Some of the smallest cats in the world weigh in at a little over a pound and measure only six to seven inches long. These tiny felines get their diminutive size from genetic defects, environmental conditions, and sometimes, breed characteristics.
Examples of Smallest Cats in the World
Several tiny cats have competed for the Smallest Cat and Shortest Cat in the World titles. The Guinness Book of World Records tracks entries to find the cat that "fits" the title.
The current record holder for the smallest cat in the world is Mr. Peebles. A gray tabby, Mr. Peebles weighs three pounds and is just a little over six inches in height. His small size is due to a genetic defect that kept him from growing normally. Mr. Peebles is registered with the Guinness Book of World Records. Mr. Peebles was actually the subject of an Internet hoax that was exposed by websites like Snopes.com. A photoshopped image of tiny black and white kitten displayed in the video below went viral claiming this was Mr. Peebles.
Bitsy is a cat that lives in Florida. She is 1.5 pounds and 6.5 inches long. Bitsy competed for the title of world's smallest feline and was assessed by the people at Guinness Book of World Records.
A Blue Point Himalayan from the United States was measured 2.75 inches tall and only about 7.25 inches long. He only weighed a little over a pound. His name was Tinker Toy. He passed away in 1997. Tinker Toy is the smallest cat ever on record with the Guinness Book of World Records.
Lilieput was the shortest cat on record with Guinness. This munchkin cat was 5.25 inches high when fully grown.
Another cat that attempted to get the world's shortest title from Guinness is Pixel, who is 5 inches tall. Pixel is a munchkin cat who resides in California. Her mother is Fizz Girl, who was recognized as the shortest cat in 2011.
Fizz Girl was named Shortest Living Cat by Guinness in 2011. This munchkin cat was 6 inches tall. She developed a huge YouTube following with the fifth most-watched animal video worldwide that year.
Cye was recognized as the shortest living cat in 2014 by Guinness. Another munchkin cat, Cye measured 5.35 inches high.
More Tiny Cats
- Pete (1973) was a cat from England that was only two pounds when fully grown.
- Itse Bitse (2004) measured under four inches in height.
- Gizmo from Marlton weighed only two pounds at two years of age.
The World's Smallest Cat Breeds
There are a few unusually small breeds of cats. Usually, these tiny breeds must go through genetic testing to determine whether they are a true breed or the result of a nutritional or genetic problem.
Munchkins have only recently been accepted as a breed, but not by all cat associations. They have a genetic defect that keeps the leg bones from growing properly. A Munchkin is a normal sized cat on shorter than average legs. These cats are often used to breed with other types of cats in order to get a smaller cat. Some names for these hybrids are:
- Napoleon - a Munchkin and a Himalayan
- Kinkalow - Munchkin and an American Curl
- Lambkin - Munchkin and Selkirk Rex
There are questions about whether Singapuras are really a breed of cat at all. They share some similar genetics as a Burmese. Singapuras are found in Singapore and are most often less than six pounds in weight. Some researchers believe that these cats are the result of the poor nutrition of a stray cat. However, the Cat Fancier's Association investigated and subsequently recognized these cats as an individual breed.
Like dog breeders, cat breeders are seeking to create small versions of the normal sized cats. Often these cats are hybrids; a cross between a Munchkin and a normal sized breed. There are exceptions to this. Sometimes a breeder can breed two small stature purebred cats and continue to get smaller cats with each generation. This keeps the kittens small through genetics.
About Small Cats
There are a variety of reasons why a cat might be small including:
- Genetic defects
- Lack of nutrition
- Illness as a kitten
Sometimes veterinarians just don't know why a particular cat is small. She may be born in a litter of normal sized kittens from normal-sized parents. Many of these feline anomalies end up in the Guinness Book of World Records. Following are some cats that have either been recorded as one of the smallest or tried to be registered as the world's smallest cat.
Taking Home a Small Cat
Whether you are just curious about what the smallest cat in the world looks like or you're interested in a small feline breed to buy, the diversity in cats is amazing to see.
If you are choosing a cat breed for teacup size, be sure to ask plenty of questions. It is very difficult to guarantee the size of any animal. Since mini-breeds are somewhat new, you should be prepared to love your cat even if it grows into an average size.