Have you ever come across a cat with short legs? These felines are very adorable and will make you laugh all day. Not just because of their goofy look but also their big and sweet personalities.
As of 2021, Wikipedia records, the estimated number of owned cats in the world was around 220 million while 480 million were stray cats. Further studies show that domestic cats were the second most popular pet in the United States as of 2017. There are 95.6 million owned cats and approximately 42 million households own at least one cat.
Did you know that of all these cats, only 45 pedigreed breeds and non-pedigreed companion cats are currently recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA)?
Today, there are more than 70 cat breeds that are recognized in America. These cats come in a range of sizes, colors, and patterns, with some having long fur, short fur, and some hairless. Cat breeds are classified using various criteria like coat color among other features like the legs.
In our article today, we shall be looking at the different cat breeds with short legs with a focus on all you need to know. From their origin to weight, size, personality, health, and lifespan, we got you covered.
But before that, some cat owners will ask themselves why their cats have short legs. So, let us answer that first before the review.
Why Does My Cat Have Short Legs?
Cats with short legs suffer from a condition called dwarfism. An uncommon defect in cats, it leads to the growth of disproportional and small adult cats. According to PetMD, this disorder is commonly referred to as achondroplasia. It is a kind of osteochondrodysplasia in which the bones fail to grow to their normal size depending on what is expected of the breed.
Achondroplasia is caused by a mutation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene resulting in abnormally short limbs. The disorder is genetically acquired and is usually seen in 1 in 15,000 feline births. It can be passed on by either gender since only one parent needs to carry the gene for an offspring to be possibly affected. The Munchkin cat breed is a good example of an original and popular cat with dwarfism.
You can read more about achondroplasia diagnosis, treatment, as well as living and management here.
So, now that we know what causes dwarfism in cats, we can go to our comprehensive review.
Here is a review of 9 cat breeds with short legs:
1. Genetta Cat
|Size||4 to 12 inches|
|Weight||4 to 8 lbs.|
|Temperament||Friendly, playful, and active|
|Price||$500 to $1500|
At the top of the list is the Genetta Cat breed. These cats are among the most popular short-legged cats in the United States.
A newly-developed breed of cat, the Genetta was created by Pawstruk Cattery and Shannon Kiley in 2006. The breed was created by crossing several cat breeds including the Savannahs, Munchkins, and SBT Bengals. Breeders of this cute cat breed are working on getting it listed by the International Cat Association (TICA) and accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
This dwarf breed of cats stands 4 to 12 inches tall and weighs 4 to 8 lbs. The Genetta cat has a lean and muscular physique with a long wedge-shaped head, as well as large and round ears. The eyes are large and somewhat tilted and come in dark brown, amber, or green colors. Expect to see a long and slender neck as well as a wide and large nose.
Genetta cats are active, playful, and affectionate. Due to their friendly demeanor, these kitties make exceptional family pets as they get along with other pets, including pooches. These cute cats are smart and alert and crave human attention. They hate being left alone for long periods.
These cats have a coat that comes in a range of solid colors like black, snow spotted, silver, and brown. It is possible for Genetta cats to have spotted or marbled fur. They are minimal shedders and thus easy to groom.
Genetta cats have no breed-specific health problems but are susceptible to lordosis and pectus excavatum. They have a life expectancy of up to 15 years.
2. American Curl Cat
|Size||18 to 20 inches|
|Weight||7 to 10lbs.|
|Temperament||Playful, easygoing, friendly, affectionate, and curious|
|Lifespan||9 to13 years|
|Price||$1,000 to $2,000|
The American Curl Cat ranks 27th position as the most popular breed of cat in the United States. Its distinctively curled ears are what makes the breed trendy even globally in addition to the short legs.
Developed in the United States, the American Curl cat has a history that dates back to 1981. The breed was created from a stray, long-haired black kitty with distinctive ears that was adopted by Grace and Joe Ruga. Cat breeders began to selectively breed these cats to retain their genetic mutation by 1983. The increased popularity led to a quick recognition from TICA in 1987 followed by CFA in 1993.
