White Napoleon cat

The Munchkin Cat Persian Mix (The Napoleon or Minuet)

It is cute. It is rare. It is the Napoleon or the Munchkin cat with a Persian mix. The Munchkin cat is famous for its short legs (which is why they are also named as sausage cats) due to a genetic mutation. It is called a munchkin cat because of the minuscule habitats of Munchkin County in the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Meanwhile, the Persian cat is known for its long-haired fur, short muzzle, and round face hence its nickname, the “Persian Longhair.”. A Napoleon cat is therefore a mix of the Munchkin short legged gene with a Persian parentage.

What Is a Napoleon Cat?

Persian cat close up
A Persian cat – A parent of the Napoleon Munchkin Cat

A Napoleon cat is a mixed breed of a munchkin and a Persian cat. It’s one of the recognized cross-breeds from TICA. It inherited the name from the famous French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte (you might have guessed), who was known for his short stature of 157 cm. The short and round Napoleon cat can grow up to 20 cm.

It is also known as a Minuet cat. The Napoleon or Minuet breed started with dog breeder Joseph B. Smith, when he crossbred them on June 12, 1995. Munchkins and a Persian cat were crossbred because he wanted the beauty of the Munchkin but the short bones of the Persian cat.

Some Napoleon cats with short legs are often compared to their canine counterpart, the Daschund. Both are popular for their short legs which are attractive to both casual cat-lovers and professional show cat owners. For those finding a feline companion in their home, the Napoleon cat is a favorite choice due to its loving personality and small frame.

What makes the Napoleon cat interesting is its parentage: the Munchkin cat is controversial since the breed started out of a natural genetic alteration, while the Persian cat is the second most famous cat according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, as of 2015.

White Napoleon cat

Identifying a Napoleon Cat

The defining physical characteristics of a Napoleon cat are the following:


  • A litter or a group of kittens would be a mix of short- and long-legged Napoleon cats
  • As it is a mix of the short-legged Munchkin and the hairy and round-faced Persian,
    some Napoleon cats may exhibit traits from both lineages
  • For short-legged Napoleon cats, they would be less agile and mobile than their long-legged counterparts
  • It has a medium and muscular build
  • Big wide eyes
  • Round face, ears, cheeks, and muzzles
  • Its coat or the overall fur coverage range from chocolate, mink, to sepia
  • Can grow up to 20 cm
  • Can weigh up to 2 to 4 kg


Meanwhile, Napoleon cats inhibit positive personality traits such as being friendly, cuddling, tame, loyal, and intuitive. They are also friendly to children given that they are not shown aggression. Due to its tender behavior, it is usually called “teacup” or “baby doll.” For Russian cat owners, Napoleon cats are sometimes called, “a small chunk of happiness”.

Essentially, a Napoleon has inherited certain characteristics from the Persian, namely the round face, eyes, a deep coat and good bone structure. This is a natural complement to the Munchkins much shorter legs. This combination makes it a very unique cat to look at, and so will be easy to identify in a cat line up..

It’s also said to be a good indoor cat.

What Is Owning a Napoleon Cat Like?

white Napoleon cat with brown backgroundThe experience is usually positive. Cat owners love Napoleon cats for they are loving and rarely display stubbornness or aggression. Napoleon cats have a lifespan of 9 to 15 years. Others say they can live up to 18 to 20 years when they have great care taken over them.

They also require only a moderate level of grooming, unlike other cats which need a high level of maintenance and grooming. To prevent matting or the tangling of a cat’s hair, Napoleon cats need to be brushed 2 to 3 times a week. It also depends on the coat type: if the cat is long-haired, it is best to brush the cat more frequently per week to maintain a clean and smooth hair.

Napoleon cats are also known for their “prairie dog stance” in which they stand up on their hind limbs and sit up. They usually do this to see farther and at the same time looking cuter. They are sometimes called the “puppies of the cat world.”

Acceptance by The International Cat Association

Recently, the Napoleon or Minuet breed has been accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA), an organization which holds the world’s largest cat registry. Before this, the said breed had a negative reception to its acceptance as a breed by the TICA due to its “man-made” origin.

In 2015, TICA officially changed the name of the Napoleon cat to Minuet and accepted the Minuet cat as a “domestic hybrid breed” due to Smith’s deliberate effort to mix the Munchkin and a Persian cat in 1995.

Based on the TICA’s official standard for the Napoleon or Minuet, the combinations of Minuet-Minuet, Minuet-Munchkin, and Minuet-Persian (including Himalayans and Exotic Shorthairs) are the only acceptable and permissible crossbreeds which one can employ to come up with a Napoleon cat. Due to these specific requirements, Napoleon cats are semi-rare.

Are There Napoleon Health Problems?

Napoleon cat with blue backgroundAs with each breed of cats, the Persian cat are uniquely prone to PKD or Polycystic Kidney Disease. The disease can cause the buildup of small liquid-filled cysts inside a cat’s kidney.

For its Munchkin lineage, Napoleon cats are prone to diseases called Lordosis and Pectus Excavatum. Lordosis is a rare condition in which the spine does not grow fully. What happens is the back of the cat turns inwards due to lack of spine. If a cat has severe lordosis, chances of living may be slim,

Meanwhile, Pectus Excavatum targets the chest. It is a structural deformity to a cat’s body which makes it chest caved in. It can be present at birth or develop later in its life. This genetic deformity is also called as “funnel chest” due to the sunken shape of a cat’s chest similar to a funnel.

Thus, while a lot more anecdotal evidence has to come in, one might assume that a Napoleon cat might have a greater propensity for PKD, but this has not been proven yet. Just something to be aware of.


The first time you decide to bring a cat to your home can be daunting. There are a lot of breeds (which for the first-timer can look the same) to choose from. There is the tall Siamese cat or the tiger-like Bengal cat. However, a Napoleon cat in your home is a totally different experience.

A Napoleon cat will be a loving feline companion at your home and among your family and friends. These are cats that would cuddle with you as you watch the evening news or stay relaxed when you read a book on a rainy afternoon.


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