A white semi-longhair Napoleon/Minuet cat with blue eyes.
(Photo Credit: eyfoto | Getty Images)

Napoleon (Minuet)

The Napoleon cat breed, also known as the Minuet cat, is a deliberate cross between the elegant Persian and small-statured Munchkin. The Minuet cat breed has short legs from the Munchkin cat and long fur thanks to their Persian lineage. These unique short legged cats have beautiful coats that can come in many colors and doll-like expression with their big, round eyes. They are charming with a splash of whimsy.

This breed is considered experimental and relatively new as they were first introduced in the late 1990s. The breed is also considered controversial in some circles.

What are the characteristics of a Napoleon cat?

Irresistibly charming with short legs and a sweet face, the Napoleon cat combines the most adorable features of each breed to create a minuscule cutie pie you’ll want to show affection to all day long. Named after the French conqueror known for his lack of height, Napoleon cats inherit the dwarfism gene from their Munchkin side. However, Napoleon cats can also come in long-legged versions, as only one Munchkin parent should have the gene for safe breeding practices. Persians love to lie around all day, while Munchkin cats tend to be more playful, so your Napoleon cat can go either way. Perhaps they’ll take a long nap after a bout of the zoomies, but either way, they’ll look extra charming with their sweet looks.

When considering a Napoleon, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a Napoleon kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Napoleon breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: United States, 1990s
  • Size: Small to medium (6-10 pounds)
  • Breed Group: Experimental
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Coat: Longhair (most common) or shorthair, with various colors and patterns like solid, tabby, bi-color, and tortoiseshell.
  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, energetic, curious, adaptable, enjoys human interaction.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate – playtime and mental stimulation are key.
  • Training: Easy to train with positive reinforcement, due to their intelligence and desire to please.
  • Grooming: Varies depending on coat length, but typically requires regular brushing.
  • Health: Generally healthy, but some potential for genetic health conditions like chondrodystrophy (short legs) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
  • The Napoleon can come in both long and short-legged versions.
  • The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognizes this mixed breed as the Minuet rather than the Napoleon.
  • Despite being named after the famed French leader with a reputation for being short of stature, Emperor Napoleon I was afraid of cats.

Napoleon Pictures

Napoleon (Minuet) History

If you dig deep into the history of the Napoleon, you’ll discover that this dwarf kitty dates back to 1996. Their origin story involves a dog breeder by the name of Joe Smith who decided to breed a cat based on the Munchkin and Persian breeds after he saw a Wall Street Journal article about Munchkin cats.

Later on, another breeder named Teri Harris helped to popularize the Napoleon. The Napoleon was officially acknowledged by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 2011. These days, you can find Napoleons in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the mixed breed for you!

Napoleon (Minuet) Size

The Napoleon is a small cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most Napoleons weigh in at five to nine pounds. That said, many may be smaller or larger than average.

Napoleon (Minuet) Personality

If you talk to the owner of a Napoleon cat, you’ll very quickly hear them go on about just how loving and people-focused these felines are. In fact, when living with a Napoleon cat, you can expect the kitty to follow you around and want to snuggle up with you at any opportunity. They also do great with kids and will bond very easily with humans. Just remember that the Napoleon is such a sociable kitty that they really need to be around people as much as possible, so consider another breed of cat if you’re going to be away from the house for long periods of the day.

Beyond being a total cuddle bug, the Napoleon also has a playful and curious side. They might not be the most athletic jumpers, mainly due to their short legs, but they are always up for a play session. It’s best to add some interactive toys to the living environment to keep your cat mentally stimulated.

Napoleon (Minuet) Health

Napoleons are generally considered to be healthy cats; although, they can be predisposed to the same conditions that the Munchkin and Persian breeds face. As always, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. Some of the more common health problems Napoleons suffer from include:

  • Cataracts: Cataracts in cats refer to the clouding or opacification of the lens within the eye, leading to impaired vision. While cataracts are more commonly associated with dogs, they can occur in cats as well. 
  • Lordosis: Lordosis in cats, including Munchkin mixed cats, refers to an abnormal posture where the spine exhibits an exaggerated inward curvature.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited genetic disorder that affects cats. It is characterized by the formation of fluid-filled cysts within the kidneys, which can gradually lead to kidney enlargement and impaired kidney function. PKD is most commonly observed in Persian cats, but it can also affect other breeds.

Napoleon (Minuet) Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Napoleon’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your Napoleon cat’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition. The mixed breed’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection.

Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regime that will suit your Napoleon. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques. Finally, because the Napoleon is a cat with a quite high energy level, make sure you provide enough space for them to scamper around!

Napoleon (Minuet) Coat Color And Grooming

The Napoleon cat comes in a very large range of colors. In fact, pretty much any color and combination goes with this kitty! When it comes to grooming, it will depend on whether your Napoleon cat is long or short-haired.

While a short-haired Napoleon will make do with weekly brushing sessions, a long-haired feline will need much more attention. Brushing a long-haired Napoleon four or five times a week will really help ward off the chances of mats forming. In terms of climate, most Napoleon cats are adaptable. You should also always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The Napoleon gets along great with young children. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides. Supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the good-natured Napoleon usually fares well with many domestic animals. But always supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets. Sometimes these relationships are very much dependent on the individual pets’ personalities. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this mixed breed. Make sure to reward your Napoleon for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Napoleon (Minuet) Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Napoleon cats because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Munchkin or Persian cat breed specific rescues, as they sometimes care for breed mixes. You may also try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Napoleon cats, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:

Life Span
9 to 15 years
5 to 9 pounds
Country Of Origin
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