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Cats with Short Legs: 11 Short-Legged Cat Breeds

There’s a long list of cats with short legs, and they are often known as dwarf breeds and have become increasingly popular in recent years. They can also be known as sausage 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. It was bred to stay small and went on to capture the hearts of many with its cute appearance. As a result, you’ll see that nearly any cat breed with short legs is a mix of the Munchkin and another breed.

Here are 11 cat breeds with short legs.

Tip: Speaking of legs, check out this guide to find out why your cat sleeps on your 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 cat breeds with short legs
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. This is in spite of the fact that these short-legged cats have a lifespan between 12 and 15 years.

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 with short legs has elf-like features and a dwarf-like stature with little 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 cat 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

The Minskin is a short-leg cat that has quite a stocky body. Their coat is unusual due to its lack of fur. The Minskin breed was created from the Sphynx cat breed. This is a relatively new breed of cat. This unique cat breed 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 recognized. As you will have seen throughout this post, rare cat breeds like the Minskin are often quite new, which means that they have yet to breed extensively.

4. Kinkalow Cat Breed

The Kinkalow cat breed has a fantastic combination of short legs and curled ears – super 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, this breed of cat with short legs 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 colors 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. This cat lives 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 backwards in a particularly sweet way.

white american curl cat with dark eyes
American Curl Cat

Like the Wirehair cats, these short 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 people’s laps. This cat breed will happily be carried around by its owner. They are generally a docile, calm cat breed and live for between 12 and 14 years. Most lambkins are long-haired cats and they are available in a range of colors 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 Napoleon cat 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 grows 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 and come in a range of colors. With fur that can be short or long, it’s a short-legged fluffy cat you’ll enjoy cuddling.

8. Bambino Cat Breed

This hairless cat breed comes with piercing blue eyes and quite big ears. Bambinos are affectionate, friendly cat breeds that love a good snuggle. They are intelligent though, which can sometimes lead to mischief. 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 between seven and eight inches in height. They tend to live between 12 and 15 years, and their skin comes in white, brown, cream, and other cat colors. Bambinos are very adjustable and are terrific with children and other pets.

bambino cat blue eyes
bambino cat

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 colors and patterns and live between 10 and 15 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’re a cat breed with large ears.

10. Genetta Cat Breed

A mix of the Munchkin, Bengals, and Savannah cat breeds, this is a friendly and energetic breed that loves to play and chase. The Genetta cat also has a slightly wild look that goes against its very cuddly nature. Genetta’s come in silver, black, brown, and spotted colors 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 them an ideal cat breed for families.

Siamese cats usually have long bodies but the females can weigh less than 5 pounds. They’re usually 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 light-colored bodies 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 cat breeds, 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 short-legged cat breed should not be left alone at home for extended periods.

Short Legged Cat Breeds Frequently Asked Questions

What are Short-Legged Cat Breeds?

Short-legged cat breeds are feline species that have shorter legs compared to the average length of legs of cats. This feature is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the growth of the bones in the legs. Short legs do not affect the cat’s ability to run, jump, or climb, but they do give them a unique appearance and personality.

Are Short-Legged Cats Rare?

Yes. Due to the complicated breeding process, these cats are not common.

What Cats Have Small Ears and Short Legs?

The Munchkin cat. It is a medium-sized cat with short legs and small ears in the shape of a triangle.

Which Short-Legged Cat Breed Do You Like?

Many of the above are fairly new, quite rare cat breeds and you should now know what breed of cat has short legs. The American Curl is typically the easiest to find followed by the Munchkin and Bambino breeds.

Some short-leg cats, like the Munchkin, have been known to have a variety of health problems. This includes issues like polycystic kidney disease and painful osteoarthritis, and breeders are still learning how to keep these issues to a minimum.

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Saturday 22nd of April 2023

It is sad that short legged cats have so many spinal and orthopedic issues that cause pain and limit mobility. Sometimes there is a price for cuteness that is not worth paying...

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