How Many Flat Faced Cat Breeds Are There?

Selkirk Rex

A lot of people find flat-faced cats cute. As a result, cat breeders have created numerous flat-faced cat breeds. PetKeen lists 10 of these cat breeds. Some of them are long-established. In contrast, others are more recent creations in relative terms. Interested individuals should know that there could be even more flat-faced cat breeds than those mentioned here.


1. Bombay

The Bombay cat has no connection with its namesake. Instead, it descends from the Burmese, meaning it has a somewhat better claim to the country now called Myanmar. Amusingly, there are two kinds of Bombay cats because two different people got more or less the same idea at around the same time. In short, they wanted a Burmese-like cat with a sleek, black-colored coat. The American cat breeder got results by breeding the Burmese with black-colored American Shorthairs. Meanwhile, the British cat breeder got results by breeding the Burmese with domestic short-haired cats from the United Kingdom.

Funny enough, the two kinds of Bombay cats are similar despite their different origins. Reputedly, both are sociable animals, so much so that they outright crave attention from their human family members. Thanks to that, Bombay cats are even willing to put up with children. Of course, interested individuals should still supervise interactions between the two to prevent potential problems.

British Shorthair

2. British Shorthair

Cat breed names are sometimes confusing. For instance, the British Shorthair is a cat breed, meaning it is not the same as the earlier-mentioned domestic short-haired cats from the United Kingdom. Trupanion says that a domestic short-haired cat refers to any short-haired cat that doesn’t belong to an official cat breed. As such, while these cats make up the overwhelming majority of the cat population, they are not the same as the British Shorthair and the other Shorthair cat breeds.

With that said, the British Shorthair does have a connection to domestic short-haired cats from the United Kingdom. After all, it is the pedigreed version of those cats in the same way that the American Shorthair is the pedigreed version of domestic short-haired cats from the United States. Appearance-wise, the British Shorthair has numerous strong points. For example, it has big eyes, broad cheeks, and a short muzzle on a large, rounded head. Similarly, it has a distinctive coat that looks plush rather than fluffy because it lacks an undercoat. Best of all, the British Shorthair comes in a remarkable range of colors and patterns, meaning interested individuals can choose the one best suited to their personal preferences rather than settle for something close enough.

Moving on, the British Shorthair is best suited for people who want an independent cat that nonetheless likes them. Generally speaking, these are easygoing cats. Even so, they have limits to their tolerance for physical interaction. In exchange, the British Shorthair is a peaceful animal perfect for indoor living, meaning interested individuals can expect minimal fuss and hassle.


3. Burmese

As mentioned earlier, the Burmese cat has a claim to the country now called Myanmar. However, one can also argue that it has a similar claim to the country now called Thailand. To a small extent, this is because the Burmese cat originated in the border region between the two countries. The even more persuasive reason is that the Burmese cat descends from what Hill’s Pet calls a Burmese-Siamese hybrid named Wong Mau.

In any case, Burmese cats are like Siamese cats in that there are two varieties. The traditional version is a thinner, longer animal with a wedge-shaped head. In contrast, the contemporary version is a stockier creature with a broader head but a shorter muzzle. Color-wise, these cats are supposed to have uniform coats, though faint colorpoint markings aren’t uncommon. Originally, Burmese cats came in dark brown. Nowadays, they can have other colors such as blue, cream, and lilac.

One of the reasons for the Burmese cat’s popularity is its puppy-like personality. Essentially, these cats are playful, energetic, and attached to their humans in a way that cats often are not. The downside is that Burmese cats don’t do so well when they are alone on their own.


4. Burmilla

Given the name, interested individuals might be able to guess that the Burmilla descends from the Burmese. Specifically, it came into existence because of a Burmese and a chinchilla Persian. The funny thing is that Daily Paws says that the creation of the Burmilla was an accident. As the story goes, a Burmese and a chinchilla Persian were awaiting partners in different rooms when a cleaner left a door open. Nature took its course. Subsequently, the cat owner liked the resulting kittens so much that she decided to turn them into a new cat breed.

The Burmilla is an impressive-looking cat. As a rule, these cats are elegant but well-built. Still, their most notable characteristic is a silver coat with what looks like makeup lining some of their facial features. Unsurprisingly, the Burmilla is similar to its Burmese predecessor in its puppy-like playfulness.

Exotic Shorthair

5. Exotic Shorthair

Cat breeders intended the Exotic Shorthair to be an improvement on the American Shorthair. The issue is that they made their improvement by crossbreeding their American Shorthairs with Persians and other cat breeds. For a time, these cat breeders were very successful at cat shows. Eventually, other American Shorthair cat breeders passed a new standard that disqualified their cats altogether. Fortunately, some of these cat breeders continued to see potential in these cats, thus enabling them to become a new cat breed in their own right.

Nowadays, the Exotic Shorthair looks like a short-haired version of the Persian more than anything else. Many of these cats can meet every Persian standard other than the coat. Please note that the Exotic Shorthair has a slight difference in personality from its Persian ancestors. These cats share the latter’s calm, gentle nature. The difference is that these cats also have something of their American Shorthair ancestors’ liveliness.


