Flat-faced breeds are some of the most adorable cats around. With their squished nose and big, round eyes, you’re sure to fall in love!
These are some of the more common flat-faced cat breeds:
- British Shorthair
- Scottish Fold
- Selkirk Rex
Even among over 70 cat breeds, cat breeds with flat faces stand out. As you read further, you’ll learn about what a flat faced cat breed is and what causes these breeds to have that distinctive trait. I’ll also discuss each of the flat faced cat breeds and describe what these breeds look like so that you can decide on which flat faced cat is best for you.
Bombay cats were first bred in Louiseville, Kentucky in the 1950s. This breed was developed by crossbreeding a Burmese cat and a black American Shorthair. They were bred by Nikki Horner and eventually became recognized as an official breed by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1978. Today, this cat breed is certified by all existing cat associations.
The Bombay is a medium-sized cat with strong muscles and heavy bones. This cat has a famous charcoal black coat that makes it look like a mini Black Indian Panther. It was specifically bred to resemble this wild cat and named after where the Black Indian Panther is normally found.
Bombays are intelligent and active cats with a love for interactive toys. This breed always has the energy to play and will likely ask you to play with them whenever you have the time.
If you’ve ever seen cat memes, then you’ve probably seen the British Shorthair. This cat is one of the most famous among flat faced cat breeds because it’s become an internet sensation more than once. The most common example being the famous “I Can Haz Cheezburger” cat.
The British Shorthair can have a variety of coat colors including black, blue, cream, red, silver, tortoiseshell, and smoke. The most famous variation of this cat is the blue coat which appears to be a shiny shade of gray.
Compared to most flat faced cats, the British Shorthair doesn’t experience as many health issues. This is because it doesn’t have an upturned nose and has a strong and muscular build. These cats are known to be playful, patient, and affectionate.
Often described as a “brick wrapped in silk,” the Burmese is a strong cat with incredibly soft fur. The first Burmese was developed when a cat from Burma was brought to the United States by Dr. Joseph C. Thompson. His cat was believed to be a chocolate point Siamese but Thompson thought otherwise.
He then bred his cat with another Siamese which resulted in what looked like Burmese-Siamese hybrids. After breeding those together, they were able to produce kittens that looked exactly like the cat that he first brought home from Burma. Eventually, the Burmese breed was certified and is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
Burmese cats now have various coat colors but the traditional Burmese color is dark brown. It normally appears to have chocolate-colored fur on the head, legs, and tail, while lighter shades of brown appear on the rest of the body.
The Burmese breed is a high-energy cat that loves to play and run around throughout the day. However, unlike most cats, Burmese are lazy and prefer to sleep at night.
The Burmilla is one of the newest breeds on this list, having been first developed just 40 years ago. The Burmilla was initially an accident when a Burmese and a Chinchilla Siamese unexpectedly mated. The kittens that they produced were so cute and attractive that the first breeder worked to develop the breed further and created the Burmilla.
To this day, this cat hasn’t been certified by the CFA. However, it is recognized by other cat registries such as Britain’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and Europe’s Federation Internationale Feline. Burmilla fans are still working hard for this cat to be its own recognized breed rather than a hybrid. Since it is a fairly new breed, the Burmilla is quite hard to find. It’s still seen as an experimental breed in Britain and isn’t recognized in the United States.
Burmillas have short and silky coats that come in apricot, black, beige, blue, caramel, chocolate, and lilac. The most popular coat color for this breed is the beige variation. The Burmilla normally has a light silver undercoat and a top coat of another color.
As a pet, the Burmilla is a laidback and easygoing cat. If you prefer a cat that spends its day lazing around, then the Burmilla is the flat faced cat for you. They’re easy to get along with and can even befriend children and dogs.
The Exotic was developed by breeding Persians with shorthaired breeds like the American Shorthairs, Burmese, and Russian Blue. They were bred with the intention to create a Persian with a shorter and more manageable coat. The first Exotic was successfully developed in the 1950s and the final result was a cat with the features and personality of a Persian but with a short and low-maintenance coat.
Today, Exotics can either have long coats or short coats. However, the only certified breed is the Exotic Shorthair while the Exotic Longhair has not yet been recognized as its own breed. The Exotic was certified as a cat breed by the CFA in 1967.
Exotics are medium-sized cats with soft velvet-like fur. They come in pretty much any color that a cat can have and any coat pattern as well. The Exotic that you might be familiar with has an extremely flat snout and an upturned nose with two round, large eyes on either side of its nose. They have sweet and docile personalities, making them the perfect feline companion.
