Sometimes the best things come in small packages. And when it comes to our feline friends, we have to admit that petite kitties are pretty cute. That got us wondering what's the smallest cat in the world. Turns out, it's a breed that hails all the way from Singapore. Keep scrolling to find out more about this cat that's tiny in stature but big in heart, plus learn about other small cat breeds and what makes them unique.
Smallest Cat Breeds
Compared to their wild cousins like lions and tigers, domestic cats tend to skew small already, so it's fun to imagine the smallest cat breeds among them. Keep scrolling to see some of the tiniest kitties out there and learn fun facts about their personalities and backgrounds.
Weighing in at between 4 and 7 pounds, Singapura cats take a miniature crown for being the smallest cat breed in the world— that said, they still have some of the biggest hearts. As the name implies, the Singapura cat originates from Singapore, where this feline was once seen as nothing more than a street cat. Their reputation could not be more different today, however, and now, the Asian nation-state considers the Singapura a living national treasure.
The Singapura cat tends to be friendly, active and affectionate, adoring human company. While Singapura cats do have a habit of hopping on higher surfaces such as bookshelves and cabinets — what cat doesn't? — they are also much quieter than other meow-happy felines.
Munchkins are like the corgis of the cat world — they have proportionately short legs compared to the rest of their body. "Most adult munchkins weight between 5 to 9 pounds, but their short legs make them appear smaller than they actually are," says Dr. Bethany Hsia, DVM and co-founder of CodaPet. They can have a variety of coat colors and patterns, and "despite their short legs, they are active and enjoy exploring their surroundings," adds Dr. Hsia. Munchkins are known for having a sweet, cuddly disposition to match their appearance, but they do have one quirky hobby: hoarding. They like to steal and hide small, shiny objects, which has earned them the nickname "magpie."
Want to see a munchkin next to a "regular-sized" cat for perspective? Look at Stevie the munchkin cat (@munchkinstevie) next to his taller friend, Taco:
3. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are most recognizable for their distinct folded ears, which are a result of a genetic mutation through breeding. They tend to weigh between 6 and 13 pounds, with females of the breed weighing in at the lower end of the spectrum. "Not all Scottish Folds have folded ears; some have straight ears," notes Dr. Alex Crow, MRCVS, contributor to Pet Health Guru. "They're known for their sweet and loving personalities and are great companions for families."
Adding to Scottish Folds' popularity: Taylor Swift has one. Her cat, named Olivia Benson after Mariska Hargitay's character in in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is an internet sensation not only for her famous owner but also for her adorable grumpy face. See a photo Taylor shared of her on Instagram below.
4. Devon Rex
"The Devon Rex is a small breed known for its unique coat, large ears and mischievous personality," says Dr. Hsia. These kitties have long legs and sleek, slender bodies, as well as large, low-set ears. Devon Rexes also have curly coats, which further sets them apart from other cat breeds. "They enjoy being the center of attention and love interacting with their human companions," notes Dr. Hsia.
5. Japanese Bobtail
One look at a Japanese Bobtail, and you can tell how it got its name. It's not only one of the smallest cat breeds but also one of the cat breeds with the smallest tails. They're born with these short, bunny-like stumps that are a result of a genetic mutation. "Japanese Bobtails typically weigh between 5 to 10 pounds," says Dr. Crow. "They are socially intelligent and make excellent companions." Japanese Bobtails thrive in active households that have other pets, and they tend to become pack leader.
6. American Curl
Apart from being small, American Curl cats are like the opposite of Scottish Folds: Due to genetics, their ears are naturally curled backward, lending them a uniquely adorable appearance. "They typically weigh between 5 and 10 pounds and come in various coat colors and patterns," says Dr. Crown. "And despite their unusual ear shape, these cats have excellent hearing." American Curls aren't big on cuddling, but they like to be next to their people. They're also energetic and do best with plenty of exercise.
Balinese cats are the long-haired, small-bodied cousin of the Siamese cat, which isn't hard to deduce based on their appearance. "They weigh about 5 to 10 pounds," says Dr. Crow, "And they're great at communicating with their owners." While they're friendly cats, they're independent and need a calm, quiet environment to be happy. For this reason, Balinese cats might not be the best option for families. And despite their long, silky hair, they're known for being relatively hypoallergenic since they don't shed very much. (Click through to learn about more hypoallergenic cat breeds.)
The Abyssinian is a small cat with a big history. Weighing in around 6 to 10 pounds, their origins date back to ancient Egypt, says Dr. Crow. "They are highly active and enjoy climbing and exploring, making them an excellent choice for adventurous cat owners." Abyssinians are friendly, affectionate and easygoing, and they love to spend time with other pets and people. They're also not very loud — their meows are quiet and polite. Check out the video below for some sweet, gentle Abyssinian meows.
Burmese are on the larger side of the smallest cat breeds, weight between 6 and 12 pounds. They're lean, talkative and curious, and they're exceptionally friendly, making them great cats for families and for first-time owners. "Burmese cats are known for their social and affectionate nature," says Dr. Crow. If your family can't decide between getting a cat or a dog, a Burmese might be a happy medium. "They are often called dog-like due to their desire to be near their human companions and their willingness to play fetch." Need proof? See the video below of a sweet Burmese who loves playing fetch with her human.
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