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Napoleon Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Facts & Traits

Height: 7 – 8 inches
Weight: 5 – 9 pounds
Lifespan: 9 – 15 years
Colors: Chocolate, sepia, mink, white, lilacs, and combinations of each.
Suitable for: Any size of family, with or without other animals. They can be shorthair or longhair, so it’s just a matter of finding the cat if you can’t deal with much fur.
Temperament: A cat with a great temperament (Is that even a thing?). This cat loves the companionship of humans and other animals and is a breed known for being glued to the lap of its owners.

The Napoleon cat (aka The Minuet) is a wonderful companion. Originally named after the French conqueror for their short legs, this breed is both gorgeous and charming.

This kind of cat hasn’t been around for too long—they were first bred in 1996 as a crossbreed of Munchkins and Persians. This crossbreeding results in a diverse and beautiful coat. The colors they get from their Persian parent breed make these little cats stunningly beautiful. They’re ‘easy’ cats to take care of as well, again thanks to the temperaments of their parent breeds.

Persians are very happy to lie around all day—curled up contentedly on the bed, while munchkins are a handful and require constant attention and stimulation. As a result of mixing these genes, the Napoleon cat goes either way in terms of energy level. This results in an adaptable cat—they can be energetic or relaxed and low-key

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Napoleon Cat Kittens – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…


3 Little-Known Facts About Napoleon Cats

Just because the Napoleon cat is short in stature, doesn’t mean it’s by any means! Here are 3 facts you probably didn’t know about the minuet:

1. Those Little Legs Don’t Hold Them Back!

It might seem like a reasonable assumption that cats with long legs are capable of more performance than those with short legs—but they aren’t significantly! Napoleon cats are fully capable of the same galloping speeds, and while they aren’t quite as strong of jumpers as some of their larger counterparts, they can still get themselves up to where they want to be. So, if you love the silliness and amazing physical capabilities of a cat, they don’t disappoint!

2. The Napoleon Cat is a Rare Breed

This is why they are so expensive. As the breed is so new, there just haven’t been as many generations born yet. This, coupled with their amazing fur coats that come in some exceptionally rare color schemes, make these the Napoleon cat a pricy cat to purchase. These little guys are worth every penny though; they are not only beautiful on the outside, but in temperament as well.

3. They Weren’t Accepted Right Away

When these cats were first bred and shown, the breeders received heavy criticism. Much of it came from the idea that it is wrong to breed munchkins because of their dwarf gene. As a result of this kind of thinking, the Napoleon cat wasn’t recognized as a breed in the TICA until 10 years later. That is when they also changed the name to minuet, but they are known by both to this day.

beautiful blue eyed Napoleon Minuet
Image Credit: Daves domestic cats, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Napoleon Cat

It’s sad to think that people were hesitant to adopt these cats because of the genetic anomaly that causes their short legs. Dachshunds don’t seem to put up with the same discrimination! This is especially true when you consider the wonderful temperament of this breed. They are real companion cats, and that makes them an ideal choice of breed for young and old alike.

Napoleon cats are so intuitive and connected with their owners that these cats can be trained! This is what some people refer to as a puppy-cat. They are incredibly smart and affectionate and that’s what makes minuets or Napoleon cats – whatever you like to call them – amazing house pets.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Napoleon cats make exceptional family pets. As far as cats, even dogs go, they have a laid-back, relaxed, and fun energy about them. They are as playful as you want them to be, but they won’t overwhelm you with constant demands for attention and stimulation.

With such dynamic activity levels, they are fantastic for with very young children. They’re also not an overly skittish or fearful, so they won’t get aggressive with small kids. The Napoleon cat is a perfect family cat for any size of family. Being on the small side they are better suited as indoor cats and adapt to apartment life, too.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Napoleon cat breeds excellent temperament isn’t limited to humans. Minuets are known to get along great with other four-legged, furry, and otherwise non-human family members. They’re a warm and friendly breed that loves to cuddle—basically, they don’t have a mean bone in their bodies! In fact, they would prefer the company of another cat or dog to being alone.

