21 Small Cat Breeds That Are as Cute as They Are Compact

The smallest cat breeds might be compact, but they have a whole lot of personality and spunk to make up for their tiny stature.

Updated January 26, 2024

Small cat breeds are perfect for owners who have limited space or just enjoy felines with that kitten-like appearance. There are plenty of small breeds to choose from, all with different personality types and a wide variety of colors. If you're looking for a cat breed that runs on the small side, you may find it difficult to select just one! And even if you're not planning on adding another cat to your household, it's still fun to look at these tiny cuties. 

Helpful Hack

If you'd like to view these cuties side-by-side, check out our chart of small cat breeds at the bottom of this article.

Singapura Cats: 4-8 Lbs.


The singapura is hands down the smallest cat breed in the world. What makes them especially cute are their enormous eyes and ears, which make them look incredibly kitten-like for life. These tiny felines average four to eight pounds when fully grown and have loads of energy and spunk despite their size. 

Munchkin Cats: 4-9 Lbs.


Munchkin cats aren't just small, they're short, too. This breed is sometimes called the "sausage cat" or the "dachshund of the cat world" because of their short legs. 

Fast Fact

The munchkin's short legs are caused by a natural spontaneous mutation called hypochondroplasia. Breeding them is considered controversial because those short legs can negatively impact their life.  

Dwelf Cats: 4-9 Lbs.


What do you get when you cross a sphynx, munchkin, and American curl? No this isn't a riddle! The result is a dwelf cat, named for it's dwarf-elf-like appearance. The dwelf is a small designer cat breed that has short legs, curled ears, and a hairless body. 

Related: All About Dwarf Cat and Teacup Breeds (With Traits)

American Curl Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The American curl is an all-American cat breed known for their unique backward-curling ears. These cats tend to be super friendly and affectionate, which is why so many people are attracted to them. Plus, they can be found with both short and long hair. 

Fast Fact

The American curl was the first championship breed accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association that has two coat lengths: short and long.

Balinese Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The elegant balinese cat breed might not look like the smallest cat breed out there, but they're very tiny under all that fur. Even though their name might suggest otherwise, these cats are not from Bali. They were actually named for the Balinese dancers' graceful movements! 

Devon Rex Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The Devon rex is one of the few cat breeds that acts like a dog, but they're much much smaller than most dogs. They're curious, smart, agile, playful, and don't reach more than 10 pounds. Oh, did we mention their fur is so curly, even their whiskers and eyebrows curl? Too cute! 

Fast Fact

These cats sometimes wag their tails like dogs when they're happy and are known by some as "Purring Poodles." 

Related: 3 Reasons Your Cat Acts Like a Dog, and 8 Canine-like Breeds

Turkish Angora Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The Turkish angora is an ancient cat breed that's known for loving to swim. If you decide to bring home one of these small cats, you might find that they'll happily splash about in your tub or their water dish. Turkish angoras reach anywhere from five to 10 pounds as adults.

Quick Tip

A water fountain is a great way to promote hydration and let your water-loving cat engage in some fun. 

Cornish Rex Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The Cornish rex isn't quite as well-known as its cousin, the Devon rex, but they're equally small and sweet. Cornish rexes have bodies that are so sleek and slender that they earned the nickname "the Greyhound of cats." With their playful personality, wavy hair, and tiny frame, what's not to love? 

Fast Fact

The first Cornish rex was born in July 1950 and was named Kallibunker.

Javanese Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


The javanese cat breed looks a lot like the balinese because they're very closely related. In fact, they're a color variation of the balinese (kind of like how the Himalayan is a color variant of the Persian breed!). Javenese cats love their people and will follow you around to seek attention whenever you're home. 

Fast Fact

The javanese cat breed was named after the island of Java (even though they didn't originate there!) and is a cross of the balinese and colorpoint shorthair.

Oriental Longhair Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


If you're into graceful small cats, the oriental longhair will definitely steal your heart. Even though this breed's name includes the definition "longhair," it's really a medium-haired breed. Their hair can sometimes appear shorter on kittens (like this little cutie). 

Quick Tip

The smart oriental shorthair is a great candidate for clicker and trick training

Oriental Shorthair Cats: 5-10 Lbs.


When you think  of small and slender cats, your mind might go straight to the siamese breed, but don't snooze on the oriental shorthair. This breed is closely related to the siamese with the same wedge-shaped head and large ears, but they come in hundreds of colors. Yes — hundreds! 

Fast Fact

Oriental shorthairs are often referred to as "Ornamentals" because they come in over 300 color patterns.

Japanese Bobtail Cats: 6-10 Lbs.


Most bobtail cats are large, but not the Japanese bobtail. This small cat breed stays between six and 10 pounds for life, plus, they have a distinct (and adorable) bobbed tail. Japanese bobtails form strong bonds with their owners and are generally a great choice for homes with children and other pets. 

Fast Fact

This breed is much loved in Japan and was the inspiration for the maneki-neko "lucky cat" statues.

Siamese Cats: 6-10 Lbs.


The siamese is one of if not the oldest cat breed in the world. They're also one of the most talkative, smartest, and longest-lived cats, as well. There's a lot to love about this small cat breed! 

Related: 7 Smallest Cats in the World (You'll Be Shocked How Tiny They Are)

LaPerm Cats: 6-10 Lbs.


The LaPerm is easily recognized by their curly hair that resembles a bouncy perm (hence, their name!). As if their beautiful fur and small size didn't make them stand out enough, these cats are super friendly and social. 

Fast Fact

The LaPerm can be easily recognized by their curly coat, although not all LaPerm's will have this feature. Some are born with straight hair

Burmese Cats: 6-12 Lbs.