The American Curl cat stands 18 to 20 inches tall with males weighing between 7 and 10 lbs. while females weigh under 8 lbs. This cat breed’s kitties are born with distinctive straight ears that roll up into tight little buds within days. These cats are fairly muscled with wedge-shaped heads and walnut-shaped eyes that range from amber to aqua, orange, yellow, copper, blue, hazel, gold, and green. American Curl cats can also be odd-eyed. They have long tails.
In terms of personality, American Curl cats are playful, affectionate, easygoing, friendly, and curious. They tend to form strong bonds and attachments with their owners.
American Curl cats can either be short-haired or long-haired and the coat comes in a range of colors such as black, red, cream, white, brown, or gray. They have many possible coat patterns.
These kitties are generally healthy with no specific breed-related health issues. Possible health problems in American Curls include ear infections, weight loss, lethargy, bladder stones, and respiratory problems.
American Curl cats have a life expectancy of 9 to 13 years.
3. Munchkin Cat Breed
|Size||6 to 9 inches|
|Weight||4 to 9 lbs.|
|Temperament||Friendly, playful, but independent|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Price||$1,500 to $3,500|
Also known as the Sausage Cat, the Munchkin is one of the cats with short legs and small ears that you will come across.
Yet another favorite cat breed from the United States, the Munchkin stands out as one of the short-legged cat breeds that occurred naturally. The first litter of the Munchkin cat breed came from a stray pregnant cat in 1983. This cat breed was accepted by TICA in 1997. CFA and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) are yet to accept the Munchkin breed.
Male Munchkin cats are small to medium-sized at 6 to 9 inches tall and weigh between 4 and 9 lbs. The back legs can sometimes be slightly longer than the front and can be slightly bowed.
According to TICA, the Munchkin cat breed is smart, outgoing, and likes being handled. In addition, these cats are playful and friendly so, they get along with kids and other pets too. Most owners say that short legs do not hinder them from running and jumping.
Munchkin cats come with a thick coat that is either plush or silky and may be shorthaired or longhaired. These coats come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. Bi-weekly grooming is recommended for the Munchkin cat breed, especially the long-coated variety as it sheds much.
Short-legged cat breeds, like Munchkins, are healthy but predisposed to painful osteoarthritis. Possible health problems include lordosis, pancreatitis, pectus excavatum, and hyperthyroidism. Munchkin cats have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
4. Minuet Cat Breed
|Size||7 to 8 inches|
|Weight||5 to 9 lbs.|
|Temperament||Sweet-tempered, easygoing, friendly, friendly, and playful|
|Lifespan||Approx. 15 years|
|Price||$1,700 to $3,000|
Next on our list is the Minuet cat breed, previously known as the Napoleon cat. This cat breed is loved for its cute appearance and charming personality.
The Minuet was developed in the United States by Joe Smith, an American Kennel Club (AKC) judge and breeder of the Basset hound in the 1990s. A hybrid cat, Minuets were created by crossing the Munchkin cat breed and the Persian cat breed. Despite their increased popularity, these kitties are yet to be recognized by TICA, CFA, or Fédération Internationale Féline (FIF).
Minuet cats stand 7 to 8 inches and weigh between 5 and 9 lbs. These cats inherit the short muzzle and round face of the Persian cat. The eyes are also round-shaped and come in green color as well as odd-eyed.
Owners of this cat breed describe it as sweet and easygoing. Minuets are friendly and loving so they love being around their human companions. Their high energy levels make them very playful. And although having toys is fun, they would love to spend time playing with you. Expect this cat breed to have the curiosity of the Munchkin parent despite being gentle in nature. And did we mention that they relate exceptionally well with children and other pets?
Minuet cats have thick coats that can be short or long. Shorthaired Minuets boast dense and plush fur while longhaired Minuets have soft, straight coats. These cuties come in a wide range of colors and patterns including those that are within the Persian cat pool. This luxuriously soft coat of the Minuet has moderate grooming needs. Shorthaired Minuets need weekly brushing while the longhaired variety needs regular brushing.
Overall, Minuet cats are healthy with a few health problems. Due to their Persian ancestry, these cats are susceptible to polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Minuets have a lifespan of approx 15 years.
5. Skookum Cat Breed
|Size||5 to 6 inches|
|Weight||3 to 7 lbs.|
|Temperament||Friendly, playful, attention-seeking. intelligent|
|Lifespan||10 to15 years|
The Skookum is one of the relatively new and rare cat breeds. These cats are famous for their big personality and of course, short legs.
