One of the great internet rumors that isn't exactly true, mini pygmy kittens sound too adorable to be real. Based on the idea of mini pygmy pigs and a bit of speculation, these tiny kitties don't actually exist - yet.
First a Mini Pygmy Pig
In 2008, the sows of a pig breeder in England gave birth to eight miniature piglets. Breeder Chris Murray of Devon used selective breeding to develop these porcine miniatures. His stated goal was to develop "cuddly" small pigs. The pigs' tiny size was deemed newsworthy, and stories popped up around the Internet. Some writers referred to the pigs as mini pygmy pigs.
Mini Pygmy Kittens
How then did the development of miniature pigs turn into stories about miniature (or mini pygmy) kittens? Due to the original story of the pigs, some commenters online speculated that miniature kittens were likely in the planning stage among British scientists who've worked to genetically engineer miniature pigs.
- Since other animals have already been miniaturized using selective breeding and/or genetic engineering, it seemed natural to think kittens were next. These other existing miniatures include miniature horses, miniature cows and miniature goats.
- Online photos of the pygmy pigs show an animal approximately the size of a small kitten. One line of speculation is that readers of the stories about these pigs did not recognize them as pigs and thought they were kittens.
- One writer did, in fact, comment that they looked like a clone of a kitten and a piglet. Examination of the photos shows few, if any, feline features.
Confusion With Teacup Cats
Very small cats, known as teacup cats, have already been bred. They are small enough to sit in the palm of the hand. A second and more likely line of speculation about mini pygmy kittens is that they were confused with teacup kittens. Teacup kittens are available as hybrids of several breeds and are also sometimes known as "pocket kitties".
Getting a Mini Kitten
It appears that mini pygmy kittens are the result of Internet speculation and the tendency of stories on the Internet to turn into a kind of mythology unique to the web. If you want a small cat, talk to breeders of teacup kittens and other miniature breeds. If you want a short-legged kitten, talk to breeders of Munchkin cats, which are the result of a genetic mutation.
Mini Pygmy Kittens Are Not Real
Once again the Internet is the source of information that mutates as it is passed from person to person. There are indeed tiny cats available to those who want them. There just aren't any actual mini pygmy kittens.