Minuet cat

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The Napoleon cat[1] (also known as the Minuet) is a recent breed, categorized by The International Cat Association (TICA) as a domestic hybrid breed, "a breed developed from a deliberate cross between two existing domestic breeds, incorporating characteristics of both parental breeds into the new breed." [2] The two breeds from which make this cat are the Munchkin and the Persian. According to TICA’s official standard for the Minuet, these breeds represent the only permissible outcrosses one may use to create the Napoleon.[3] This includes the combinations Minuet × Minuet, Minuet × Munchkin, and Minuet × a member of the Persian breeds (including Persians, Himalayans and Exotic Shorthairs. Napoleons come in both long-haired and short-haired varieties.


The breed was created by Joseph B. Smith, a Basset Hound breeder and American Kennel Club (AKC) judge. He was inspired by the Wall Street Journal's front page feature of the Munchkin on June 12, 1995. He was a fan of the Munchkin, but felt that the unavoidable long-legged versions were indistinguishable from similar mixed breeds commonly seen in animal shelters. Smith decided that something had to be done to create a cat unique in both short and long legged versions, something that looked purebred. He chose the Persian breed group as an outcross to the Munchkin for two reasons: beauty and boning. The original Napoleon standard was written with this in mind.[4]

In January 2015, TICA's board of directors voted to change the name of the breed to the Minuet.[1] The breed group is still recognized as the Napoleon by the Cat Fanciers Federation. It is not currently recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association, American Cat Fanciers Association, or Fédération Internationale Féline.


The Napoleon inherited its distinctively short legs from the Munchkin, which, in that breed, were caused by a naturally occurring genetic mutation. The short legs do not hinder the cat's agility. They are able to run, jump, and play easily. From the Persian group (including Persians, Exotic Shorthairs and Himalayans) the Napoleon has inherited its round face, eyes, dense coat and substantial boning. The boning provides a good support system for its uniquely short legs. The Napoleon is not merely a short-legged Persian nor a hairy Munchkin. It is a unique combination of these two groups, making it easily distinguishable from any other breed of cat.


The Napoleon has very few health issues. Because of the incorporation of the Persian bloodline, which has a high incidence of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), breeding stock are tested for it. Napoleons cats are bred specifically away from other common Persian cat problem, such as epiphora (excessive formation of tears), stenosis (narrowing and blockage) of nasolacrimal ducts, flattened facial features, and coats prone to matting.

See also[edit]