Are you in love with cat breeds with flat faces and can’t get enough of their squishy faces?
Then we’ve got something special prepared for the admirers of these exotic felines!
Keep on reading to discover 10 gorgeous flat-faced cat breeds that will steal your heart.
Plus, learn about the special considerations to keep in mind when you have a brachycephalic breed.
Check: Best Cat DNA Test
10 Adorable Cat Breeds with Flat Faces to Cuddle
Who can resist a smushed face, squishy nose, and cats with big eyes?
Flat-faced cats, such as the famous Grumpy cat, have a unique appeal that most people find irresistible.
However, do you know why some cats have flat faces and others don’t?
It’s all about the skull’s shape, which is shorter in smushed face breeds than in other cats.
Specialists call such cats brachycephalic, meaning “short head.”
While squishy face cat breeds are adorable and irresistible, their shortened bone structure can be dangerous for your cat’s health.
We’re going to talk about it in detail after we see 10 cute squish-face cat breeds.
When someone says “a cat breed with big eyes and flat face,” most people think about the cute Persian.
While not the only cats with smushed faces, Persians are undoubtedly the most popular ones.
Interestingly, Persians haven’t always been a flat-faced breed.
Initially, these fluffiest cats had normal noses until the genes mutated.
Then breeders fell in love with the look of snub Persians and started breeding them.
Nowadays, we can distinguish three types of Persians, depending on their facial structure.
Persians with snub noses, pushed between the eyes, are Peke-faced.
That’s because they resemble Pekingese dogs.
Show Persians also have flat faces, but not as extreme as Peke-faced ones, while doll-face Persians resemble the original Persian cats.
No matter how Persians look, they’re calm cat breeds with mellow temperament and low energy levels.
They don’t do well in a loud environment and prefer a sedentary lifestyle with people who worship them.
#2 Exotic Shorthair Cats
While it’s a privilege to care for a Persian cat’s majestic fluff, grooming that magnificent coat can take ages.
That’s why breeders have created the Exotic Shorthair for people who love Persians but don’t want to deal with daily brushings.
Since the Exotic is a cross between Persians and American Shorthairs, they’ve got the typical Persian traits, minus the fluffy coat.
These shorthair cats also have two different “looks,” depending on how snub the nose is:
- Extreme Exotic Shorthairs have a very flat face with jewel-like eyes and might have breathing problems.
- Traditional Exotics have a slightly longer nose (set low on the face) than Extremes, which decreases the health risks.
In general, Exotic Shorthairs are slightly more active and adventurous than Persians.
But they’re still sweet, affectionate, and charming cats that love to cuddle in your lap.
Moreover, Exotic Shorthairs can entertain themselves when you’re at work, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your cat alone.
#3 Himalayan Cat
If you think the Himalayans look like a fluffy Siamese cat with Persian features, you will be right.
The Himalayan is a human-made breed – a cross between Persians and Siamese to produce long-haired cats with blue eyes and color-pointed coats.
Like Persians and Exotics, the Himalayans have very flat faces with snub noses, full cheeks, large eyes, and small ears.
Their eyes are always blue, but their majestic coat comes in several pointed colors, including lilac and cream.
Unlike Siamese, the Himalayan is a laid-back cat who is unlikely to cause havoc around the house.
They would rather nap than run, chase, or walk after you meowing for attention.
You would rarely find a Himalayan somewhere up high since they like to stay close to the ground.
These cats also don’t mind being alone in the house and enjoy interactive toys, despite their reputation as a dumb cat breed.
Himalayans are also affectionate but tend to interact and bond only with family members and people they like.
But these large cats hate loud environments and don’t do well with noisy children.
#4 Scottish Fold
Look at those cute folded ears and muscular bodies!
Scottish Folds might be more famous for their unique ears, but their charming faces make them one of the cutest cat breeds in the world.
Scottish Folds don’t have the same prominent flat faces as Persians, and their nose isn’t so squishy.
However, their round head, short necks, large eyes, and folded ears give them a “teddy-bear” appearance.
Besides their unique appearance, Scottish Folds are so popular because they’re affectionate, smart, and make good companion cats.
They love to play to the point where people consider them an aggressive breed.
