Flat faced cat breeds are often cherished for being different, and may be expensive as they are usually pedigreed purebreds. Their appearance is characterized by a squishy pug-like short nose, wide-set eyes and adorable faces. Flat faced cats belong to the brachycephalic family, and their flat faces result from a genetic trait that shortens and broadens the shape of the cat’s skull. Here, we will talk about some of the most adorable flat faced cat breeds.
History of Flat Faced Cat Breeds
Brachycephalic cats were first recognized in Europe in the 1800s. In the 1950s, breeders took notice of a Persian who carried a severe genetic mutation causing a flat face. Cat lovers immediately adored this feature, so breeders began to breed Persians specifically for this trait. More flat faced cat breeds became popular as the years went on.
Health Risks of Flat Faced Cat Breeds
Because they are different, there are some health risks more common to flat faced breeds of cats. They include:
- Heart conditions
- Respiratory problems
- Suppressed immune systems
If you own a flat faced breed of cat, make sure that your veterinarian is well-versed in the common health ailments of flat faced cat breeds.
One of the first recognized flat faced cat breeds, and still one of the most popular, Persian cats are adored for their flat faces, beautiful silky coats and jewel-like eyes. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, with popular ones being white, cream and grey. They are adorable, sociable, and love to be loved. If you own a Persian, you know that it requires daily grooming from you to help keeps its coat free of tangles. Like most flat faced cats, its face also needs to be cleaned by you regularly to help eliminate tear stains.
Himalayan cats resemble a cross between a Persian and a Siamese. This flat faced cat breed is also affectionate, sweet and quiet. They often lavish their attention on their human families, but may be slow to warm up to strangers. Himalayans thrive in a calm environment, and require daily grooming and regular bathing from owners for their long coats (which come in a variety of colors, with points that resemble those of a Siamese). Their flat faces also need to be wiped regularly. Himalayans are one of the most expensive breeds of cat.
Often called the Dachshund of cats, the Munchkin is a tiny breed with a happy-go-lucky, playful personality. They are characterized by flat faces and short legs. Their short legs don’t stop them from running around pouncing and playing, however. Munchkins are intelligent and easily trained, and are often considered one of the best flat faced cat breeds for families.
Bombay cats crave affection from humans, and, being one of the most affectionate and sociable breeds of cat, may meet and greet you at the door like a dog. Bombay cats have flat faces with larger muzzles, rounded heads and muscular, medium-sized frames. They have soft coats and yellow eyes, and are often compared to mini black panthers. They get along well with other pets and children. Bombay cats love to climb and are quite athletic, requiring lots of play to keep them occupied.
Exotic Shorthair Cats
Exotic Shorthairs are like Persians except with short hair. It is believed that the original Exotic Shorthair was created by crossing a Persian with an American Shorthair or Russian Blue. These kitties have perky ears, wide-set round eyes, and a scrunched-up, short muzzle. They are perfect for cat owners who want a Persian without all the grooming work. They are playful, sociable and quiet cats who love to cuddle and are great for active families. Although they are lower-maintenance than Persians, Exotic Shorthairs do require their faces to be wiped regularly by owners to rid them of tear stains.
Scottish Fold Cats
Characterized by its adorable folded ears that flop forwards, the Scottish Fold also has a flat face. They have large eyes, a short nose, and round paws and bodies. Scottish Folds need to be groomed weekly in order to distribute the oils on their skin and to remove dead hair. Their faces also need regular wiping to remove tear stains and discharge from their eyes. Scottish Folds are active, and like company – whether it’s of the human variety, or another pet.
Selkirk Rex Cats
These adorable, lovable flat faced cats are known by their long, wavy, curly plush coats and curly whiskers. They have scrunched foreheads, large round eyes, and love attention from humans. They are often called “a cat in sheep’s clothing” and do require brushing from you about three times a week. Their faces are not as prone to tear duct issues, however, so you shouldn’t need to wipe them often. Selkirk Rex cats are playful and also love to cuddle.
British Shorthair/Longhair Cats
The British Shorthair has a flat face but does not have an upturned nose like the Exotic Shorthair. They are a stockier breed of cat, with wider muzzles. British Shorthairs are easygoing and less prone to many common health problems that plague other flat faced breeds. They may be short or long-haired, and their coat length will determine how much grooming they will need from you.
The Burmilla breed is a cross between the Burmese and the Chinchilla, or the Silver Persian and the Burmese. It features a broad, short muzzle with a more defined chin and large, round eyes. Their muzzle shape makes them a bit healthier than other flat faced cat breeds. This is one of the rarest and most expensive flat faced cat breeds. Burmilla cats love being cuddled and are great additions to any family. They will require weekly brushing from you, and are very particular about having clean litter boxes.
Burmese cats are a cross of a cat from Burma with a Siamese in the U.S. The result produced a cat with very soft, short, silky fur that requires weekly brushing and an occasional bathing from its owner. Burmese cats have longer muzzles, which make them less prone to some of the health problems plaguing other flat faced breeds. They have lots of energy, but love to snuggle with their owners at night.