Not all cats advertised as miniature are teacup kittens. Keep in mind that the standard size cat will weigh between 11 and 14 pounds. The standard sized male cat will weigh between 12 and 17 pounds. A teacup-sized female cat will weigh between 3 and 6.5 pounds and the teacup-sized male will weigh between 3 and 7.5 pounds. This is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when shopping for a cup of tea. Some unscrupulous breeders will try to sell you a cat under ten pounds as a cup of tea when that weight falls within the normal weight range for a standard cat. When shopping for a teacup, don’t be fooled by a breeder who will try to sell you a dwarf or tell you that any cat under ten pounds is a miniature.
Teacup kittens come in a variety of breeds. These cats are bred to be small by inbreeding. The smallest cat of one breed mates with the smallest cat of another breed progressively in each generation and with each mating a miniature or teacup cat is born. The result of this type of breeding is dwarfism. There are two forms of dwarfism as it pertains to teacups and other miniature animals and they are achondroplastic where the dominant gene will, through mutation, affect the hormones that control bone growth and the primordial that is produced from natural form. At this point, let’s cover the most common breeds of miniature (teacup) cats.
The most popular of the teacup kittens is the combination of Persian and exotic. The MiniPer, a combination of Persian and Exotic, was developed in California by Cher Simmitt. MiniPers are primordial dwarfs and their bodies are proportionate in every way except that they are smaller than standard Persians and Exotics. The MiniPaws are a hybrid and carry the genes for achondroplastic and primordial dwarfism. They are small in proportion and have shortened legs, causing the legs to be somewhat misshapen. They are a good example of dominant gene mutation and its effect on hormones that control bone growth. .
The Napoleon was intentionally developed by crossing a Munchkin with a Persian. They have long coats and beautiful big eyes like Persians. The Napoleon is the newest of the teacup breeds.
The Lambkin was developed by crossing a Munchkin with a Selkirk Rex. They are called Lambkin because of their soft, curly coat that resembles the coat of a lamb. Most miniature or teacup kittens are crosses of Persian and exotic and are the most popular and sought after of all the miniature breeds.
Many people love teacups because they are cute and look like kittens. They are easy to hold and carry and most of them are lap cats. Be careful though, they may be kittens when you buy them, but like all other cats they grow out of their kitten form. After all, they are cats and cats are not kittens forever.