Miniature Cats

miniature cat  miniature cat
Scooter



Miniature cats – the thumbnail photographs above and on this page are reproduced courtesy Pocket Kittys, a cattery, and are their copyright. They are the only cattery breeding this cat with quality photographs. That’s a good sign. I have also used their photographs on the Teacup Cat page. These are very small Traditional Persian cats, meaning Persian cats that do not suffer from tear overflow due to the squashed face ultra appearance. There is a link to Pocket Kittys at the base of this page. They seem to be based in the USA. I am not advertising the cattery simply returning the favour. Update: 2012 this cattery no longer trade as far as I remember.

teacup cat

Photo: © Pocket Kittys

Miniature cats weigh in the region of 3-6 lbs (perhaps a maximum of 7 lbs). Average size cats weight around 10lbs (7-12+ lbs). I would have thought cats at the 3-4 lbs range are extremely rare and may suffer health issues. It is likely that a very small cat, who would normally be thought of as a “normal” cat, could be classified as a miniature.

She or he may in fact be a miniature cat as there is no scientific definition as far as I am aware of this term. This is stating the obvious but kittens are not miniature cats. Some of the pictures that you see of miniature cats are miniature cats as kittens or plain kittens. I have built a page on Teacup cats as well. Once again there is no clear definition that I am aware of the term “teacup cat” –  hence an overlap. I have stated that “teacup cats” are at the bottom end in terms of size of cats in this class. Small cats are also referred to as “toy” cats.

miniature cat

Photo: © Pocket Kitty

These cats are usually bred small through a selective cat breeding program so that all the litter will be small as opposed to a single kitten being small within an average sized litter of kittens (see below though). Average sized cats typically weigh in the order of 5 to 12 lbs. Although there are some exotic cats that weigh a lot more (e.g. the F1 Savannah). It is difficult to classify by exact weight what constitutes a cat that has been miniaturized or indeed a Teacup cat. In practice due to the lack of precision in definition, there may be an overlap in size between a small “normal” cat, a “miniature” cat and a “teacup” cat.

Genuine miniature cats are still rare (see rare cat breeds). They are not necessarrily a breed of cat. They are only available, it seems, in the USA. They have been bred through progressive downsizing since the ’80s.

Other Factors

The cat that you adopt from a breeder will be selectively bred as mentioned above. However, in addition to selective breeding to create a very small cat, there are other influences that can create a very small cat. These are:

  • The genetic mutation for a miniature cat can be introduced into any breed. The Pocket Kittys breeder (see above) says that a genetic mutation seems to have occurred in the Persian breed. They breed Persians.
  • In certain environments it is advantageous to be small (lack of food) so by natural selection the cats get smaller until the advantage is lost.
  • Even where it is not advantageous to be small, cats through lack of food at an early stage can suffer from stunted growth.
  • Sometimes miniaturization can occur spontaneously, in a generation, by the mutation of a gene which dictates size.
miniature cat

Photo: © Pocket Kitty

It is worth mentioning that the Singapura does not fall into this class of cat despite a similar weight. This is because the Singapura is naturally a small cat and is in fact the smallest cat in the cat fancy. An adult Singapura male weighs about 6lbs and the female about 4lbs. Neither does a dwarf cat fall into this category of cat. Dwarf cats have the dwarfism gene while miniatures don’t. Dwarf cats are normal sized except for their legs. Miniatures are normally proportioned. They do not remain “kitten-like” all their lives. They become adults like any other cat. It is not their mentality that makes them miniature but their physical size.

Considerations What are the considerations in buying such a small cat?

  • They cost between about $500-$3000 ( for the smallest) these are guideline figures only (at 2007).
  • You can only be sure of the cats size when he/she is mature.
  • Because the breeding of miniature cats is not an exact science purchasers may on occasion be dissatisfied.
  • This means the contract on purchase between breeder and buyer will contain provisions dealing with this uncertainty – it is essential to read it.
  • Six months may elapse before the breeder can be sure of the cat’s size and whether he/she is robust enough to be re-homed. That means a wait for the buyer
  • Normally, a deposit will be payable.
  • If you reserve a kitten their mature size may be different to that expected.
  • In Russia, a toy cat named “Russian Toy Bobtail” has been bred by Helen Krasnitchenko for many years.
  • They are fully in proportion and healthy.
  • The current position regarding this breed is not fully known.
  • Breeding of miniature Siamese was discontinued in 2002 due to health problems.
  • Breeding females should be of sufficient size to accommodate, at birth, the eventuality that their offspring may be normal size.
  • There is a recognized miniature breed, the American Miniature cat (new window). The criteria for this cat helps in deciding what is a miniature cat.
miniature cat

Photo: © Pocket Kitty

As mentioned in other pages of this website it is sensible to have your vet do the health checks. If there is no contract I would be inclined to insist on one being drawn up. This is an expensive transaction that requires some thought. And the outcome has a degree of uncertainty. Most important of all though are your thoughts about your new companion. I am sure that provided you select a reputable breeder any anxieties that you might have will be dealt with. If you are searching for a breeder please try Pocket Kittys was the premier breeder but are no longer trading as far as I am aware. You might visit the Dwarf Cat Association website and start there. Look for registration.

