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14 Best Small Cat Breeds for Every Family

The cute factor is out of control with these tiny cats. Consider yourself warned.

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Low Angle View Of Cat Reaching From Atop Cat Tree,hakadal,norwayIzaLysonArts/500px/Getty Images

Cute, cuddly, and compact!

All cats are pretty adorable in their own right. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a kitty cat that didn’t elicit a drawn-out “awww!” But we’ve gone ahead and upped the ante with this list of small cat breeds that weigh no more than 10 pounds. Aside from being super cute and super tiny, each one has a distinct personality type that makes it perfect for families—maybe your family!—especially since some of them happen to be the most affectionate cat breeds around.

From floofy and fluffy to short-haired and even hairless, these sweet kitties are sure to steal your heart. If you’re also a dog person (or you just like adorable pictures), you’ll want to check out these small dog breeds that make equally cute companions, as well.

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Portrait of adorable singapura cat. Animal photo. Stockholm.Viktor/Getty Images

Singapura

At an average of about five pounds—the weight of a half-gallon of milk—the Singapura is the smallest cat breed out there. A fully grown female often maxes out around four pounds, and males around six. This short-haired breed is known for its adorably large ears and eyes and a striped tabby pattern.

“Despite the Singapura’s small size, they’re excellent helpers who get along well with the whole family, including children and pets,” says veterinarian Katie Lytle, DVM, a channel manager for Wisdom Panel. She adds that Singapuras are also known for their friendliness and inquisitive nature. They have high energy and love to keep busy, and when it’s time to chill, they’re all about the cuddles. Are you a pup parent, too? These 12 cat breeds get along with dogs.

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Napoleon kitten (Minuet) playing toyeyfoto/Getty Images

Napoleon

If plump, rounded kitties with loads of fur is your jam, the Napoleon cat (also known as the Minuet) is the way to go. Though their fluff might have you assume otherwise, these tiny felines weigh between five and nine pounds—no more than a standard can of paint! These cats do well with families, children, and even other pets. Considered a dwarf cat breed, it has been around since the late 1960s when breeder Joe Smith cross-bred a Munchkin and Persian. Read up on these 21 cat facts that are purr-fectly fascinating.

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Cat sitting on owner's stomachNazra Zahri/Getty Images

Munchkin

The name’s a pretty clear giveaway of the miniature size of this small cat breed. These affectionate cuties, which weigh between six and nine pounds, have short legs and longer bodies akin to a dachshund or corgi shape. “Munchkins tend to play well with other cats and dogs, and they also like to stow away shiny objects if owners enjoy a game of hide-and-seek,” says Stacy Choczynski Johnson, DVM, a veterinarian and veterinary expert for Pumpkin Pet Insurance. But one word of warning: “Due to their [shape], they do not jump very high and owners need to beware of potential joint injuries.” Don’t miss these trusted tips to help your pet live longer.

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Cornish Rex KittenAngela Emanuelsson/EyeEm/Getty Images

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is a small cat recognized for its strikingly beautiful, elegant appearance. Females are usually between five and eight pounds, while the boys weigh in between eight and 10. “These long, thin felines have big ears and a curl to their soft fur,” says Dr. Choczynski Johnson. “[Personality-wise], these cats are dog-like in that they are known for playing an occasional game of fetch. They also tend to be quick eaters with good appetites.” Check out these other black cat breeds you’ll want to adopt.

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Obedient Devon Rex Cat Sitting in Litter Box in Living Room - stock photoCasarsaGuru/Getty Images

Devon Rex

Slightly smaller than their Cornish cousins, the Devon Rex weighs between five and seven pounds if female, and between seven and nine pounds if male. “Devons are intelligent, active cats who are known for their childlike looks and mischievous temperament to match,” says Dr. Lytle. “This small cat breed is great for families because they love being in a busy environment with children and other pets, and they don’t need much grooming.” She adds that they are quite social and crave a good cuddle session! If you’re a cat person, you’ll particularly appreciate these photos of cats making themselves comfortable just about anywhere.

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Cute CatAntagain/Getty Images

American Curl

About the size of a bag of sugar—and way sweeter if you ask us—the American Curl could easily take the crown for America’s Sweetheart. “This furry feline is known for its characteristic backward curling of the ears,” says Shawna Garner, DVM, lead veterinarian for FirstVet. “They have a wide array of color patterns and either short- or long-haired varieties, and adult weights average between five to eight pounds. These cats are also very playful and affectionate, and they love to cuddle.” Check out these 12 rare cat breeds you probably don’t know about.

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Cute scottish fold cat resting on the sofa .kiszon pascal/Getty Images

Scottish Fold

Break out the bagpipes and prepare yourself or a serious canoodling should you ever find yourself in the company of a Scottish Fold. Similar in appearance to the American Curl, this breed has tightly folded ears (hence, the name) and comes in numerous coats and colors. “Families love the Scottish Fold for their affectionate and gentle nature and their intelligence,” says Dr. Choczynski Johnson. For a good laugh, take a look at these 45 hilarious cat memes.

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Domestic Siamese catLuis Cagiao Photography/Getty Images

Siamese

Siamese kitties are known for being major talkers with bright blue eyes and a striking soft white, gray, and black coat. They’re on the larger end of the small cat spectrum, weighing between eight and 12 pounds for females and up to 15 pounds for males. If you wanted a particularly small Siamese cat, you’d need to specifically seek that out from a breeder.

