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11 Cat Breeds with Short Legs

Cat breeds with short legs are often known as dwarf breeds and have become increasingly popular in recent years. They can also be known as sausage, dwarf, or midget cats and can have long hair, short hair, or no hair at all.

The Munchkin breed started all of this back in the mid-1990s as they were bred to stay small and you will see that most of the breeds in this article are a mix of Munchkin and another breed.

Here are 11 cat breeds with short legs.

11 Cat Breeds with Short Legs

1. Munchkin Cat Breed

The Munchkin cat is everyone’s favorite cutie. With teeny tiny short little legs and normal-sized bodies, these diverse cats are absolutely adorable.

The munchkin’s dog counterpart is undoubtedly the sausage dog, as they share the short-legged trait. This is why these little felines are also called the “sausage cat”.

Munchkin cat on couch
Munchkin Cat

Considered the original dwarf cat, the Munchkin cat breed is not exclusive and can be linked to a number of other breeds. For example, you can find a Scottish fold munchkin cat or even a Maine coon munchkin cat. It’s all about that short-legged gene mutation.

There is quite a lot of controversy surrounding these sweet looking felines, as there is concern over potential health and mobility issues. They were not considered an official breed for many years and were not allowed to take part in feline competitions.

Even today, there are a number of councils and associations that do not recognize the Munchkin cat breed.

ginger munchkin

However, most sources say that the shortness of their legs does not affect the Munchkin’s running and leaping abilities. Also, they are not generally found to have more joint or bone problems than other cat breeds. So, if you are passionate about their little legs, your ethics needn’t be compromised.

The personalities of Munchkin cats are generally sweet, outgoing, and intelligent. They also respond well to being handled, which is lovely, as you’ll undoubtedly want to hold these cuties all day long.

2. Dwelf Cat Breed

This relatively new cat breed has elf-like features and a dwarf-like stature with short legs. This little guy is hairless and tends not to weigh more than 9 pounds. The breed was generated from a mix of the Sphynx, Munchkin and American Curl breeds.

Dwelf Cat
Dwelf Cat

The Dwelf is a highly sociable breed and has a personality that is described by some as almost dog-like. They like to be around people and to be included in activities so they are terrific cats for families.

3. Minskin Cat Breed

Minskin cats have quite stocky bodies and rather short legs. Their coat is unique due to its lack of fur. The Minskin breed was created from the Sphynx cat breed. This is a relatively new breed of cat. It was first developed in 1998 in Boston.

Minskin Cat

The breeder crossed his Munchkin cat with a Sphynx for a healthier immune system. By 2005, 50 cats could be called Minskins and this new breed was recognised. As you will have seen throughout this post, rare cat breeds are often quite new which means that they have yet to breed extensively.

4. Kinkalow Cat Breed

The Kinkalow breed has the fantastic combination of short legs and curled ears – adorable! They are the result of cross-breeding between the Munchkin and American Curl breeds. This insanely cute kitty also has a sweet and affectionate personality. At full size Kinkalows will weigh between three and seven pounds and reach a height of seven to eight inches.

kinkalow cat
kinkalow cat

This breed comes in both short and long-haired varieties and in a range of colours and patterns. Kinkalows are known to behave in a dog-like manner and like to follow their owners everywhere. They have lots of energy and also love to climb. They live between 10 and 15 years.

5. American Curl Cat Breed

These happy kitties are affectionate, healthy, and talkative. The name refers to the unique ears of the American Curl Cat, which curl backward in a particularly sweet way.

white american curl cat with dark eyes
American Curl Cat

Like the Wirehair cats, American curl cats are all descended from a single natural genetic mutation. They’re one of the youngest cat breeds, having moved from stray to pedigreed in just six years.

tabby american curl

Curious, clever, and people-loving, the American Curl is perfect for families. They love to greet people with a little head bump or a rub against the legs. Curls are also active and adaptable, with older Curls known to be just as active as younger ones.

