The teacup kitten is not so much a breed as it is a description of a group of cats that are much smaller than average in size. This can be due to several reasons and some who are born very small do not always stay that way. For some people, its small size is a huge advantage, especially for those with smaller households. But there are also health considerations to take into account. Here we discuss the pros and cons of the smaller sized cat.
What is a cup of tea?
The standard size of a female cat is between 11 and 14 pounds, while a male weighs between 12 and 17 pounds. A teacup female will weigh between 3 and 6.5 pounds and a male between 3 and 7.5 pounds. Weight is a good way to tell the difference between a teacup cat and a cat that was just small at birth but can grow to a normal size. Just because a cat weighs less than 10 pounds doesn’t make it a cup of tea.
Teacup kittens come in a variety of different breeds and are specifically bred for their size. The smallest cat in the litter mates with the smallest cat in another litter, constantly reducing the size in each new litter until the teacup kittens are born. It is also a type of dwarfism and occurs in two main forms. These are anchorplastics, where the dominant gene due to the mutation will affect the hormone that controls bone and primordial growth, which occurs naturally.
The most popular of the teacup breeds are those that are combined with the Persians and their related breeds. Known as MiniPers, these were developed by Cher Simmitt in California and are primordial dwarfs with proportionate bodies that are smaller than normal cats. Another version is the MiniPaws, which are a hybrid and carry both types of dwarfism in their genes. They have shortened legs that can warp a bit, but are otherwise proportionate.
The Napoleon was created by raising a Munchkin with a Persian, he has the long-haired coats and facial structure of the Persian. These are the newest breeds of teacups. The Lambkin was a cross between the Munchkin and the Selkirk Rex to obtain a cat with a soft, curly coat similar to that of a lamb.
While these kitties are adorable when young, they grow into adult cats despite their miniature stature. This means that their behaviors change just like a normal adult cat would, and they often lose many kitten forms.
The inbreeding used to create these breeds can lead to other health problems. These range from neurological conditions and cardiovascular problems to physical deformities and even a shortened lifespan. Affectionate and professional breeders are very careful with their mates to produce healthy cats, but there are unscrupulous breeders who are simply looking to make money off a trend. Therefore, only buy from breeders registered with one or more of the big cat registries to ensure the quality of the kittens as well as their adorable appearance.