Last Updated: 5 months ago

If you think that the Napoleon cat breed may have something to do with Napoleon Bonaparte (the shrewd emperor), you’re right.

The Napoleon (cat breed) takes its name from Napoleon (human) because of its petite stature—the man and feline both were or are short.

Let’s explore the Napoleon cat breed to discover its history, overall appearance, personality, health concerns, and so much more. If you want to learn more about Napoleon (its namesake), you’ll have to Google him.

History of the Napoleon Cat Breed

beautiful napoleon cat sitting on a chair

Taking its place among the many dwarf cat breeds, the Minuet Cat, or Napoleon Cat, is a relatively new breed, dating back to the 1990s.

It’s not a natural cat breed but a mixed breed—a cross between two purebred bloodlines. So, what is a Minuet Cat?

This cute cat with short legs and luxuriant fur is a cross between Persians and Munchkins. And the person responsible for its creature is Joe Smith.

Back in the 1990s, Joe Smith took an interest in the unique genetics of the Munchkin cat, with its short legs and long bodies, after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal.

So, he crossed a Munchkin with a doll-faced Persian cat (which has a longer snout) in 1996. He wanted to create an extraordinary breed in short- and long-legged versions.

He chose Persians due to their unique appearance, beauty, and bone structure and worked hard to establish the breed for several years.

In 2001, Smith got in touch with TICA to add his new breed to the collection of Experimental Breeds.

He then left the project in 2008 to allow other breeders to work on registering this petite feline. And so they did.

Margie Gardner and Sam Tate picked up the feline ball and helped move this breed forward.

But Teri Harris was the one who presented the Minuet to the International Cat Association (TICA) in 2011, finally getting it recognized as a preliminary new breed.

In 2015, the TICA board changed the name of the Napoleon cat to the Minuet cat. Other cat associations still don’t recognize this amazing breed.

The Appearance of the Napoleon Cat Breed

grey and white napoleon cat

It’s easy to see why people compared the Minuet cat to a Dachshund.

The Minuet cat breed has a baby doll face with a sweet expression, noticeable boning structure, and a low-slung body.

  • Size: 5 to 9 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9 to 15 years
  • Traits: easygoing, active, loving, friendly, people-oriented, and affectionate.


The Napoleon cat is a medium-sized breed, reaching up to seven to nine pounds in weight and up to seven inches in height.

As such, they’re perfect if you want a cat that won’t weigh a ton when you carry it in your arms or allow it to sleep in your lap.

However, some Minuet cats can be smaller or larger than the TICA’s established breed standard. So, don’t be surprised if your Napoleon kittens grow big.


The Minuet cat has a distinctive low-slung body with a well-defined muscularity. 

The head is round with large round eyes (like the Persian), full cheeks, and an oval face with a sweet expression. The muzzle is moderately short with a broad jaw. 

Unlike Persians, the Napoleon cat’s nose is moderately short. As such, Minuet cats are less likely to suffer from respiratory problems or have trouble breathing. 

The Minuet cat’s ears are round-tipped, small to medium in size and set wide apart. The tail is straight, short to medium in length. 

Since the Minuet cat is a mix between Munchkins and Persians, its legs can be short (standard version) or long (non-standard version).

In one litter of kittens, you can have both short-legged and long-legged ones. But TICA accepts only the short-legged variety, as per their breeding standard.

Coat, Tail And Colors

The coat is luxurious and plush to the touch. It can either be long or short.

Long-haired Napoleons have a thick undercoat and a straight, soft overcoat, whereas short-haired Napoleons have dense and soft fur.

The Minuet cats come in almost any combination of colors and patterns, including ones that aren’t typical for Persians or Munchkins.

As such, you can find Minuet cats in lilac, chocolate, bi-colored, mint, tabby, orange, black, and more. 

The Minuet cat’s eyes are brilliant in color, conforming to the coat color. 

The Personality of the Napoleon Cat Breed

Both Munchkins and Persians are affectionate, people-oriented breeds, forming close bonds with their humans. The Napoleon cat is no different.

Its warm personality makes it a great choice for families with young children, dogs, and other small pets. But you have to make proper introductions and socialize your kitten. 

The Napoleon cat is also an active pet that enjoys running, climbing, and playing. It’s not as lazy as its Persian parent, so don’t expect it to sleep all day long.

  • You should provide plenty of interactive toys and puzzles to enrich the Minuet cat’s environment and prevent unwanted behaviors.
  • Moreover, the Napoleon cat is a bit clingy, like a Munchkin. It’s not a cat you can leave home alone for hours because your pet will be miserable. Consider a second cat if you’ll be away for a long time.
  • On the bright side, Minuet cats aren’t good jumpers due to their short legs. So they won’t be tempted to jump on top of the fridge or wardrobe.

But despite their short legs, Minuet cats are as fast as other breeds and enjoy running at full speed in the middle of the night. They’re also very curious and adapt well to various environments.

So, if you’re looking for a sweet feline with a loving temperament and playful disposition, you won’t be disappointed.

Health Issues of the Napoleon Cat Breed

napoleon kitten with blue eyes

Although the Napoleon is a healthy breed, there may be some genetic issues it is more prone to because of its lineage.