6. Lambkin Cat Breed

Lambkin cats are known for being very cuddly and love to snuggle up in a lap. This cat breed will happily be carried around by its owner. They tend to be quite calm and docile and will live for between 12 and 14 years. Most lambkins are long-haired cats and they are available in a range of colours and patterns.

Lambkin Cat
Lambkin Cat

Their unique slightly curly coat comes from their Selkirk Rex heritage. Lambkins are a cross of the Munchkin and Selkirk Rex breeds. At full maturity, they will weigh between four and nine pounds and reach a height of between seven and eight inches.

7. Napoleon Cat Breed

This breed was named after Napoleon Bonaparte based on its small size. A mix of a Persian cat and a Munchkin cat, this is a relatively new breed that seldom reaches weights above 9 pounds.

white Napoleon or Minuet Cat
Napoleon or Minuet Cat

The Napoleon breed is playful and active and doesn’t like to be left alone. It likes human company but is also happy with other animals including dogs and cats.

They have a low-slung body like a dachshund. Its soft fur can be either short or long. Napoleons come in a wide range of colours.

8. Bambino Cat Breed

This hairless cat breed comes with piercing blue eyes and quite big ears. Bambinos are friendly and affectionate and love a good snuggle. They are an intelligent breed though which can sometimes lead to naughty behaviour. Whilst they don’t have any fur, their skin has a soft short down and they feel a bit like a chamois cloth.

bambino cat
bambino cat

Bambinos at full size will weigh between five and nine pounds and reach a height of between seven and eight inches. They tend to live between 12 and 15 years and their skin comes in white, brown, cream and other cat colours. Bambinos are very adjustable and are terrific with children and other pets.

bambino cat blue eyes
bambino cat

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9. Skookum Cat Breed

This happy and playful breed will love jumping and playing for hours or just relaxing on your lap. Skookums are an intelligent breed and are known to be able to pick up tricks. They are also known to particularly love hiding objects so if things go missing look to your Skookum first! They come in all colours and patterns and live between ten and fifteen years.

Skookum Cat
Skookum Cat

Skookums have a slightly curly coat like Lambkins which comes from the fact that they are a cross of the Munchkin and LaPerm breeds. They have shorter bones than some of the other breeds in this article, a stock body and their front legs are shorter than their hind legs. Their eyes are a walnut shape and they have quite large ears.

Their name comes from the Chinook Native American language and means powerful or strong.

10. Genetta Cat Breed

A mix of the Bengals, Savannah, and Munchkin breeds this is a friendly and energetic breed that loves to play and chase. The Genetta breed also has a slightly wild look that goes against its very cuddly nature. Genetta’s come in silver, black, brown and spotted colours and tend to live between nine and twelve years.

Genetta Cat
Genetta Cat

11. Siamese Cat Breed

Siamese cats are one of the most adored and famous cat breeds. They are intelligent, talkative, and lovely-natured felines, making ideal family pets.

Siamese cats tend to have a long body but the females can weigh less than 5 pounds. They can be around 30cm tall so come across as lithe little kitties. They do tend to have short legs relative to the size of the rest of their bodies.

siamese cat stretched out on seat
Siamese Cat

These cats have unique short coats, with a light-colored body and silky smooth fur. Their face, paws, and tails are darker than the rest of their bodies. And all Siamese cats have stunning blue eyes.

While they are great indoor cats, they seek companionship from their owners, including sitting on laps and snuggling in bed.

siamese cat in red santa hat

⇒ Getting a new kitty? Check out my guide to How to Look after a Kitten, 6 Best Kitten Wet Food Options and 8 Best Kitten Dry Food Options

Siamese cats are often labeled as “dog-like” because they enjoy following their humans around and enjoy playtime, like fetch, so stock up on active cat toys. Although they are loving cats, this breed should not be left alone at home for extended periods.

To Finish Up on Cat Breeds with Short Legs

Many of the above are quite rare cat breeds. The American Curl is typically the easiest to find followed by the Munchkin and Bambino breeds. Apart from the Siamese breed many of these cat breeds with short legs are relatively new breeds. Some have been known to have health problems like polycystic kidney disease and breeders are still learning how to keep these issues to a minimum.

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