Minuet (Napoleon) Cat: Characteristics, Personality, and Breed Information

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Minuet (Napoleon)
United States
Adult weight
7-8 pounds
Life Span
15+ years
Playful, affectionate, and laid-back
Other Names
Napoleon cat
Medium, long hair or short hair
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Personality and Temperament

The Minuet cat, formerly known as the Napoleon cat, is a dwarf cat breed created by crossing Munchkin cats with Persian cats, Himalayan cats, and Exotic Shorthairs. The Minuet’s short legs come from the Munchkin. The Persian breed group contributed the Minuet’s abundant coat and rounded head, eyes, and ears.

When the breed was first being developed, it was called the Napoleon cat, named for Napoleon Bonaparte, the short-statured French general with a notoriously big personality. However, the The International Cat Association (TICA) voted to change the breed name to Minuet in 2015, just before the breed achieved full championship status.

Minuet cats inherited a mix of wonderful traits from the parent breeds the were used in the breed’s development. They are gentle and sweet like the Persian, but can also active and curious like the Munchkin. Minuets are very friendly, loving, and become very bonded with their people. They enjoy cuddles and get along well with people and other pets.

The Minuet comes in short-haired and long-haired versions; both have an abundant and dense coat, which may be any color or pattern. The breed has a semi-cobby, well-rounded body and very short legs. Though the body is medium sized, adult Minuets weigh just 7 to 8 pounds.

Some Minuet kittens have the gene for short legs and others do not. Minuets with long legs are referred to as “nonstandard.” These Minuets have all the same wonderful attributes as standard Minuets, but they have long legs like a regular cat. Nonstandard Minuets cannot compete in cat shows—these kittens are sold to pet homes. For this reason, a nonstandard Minuet kitten might cost a bit less than a standard Minuet kitten.

Although Minuets can’t climb up quite as high as cats with long legs, they can get around easily. They can run surprisingly fast, especially when they get a case of the zoomies, and their low-to-the-ground body is agile, taking turns with ease. If your Minuet has trouble jumping or climbing onto the couch or your bed, you can provide pet stairs or a pet ramp to make it easier for them.

About the Minuet (Napoleon) Cat
Minuet (Napoleon) Cat Care










Minuet cats have no specific nutrition requirements, but like all cats they should eat an age-appropriate complete-and-balanced diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means the majority of their nutrition should come from meat.

If your cat is prone to overeating, feed measures meals twice a day to prevent excess weight gain. Always ensure your Minuet has access to clean, fresh water. If you’re worried your cat is not drinking enough, consider using a pet fountain, which can encourage cats to drink more.

Minuets come in long and short coats, but all Minuets have double coats, which means their coat consists of two layers: a shorter, softer undercoat and longer, dense outercoat. Regardless of length, Minuets should be combed and brushed at least every other day, but daily is best. Regular brushing and combing will prevent mats from forming and keep the coat soft and healthy. Like all cats, Minuets need nail trim every week or two and tooth brushing once a day.

Like their Persian cousins, the Minuet is rather laid-back and does not need a huge amount of exercise. That said, less active cats should be encouraged to play for exercise, something that keeps them physical fit and mentally engaged. Use a variety of different toys and entice your cat to play for 15 minutes at least twice a day—more if you and your cat are up for it!

You can also encourage your Minuet cat to move more by providing low cat trees or towers to climb (not too tall), and different types of cat scratchers so your cat can sharpen their claws while stretching and moving their body. Using catnip toys or sprinkling catnip near your cat’s scratcher can get your cat in the mood to zoom around and play.

The scientific name for the condition that causes abnormally short legs in cats is called chondrodystrophism, also known as dwarfism. Chondrodystrophy happens when an autosomal dominate gene causes abnormal cartilage development, leading to abnormal growth of the long bones. A few dog breeds also have dwarfism, including the Basset Hound, Corgi, and Dachshund.

Some forms of dwarfism are connected with various health problems, and dwarf cats cannot move in exactly the same way that typical cats can. However, Minuet cats are generally very healthy. It’s important to buy a kitten from a breeder who understands how to breed dwarf cats responsibly and  tests her breeding cats for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic condition known to affect Persian cats.


Short-legged cat breeds are a relatively recent development in the pedigreed cat world. The Munchkin, the first dwarf cat breed, originated in the 1980s from a cat born with a spontaneous genetic mutation for short legs. The Munchkin was recognized by TICA in 2003. The Minuet, which was called the Napoleon cat early on in its development until 2015, achieved TICA championship status in 2016.

The Minuet was created in the United States. The Minuet breed founder was a man named Joe Smith who was originally a Basset Hound breeder. Smith read an article about a new breed of cat called the Munchkin and he was intrigued, but he dreamed of a short-legged cat with a more distinctive look.

In the 1990s, Smith worked with a Persian cat breeder named Deb Kenny, and together they helped to create a new breed bringing attributes from the Munchkin cat and the Persian cat. Doll-faced Persians were used in the Minuet’s development, and today’s Minuet retains the doll-face look. The breed was originally called the Napoleon, but in 2015, TICA voted to officially change the breed name to Minuet. The breed achieved full championship status with TICA in 2016.

Minuet (Napoleon) Cat History
About the Minuet (Napoleon) Cat


The large, round eyes should not protrude nor tear.

Legs & Paws

The legs are short and well developed with firm musculature. The front legs front should be short and straight with little to no bowing. The feet are round and neat, but longhairs have tufts.


In proportion to body length or longer. In longhairs, the tail is plumed and flowing.

The Breed Standard


Semi-cobby and well-rounded with a straight topline preferred.


An open and round face with a sweet expression. The muzzle is moderately short and broad, with rounded whisker pads.


Medium sized or slightly smaller, set wide apart with rounded tips.


Double coated. The short coat should be slightly longer than most short-haired cats, dense, plush, and standing away from body. The long coat is dense and full, with a soft, slight undercoat.


All colored permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Minuet cats healthy?

The Minuet is a healthy breed with few genetic health concerns. The breed’s short legs don’t generally cause this cat any problems, and they can run fast and turn on a dime.

What is the difference between a Munchkin and a Minuet cat?

Both the Munchkin and the Minuet are dwarf cat breeds with extremely short legs. The two breeds are related. The Munchkin cat was developed first, in the 1980s. The Minuet was developed in the 1990s, using Munchkin cats and Persians. The breeds are similar, but the Minuet looks more like a Persian in appearance, and also inherited the Persian’s gentle, affectionate, laid-back personality.

How much are Minuet cats?

The price of a Minuet cat varies, but a standard Minuet (short legs) might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500. Nonstandard Minuets (those with long legs, sometimes called “talls”) are usually less.

Can Minuet cats jump?

Minuets have short legs caused by chondrodystrophism, but their legs should be straight and not bowed. Despite their short leg length, Minuet cats can run faster than you might expect and can turn on a dime. Minuets can also jump and climb, but they can’t jump or climb quite as high as cats with long legs. Minuet cat owners appreciate the fact that their short-legged cats don’t get into trouble by climbing up on high counters, bookcases, and shelves.

What is a nonstandard Minuet cat?

A nonstandard Minuet cat is one that is born without the gene that causes chondrodystrophism. Nonstandard Minuets (sometimes called ”talls”) have long legs like a regular cat. Minuets born with the chondrodystrophism gene and have short legs are called standard Minuets.