

Singapura cats are wary when it comes to meeting new people. They get along well with other cats especially other Singapuras. They also get along well with dogs especially if they grew up together. Singapura cats don’t like noises, though, so shrieking and crying kids will make them cower in fear.

Their favorite toys include pens, your keyboard, and anything on your counters. They are also an intelligent breed so challenging them by teaching tricks and puzzles should keep them happy.

Health and Potential Problems

Singapuras are generally healthy, but they also have a small gene pool which can be problematic at times. Their most common health problems include renal failure, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes.

Getting a cat from a reputed breeder and making sure that your Singapura maintains a healthy weight can help them avoid these potential problems.

Care Features

This breed’s coat is easy to care for. It needs regular brushing but once a week will suffice. A bath is rarely necessary. Singapuras are also susceptible to periodontal disease, so regular tooth-brushing is required.

Trim nails every three weeks and wipe the corner of their eyes with a soft damp cloth to remove discharge regularly. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe with a clean damp cotton ball.

Keep their litter box spotless and clean. Like other cats, Singapuras are very particular about their bathroom hygiene.

It’s best to keep the Singapura an indoor-only cat to protect them from diseases spread by other cats and animals, and also from other threats in the outside world.

Feeding Schedule

Singapura cat eating

This breed is a meat eater. They will not eat anything but meat. They will refuse offerings that are not meat. Singapura cats share most of their diet with big cats like tigers, lions, and jaguars.

Always make sure to feed your cat the right amount of food. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian about their feeding schedule and amount to feed.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

The Singapura’s coat only comes in 1 color: brown ticked agouti. There are cats that are lighter in color while others have markings. However, the sepia agouti color is the officially recognized coat color for the Singapura.

They are relatively easy to care for. They don’t need regular baths, but they do need regular grooming. Regular visits to the vet, as well as attention to their diet, should keep your feline friend healthy.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The Singapura does not like loud noises, so children need to be trained not to shout or scream in their presence. Otherwise, this is an affectionate and friendly breed when it comes to kids especially if they are members of their own family.

They are also friendly with other cats, Singapuras, in particular, will make friends with dogs easily especially if they were raised together.

#2: Munchkin

Munchkin cat walking

Some people think that the Munchkin is a cross between a dachshund and a cat; this is not true. Munchkins have a dwarfed appearance due to a genetic mutation. Despite its size, the Munchkin is energetic and playful.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: very adaptable and very friendly

  • Grooming: twice weekly brushing to prevent the coat from matting for long-haired Munchkins

  • Health: they are generally healthy but have a few problems like lordosis, a rare spinal condition

  • All Around Friendliness: very friendly; likes playing with kids and dogs

  • Size and Weight: approximately 5-9 lbs.

  • Lifespan: approximately 13 years

Highlights

  • They look like any other cat except for the short legs.

  • They can jump but only to an extent.

  • Munchkins have short legs but are actually fast.

  • They have hoarding tendencies. They are sometimes called magpies due to their love of shiny objects.

  • Loves to cuddle and is very curious.

Breed History

The Munchkin appeared in the UK before World War II and was known as kangaroo cats. During the war, the Munchkin became so rare, many people thought they had vanished. Luckily, the breed appeared in Russia during the 1950s and in the United States in the 1980s.

As her cat had kittens, Sandra consulted an expert with regards to their short legs. Feline expert Dr. Solveig Pflueger later confirmed that this was a naturally occurring, new breed of cat. The breed received full recognition from The International Cat Association in 2003.

Size

Munchkin cat sitting

The Munchkin is considered as a small to medium sized cat with a moderate body-type. Adult male Munchkins usually weigh around 6-9 pounds with females generally smaller, weighing in at approximately 4-8 pounds.

Personality and Character

This is an outgoing cat breed who likes being petted and showered with affection. They have lots of energy and are actually more agile and faster than they look.

Munchkins can jump—not very high, but they will get there eventually. You can think of the Munchkin not as the feline version of the Welsh Corgi or Dachshund but as a low slung sports car.

The Munchkin is a friendly feline that likes to play with kids and other cats and dogs. Many cats have a curious nature, but this breed takes it to a new level. Expect them to explore every nook, cranny, and corner of their home. But watch out because their magpie tendencies will make them steal something shiny or bright.

Their real strength is their speed. They have a lot of energy, and their low slung bodies help them stay low on the ground to get more traction, leading to speed and agility. Most of all, they are friendly, agreeable, and social creatures.

Health and Potential Problems

Just like dog breeds with short legs like the Dachshund, the Munchkin is susceptible to spinal deformities and disorders. Kittens are at risk for lordosis. It can be mild or severe. Kittens with a severe problem won’t live past three months of age.

Care Features

Munchkin cat

This breed’s coat is easy to care for. Short haired Munchkins need once-weekly brushing to keep their coats clean while long-haired versions need 2-3 times a week brushing to prevent their coats from matting.

They will eat anything you give them. Just make sure that you feed your cat high-quality cat food to prevent diseases and to dispense the right amount to avoid obesity and diabetes. Keep your Munchkin active. Play with them or let your dog and kids play with them.

Periodontal disease is a problem among cats so regular tooth brushing is recommended. Trim their nails and check their ears regularly too.

Feeding Schedule

Munchkins will eat anything served to them. They are not a picky breed. Munchkins will eat wet and dry food. Just make sure to give them the right amount of food and avoid overfeeding them. Munchkins can become obese and diabetic if they eat too much.

Always make sure to feed your cat the right amount of food. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian about their feeding schedule and amount to feed. Always provide clean drinking water for your cats.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

long-haired Munchkin cat

The Munchkin comes in different colors. Regular brushing for the short-haired and long-haired variety is highly recommended with the latter needing more to prevent matting and to keep their fur shiny. Regular brushing will also help you manage shedding.

They also need once a month bathing. They can adequately clean themselves, but bathing them is important if you want to keep their coats soft and luxurious. Work the shampoo in their coats as much as possible and follow up with a conditioner to get rid of the tangles.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Munchkins love kids and vice versa. They also get along well with other cats and dogs. As with most cat breeds, early socialization is needed to let the animals get to know each other first.

Since this breed is playful and affectionate, active games with kids will give them the exercise they need. Games like fetch and puzzles will greatly benefit your feline friend.

Wrap Up

small cat in hands

Small cat breeds like those two above are different from miniaturized versions of regular breeds. These breeds are naturally occurring and are just cats that managed to stay small. They are also not a product of cross-breeding.

There are other small cat breeds such as the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, and American Curl. However, those two listed above are generally a bit smaller than the aforementioned. These pets are ideal for people who live in small spaces or want a family-friendly cat.

Healthy cats live a long life with the oldest cat dying at an amazing 38 years and 3 days. So take your time when choosing a cat, be it a small breed or the regular variety. Just like humans, cats also have their own temperaments, personalities, and characteristics. Make sure to choose a cat breed that is suited for your lifestyle.

Which small cat breed do you favor? Do you prefer small cats to regular cats? Tell us by leaving your comments below. Next, check out our article on friendly cat breeds as you search for the perfect feline friend to adopt.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.

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