The Himalayan, or Himmie, is a hybrid of a Persian and a Siamese. This breed was developed to create Persians that had the color points and blue eyes of a Siamese. After years of breeding, Virginia Cobb and Clyde Keeler developed the first successful Himalayan, which was named Newton’s Debutante.
The CFA classified the Himalayan as a recognized breed in 1957 but less than 30 years later, it was reclassified as a color variation of the Persian. Although it’s no longer a certified breed, the Himmie is still one of the most popular cat breeds today.
Himalayans have the physical features of a Persian, including a short snout and upturned nose. It also has round eyes that are set far apart, making it look like a doll. The traditional Himalayan has a chocolate point coat color that is dark brown on the face, ears, legs, and tail with a cream-colored body and head.
Having a Himalayan means having a cuddly lap cat. These cats are quiet, sweet, and love attention. They accept pets and hugs from anyone that’s willing to give them. At most, they’ll let out an occasional chirp to let you know they’re hungry, but you’ll certainly never catch these fluffy cats meowing.
Also known as the Dachshund of cats, the Munchkin is one of the most controversial cat breeds today. The Munchkin is a medium-sized cat with distinctive short legs that gave this breed its name. This stout little kitty comes in all coat lengths, colors, and patterns.
This breed is controversial because the breed’s famous short legs are caused by a genetic mutation. Their short legs also lead to health issues that are more prevalent because of their genes. Munchkin cats are produced by breeding Munchkin cats with cats that have legs that are shorter than standard.
Another reason why it’s so controversial is that the Munchkin gene is also known as a “lethal gene” since when two Munchkins are bred, they produce kittens that cannot survive. To this day, it is still debated if the breed should be recognized because of this fact. It is recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) but the CFA refuses to certify the breed.
Munchkins are playful and energetic cats, despite their small stature. They are active and you’re likely to have a cat that’ll be zooming all over your living space if you decide to bring home your own Munchkin.
The Persian is the oldest breed on this list and is considered an ancient cat breed. The breed dates back as far as the 16th century and was originally known as the Sand Cat. The modern Persian was developed in the 19th century after descendants of the Sand Cat were bred with Turkish Longhairs.
Persians soared to popularity when they became the family pet of Queen Victoria and other British royals. Today, there are countless Persians all over the world.
If you’re leaning towards the Persian, you should know that this cat loves to live like royalty. Persians are docile but will experience bursts of kitten-like energy throughout the day. These cats thrive when given attention and will seek it from anyone that catches their eye.
Wielding a flat face, round eyes, and special folded ears, the Scottish Fold is certainly a one-of-a-kind cat. This breed was first developed in 1961 when a kitten named Susie was born in Perthshire, Scotland with folded ears among a litter of cats with regular ears. Susie was then bred with other domestic cats and the British Shorthair to establish her unique ears. All Scottish Folds that exist today are descendants of that single cat.
The most distinctive feature of the Scottish Fold is, of course, its folded ears. A common misconception is that these ears are achieved by docking them, but these cats are actually born with this feature. They can have any coat length, color, and pattern, just like the Munchkin. They also have sensitive tails that can be prone to injury if mishandled.
Scottish Folds are charming and eccentric cats. They’re often found in strange poses or positions that their pet owners have come to love. These cats love to socialize and spend time with their owners more than anything.
Finally, there’s the Selkirk Rex. This breed was first developed in 1987 by Jeri Newman, who adopted a cat born with curly rex-like fur that was unusual because its littermate had regular straight fur. Newman named this cat Miss DePesto who became the mascot of this breed until it was recognized by the CFA just a few years later.
The Selkirk Rex is one of the various “rex” cats which are distinguished by their famous curly fur. Their coats are plush and resemble sheep’s wool, making this flat faced breed stand out more than others.
Selkirk Rexes are surprisingly clownish cats that can act silly. They are chatty, playful, and easily get bored when left alone for too long. If you want a Skelkir Rex, you’ll have to get a ton of cat toys to keep yours preoccupied.
One of the cats that I’ve had the opportunity to rescue and foster was a Persian. It was one of the most beautiful cats that I’d ever had and it even had a lovely personality that made it difficult for me to let it go. Although I don’t have my own flat faced cat, I can understand why these felines are so lovable.
However, that was also one of my most challenging fosters because it had health issues that were left untreated before I rescued it. This Persian had to overcome more than most of the cats I’d rescued before and it took a lot of care and close attention to bring that cat to a healthy state.
Having a flat faced cat is definitely a life-changing experience because their looks and personalities are easy to fall for. If you think that one of these breeds is the cat for you, you should prepare yourself for the special challenges of having and raising a flat faced cat.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.