However, these medium-sized cats thrive on human attention and don’t like to be alone.
Scottish Folds do better in pairs or when someone is home to worship them and provide a lap for napping.
Since Scottish Folds aren’t as smushy as Persians, they don’t have the typical flat face cat problems.
But be careful when you handle your Scottish Fold’s tail.
These grey cats are prone to tail stiffness due to generative joint disease.
At first glance, Burmese cats don’t look like a squish-face cat breed.
However, these black cats have a shorter muzzle than other felines, which earns them a place on our list.
Besides the stubby nose, Burmese cats have a round head, large yellow or gold eyes, and rounded ears.
Their body is compact, often described as a silky brick.
In general, Burmese cats are similar in temperament to their Siamese ancestors.
They’re far too curious for their own good, love to “talk” in a soft meow, and remain playful well past kittenhood.
These flat face cats also don’t understand the term “personal space.”
They stalk you through the house, expect to be involved in everything you do, and demand to sleep in your bed.
Since Burmese thrive on human company, they don’t do well when you leave them alone and might become destructive.
They’re also highly intelligent cats, so don’t underestimate their ability to get in trouble while you’re at work.
#6 British Shorthair
Like Burmese, British Shorthair cats don’t have the typical appearance of brachycephalic cats.
But upon a closer look, you’ll notice that the nose is shorter than normal, bringing attention to the large, striking eyes and round head.
Fortunately, British Shorthairs are less likely to suffer from breathing problems, common in Persians and Exotic cats. But prone to some hereditary diseases.
As for temperament, British Shorthairs are a perfect choice if you want a quiet cat. They aren’t talkative or demanding and enjoy being on their own.
Unlike some affectionate breeds, the British Shorthair doesn’t make a good lap cat and hates it when you carry them in your arms.
These pedigree cats are also quite big, reaching up to 20 pounds of weight. But they’re easy to maintain, and their luxuriant fur doesn’t require too much care.
#7 Munchkin Cats
Looking at a Munchin cat, it’s not the flat face you notice first. Instead, your eyes are drawn to their adorable short legs.
The Munchkin’s appearance results from a dominant genetic mutation, which is why you breeders cross Munchkin with normal-sized cats to produce healthy kittens.
While Munchkins are great companions, thanks to their charming personality and playful nature, they’re prone to several health problems due to their short stature.
Moreover, Munchkins can’t jump as well as other breeds, so your drapes and cupboards are safe. But they’re still incredibly fast on the ground.
#8 Chinchilla Persian
The Chinchilla is a type of Persian cat and has typical flat-face characteristics, such as short noses, a large head, and a broad chest.
But it’s not their flat face you fall in love with. It’s their luxuriant white fur and jewel-like green/blue eyes.
Chinchillas have the same personality as most Persian. They’re sweet, loving, and docile companions but a little bit more adventurous than your typical Persian.
These cats are always white with black-tipped hairs, so they don’t make good outdoor cats unless you want to deal with dirty, matted fur.
Their eyes also need regular care to prevent fur staining, and you have to brush that gorgeous fur and tail several times a week to avoid mats.
Most cat organizations don’t recognize the Chincilla as a separate breed, but they’re so stunning we can’t miss them when talking about flat-faced cats.
Check this video if you’re interested in how to identify Persian cats.
#9 Bombay Cats
Have you ever wanted to have a black panther in the house? Then you’ll fall in love with the Bombay breed, a mix between Burmese and American Shorthairs.
These black cats are highly intelligent, love to learn new tricks, and thrive on human attention. Their faces aren’t as flat as Persians, but their nose is short and the head – round and large.
Fortunately, Bombay cats aren’t prone to breathing problems, but they suffer from genetic diseases common in their Burmese parent.
These black cats also can be quite talkative, and they aren’t shy to ask for attention when you forge to spend time with them.
#10 Selkirk Rex Cats
The Selkirks is a mix between British Shorthair and Persian, so it’s no surprise these cats have squish faces.
In general, the Selkirks likes people and is more affectionate and silly than its British parent. But they’re still calm and docile cats that thrive on attention.
Besides their flat faces, Selkirks fascinate us with their unique curly fur and curling whiskers. The coat is dense and requires regular brushing to remove tangs and mats.