Persians are prone to:

  • Respiratory problems – due to their shortened facial structure.
  • Peritoneopericardial defect – a hernia in the abdominal region.
  • Photophobia – an abnormal sensitivity to light.
  • Cataracts – a disease affecting the lens and vision of the eye
  • Lysosomal accumulation neuropathy – an enzyme deficiency
  • PKD (polycystic kidney disease) – a continuous enlarging of the kidneys

Munchkins are prone to:

  • Lordosis – an inward curvature of the spine
  • Pectus excavatum – a deformity of the chest causing a sunken or funnel chest

Fortunately, the Minuet cat breed is healthy and lives up to 9-15 years. But before you adopt a Napoleon cat, ask the breeder to provide health clearance for inherited diseases.

Regular vet checks are also essential to detect any health conditions early and take the necessary measures to prolong your cat’s life. 

Moreover, you should keep an eye on your Napoleon cat in hot weather, especially if they have a short nose. 

How to Care of a Napoleon Cat

sleeping napoleon cat

Caring for a Napoleon cat is easy, as long as you keep a couple of things in mind. If you have any concerns, you should speak with your vet. 


A high-quality diet is vital to the overall health and well-being of your Napoleon cat. Choose a brand with named meat as the first ingredient and high protein content.

Avoid brands with fillers, by-products, unnamed meat, and artificial ingredients. They can upset your cat’s digestive system and don’t provide enough nutrients for a healthy cat. 

For optimum weight, follow the feeding recommendations on the label. But be ready to adjust the dose if you see that your cat is still hungry.

If you have a Napoleon kitten, you should leave dry food available all the time and offer wet kitten food at meals. 


As we already said, Napoleon cats have short or long coats. So, how often you have to groom depends on the coat’s length.

To avoid matted and tangled fur, you should groom long-haired Napoleon cats daily or every other day. Frequent brushing will also reduce the amount of hair around the house.

As for short-haired Minuet cats, they will do fine with weekly brushing sessions to maintain their soft and dense coat. 

Bathe your Napoleon kitten only if it’s absolutely necessary. Frequent bathing strips the coat from its natural oils and can irritate the skin. 

Don’t forget to check the ears regularly and clean the accumulated dirt. Keep an eye for ear infections. 

Oral Care

Humans aren’t the only species who should brush their teeth. Cats and dogs are prone to dental problems if you don’t remove the accumulated bacteria and plaque.

Bad oral health can lead to kidney problems, so you should brush your cat’s teeth at least weekly. Dental treats and chew toys for cats can also improve your Minuet cat’s oral health. 

Nail Clipping

Trimming a cat’s nail isn’t a pleasant chore. But it’s a necessity to keep the claws short and save your furniture from damage.

Since Minuet cats are quite playful and energetic, you should provide scratch posts and plenty of toys to keep them entertained.


You should have your Napoleon spayed or neutered. Spaying/neutering reduces territorial behavior, lessens the chance of your cat escaping to mate, and prevents spraying. 

In general, vets recommend spaying/neutering before the first heat to prevent hormonal problems. You can do the procedure when your cat is around five months.

Also, keep your Napoleon cat indoors. Cats are safer indoors, especially if you live in high-traffic areas or near wild predators.

The world can be a rough place, so exposing your innocent feline friend to diseases, internal and external parasites, vehicles, and attacks from other animals and unscrupulous people is not recommended.

Moreover, the Minuet cat doesn’t look like your typical domestic cat. As such, someone can steal it. 

Vaccination and Vet Checks

Ensure your Minuet cat is up to its vaccination shots. Kittens should be vaccinated at 8 weeks of age with 3-4 follow-ups. 

Regular vet appointments are also necessary to ensure your Napoleon cat is thriving and catches diseases early. Talk to your vet about your cat’s reworking schedule as well. 

Napoleon Kittens Cost

Napoleon kittens are adorable with their small bodies, short legs, and sweet facial expressions. It’s no wonder it’s so easy to fall in love with them. 

However, the Napoleon cat breed is relatively new, meaning Minuet kittens are rarer than other popular breeds. 

As the Napoleon breed gains in popularity, kittens may be more readily available for purchase.

Minuet cats can cost from $1000 to $2000, depending on the age, coat color, gender, and personality. Since the breed is rising in popularity, prices will also likely go up in the future.

Always research the breeder before you adopt a kitten from the cattery.

Places that will not allow you to see the facilities or the parents of the kittens are most likely not a wise choice.

A good breeder is open to questions, providing honest answers and encouraging you to seek all the information you need to make an informed decision.

And you can always check your local shelter or Minuet cat rescue groups for available kittens/cats for adoption. 


Napoleon cats are a great choice if you want a cat with a unique appearance, sweet personality, and mischievous nature. 

They adapt quickly to any home and person who provides plenty of cuddles, food, and attention.  And they’re a relatively low-maintenance breed, perfect for apartments and houses alike. 

Just be careful not to buy Napoleon kittens and Napoleon cats from shady sellers off the Internet. Try adoption first! 

What do you think of the Napoleon cat breed? If you have a Napoleon or would love to give one a home, be sure to drop us a line in the comments section. we’d love to hear from you.


Let's explore the Napoleon cat breed to discover its history, overall appearance, personality, health concerns, and so much more! You're going to love him!
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.