Minuet Cat Breed (Napoleon Cat): A Comprehensive Guide


The Minuet cat, also known as the Napoleon cat, is a captivating hybrid breed, resulting from the crossbreeding of Munchkin cats with Persian-type breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, and Exotics. Characterized by their short legs, domed heads, and expressive round eyes, Minuets have a distinctive look that combines elements of both parent breeds.

General Description and History

The Minuet cat is renowned for its doll-like face and short, low-slung body reminiscent of a Dachshund. This breed combines the older doll-faced Persian appearance with the short legs of the Munchkin, and it comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The breed includes both short- and long-haired varieties, offering a range of aesthetic choices for cat enthusiasts.

Historical Background:

  1. Origins:
    • The Minuet shares its history with the Persian, a breed established in the late 19th century, and the modern Munchkin, which emerged in 1983.
    • Sandra Hockendal played a pivotal role in the Munchkin’s history by rescuing a pregnant short-legged cat, leading to a population of dwarfism-gene-carrying cats.
  2. Development:
    • In 1996, Joe Smith of Blueline cattery began breeding Persians with Munchkins to create the Minuet, aiming for a universally appealing breed with or without the signature short legs.
    • The breed was named after Napoleon Bonaparte, known for his short stature.
    • By 2002, the Minuet was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) as a breed under development.
  3. Advancement:
    • After Joe Smith moved on in 2008, breeders like Sam Tate and Margie Gardner continued the breed’s development.
    • Teri Harris’s presentation to TICA in 2011 marked a significant step, leading to the Minuet’s classification as a Preliminary New Breed in 2012.

Minuet Cat Personality

Minuet cats have personalities that combine the gentle, docile nature of Persians with the energetic curiosity of Munchkins. They are extremely affectionate and people-oriented, with a playful and inquisitive nature that can lead to amusing and endearing antics.

Key Traits:

  • Gentleness: Minuets are known for their sweet and calm demeanor.
  • Affection: These cats thrive on human interaction and are very people-friendly.
  • Playfulness: Despite their calm nature, they enjoy exploring and can be quite active, navigating their environment with enthusiasm.

Minuet Cat Traits

Minuet cats have a distinct appearance characterized by their round heads, large eyes, and unique noses. They come in both standard (short-legged) and non-standard (normal-legged) varieties, with both sharing the breed’s signature sweet expression and overall roundness.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Head and Face:
    • Round head with a pie-plate shape.
    • Big, round eyes set into the round face.
    • Nose with a slight ski jump tip, adding to the sweet, innocent look.
    • Ears are medium to small, contributing to the overall roundness.
  2. Body:
    • Medium-sized and strong, with a semi-cobby build that emphasizes roundness.
    • Low-slung body in the standard version, showcasing the breed’s distinct appearance.
    • Sturdy musculature and solid bone structure, maintained by their active lifestyle.

Coat and Colors:

  • Minuets come in both short and long-haired varieties.
  • They exhibit a wide range of colors and patterns, reflecting their diverse genetic heritage.

Health and Care

Minuet cats are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain genetic conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential to maintain their health.

Common Health Concerns:

  • Dwarfism-Related Issues: Due to their short-legged nature, Minuets might experience joint or spinal problems.
  • Persian Ancestry Issues: Breathing problems and eye conditions, common in Persian cats, can also affect Minuets.

Care Tips:

  • Grooming: Regular grooming is necessary, especially for long-haired Minuets, to prevent matting and maintain a healthy coat.
  • Diet: A balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing.
  • Exercise: Encourage play and activity to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated.

Breeding and Recognition

The Minuet cat breed is still in the early stages of development and recognition. They are accepted by various cat associations, with specific standards for breeding and showing.


  • CATZ Inc (NZ): Recognizes the breed as the Napoleon Cat for championship status.
  • TICA: Recognizes the breed as the Minuet, with ongoing efforts to achieve full championship status.


The Minuet cat, with its unique blend of Persian sweetness and Munchkin playfulness, offers a charming and endearing companion for cat lovers. Their distinct appearance, gentle nature, and affectionate personality make them a delightful addition to any household. As the breed continues to develop and gain recognition, Minuets are poised to become a favorite among cat enthusiasts worldwide.

For more information on Minuet cats and to stay updated on their progress, visit Cat Place.

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