Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by Fumipets
Flat-Faced Cat Breeds have a certain keen appeal. However, it’s not only cats; consider well-known canines like Pugs and Boston Terriers. Humans have a strange attraction to flat faces. So, it comes as no surprise that some of the most well-known cat breeds are those with flat faces. No matter what species has them, their compressed, flat faces are attractive. It often looks that the more popular the cat, the flatter the face!
There are ten kinds of cats that have flat faces; the majority of cats don’t. The characteristic that causes the faces of all these breeds to seem smushed is the same, but it may be all they have in common. While they may not be as well-known as “Grumpy Cat,” the cats on this list are all well-liked pets with brachycephalic mugs.
The 10 Flat-Faced Cat Breeds
1. Bombay Cat
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Length: 13-20 inches
Lifespan: 12-20 years
The Bombay cat, created by Nikki Horner in 1958 in Louisville, Kentucky, resembles a little black panther, which is precisely the aesthetic Nikki Horner was striving for. Oddly, both the United States and the United Britain developed this breed at around the same time.
The British Bombay was produced by mating a Burmese with a black domestic shorthair, whereas the American Bombay was produced by breeding a black American Shorthair with a sable Burmese. The American and British Bombay cats have almost identical appearances and dispositions despite having different genomes.
2. British Shorthair
Weight: 7-17 pounds
Length: 22-25 inches
Lifespan: 15-20 years
There have been British Shorthairs for a very long time. They are said to have arrived in England initially when the Romans invaded in 55 BC. But, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that a dedicated breeder by the name of Harrison Weir really began to improve the breed. In 1871, the breed made its debut in a cat exhibition held at London’s Crystal Palace. Shortly after, more breeds were included into the mix, such as Persian, Russian Blue, and French Chartreux cats. A century later, in the 1970s, the British Shorthair became well-known all over the world.
3. Burmese Cat
Weight: 6-14 pounds
Length: 15-18 inches
Lifespan: 12-18 years
Burmese cats are kittens that never grow up; they are medium-sized cats that weigh more than you’d anticipate given their size. These are animated cats who constantly brag about themselves and try to impress you with their antics. They are as energetic as cats can be and like being the center of attention while entertaining their family.
Although though the Burmese cat’s look has changed through time, all Burmese cats can be linked to one cat by the name of Wong Mau, who immigrated to the US with Dr. Joseph Thompson from Rangoon, Burma, which is now known as Yangon, Myanmar.
4. Burmilla Cat
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Length: 10-12 inches
Lifespan: 7-12 years
The Burmilla is a cat you may not be acquainted with since it is new on the scene and seldom seen. The Burmilla is kind of in a no cat’s land since it is still regarded as an experimental breed in UK and hasn’t been recognised by the main American registries. A Lilac Burmese female and a Chinchilla Persian male unintentionally mated, giving birth to four puppies with odd colors, which led to the creation of this breed. The Burmilla was then developed via a breeding effort to replicate the colors of these progeny with the short hair of a Burmese.
5. Exotic Shorthair Cat
Weight: 10-15 pounds
Length: 10-12 inches
Lifespan: 8-15 years
Exotic Shorthairs are often relatively passive animals that like to save their energy. While they spend a lot of time napping to recoup between brief periods of activity, they do like playing. They are recognized as devoted friends that need a lot of your attention, and their short coats make them simple to care for.
6. Himalayan Cat
Weight: 7-12 pounds
Length: 17-19 inches
Lifespan: 9-15 years
Himalayan cats have calm personalities and notably flat features. With the exception of the Himalayan’s colorpoint markings, they are quite similar to Persians and would be difficult to distinguish. When Harvard researchers tried to merge the characteristics of Persian and Siamese cats, the breed was born. The name given to their first prosperous Himalayan was Newton’s Debutante.
7. Munchkin Cat
Weight: 4-9 pounds
Length: 10-16 inches
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Munchkins are little cats that have unusual features that set them apart from other felines, such as shortened legs and squished faces. This dwarf breed is affectionate and active and makes a wonderful pet companion. In fact, if it weren’t for their very small legs, they’d be of regular size. Munchkins are essentially the Dachshunds of the cat world. Because to a genetic deformity that gives Munchkins their peculiar look, breeding them is more complex and challenging than breeding other cats.
8. Persian Cat
Weight: 7-12 pounds
Length: 14-18 inches
Lifespan: 10-17 years
It’s safe to say that Persian cats are the standard for flat-faced cats. It’s a distinguishing feature of the breed, especially in show Persians. But, Persians are well recognized for more than simply their looks. These cats are adored for their loving personalities, which make them the perfect lap cats. Also, they are highly talkative and have lovely voices that everyone enjoys hearing.
9. Scottish Fold
Weight: 6-13 pounds
Length: 14-16 inches
Lifespan: 11-14 years
One of the most readily identifiable cat breeds ever is the Scottish Fold. These cats also have ears that fold flat to their skulls in addition to having flat faces. This is brought about by a genetic anomaly that was found in one cat from a litter of kittens that normally lacked such malformations. All Scottish Folds today may be attributed to the cat, who went by the name Susie.
10. Selkirk Rex
Weight: 12-16 pounds
Length: 13-17 inches
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Another feline with an instantly identifiable look is the Selkirk Rex. These cats’ bodies are covered with curly hair, which stands out among the majority of cats’ straight coats. The fact that this breed is the only one named after a human is another intriguing aspect about them. The breed was developed by Jeri Newman, and Selkirk was the name of her stepfather.
A special curly-coated cat was brought to Newman after six kittens were born at an animal shelter. Newman bred the cat with a black Persian to produce three curly-coated cats. Later, the breed was combined with a number of different breeds to become the Selkirk Rex that is familiar to us today.
Why Do Some Cat Breeds Have Flat Faces?
You may be shocked to learn that the smushed faces you see on your favorite cat breeds are really a kind of malformation. Brachycephalic syndrome is a disorder that affects cats with flat faces. Flat-faced cats all share this syndrome, albeit how it manifests in various breeds and people might vary.
What exactly is brachycephalic syndrome, then? Cephalic and brachy, respectively, denote head-related or short. In essence, brachycephalic cats have shorter bones in their heads and faces than average. The interaction between the face’s bones and other soft tissues is altered as a result.
Physical issues are frequent in brachycephalic breeds of cats because of their altered bone structure. These problems will often have an impact on the cat’s respiration. Elongated soft palates, stenotic nares, hypoplastic tracheas, everted laryngeal saccules, and lengthened larynx are some other typical anomalies brought on by brachycephalic syndrome. These problems might be present in all, some, or none of the affected animals.
Of course, it’s quite conceivable for brachycephalic-breed cats to show no significant health issues connected to their condition. Despite the fact that you can clearly see the flat face that is associated with this illness, some of these cats will live long, healthy, happy lives without experiencing any negative repercussions.
Some varieties of cats have flat faces because of a medical problem, yet they are nonetheless in great demand. These well-known dogs are sought for because of the facial defects that many people find charming, if not downright cute.
Fortunately, many cats with smushed faces don’t suffer too many detrimental health impacts from this disease. Even so, you should do your homework and take care to identify a knowledgeable and trustworthy breeder if you want to bring one of these flat-faced varieties into your household to be sure that there are no health issues with your cat.