Fortunately, the Selkirk isn’t as prone to tear stains as other flat-faced breeds and is a healthy cat.
Why Are Some Cats Flat-Faced?
Looking at all those adorable flat-faced felines, you’re probably itching to know why some cats have flat faces, and others don’t.
Surprisingly, flat faces are a genetic abnormality. It’s a trait that breeders have selected and bred on purpose because they liked it.
In smushed face breeds, the skull’s shape is shorter than in other cats, changing the bone structure. Specialists call such cats brachycephalic, meaning “short head.”
Due to the altered skull shape, brachycephalic cats often have physical abnormalities, such as stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, and everted laryngeal saccules, among a few.
Not all flat-faced cat breeds have these deformities, and every cat is affected in different ways. You may notice that your cat tires easily, pants in hot weather, or snores loudly.
So, all these abnormalities can affect the cat’s breathing significantly, as proven by a study on the brachycephalic syndrome.
That’s why some pet owners and vets are against extreme flat-faced cats.
What Health Problems Do Flat-Faced Cat Breeds Have?
We can’t deny that squishy face cats are adorable and that we can’t get enough of them.
Unfortunately, those flat faces come with several complications that might affect your pet’s lifespan and lifestyle.
1. Breathing Problems
Since flat face breeds have short muzzles and narrow nostrils, they often suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome.
In other words, these cats can’t breathe well through the nose and are prone to breathing difficulties and overheating.
As such, flat-faced cats are more likely to snore, and mild upper respiratory infections can make breathing very hard for them.
2. Eye Issues
Tear ducts are responsible for draining tears into the nasal cavity. However, flat-faced cats have short tears ducts, which are prone to clogging.
When the tear ducts clog, the eyes start tearing excessively, and it might lead to eye inflammation and tear staining.
Besides clogged tear ducts, some squishy face cats have large, protruding eyes. It increases the chances of cornea inflammation.
3. Dental Disease
Fat-faced cats might be more likely to develop dental disease.
Due to their short muzzle, there isn’t much room in the mouth for all the teeth.
The result is teeth overcrowding, which makes it easy for plaque and tartar to accumulate.
Moreover, some smashed-face cats have misaligned jaws and soft palates, so they have trouble biting and chewing.
Flat face cats have their charms, but they have specific needs due to their unique facial structure.
What Type of Cat Is Grumpy Cat?
When you look at the Grumpy cat’s unique appearance, it’s easy to assume it’s a special breed of cat. However, the truth is that the Grumpy cat was a mixed breed.
Her mother was a Calico domestic cat, while her father was a tabby. Her owners suspected that she had some Persian or Ragdoll DNA, but they never did a cat DNA test to prove it.
Grumpy cat’s adorable appearance was likely due to feline dwarfism and underbite. Despite her grumpy expression, her owners describe Grumpy cat as acting like a typical cat 99% percent of the time.
Unfortunately, Grumpy cat passed away in 2019 due to urinary tract infection complications.
Flat face cat FAQs
Do your research before you commit to adopting such a breed, and make sure that you know what you’ll have to do to keep the cat healthy.
Moreover, don’t adopt or buy flat-faced cats from “shady” breeders.
You might get a cat with such a short muzzle that your pet might need surgery to be able to breathe.
What do you think about these 10 cat breeds with flat faces? Which one is your favorite, and do you have a smashed face cat at home? Tell us in the comments.
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- 2. User S. Himalayan Breed . www.tica.org. . Available from: https://www.tica.org/breeds/browse-all-breeds?view=article&id=843:himalayan-breed&catid=79
- 3. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Cats . vca_corporate. 2009. Available from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/brachycephalic-airway-syndrome-in-cats
- 4. Farnworth MJ, Chen R, Packer RMA, Caney SMA, Gunn-Moore DA. Flat Feline Faces: Is Brachycephaly Associated with Respiratory Abnormalities in the Domestic Cat (Felis catus)? Staffieri F, editor. PLOS ONE. 2016;11:e0161777.
- 5. Feline Upper Respiratory Infection . vca_corporate. Available from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/feline-upper-respiratory-infection
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.
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