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Things to Know When Owning a Napoleon Cat:

One thing to know about these amazing and adorable little companions is that they require you to return the favor. While Napoleon cats are very adaptable to the energy levels of the house as well as friendly and warm with all members of the family, they do not like solitude! If you are planning on owning a Napoleon, you should take care to ensure that they have some form of company if you work or are out of the house all day.

Food & Diet Requirements

As with any cat, they eat a diet of dry, canned, or raw cat food. It’s advisable to always buy the healthiest food that you can afford. Again, as with any cat, they need water—not milk! In fact, most cats are lactose intolerant – they love the taste, but it doesn’t make them feel good in the end. Giving cats some milk occasionally isn’t going to do any serious harm, but it’s one of those treats that isn’t really great for them.

Exercise 🐈

As Napoleon cats do have munchkin in them, some will be more energetic than others. Owners should make a point of playing with their cats daily—even if just for a few minutes. Napoleon cats that are a little more munchkin-tempered and energetic may keep themselves exercised through play on their own.

Even if the cat is self-active, owners should try to play with them for the added mental stimulation that comes with it. Feather toys, string toys, and catnip balls all make great toys for these little ones.

Training 🧶

Yes, believe it or not, training is a possibility with this breed of cat. While many cat-lovers are enthusiastic about their felines’ inclination to well, tell them where to go—many will also love teaching their Napoleon cat to find treats, sit, stay, and more.

One nice thing about a cat that you can train is the opportunity to take them out on a leash. It’s becoming more common these days to see people out at the park with a cat on a leash. Though the pace is admittedly a little slower than with a dog, it’s wonderful to allow them to sniff around in the grass and get fresh air.

Grooming ✂️

The amount of time, energy, and money, that you’ll need to set aside for grooming is going to be determined by the length of their coat. Napoleons come in all kinds of beautiful colors as well as longhaired, shorthaired, and everything-in-between-haired.

Fur management is a fact of life with just about any cat or dog you own. If your tolerance for it is low, stick to a short-haired Napoleon cat. These cats have a soft, plush coat that is beautiful to the touch and long or short, is dense, so brushing and grooming will be an order, no matter what.

Health and Conditions 🏥

While the Napoleon cat is considered a healthy breed, there are few hereditary conditions in some breeding lines of both Persians and Munchkins to be aware of. All cats should be vaccinated against infectious diseases that are harmful to felines.

Always talk to your breeder to find out if there are any hereditary conditions in the bloodlines of your cat. They will know and are obligated to share that information with you.

Serious Conditions:

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one serious condition to have your cat screened for. This comes from the Persian side of its family tree and causes cysts on the kidneys. They will have been born with this hereditary condition and can disrupt kidney function.

Lordosis is a condition in which the spine curves inward. This condition comes from the munchkin genes and puts pressure on the upper spine.

Minor Conditions:

Photophobia is a sensitivity to bright light. It can cause your Napoleon cat to squint or blink rapidly and eventually could interfere with their sight.

Cataracts occur when cloudiness in the eyes disrupts the ability for light to reach the retina and can cause blindness.

Minor Conditions
  • Photophobia
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Lordosis

Male vs Female

In regard to male and female traits, there really aren’t many differences asides from their mating behavior. The thing that a lot of people love about cats, and Napoleon cats are no exception, is their individuality.

With that said, most cats are their own little people. With no consistency in their gender-based traits, it’s difficult to really define characteristics as being male or female; They’re all just, cats.

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Final Thoughts

These well-tempered, intelligent, and friendly little felines make fantastic family pets. They are a little pricey, but if you are looking for a cat who will be a friend, not a roommate—then a Napoleon should be up on the list. These lovely little lap cats are fairly low maintenance if you want them to be, as long as they have company.

Alternatively, they can be dolled up to magnificence with their rare and exotic colors. When you add this all up you get a cat breed that is very versatile, and well suited to almost any situation where these sweet little shorties are loved.

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Featured Image Credit: Robert Way, Shutterstock