6. Himalayan

The Himalayan cat is named for its color rather than its place of origin. In particular, it is named for the Himalayan rabbit, which is extremely recognizable because of the white coat and colored points combo. Similarly, the Himalayan cat has a white or off-white coat with colored points in one of several potential colors. Examples include but are not limited to blue, lilac, red, cream, and chocolate. The coat comes from the Himalayan cat’s Persian ancestors, while the colored points come from the Himalayan cat’s Siamese ancestors. Confusingly, this means that the classification for these cats can be very different from cat registry to cat registry. Oftentimes, they are either a variety of one cat breed or the other rather than an independent cat breed in their own right.

Personality-wise, the Himalayan cat is smart, affectionate, and gentle-tempered. They are friendly creatures, though they reserve the bulk of their affection for their human family members. Supposedly, some Himalayan cats are shy. As such, they do their best in more peaceful settings.


7. Munchkin

Munchkins are one of the newer cat breeds on this list. They made their debut in the early 1990s, though they trace their origins to the early 1980s. Interested individuals have documented cats with shorter-than-normal legs since the first half of the 20th century. What makes the Munchkin different is that cat breeders can consistently breed them. To be exact, a pairing of two Munchkins results in a 25 percent chance of nonviable kittens, a 50 percent chance of Munchkin kittens, and a 25 percent chance of non-Munchkin kittens.

Regardless, Munchkins are controversial. Several cat registries refuse to recognize them because of their opposition to cat breeders breeding for a deformity that negatively affects the cat’s health. The Dodo mentions that Munchkins are likelier to experience arthritis, spinal malformations, and other serious issues. Furthermore, these cats can’t jump with the same ease as their normal counterparts, though it is unclear whether this is because of aversion or inability.

Anyway, people should have zero issues recognizing the Munchkin. The shorter-than-normal legs make them look kittenish even when they are full-grown. Granted, cat breeders have crossbred the Munchkin with other cat breeds to create other cats with the same genetic mutation. Fortunately, those cats tend to have different-looking coats. To name an example, the Minskin is a hairless cat because of its partial Sphynx ancestry.


8. Persian

Persians are some of the best-known cats in the world. In significant part, this is because of their long-haired coat. White-haired Persians might be the most famous. Even so, interested individuals should know that Persians are allowed to have just about every single color and pattern out there.

It isn’t clear when Persians showed up. African wildcats are short-haired rather than long-haired. As a result, it seems that their domesticated descendants developed long hair in Iran and the rest of the Middle East at some point. From there, an Italian man brought the earliest Persians to the Italian peninsula in the 17th century. Subsequently, those cats spread to France and then Great Britain. Funny enough, Persians are more Western European than Middle Eastern by this point, which makes sense because they have crossbred so much with Western European cats over the centuries.

These cats come in both a traditional form and a non-traditional form. The traditional Persian is sometimes called either the classic version, the doll-faced version, or the long-faced version. Unsurprisingly, the non-traditional form would be the one with a flat nose. Both forms are known for their good nature. A lot of people like Persians because these cats are good-natured and gentle-tempered, which is a winning combination for those who want an adorable feline companion without encountering too much hassle in the process.

Scottish Fold

9. Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds can resemble British Shorthairs. Fortunately, it is very easy to distinguish them from the latter. Simply put, Scottish Folds have a genetic mutation affecting the cartilage of their ears, thus causing their ears to bend forward and downwards. There are also Scottish Folds born with straight ears called Scottish Straights, though even then, there are differences between them and British Shorthairs. In particular, these cats tend to be smaller and lighter animals. Simultaneously, they aren’t as aloof as British Shorthairs. People should be very careful about treating these two cat breeds the same. Scottish Folds have more of a need for company. Furthermore, they are fond of the outdoors.

Selkirk Rex

10. Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex stands out for several reasons. To name an example, it is named for a person, meaning that it is the one cat breed named for a person. Trivia-aside, the Selkirk Rex is curly-coated but can be distinguished from both the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex in a single glance. This is because its coat isn’t partly missing in the same way as its counterparts’ coats, though it should be mentioned that it comes in both a short-haired form and a long-haired form. When it comes to personality, the Selkirk Rex is a mix of the cat breeds that went into it. These cats have something of the British Shorthair’s reservedness. At the same time, they can also show the Persian’s affectionate playfulness.

What Should You Expect From Flat-Faced Cat Breeds?

On a final note, interested individuals should know that Senior Cat Wellness and other sources say that flat-faced cat breeds suffer from various health issues. First, their flattened noses make it more difficult for them to breathe. Second, eyelids have a harder time closing over big eyes that pop out, thus making those eyes more susceptible to eye infections and other eye problems. Third, the shape of their jaws means that they are likelier to experience dental issues.

Not every flat-faced cat breeds suffer these issues to the same extent. Several of the aforementioned cat breeds are less flat-faced, meaning that they aren’t as badly affected as their more exaggerated fellows. Likewise, some of the aforementioned cat breeds are split between more traditional forms and more extreme forms. Chances are good interested individuals can guess that the traditional forms tend to be healthier because their facial structure is less distorted for appealing to humans.

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