If you love playful and active small cats, you'll love the burmese. Many members of this breed have been known to play fetch with their owners, which is easy to teach and a great source of enrichment. 

Quick Tip

The burmese is the cat breed with the longest lifespan. They live an average of 18 to 25 years! 

Peterbald Cats: 6-12 Lbs.


The petite peterbald might look hairless but they aren't born this way. These rare cats are born with fuzzy fur but because they possess a hair-losing gene, it can take about two years for them to develop their famous, hairless body. 

Related: 18 Extremely Rare Cat Breeds & Crosses

Abyssinian Cats: 6-10 Lbs.


The abyssinian has a reddish-brown ticked coat that makes them look a bit like a wild cat. They've retained a lot of other wild traits, like their athleticism, intelligence, curiosity, and ability to get into mischief. You'll definitely need to keep an eye on this small cat if you decide to bring one home! 

Colorpoint Shorthair Cats: 6-12 Lbs


The colorpoint shorthair breed is closely related to the siamese, but they come in way more color variations than the standard siamese cat colors. Still, they have a similar personality with a friendly and affectionate nature. 

Fast Fact

The colorpoint is known as the Himalayan in Europe, and in the Cat Fancier's Association, it's often considered the pointed pattern Persian.

Somali Cats: 6-12 Lbs.


Somali cats are hard to miss with their stunning red hair and bushy tail. This appearance earned them the nickname "fox cat," which describes these cuties to a T. They're also super agile and acrobatic like foxes, so watch out if you bring one home! 

Fast Fact

The Somali is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian cat breed. 

Russian Blue Cats: 7-12 Lbs.


Russian blues are muscular cats, but that doesn't meant they're large by any means. This small cat breed stays between seven and 12 pounds. They tend to be calm and quiet, which makes them a great choice if you're looking for a small lap cat. 

Fast Fact

The Russian blue was once known as the "Archangel Cat." It's believed that these cats originated in northern Russia and were transported to Europe through the port city of Arkhangelsk.

Nebelung Cats: 7-14 Lbs.


The nebelung is a rare cat breed that looks as whimsical as its name. In German, the breed's name translates to "creature of the mist." Nebelungs are small cats with beautiful, long, grey fur, but you have to be patient if you want to pet one because they can be incredibly shy. 

Chart of Small Cat Breeds: Compare at a Glance


When you're trying to narrow down your choice of small cat breeds for your family, knowing a few things about each breed can be helpful. The following chart covers some traits that might be of particular concern to many potential cat owners, like talkativeness and activity level. 

Breed Size Hair Length Body Type Personality Attention Needs Activity Level Talkativeness
Abyssinian 6 to 10 pounds Short Slender Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet
American Curl 5 to 10 pounds Short or long Semi-foreign Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Average
Balinese 5 to 10 pounds Medium Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Very vocal
Burmese 6 to 12 pounds Short Compact Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Active Vocal
Colorpoint Shorthair 6 to 12 pounds Short Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Very vocal
Cornish Rex 5 to 10 pounds Short Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet
Devon Rex 5 to 10 pounds Short Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet
Dwelf 4 to 9 pounds Hairless Stocky Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Active Quiet
Japanese Bobtail 6 to 10 pounds Short or long Slender Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Vocal
Javanese 5 to 10 pounds Medium Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active  Very vocal
LaPerm 6 to 10 pounds Short or long Moderate Affectionate Needs average attention Very active Quiet
Munchkin 4 to 9 pounds Short or long Stocky Affectionate Needs average attention Very active Very vocal
Nebelung 7 to 14 pounds Medium Semi-foreign Affectionate Needs average attention Average activity Quiet
Oriental Longhair 5 to 10 pounds Medium Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Very vocal
Oriental Shorthair 5 to 10 pounds Short Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Very vocal
Peterbald 6 to 12 pounds Hairless Slender Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Vocal
Russian Blue 7 to 12 pounds Short Foreign, fine-boned Affectionate Needs average attention Average activity Quiet
Siamese 6 to 10 pounds Short Slender to moderate Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Very vocal
Singapura 4 to 8 pounds Short Moderate Very affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet
Somali 6 to 12 pounds Long Slender Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet
Turkish Angora 5 to 10 pounds Long Athletic Affectionate Needs a lot of attention Very active Quiet

Tips for Caring for Small Cat Breeds


Caring for a smaller-sized cat breed isn't much different than caring for a medium-to-large-sized cat. However, there are a few safety precautions you should be aware of.

Be Aware of Small Spaces

The smaller your cat is, the easier it will be for them to hide in smaller spaces. This can definitely be a problem if your cat becomes trapped and can't get out. Make sure you go through your house and block off any small entrance areas, like open vents, drywall, or areas behind appliances, to keep your small cat safe.

Get the Right Tree Size

Consider your cat's size when buying cat trees and window perches. Your smaller cat may not be able to jump as high as a regular-sized cat. The first shelf on a cat tree shouldn't be so high your cat cannot reach it from the ground. Luckily, you can find trees in plenty of different styles and sizes. 

Supervise Play

Make sure that your cat doesn't rough house with young children, larger cats, or dogs. Sure, you want to let everyone in the house have fun playing together, but be there to supervise so you can step in if play gets too rough and your smaller cat is in danger of being unintentionally hurt.

Loving a Small Cat Breed


Small cat breeds can be an affectionate, beautiful addition to your life. These tiny felines run the gamut from boisterous to quiet and come in all shapes and colors. Just make sure that your house is "small cat-proof" if you take one home to keep them safe and happy.

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21 Small Cat Breeds That Are as Cute as They Are Compact