Recently while perusing a local Facebook classified page, I saw an ad from someone looking to rehome their cat. The reason specified was “we just don’t have room for her.” My first reaction was, “How can you not have room? It’s not an elephant, it’s a cat!” It seemed like a pretty lame excuse, and I had to restrain myself from leaving a comment.

It did get me thinking about small cat breeds versus large cat breeds, though. Size is generally not a big consideration when you’re looking to adopt a cat, certainly not in the same way that size matters when deciding which breed of dog is right for you. There’s just not that much difference, size wise, between a small cat breed and a large one. Nevertheless, some people may favour one over the other.

If you prefer smaller kitties over big strapping cats, one of the 5 petite breeds below might be the right feline for you. Regardless of size, it’s important to thoroughly research a cat breed to determine if their temperament, personality and possible health issues will mesh with your family and your lifestyle.

This domestic cat breed (pictured above) is considered the smallest of them all. Females typically weigh around 5 pounds, while males are between 6-8 pounds. They may be small cats, but Singapuras have big personalities and are very people friendly. These active, extroverted, intelligent and mischievous felines remain quite playful into adulthood and even in their senior years. The Singapura’s fur coat is one of its more striking features: it is a warm ivory colour at the base of the hair and dark brown at the tips (called “ticking”). The muzzle, chest, stomach and inner legs are an unticked, light ivory colour. To learn more about this pretty little kitty, check out Singapura: the Smallest Cat has a Big Personality.

One of the oldest cat breeds, the feature the Siamese is best known for is his talkative nature. Indeed…if you like your cats to be on the quiet side, this breed is not for you, but if you like conversing with your kitty, then this smart, curious, active and outgoing chatterbox will steal your heart. Siamese cats have a sleek, slim figure and a short “pointed” coat: a light-coloured background with darker points on the ears, mask, legs and tail. The four most common point colours are seal (dark brown), chocolate (light brown), lilac and blue. Siamese cats are very social and generally prefer being with people rather than being alone.

If you want a kitty that immerses himself in every aspect of your life and likes to supervise whatever you’re doing, the Oriental will fill the bill. Their curious nature combined with a high level of intelligence means that they will quickly learn how to open drawers, cabinets and your purse to find something to play with. Because this breed was developed using Siamese as the foundation and crossing them with other breeds, they are similarly talkative and not shy about sharing their opinion with you. These elegant, svelte cats come in more than 600 color, pattern and coat length combinations!

Cornish Rex
This kitty’s soft, curly hair, extra-large ears, and egg-shaped head are his most unusual features. The short coat is so soft to the touch that some say it feels like velvet, rabbit fur or silk. The Cornish Rex may look delicate, but they’re actually a very sturdy breed. They are also affectionate, active and agile felines who love having fun and being with people. If your family is always on the go and rarely home, the Cornish Rex isn’t the breed for you, as they will be naughty simply out of boredom. Though there really isn’t such a thing as a “100% hypoallergenic” cat, people who are allergic may be able to have a Cornish Rex since it sheds less hair than other breeds.

Japanese Bobtail
Another delightful breed that is generally on the small side, the Japanese Bobtail is an extroverted kitty who adores being with people. They love giving and receiving attention, are not shy about meeting strangers, and like to follow you around the house. Their most unusual feature is their stumpy tail, which has been compared to a fluffy pom-pom or a rabbit’s tail. Even more fascinating is that the tail is unique to each cat – i.e., like our fingerprints, no two tails of this breed are alike! If the Japanese Bobtail sounds like a small cat breed you’d love, you can read more about them in our breed profile.

by Julie Williams