5 Cat Breeds that Don't Grow (Too Much)

Cat breeds that don't grow very much are often born by a process called inbreeding, whereby the purity of the lineage is maintained. While this broadens the choices that owners have when choosing their pet, the health of some of them may also be affected.
5 Cat Breeds that Don't Grow (Too Much)

Last update: 11 April, 2022

Felines are famous for their beautiful appearance and unique behavior. Although they’re known for being standoffish and solitary, they’re capable of showing deep affection for their owners. In addition, the large number of cat breeds means that there are all sorts of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Find out about the cat breeds that don’t grow (too much!)

One of the biggest problems when trying to adopt a pet is the size of the home, as not all of them fit into spaces as small as an apartment. In these cases, cat breeds that don’t grow much can be an excellent option. Continue reading and get to know some examples of this type of feline.

Why do small cat breeds exist?

Small cat breeds appear due to a genetic mutation that prevents normal bone growth. Specifically, this problem causes a metabolic instability that affects the production of growth hormone, which is clinically known as osteodystrophy.

The mutation of the genes that produce or control growth hormone is a hereditary condition. For this reason, the offspring of cats with this appearance maintain the characteristic size of their parents. However, humans have encouraged this problem to occur in different breeds through inbreeding, in order to obtain a small and adorable pet.

A white cat.

Although genetic errors appear randomly, it’s humans who encourage them to be maintained in certain breeds for their own benefit. In the case of cats, dwarfism is a condition that gives them advantages on the pet market, but doesn’t benefit them as a species.

This has caused several cat breeders to take advantage of the situation and create new breeds from this mutation. For this reason, nowadays there’s a wide selection of cat breeds that don’t grow much.

Cat breeds that don’t grow much

Despite the fact that they have a genetic mutation, we can’t deny that small cat breeds are quite charming at first sight. Moreover, their characteristics will make any family fall in love with them, as they’re so hard to resist. The following list compiles the 5 most beautiful compact-sized felines in existence.

1. Munchkin

The munchkin is a beautiful cat originally from the United States that’s characterized by its rather short limbs. Although it may not look like it, their paws contain strong muscles that allow them to be agile and fast, so this doesn’t prevent them from having a normal life.

This feline also has bulky, soft fur, with a great variety of colors such as gray, black, red, white, brown, or a combination of any of these. It reaches a maximum weight of 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) and its body is quite reminiscent of that of a dachshund.

A Munchkin.

2. Singapura

The Singapura cat breed is, unsurprisingly, originally from Singapore, where it was considered a pest by the general population and was on the verge of disappearing around 1974. Nowadays it’s quite famous in Great Britain and it’s an extremely affectionate cat.

The common name this feline used to receive was “longkang cats” which translates as “hole cat”. This refers to the fact that they’re so small that they’re able to fit even into drains. In addition to this, it has a short, smooth coat with bands of dark colors such as black or ivory; these colors are stronger on the back and lighter on the belly.

3. Korat

The Korat cat is a Thai breed that has a beautiful monochromatic silver-blue coat. It’s medium-sized and weighs about 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) on average, although some can be smaller. It has a muscular body with a slender appearance that makes it look slender and flexible. As if that weren’t enough, these felines also have green eyes that really stand out.

4. Devon rex

The most remarkable feature of the breed is the particular shape of its face, which resembles a sphinx cat. In addition, it has a curly coat all over its body that gives it a curious, striking appearance. The hair is so short that in some cats you can see the folds of the skin. As for their color, they have been seen sporting almost any existing pattern, from monochromatic to tricolor.

A cat with big ears.

5. Lambkin

The Lambkin is a hybrid cat that comes from the crossing of a Munchkin and a Selkirk rex. The result is a short-legged (dwarf) feline with a plush, curly coat similar to that of a sheep. However, the eyes of some can stand out a bit too much and give it a bit of a scary appearance. Even so, its peaceful and affectionate temperament makes it an excellent choice as a pet.

As you can see, there are several cat breeds that don’t grow much and they can be a good choice as companions. No matter which cat you choose, always make sure you give them the care they deserve. Remember that their only friend and faithful ally in the world is you!

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  • Silvestrini, P., Priviani, M. & Ruiz de Gopegui, R. (2008) Enanismo hipofisario congénito en un gato siamés. AVEPA, 28(3), 169-178.
  • Rueda, J. & Fernández, A. (1989) Osteodistrofias en el perro y en el gato. Revista ACEPA, 9 (1), 1-14.
  • The Cat Fanciers’ Association (2022) CFA Breeds. Recuperado el 16 de marzo de 2022, disponible en: https://cfa.org/breeds/
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