Update: Toybobs are a miniature cat hailing from Russia. They have a bobtail. Read about them on this page. They are a miniature Siamese with a bobtail!

Sources:

  • Breeder Sites
  • Messybeast

Miniature Cats to All Cat Breeds


Comments

Miniature Cats — 23 Comments

  1. We have a very small kitten with a extra thumb on each foot she is 3 months old orange and white very different makings is this normal, she eats well and is very healthy but so small is this normal THANKS jEANIE

    • You might have a polydactyl miniature cat! If your cat grows up to be around 4 lbs in weight (very small) then she will a very rare cat. It is normal for some cats to be small. This is how miniature cats are bred – from cats that are naturally small. She appears to be just fine and a healthy kitten so all is well. Just cherish her. Thanks for visiting.

    • Hi Elisabeth. Breeders of miniature cats are very rare it seems. Pocket Kitties were prominent and now closed. I am not sure you will find one and I am not sure you should adopt a miniature cat because some breeders might tend to over bred to the detriment of the cat’s health.

      I don’t know but I would bet that some miniature cats are unhealthy because they are bred unnaturally small.

      Good luck though and sorry I can’t help more.

    • Hi there. You won’t find a miniature cat in Lahore or probably anywhere in Asia. They are rare in America and America is where there are the most purebred cats etc. Sorry for the bad news. Thanks for asking though.

  2. Hello, my kitten Hugo is very large. Hugo looks as though he could have been one of the members of the litter before his, he is around five months old. I know he was from the recent litter because he was so small and could not walk like his brother and three sisters. It couldn’t be the fact that he is male (only) because his brother is as small or smaller than his sisters.
    What would cause him to be so very large?

    • I think this is simply a case if genetics. The cause is the same thing that causes two human brothers to be different.

      Other than that, are you absolutely sure he is from the same litter as the small cats? You might have been deceived.

      There are unscrupulous people out there. I don’t know how you acquired your cat. Was it from a breeder?

    • A female cat can get pregnant by more then one male ,so 1 litter can have several dads.If one of the males was a Main Coon type cat ,the kittens will mostly be very large.I have several main coon crosses and they are huge 16-20 pound cats….

  3. 2 1/2 years ago ,a stray cat had 5 kittens in my garage.All the kittens are very small.The 2 males (1 longhair,1 shorthair )are smaller than a regular female .They are a bit overweight (fat) and weigh 6pounds.The 3 females weight between 3 1/2-5 pounds.I always made sure they have plenty of food ,so I know its not a nutrional thing that stunted there growed.They are now 2 1/2 years old and still that small.They all are very healthy.I did not get them fixed but they are separated from each other to make sure no more kittens.If they are minitures,could a vet verify those cats as minitures or how do I get them checked and verified?I don’t know if they are or not.1 of the males and 1 of the females have very short legs.Not as short as a munchkin but close to .

  4. hello my name is Kelly-ann and we recently had our cat give birth to a litter of 4 kittens. one very fluffy normal sized female and identical twin boys who are rather normal sized as well however she also had a very tiny female kitten. they all were born 8-9 weeks ago and the 3 of them weigh 3 and a half pounds where the tiny one only weighs slightly over 1 pound. I am wondering if she might be a rare miniature… could you give us advice and also advice on how the boys could be born identical in every making and feature right down to the exact measurements of how far apart their eyes nose and ears are. thanks

    • Hi Kelly-Ann. It seems you might have male twins. You can get twin cats as far as I am aware. Also the tiny female could a miniature cat. Wait and see. You’ll know when she is an adult at about 12 months of age. The way your female miniature has arrived is exactly how these things happen. A breeder of miniature cats would probably breed from her but don’t do that. There are possible health issues. She may have health problems being so small. Wait and see, though.

  5. Hello.
    My neighbor brought me 6 kittens of one of the feral mommas we weren’t able to trap last year. I had just taken in another tiny kitten that animal control was going to take and euthanize that another person in the neighborhood had heard crying in their shed. The dad’s of these kittens are a huge, gorgeous, orange, long-hair and a beige, long hair.