This breed of cat’s name is Native to American roots, and its name is a lingo from the Chinook tribe which means brave or powerful. The Skookum’s history dates back to the 90s and was developed by crossing LaPerm cats with Munchkins. Although yet to be recognized by CFA, Skookums are accepted as an experimental breed.
Skookum cats are 5 to 6 inches in height and weigh 3 to 7 lbs. These cats are short and stocky with long, plum tails that have rounded tips. The ears are large and pointed on top of their wedge-shaped heads and boast medium-to-large almond-shaped eyes.
These felines are energetic and playful and enjoy climbing and jumping despite having short legs. People who own Skookum cats say they exhibit silly antics to get your attention and expect the same attention in return. Skookums are intelligent and affectionate with loads of love to give. If you are looking for a small furry feline that loves to snuggle and is good with kids and other pets, you can’t go wrong with the Skookum.
The Skookum cat has curly locks that give it a unique appearance and is definitely the breed’s trademark. Their coats come in a wide variety of solid colors like ebony, red, white-black, cream, orange-blue, chocolate, brown, silver, gray lavender, lilac, and sable cinnamon fawn. Common patterns include bi-color solid calico and tri-color tabby colorpoint.
Since the Skookum is a relatively new cat experimental breed, there are no breed-specific health issues. The LaPerm cat parent is healthy, but the Munchkin parent is prone to pectus excavatum and lordosis which their offspring can inherit. Skookums have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
6. Dwelf Cat Breed
|Size||6 to 7 inches|
|Weight||4 to 9 lbs.|
|Temperament||Gentle, lively, loving, and clownish|
|Lifespan||12 to15 years|
|Price||$2,000 to $3,000|
The Dwelf cat is yet another charming cat with short legs that you will stumble upon. Despite lacking fur on most parts of the body, some pet owners say they are a total package of all you need in a cat.
This breed of cats was developed by mixing 3 cat breeds including Munchkin, American Curl, and the Sphynx. While the Dwelf cat breed’s origin remains a mystery, they were created in the United States about 17 years ago. This cat breed inherits the cute, wrinkled skin and hairless traits from the Sphynx parent. They are currently categorized under the Experimental New Breeds by CFA.
Dwelf cats are 6 to 7 inches tall and weigh 4 to 9 lbs. This cat breed has a short and muscular body with longer hind legs with huge and oval paws that have prominent knuckles. You will also notice the typically curled ears of the American Curl parent and the baldness of the Sphynx parent.
Like the Sphynx parent, Dwelf cats are lively and affectionate with a clownish attitude that gives them what owners call a dog-like personality. These kitties love cuddles so, they do best around their human companions making them susceptible to separation anxiety. Dwelf cats are good and gentle with kids and get along with other pets.
Mostly, Dwelf cats will have a natural skin color such as black, suede, and pink, or possess darker patterns. As you would expect, Dwelf cats have minimal grooming needs but need regular baths.
Dwelf cats are susceptible to health issues such as heart disease, pectus excavatum, skin problems, ear infections, and degenerative joint disease. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
7. Minskin Cat Breed
|Size||5 to 7 inches|
|Weight||6 to 9 lbs.|
|Temperament||Active, friendly, playful, and intelligent|
|Lifespan||12 to15 years|
|Price||$1,500 to $5,000|
Yet another relatively new but wonderful cat breed with short legs, the Minskin cat has drawn a lot of attention globally due to its unique looks.
The Minskin cat breed is developed by crossing the Sphynx and Munchkin in addition to the Burmese and Devon Rex. Sounds amazing, right? This meticulous creation is endorsed by Paul Sorley of Boston, USA. As the story goes, Sorley wanted a cat with hairs on certain parts of the body and created the Minskin cat in 1998. The breed is not yet accepted by CFA or TICA.
These adorable kitties stand 5 to 7 inches tall and weigh between 6 and 9 lbs. Besides the short legs, Minskins have a stocky physique with round heads, huge ears, and eyes that are large and round-shaped. While the belly can be hairless at times, the rest of the body has very short hair on the face, tail, and legs.