In addition to their beauty, Siamese are also very smart cats who are less ‘fraidy cat and more curious kitty. “You may see Siamese walking down the street with their families as they can be leash-trained as kittens,” says Dr. Choczynski Johnson. “Siamese fanciers will say that this breed has elegance and beauty greater than any other feline.” FYI, Siamese are one of the cat breeds that get stolen the most often.

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Blue eyed Siamese kitten sitting on tableCavan Images/Getty Images

Balinese

If the Balinese cat looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s related to the Siamese! There are a few key differences, though. First, they’re smaller at between five to 10 pounds. Second, they have longer fur coats that are quite silky and soft. Like the Siamese, however, they are very intelligent creatures who enjoy being social and affectionate. They’re also quite talkative and aren’t afraid to give you an earful when they have something to say, though less so than the Siamese. Learn which common cat “facts” are false.

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Beautiful blue-eyed oriental breed cat lying resting on bed at home looking at camera. Fluffy hairy domestic pet with blue eyes relaxing at home. Adorable furry animal feline friend. Domestic life.~UserGI15613517/Getty Images

Colorpoint Shorthair

The Colorpoint Shorthair is part of the same cat breed family as the Siamese and Balinese. They, too, weigh in between five to 10 pounds. “This breed has the body shape, voice, and personality of a Siamese cat, but can be the colors of the domestic shorthair,” says Jeff Werber, DVM, veterinarian and Chief Veterinary Officer for AirVet. In fact, they come in 16 different colors! “I’ve had a few throughout the years, and they are wonderful cats that are quite inquisitive and curious.” They’ll play fetch, sit on your lap and purr, and remain loyal to their owners.

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Dwelf Cat in the StudioThomas Leirikh/Getty Images

Dwelf Cat

Weighing in at a mere four to six pounds and only seven inches in height, the hairless Dwelf cat is certainly one of the tiniest cat breeds out there. It’s a cross between a Munchkin, American Curl, and Sphynx—and to be honest, it looks every bit the part of all three. They’re known for being quite active, almost like a puppy, and they are quite social and interactive. Because it’s hairless, the Dwelf is also considered a hypoallergenic cat, making it ideal for families with allergies. It is important to note, however, that these cats can be predisposed to genetic issues, including fragility. They are also quite expensive at around $2,500 each. In case you were wondering, these are the most (and least) expensive dog breeds in the world.

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Grey cat with intense green eyesAndrea Ricordi, Italy/Getty Images

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a gentle, reserved feline that makes a wonderful addition to small households with older children and adults. They have a very unique look with their bluish-gray short coats and sparkling green eyes. While shy, they are devoted to their owners and are even known to greet you at the door. At between seven and 12 pounds, they are considered a small to medium cat breed. What makes them extra special is that they tend to live longer than other breeds; their average life span is between 15 and 20 years, and some have lived closer to 25. If you think you can handle the cuteness, check out these adorable cat breeds as kittens—and yes, the Russian Blue is in there!

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snowshoe cat portraitMik122/Getty Images

Snowshoe

The Snowshoe is also distantly related to the Siamese cat. Its name goes back to the very first litter, which was born with white feet; it is believed to be a mix between a Siamese and an American Shorthair. Today, they are born mostly white and then later in life develop their darker markings. Male snowshoes are between nine and 12 pounds, while females are smaller at between seven and 10.

“Snowshoes are well-suited to family life, thanks to their playfulness and loyalty,” says Dr. Lytle. “For example, some snowshoes are known to be bossy and some shy. The breed is also known for its unique spectrum of personalities.” Snowshoes are generally active and intelligent, and they love being around people.

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Portrait Of Sphynx Hairless Cat Sitting On Sofa At HomeJesus Vivas Alacid/EyeEm/Getty Images

Sphynx

Weighing between six and 12 pounds, the Sphynx is a small cat breed best known for its wrinkly, hairless body. While they do look a bit ferocious, their personality is the opposite. “The breed has been called the most dog-like of cat breeds because they tend to follow their owners around like a puppy and like to greet you at the door when you come home,” says Anthony Hall, DVM, a veterinarian with AirVet. “That said, these playful and curious cats also love to lounge and can keep themselves entertained, which makes them pretty low-maintenance.” Dr. Hall recommends these cats for families with older children and without other pets since they tend to prefer being the center of attention. Looking for more to love? On the opposite end of the spectrum, these are the large cat breeds that make the cutest pets.

Sources:

  • Katie Lytle, DVM, veterinarian and channel manager for Wisdom Panel
  • Stacy Choczynski Johnson, DVM, a veterinarian and veterinary expert for Pumpkin Pet Insurance
  • Shawna Garner, DVM, lead veterinarian for FirstVet
  • Jeff Werber, DVM, veterinarian and Chief Veterinary Officer for AirVet
  • Anthony Hall, DVM, a veterinarian with AirVet

Wendy Rose Gould
Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter covering pets for Reader's Digest, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Rescue Pop. She's also a regular contributor to NBC, Real Simple, Brides, Business Insider, and other outlets. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, by way of the Indiana countryside, Wendy holds a journalism degree from the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism and another bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @wendyrgould.

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