Many people confuse Persian cats with other flat-faced cats. But did you know there are actually 8 different breeds of flat-faced cats?
Although these breeds share many physical similarities, they come with different personality traits. If you are considering adopting a flat-faced cat, read on. In this post, we are going to discuss the 8 flat-faced cat breeds. By the end of the post, you will have a better understanding of the differences so you can make an informed decision before adopting a new pet.
Flat-Faced Cats: The Basics
As we mentioned earlier, there are actually 8 different breeds of flat-faced cats. These cats are all brachycephalic, which means they have a short skull. They are recognizable because their noses look squished and their faces appear flat.
Unfortunately, their unique facial features can lead to some health problems. Many of these cats have issues with their tear ducts. Since their tear ducts don’t drain properly, you will need to clean their eyes on a regular basis.
But, even though these cats can be slightly high-maintenance, they make great pets. Most flat-faced cats have sweet, calm, and friendly personalities.
Now that you know the basics, let’s take a deep dive into the 8 different breeds. Soon enough you will be ready to make a decision on the breed that is right for you.
The British Shorthair is an ancient breed that was likely brought to England by the Romans in the 1st century. These cats became very popular in Victorian times and later inspired the fictional characters Puss in Boots and the Cheshire Cat.
British Shorthair cats can have a variety of colors and patterns on their thick coats. You can find black, red, white, cream, and tabby British Shorthairs. But, blue-gray with copper eyes is the most popular variety of a British Shorthair.
These cats tend to have large bodies and broad round heads. Mature males reach 9–17 lbs and mature females average 7–12 lbs.
This breed is laid-back and friendly. They are not considered lap cats, but they will cuddle on occasion. These cats are fairly sedentary, especially as they get older. This lifestyle can lead to weight gain and some health issues. Luckily, the British Shorthairs don’t experience the health issues that many other flat-faced cats experience. The main health concerns for this breed are gingivitis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hemophilia B, and weight gain. British Shorthairs can live for 12-17 years.
- British Shorthairs are one of the oldest varieties of flat-faced cats.
- Blue-grey is the most popular coat color for a British Shorthair.
- British Shorthairs are very sedentary and have issues with gaining too much weight.
- British Shorthairs are friendly and will follow you, but they are not considered lap cats.
- This breed lives 12-17 years.
The Burmila is a relatively new breed of flat-faced cats. This breed, which is a cross between a Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese, first appeared in the 1980s. The first Burmilla was created accidentally, but the cute kittens soon gained popularity and breeders eventually created a new breed.
Most people think of Burmillas as grey or silver cats. But, this breed can also be black, blue, brown, chocolate or lilac. They have distinctive markings around their eyes which resemble eyeliner. Burmillas either have semi-longhair or shorthair coats, but short hair is more common. Their coats are very soft and silky due to their undercoat.
This breed tends to be muscular and they can reach 6-13 lbs. They have a wide jaw and round head.
The Burmilla is a very affectionate and sociable breed. They are a great choice for families with young children. This breed is known for following their owners around and crying for attention. They are often more playful than other flat-faced breeds.
Overall, Burmillas are healthy cats but they are prone to Polycystic Kidney Disease, like other flat-faced cats. They often live to be 15 years old.
- Burmillas are a cross between Chinchilla Persian and Burmese cats.
- Silver or grey are the most popular colors for Burmilla cats.
- Burmillas are very affectionate and playful cats.
- This breed is a good choice for families with young kids.
- Burmillas can live to be 15 years old.
The Exotic Shorthair is a cross between the Persian and the American Shorthair. This breed, which emerged in the 1950s, is essentially a short hair version of a Persian. In some rare cases, a longhaired version of an Exotic Shorthair is born if the parents both carry the recessive longhair gene.
You will see black, white, blue, red, cream, or silver coats with different markings and patterns. Their short coat is very soft and think. This breed has a large round head with a protruding nose. Mature males can reach 7-14 lbs and mature females can reach 6-10 lbs.
The Exotic Shorthair has a similar personality to Persians. They are calm and friendly, especially to other pets. They are more affectionate than other breeds and are known to sit in their owner’s laps. Since they are more relaxed than some cats, they are a great option for people in small apartments.
Like Persian Cats, The Exotic Shorthair suffers from many health issues related to their flat-faces. They are prone to Polycystic Kidney Disease, respiratory problems, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. They need weekly brushings to help keep their coats groomed. They also have issues with tear duct drainage, so you will need to wipe their eyes regularly. Exotic Shorthairs can live 10-15 years.
- The Exotic Shorthair is a cross between Persians and American Shorthairs.
- Exotic Shorthair cats come in a variety of colors including black, white, and silver.
- Exotic Shorthairs are calm and are good lap cats.
- They are prone to the same diseases as Persian cats like Polycystic Kidney Disease and respiratory problems.
- They can live to be 10-15 years old.
The Himalayan is a cross between a Persian cat and a Siamese cat. This breed was first developed in the 1930s when Harvard researchers were studying how certain genes were passed on.