    The six kittens are just now at 6 weeks. We thought this tiny little boy was about two weeks when I got him. I’ve fed him with a syringe as he was too weak to suck the nipple of the bottle or either it wasn’t letting enough milk come through. I think he is about 4 1/2 weeks now. The thing is he is mentally really ahead of these other cats that appear to be older than him because of his size. It could be that he is just a gifted little fellow mentally though.

    I read something about miniature cats possibly being bow-legged and their cheeks being a bit under-developed. He is a little doll to look at because he is so tiny. When he runs he sort of gallops and his legs are a bit bowed. His eyes are really big for the size of his head and then underneath them it is just a bit more hollow than full like the kittens in this other litter.

    When I took him to the vet the first day there was a flakey white substance stuck to his back that she thought might be parasites. She gave him a bath and then shaved that off of him. He has been on Clavamox and another antibiotic. He is a little fighter and runs all over the place even slugging it out with the biggest kitten in this other litter. He is so tiny that I have to look down every time I take a step for fear I will step on him.

    He has normal size legs and is in proportion all over but I just wanted to see what you thought. Can you suggest any literature I could read?

    I’ve been feeding him mother’s milk substitute. Then I got wet kitten food and started mixing it with this milk substitute. He is now able to lap this up on his own. I found him trying to eat my adults’ cat food kibble pieces. I was worried he could choke on this. Could you tell me at this point what you think I should feed him and how many times a day. I think I fed him too much the day before yesterday as his little tummy was huge at the end of the day and he seemed miserable. I gave him 5 tsps. full in the morn., mid day and evening. I was using the syringe that day. I let him eat out of the bowl today so he could take what he wanted.

    I would really appreciate a response to this…or if you would prefer to call I have free long distance. You can email me your number. Thanks so much. Best Wishes! Anneliese

    • Hi Anneliese, I have read your comment and published it. Thank you for visiting and sharing your experiences. If you have a photo of the little fella please upload it to the site. You’ll see a button below the comment box (“browse”). Click on it and select the image from your computer then click “Post Comment”.

      Please give me a little while (a day) to respond to your comment fully.

    • Hi Anneliese,

      Pediatrics is a big subject and I am not a vet but I will do is mention some key bits of information and refer to a page or two on PoC. It seems he is just a small kitten so all the normal rules apply but he is more vulnerable because of his size.

      Over and underfeeding are the common problems. Over = diarrhea. Under = dehydration + no weight gain. Weight gain is vital. 10 grams per day and normal stool (firm and light brown) = OK. Overfeeding is more likely.

      Weight gain is important: This page on kitten weight may help. Healthy, normal weight kittens who are nursing properly should gain 7-10 grams per day.

      Body temperature: Chilling is very dangerous. Kitten box = 85 degrees F to 90 degrees F for first few weeks. Then lowered to about 70F at 6 weeks. Humidity = about 60 percent.

      Calorie input: This rather complicated page may assist.

      Newborn kitten care – try this first.

      Page on newborn kitten care.

      Hope this helps a bit. But a vet is the only real answer. I am just a person who knows a bit about cats. You are doing well by the sound of it and good luck. Please ask more questions (specific would help) if you like.

      I don’t think kibble is best at this time. High quality wet designed for growing kitten is best.

      Weaning: 25 days to 10 weeks. “In general kittens can be started on weaning when…about 25 days old”

  6. Hi, I currently own two “Toybobs”, they’re a rare imported breed of miniature bob tailed cats from Russia. They range from 2-5 pounds full-grown. My 1 1/2 year old is slightly under 4 pounds and my one year old is a little over four pounds. I attached a picture of my one year old.

    • Hi Giselle. Fantastic. This is new to the site (and believe me it is not easy to add new things to this site as it is very comprehensive). I’ll probably make your comment into a page. Thanks for visiting and sharing.

      • Awesome! I love your site! I’ve been on it all night reading up on things I didn’t know as well. I am glad I came across it.
        The Toybobs are mostly seal color pointed. But they also do come in solid white and solid black.

      • BTW My cats and the breed are extremely healthy. From what I do know about the breed, they came from a dwarfish mutation. But one with no congenital health defects.

          • Yes, I know. That was one of the reasons I chose not to get a teacup Persian instead. The Toybobs are hardy, sweet and kind of dog like. I absolutely adore them.
            I did do my research on them and asked tons of questions before purchasing. I already learned the hard way about the possible health issues miniature pets can have from my 2 lb. Chihuahua.

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