10 Short-Legged Cat Breeds (with Pictures)

Cats with vertical disabilities need love too! Our feline friends may be known for their long legs, agile builds, and ability to jump long distances, but there are also many adorable short-legged cat breeds. For anyone looking for a fun plus sized friend to have around the house, look no further. We’ve created the perfect guide to everything you need to know about short-legged cat breeds. Appreciate!

History of short-legged cat breeds

The first known reference to short-legged cats was in the 1930s in England, including wild felines, and just a year later, experts discovered a hereditary disease linked to this phenomenon. By the mid-1940s, many short-legged cats were roaming England, with some claiming there had been as many as four generations at this point.

In 1944, Dr. HE Williams-Jones wrote in a veterinary journal about an eight-year-old black cat seen in England that appeared completely normal, apart from the fact that it had short legs, a trait shared by some brothers and sisters. the mother and the grandmother.

German author Max Egon Thiel wrote about a short-legged cat he encountered in 1953 Stalingrad and gave it the nickname “Stalingrad Kangaroo Cat”.

Short-legged felines can come in all shapes and sizes, with some having four short legs and others only having the short gene on both front legs. Some even have normal length hind legs but shorter and thicker legs.

In 1995, Munchkin cats were officially recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association), but this caused quite a stir. Some have claimed that short legs could create health and mobility problems in cats, making the breeding controversial. As a result, many other associations have decided not to recognize short-legged breeds like the Munchkin.

Despite this, the short leg phenomenon remains popular to this day.

Top 10 short-legged cat breeds


Munchkin cat breed

Photo by Đồng Phục Hải Triều on Unsplash

The daddy of the short-legged feline world. Many short-legged breeds have been created using the Munchkin as a breeding parent. They live between 12 and 15 years and come in a wide variety of colors. They are known for being relaxed yet outgoing while being a loving presence in the home. Unlike some other breeds on this list, the Munchkin cat has short legs but a normal-sized body and tail. Fortunately, their short legs don’t seem to have any negative health implications for Munchkins. If you’re looking for a happy kitten with short legs to run around and who loves being around humans, look no further than the Munchkin.


genet cat

Struck, AK., Braun, M., Detering, KA et al., CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Genetta cat breed lives between 9 and 12 years and is known for being a friendly reserve of energy to have around the house. They come in a variety of colors, including silver, brown, black, and spotted snow. The Genetta is a breed of dwarf cat and is currently a popular pet in America, with its wild yet adorable look. It is created by breeding species like Munchkins, BengalsAnd Savannas to combine the wild coat with the short legs. The Genetta loves to play and will chase lasers, balls, and toys for as long as you let her. They also love spending lots of time with their favorite humans, so expect lots of cuddles and little legs following you everywhere.


THE Minuet The cat lives between 9 and 15 years and has a wide variety of colors. They are known to be a very loving and kind ball of energy to have around the house. The Minuet breed was created in the 1990s and is also often called Napoleon. The Minuet exhibits broad traits of either parent, inheriting the calm and kindness of the Persian but the high energy of the Munchkin parent. They are known to be very affectionate pets and love interacting with their favorite humans. Minuets are what we call one-person cats. This means that they will likely imprint their mark on their favorite human (probably the one who feeds and plays with them the most) and spend the vast majority of their time focused on that one person. So if you’re Minuet’s chosen one, prepare for him to follow you around the house and climb into your lap to give as many cuddles as possible.


The Dwelf cat lives between 8 and 12 years and is known to be a very friendly and social presence to have around. They are mainly available in natural or black colors. Not only the Twelve a short-legged breed, but it is also a hairless breed. Because they lack the natural warmth of hair, they like to spend their time in the warmer areas of their home. Often, it ends up being their favorite humans’ turn. Some experts have criticized Dwelf cat breeding, saying it is unethical to create hairless cats with short legs, but they are growing in popularity across the world.


