Dwarf, Miniature, and Teacup Cats

There are a few varieties of cats that may be referred to as miniature cats. The smallest official cat breed is the Singapura, followed closely by the Dwarf breed called Munchkin. These are actual cat breeds. Miniature or teacup cats are not an official breed of cat, but more a smaller version of an already defined breed, mainly Persian.

The Singapura

Singapura CatCredit: Wikimedia commonsThe Singapura is an official cat breed. Adult females average a weight between 4 and 5 pounds, while males can reach 6 to 7 pounds at full growth. They are known to be active, intelligent, and affectionate cats.

Dwarf Cats (The Munchkin)

A fairly new cat breed is the Munchkin, which can grow to a size of 5 to 9 pounds. These cats are much shorter than other cat breeds due to a genetic mutation that drastically shortens the length of their legs. This in no way stops them from being active and playful cats. However, it does hamper their ability to jump. The Munchkin breed has recently become the founding breed of several other spin-off dwarf cat breeds. These include the following:

  • The Minskin: A cross between the Munchkin and the Sphinx. The result is a small breedMunchkinCredit: Wikimedia Commons of cat with a sparse cover of hair. (The Sphinx is widely known as the "hairless cat".)
  • The Lambkin: A cross between the Munchkin and the Selkirk Rex, resulting in a small breed with a curly fur coat.
  • The Bambino: Another cross between the Munchkin and the Sphinx.
  • The Kinkalow: A cross between an American Curl and the Munchkin. The result is a small breed with curled back ears.
  • The Napoleon: A cross between a Persian and the Munchkin, resulting in a short-legged cat with silky long hair.
  • The Skookum: A very rare breed currently, this is a cross between the LaPerm and the Munchkin. The result is a curly coated, short legged cat.

Teacup or Miniature Cats

Most of your teacup or miniature cats are actually traditional Persians that have been selectively bred for a smaller size. Some breeders call these cats "palm" or "pocket" Persians. These very small cats mature around 3 to 4 pounds and are generally less than 9 inches tall at full growth.

People looking for a teacup cat should be very careful in their selection. Some breeders are a little on the shady side and may try to pass off a small cat as a true miniature or teacup cat. These cats may have serious health conditions that result in their small stature.

A true teacup cat will have been selectively bred by using cats with the genetic miniature trait. This will have fixed their genetic make up. Once their genetic code is fixed they can then be bred for profit. Always thoroughly check out any breeder or cattery before purchasing a kitten. Also, it is a good ideTraditional PersiansCredit: Wikimedia Commonsa to be sure that your new kitten comes with the following:

*A Certificate of Health stating that the kitten is healthy and has been given all of its shots (FVRCP), and whether or not the kitten has already been spayed or neutered, and

*A signed health guarantee that your kitten has no genetic problems.

Due to their tiny size at birth, teacup kittens are normally not available for sale until they reach the age of 5 months old because of their extreme vulnerability. Even so, it is always a good idea to take your new miniature cat or kitten to the vet within a few days of bringing it home for a thorough examination.