When it comes to temperament and personality, Minskins are described as friendly, active, and playful. If they are not running around the house, they are having fun with other cats or dogs. Minskins are also kid-friendly and love being close to their owners cuddling on their laps. They are suitable for small or large families that do not plan to keep the outdoors.
Minskin cats can come in three different types of coats including hairless, fully-coated, and fur-point. Either way, they have very short hair on their body and have colors such as tabby, white, tortoiseshell, and can be hairless. These kitties need regular baths (once every 1 or 2 weeks) using a mild soap.
The Minskin cat breed is considered healthy with no severe health issues but is prone to obesity, pectus excavatum, and lordosis. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
8. Kinkalow Cat Breed
|Size||7 to 8 inches|
|Weight||3 to 7 lbs.|
|Temperament||Calm, affectionate, eager to please, friendly, and playful|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
The Kinkalow cat is one of the minority cat breeds that are short-legged. These kitties are loved for their charming looks and personality. The breed is considered rare and exotic by TICA.
With its origins in the United States, the Kinkalow cat breed was developed on purpose in the mid-1990s by Terri Harris, an American breeder. These cats are a hybrid between two famous parent breeds – the Munchkin and the American Curl. Kinkalows are yet to be recognized and are currently placed under experimental cat breeds.
Kinkalows are small-sized cats that stand 7 to 8 inches tall on average with a weight of approx. 3 to 7 lbs. The cat breed has a tiny body with curly ears. Kinkalow paws are tiny, and they have round eyes, all the features that make them adorable.
Though short on legs, Kinkalow cats have a big personality. These kitties have a calm nature, are affectionate, and are very playful. Thanks to their eagerness to please, they are easy to train. These kitties are very friendly and social cats so, they love being around their owners. Though curious, Kinkalows also get along with other pets and kids just fine.
This fluffy cat breed with short legs comes with a medium-length coat that can come in any color or pattern including black, calico, tabby, white, gray, and orange. Kinkalow tends to shed a bit but is easy to care for with regular brushing.
Kinkalow cats are a healthy breed with few common health problems. They, however, tend to be more susceptible to arthritis and joint disease. Kinkalows have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
9. Bambino Cat Breed
|Size||7 to 8 inches|
|Weight||7 to 9 lbs.|
|Temperament||Sweet-tempered, playful, and friendly|
|Price||$1800 to $3000|
Are you looking for a cat with short legs that will steal your heart at a glance? You should meet the Bambino cat breed. It is a rare cat breed even in the US but growing rapidly in status.
With a record that dates back to 2005, the Bambino cat breed was first created in Holy Moly Cattery by Stephanie and Pat Osborne in Arkansas. Bambino cats are a mixed breed between the hairless Sphynx and the short-legged Munchkin. They inherit the cuteness and desirable traits of two famous cat breeds. Bambinos are registered by TICA as experimental cats.
Though the sizes may vary, Bambino cats are 7 to 8 inches on average and weigh 7 to 9 lbs. In addition to short legs, Bambinos have large straight ears, wedge-shaped heads, and large triangular-shaped eyes. Typically, these cats are hairless although some can have fur.
Bambino cats are sweet-tempered and playful and will light up their owners’ lives with lots of love. These cats are attention seekers, and their friendly disposition makes them get along with kids and other pets. They have low energy levels which is why they love cuddling but will play adequately when in good spirits.
Whether hairless or with a little fur on their bodies, Bambino cats are low shedders which makes them low-maintenance cats. Like other hairless cats, regular bathing is recommended for this cat breed. Bambinos come in a range of colors including white, black, brown, and cream.
Bambino cats are generally healthy but since they are hairless, this makes them prone to injuries. The breed is susceptible to bacterial skin conditions and infections. Bambinos have a lifespan of 9 to 13 years.
Cats with Short Legs for Sale
If you have come this far, then you might be interested in keeping a cat with short legs. Although dwarfism in cats is a rare genetic mutation, short-legged cats are not rare. You can buy a kitty or adult cat from a reputable and responsible cat breeder or adopt, which is less expensive.
Those living in the United States can use Pet Finder or look for an honest cat breeder and it will cost you between $1,000 and $2,000 or more. Should you choose to adopt, Adopt-a-Pet is a good place to start and it will cost you about $75 to $100.
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