The Skookum cat breed often lives between 10 and 15 years, with a wide range of colors and a very attractive personality. This breed is known for being very relaxed and easy-going, but also remarkably intelligent. This is a relatively new breed, only created in the 1990s, but growing in popularity. What they lack in height, this short-legged feline more than makes up for in its playful nature. Just like Genetta, they will chase balls, toys and lasers until their little legs can no longer move. They also like to spend time snuggled up on your lap. Skookums can even learn tricks, thanks to their big brains!


The Kinkalow cat lives between 10 and 15 years and is known to be a kind and playful friend. Although their coats are two- and three-colored, the predominant shades are black and white. The Kinkalow is a particularly cute breed, originating from Munchkin and the American Curl and creating a short-legged feline with adorable curled ears. THE Kinkalow gets their playful and affectionate qualities from mom and dad, and they love nothing more than receiving attention from their favorite humans. This is one of the most unique breeds on our list and will definitely melt your heart.


The Minskin cat lives between 12 and 15 years and comes in a wide variety of different colors. The breed is known for being very affectionate and playful, but also for having an outgoing personality. Although they are almost completely hairless, they still have different patterns. They are very unique in their appearance, but extremely cute with their big cat eyes and small frames. In fact, the Minskin manages to maintain that cute kitten look throughout its lifespan of 12 to 15 years. This breed is known to be very loving and affectionate with their favorite humans. The only downside is that the Minskin is difficult to find as the breed is very rare.


The Bambino cat lives between 12 and 15 years and comes in a selection of colors including brown, black, cream and white. They are known to be very intelligent little felines who love spending time with people and showing their almost unlimited affection. The Bambino is another hairless cat with unusually short legs, but its skin retains the color of a normal cat’s fur. One of their most eye-catching features is, ironically, their eyes, which are usually a beautiful, piercing shade of blue. If you’re looking for an affectionate four-legged friend, look no further. However, be prepared to confront a smart little cat, as its big brain can lead it to cheeky behavior if it doesn’t get what it wants.

American loop

american curl kitten

Photo by @lifeonwhite from Freepik

The American Curl Cat lives between 9 and 13 years and comes in a wide variety of colors. They are known for being outgoing, active and energetic little cats. As its name suggests, the American Curl Cat is famous for its cute curly ears. They are currently very popular in America, with growing popularity around the world. The short legs and curled ears are the result of a mutation, but one that does not have a negative impact on general health. The American Curl Cat is often compared to an owl because of its appearance.


The Lambkin cat lives between 12 and 14 years and comes in a variety of colors. They are known for being very laid back, gentle and relaxed kittens. So they will often find their loved one close and snuggle up for a good cuddle. In fact, they often scan the room and look for someone sitting just to find a prime spot on their lap. If you are looking for a cat who loves human contact, is always pet-friendly, and loves to be carried, look no further. Its long fur also makes it an ideal cuddle companion.

Possible health problems

While there are some concerns about whether short-legged cats should be bred due to their genetic mutation, there is less evidence to suggest that it actually impacts their overall health. Short-legged cats may behave a little differently than their long-legged cousins, simply because they are a little more limited when it comes to running, jumping, and climbing. However, their legs should not harm their health. You should only look for a reputable breeder, as joint and spine problems should not be transferred into the breeding pool.

That being said, short-legged cats suffer from the same common health problems as full-sized cats, so you should take them to the vet regularly. You can also ask your veterinarian about your short-legged cat breed for breed-specific advice.

People also ask

What breed of cat has shorter legs?

There are many short-legged breeds to choose from. Some of our favorites include the Munchkin Cat, Genetta Cat, Minuet Cat, Dwelf Cat, Skookum Cat, Kinkalow Cat, Minskin Cat, Bambino Cat, American Curl Cat, and Lambkin Cat.

Why are my cat’s legs short?

Most short-legged cats likely suffer from a form of dwarfism, also called achondroplasia. This genetic mutation stunts the growth of all or part of their legs by affecting certain hormones. Munchkins are believed to suffer from another condition called pseudoachondroplasia, which is why short legs are a characteristic of the breed.

How rare is a Munchkin cat?

The Munchkin cat is rather rare, as are most breeds with a genetic mutation. This is why they generally cost between $500 and $1,200 from breeders. Just make sure you choose a reliable and reputable breeder.


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