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A Guide to Persian Munchkin Mixes

The Persian Munchkin mix combines the Persian cat and a munchkin cat to create the Napolean or Minuet breed. These cats have short legs similar to Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, or Welsh Corgis. Until the Munchkin cat was developed, only these dog breeds had short, stubby legs. A dog breeder came up with the Munchkin breed, so it’s no surprise that only dogs up until that point were the only short-legged domestic animals.

The Munchkin cat’s short legs are due to a genetic mutation. This breed was named after the tiny inhabitants called munchkins in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel. Because they are small in stature, the Persian Munchkin mix is called the Napoleon cat, after Napoleon Bonaparte or the Minuet cat.

Do you know what a Persian Munchkin Mix is?

A Persian Munchkin mix is the cross between a Persian and a Munchkin cat.

Joseph B. Smith, an American Kennel Club judge and Basset Hound breeder wanted a small cat with the beauty of a Persian and worked to develop the cross between the Persian and Munchkin cat creating the Napoleon or Minuet Cat. 

Why did he do this?

A front-page article in the Wall Street Journal published on June 12, 1995, featured the Munchkin cat breed. This caught Smith’s eye, but he didn’t think these short-legged cats were unique enough compared to their longer legged peers. Smith decided to create a new breed with unique qualities, so he took a Persian cat and bred them with a munchkin, resulting in the Napoleon or Minuet cat. This was his desired outcome. A small, beautiful cat with short, stubby legs. 

What is the difference between the Persian and the Munchkin?

The Persian cat is known for their long fur and big round eyes. They are intelligent and calm, which makes them fantastic companions. Persians can be demanding when it comes to attention and will let you know if you’ve neglected them for too long. These cats are usually happy curling up in their favorite spot for a nap, but they can get bursts of energy and race through the house like mad. 

The Persian cat’s coat must be groomed to keep it from matting. This may be the one thing that might make you wonder if you really want a Persian cat. Though a mixed kitten may not have as much or as thick of a coat and might not need as much grooming.  

Munchkin cats have short legs because of a naturally occurring gene, not selective human breeding. A veterinarian in the 1940s United Kingdom described several generations of short-legged cats. Sadly, this line disappeared during World War II. However, in 1953 Stalingrad, a similar short-legged cat was discovered.

US cat breeder Sandra Hochenedel found a short-legged cat in Louisiana thirty years later. She named this short-legged cat Blackberry.

Unfortunately, Blackberry’s first and subsequent litters consisted of half the kittens born with short legs and half with long legs. However, the short-legged kittens are the ones from which today’s munchkin breed descended.

In 2003 the Munchkin breed received championship status in The International Cat Association.

The gene producing the short legs of munchkin cats is autosomal dominant. This means it’s expressed whether inherited from one or both parents. Unfortunately, it’s lethal when this gene is inherited from both parents. This is because the kittens die in the womb at the embryo stage. Therefore, munchkins are only bred with regular domestic cats.

With this mating, kittens have an equal chance of being born long-legged. Only the Munchkin offspring carry the short-leg gene. Only recognized breeds may be crossed with a Munchkin to have the short-legged kittens recognized as Munchkins. Breeding them with ordinary domestic cats makes them standard with no recognition.

There is a long-standing debate about the Munchkin cat’s genetic mutation and whether or not it might cause health issues for these cats. Those that support the Munchkin cat supporters continuously point out that their short legs don’t pose any health concerns.

This gene is called a lethal gene because if two Munchkin cats mate and both pass on the short-legged gene, the kittens won’t survive. So, breeders pair Munchkin cats with regular-sized or shorter cats without the short-legged gene to produce kittens with short legs.

When they grow up, how big do they become?

The Minuet is a medium-sized cat weighing in at five to nine pounds and standing seven to eight inches in height. Their small stature endears them to many people because of their cuteness and friendly nature. 

Do Persian Munchkin Mixes Take a Long Time to Develop?

The Minuet cat breed matures reasonably quickly, becoming fully mature by the age of two years. Once they are fully grown, they can be bred. 

Does a Persian Munchkin Mix have a long life expectancy? 

The Minuet cat lives anywhere from twelve to fourteen years. 

Can you tell me how my Persian Munchkin mix will behave?

Like other mixes, the Napoleon cat borrows characteristics from their parent breeds. As with the Persian cat, the Napoleon cat is gentle and easygoing. These cats are also energetic and curious, like their Munchkin parent breed. Munchkin cats learn quickly, but the Persians require more patience as it takes them a bit longer to learn

These cats are great family pets and get along well with children. Unlike some cat breeds, they don’t like to be alone. Make sure you are around and can devote your time to them. Like all cats, they don’t enjoy roughhousing or lots of commotion. Kids should be taught how to interact with their cats. Since Napoleons are small, they can seriously be hurt if kids play too rough.

Napoleon cats get along well with other pets.

What should I feed my Persian Munchkin Mix?

A high-protein diet is a must for the Minuet cat, and since they are part Persian, a suitable hairball remedy type of food should be added to their diet. The hairball remedy doesn’t need to be added to their diet every mealtime, but maybe several times a week. Always be sure to have plenty of fresh water down for them. Consult your vet if you have any questions about your Minuet cat’s diet. 

Is my Persian Munchkin Mix likely to have health issues?

Persian cats are prone to PKD or Polycystic Kidney Disease. PKD causes the buildup of small liquid-filled cysts inside the kidneys.

Napoleon cats are prone to Lordosis and Pectus Excavatum due to their Munchkin bloodline. Lordosis is a rare condition where the spine does not grow fully. The cat’s back turns inwards due to a lack of backbone. Severe lordosis gives a slim chance of the cat surviving.

Pectus Excavatum is a structural deformity that makes the chest cave in. It can be present at birth or develop later in life. This genetic deformity is also called funnel chest.

I am interested in purchasing a Persian Munchkin Mix. What should I expect to pay?

Minuets can cost from $850 to $2000. Each kitten’s cost depends on color, lineage, and conformation standards. Cats that display show quality traits will run a little higher. Unless you plan to show your Minuet, you should consider a pet quality kitten. 


The Persian Munchkin mix is also known as the Minuet cat. The Munchkin cat has a naturally occurring genetic mutation that gives them short legs. The problem there is that they must be bred with a long-legged cat without the mutated gene. A double dominant short-legged gene will kill any kittens produced.

We learned that these medium-sized, short-legged cats are gentle, easygoing, and fun-loving. Their short legs cause no health issues for them. They can get around as quickly as their long-legged cousins. Hopefully, this article gives you enough information to decide whether you want a Minuet cat. 

Do you have a Persian Munchkin mix, aka Napoleon or Minuet cat? If so, we’d love to hear from you about your furry friend and your life with them. Leave any questions or comments below. Again, we’d love to hear from you.

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