This breed is known for its distinctive coloring and markings. They have a light coat with dark markings around their eyes, nose, and tails. Although their eyes are only blue, their coats can be brown, red, or lilac. They have thick bodies, short legs, and weigh between 7-12 lbs.
Himalayans are playful, sweet, and social. They are more active than Persians and enjoy playing with toys. They can be moody but overall they are great companions.
Like Persians, Himalayans need to be brushed daily. Their eyes also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Some Himalayans carry the gene that makes them susceptible to Polycystic Kidney Disease. Himalayans can live for 9-15 years.
- The Himalayan is a cross between Persians and Siamese.
- They have light coats with distinctive dark markings around their tails, nose, and eyes.
- Himalayans can be moody but are overall playful and sweet.
- They are prone to Polycystic Kidney Disease.
- Himalayans can live for 9-15 years.
Munchkin Cats were first discovered in the United States in the early 1980s. This breed is known for its short legs, which were caused by a genetic mutation. Munchkins come in a variety of different colors. There are shorthair and longhair versions of this breed. Mature males can be 6-9 lbs and mature females can be 4-8 lbs.
Munchkins are playful, outgoing, and friendly. They like to play fetch and can run quickly, despite their short legs. They can live to be 12-14 years old.
Munchkins are not prone to the same diseases as other flat-faced cats. But, due to their genetic mutation, they are susceptible to lordosis, or a short spine, and pectus excavatum, or a hollow chest. Also, due to their body shape, Munchkin cats can’t groom themselves as easily as other cats. So, you will need to help your Munchkin with grooming, especially if they have a long coat.
- Munchkins are known for their short legs.
- Munchin cats come in a variety of colors.
- They are playful and friendly.
- Munchkin cats can live to be 12-14 years old.
Persian Cats originated in Mesopotamia and were brought to Europe in the 17th century. Today they are one of the most popular cat breeds. Persian cats are known for their distinctive round face and short nose. There are a few variations of Persians, including Doll-face, Peke-face, and Chinchilla.
Persian cats originally only had shiny grey fur. Now, their coats can be brown, silver, cream, gold, or white. Mature Persians reach 7-12 lbs.
Persians are generally calm and sweet cats. But, they can be playful and affectionate. They do well in small apartments and are also a good choice for families with young children.
As many people know, Persians are one of the more high maintenance cat breeds. They require regular brushing to keep their long fur from matting. Also, since they have issues with tear duct drainage, you will need to clean their eyes on a regular basis.
Also, due to their flat face, Persians are susceptible to many diseases. They can have respiratory problems, eye conditions, and are sensitive to heat. They are also prone to polycystic kidney disease, ringworm, and skin conditions. But, despite these issues, Persians are very popular and make great pets. They can live to be 15-20 years old.
- Persians are especially known for their flat faces and squished noses.
- There are a few different varieties of Persians and their coats can come in many colors.
- They are calm and friendly.
- Persians are susceptible to many health issues, like respiratory problems and polycystic kidney disease.
- Persians can live to be 15-20 years old.
Scottish Fold Cats are all related to a barn cat named Susie who lived in Scotland in the 1960s. This breed is characterized by bent ears which some people believe makes them look like owls. Their ears still work well despite the fold.
This breed has a plush coat that can be solid or patterned. Mature males can reach 9-13 lbs and mature females can reach 6-9 lbs.
Scottish Folds enjoy spending time outside. They are also very affectionate and can get lonely if they are left alone for too long. They are known to be calm but can become stubborn.
Due to their ear folds, this breed is susceptible to ear infections. They are also prone to joint diseases and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. They can live to be 11-15 years old.
- Scottish Folds are known for their folded ears.
- They are calm, affectionate, and stubborn.
- They are susceptible to ear infections and joint diseases.
- This breed has a lifespan of 11-15 years.
The Selkirk Rex breed originated in Montana in the late 1980s. This breed, which comes in long and short hair, is known for its thick curly coat.
Their coat, which can be patterned or solid, might be brown, lilac, red, cream, black, or white. Males can weight 11-16 lbs and females can weigh 6-12 lbs.
Selkirk Rexes are a patient and friendly breed. They do well in almost any living situation and get along with both people and other pets.
Overall, this is a healthy breed of cats. Even though they have a slightly flat face, they are not prone to tear duct issues. They can develop ear irritation due to the curly hair in their ears. They can develop polycystic kidney disease if they were outcrossed with a Persian. They can live to be 10-15 years old.
- Selkirk Rex cats are known for their curly fur.
- They are patient and friendly.
- They are a robust breed but are prone to ear irritations.
- They can live to be 10-15 years old.
We hope you now have a better understanding of the different breeds of flat-faced cats. While each breed has different characteristics, these all make great pets. For the most part, these cats are even-tempered and adapt well to different living situations. They can be playful and very affectionate towards their owners.
Are you considering adopting a flat-faced cat? Let us know in the comments below!