Flat-Faced Cat Breeds: 8 Types of Sweeties You’ll Want to Snuggle

Flat-Faced Cat Breeds: 8 Types of Sweeties You’ll Want to Snuggle

Remember Grumpy Cat? This feline rose to celebrity status after he was captured looking truly grumpy, but that was, in fact, just his face. With a short muzzle that faces upwards and a smushed face, some cat breeds have a unique flat face shape. Let’s take a more in-depth look at flat-faced cat breeds.

Why Do Some Cats Have Flat Face?


Flat-faced cats are also referred to as brachycephalic cats. It is derived from the Greek language, with “brachy” referring to “shortened” and “cephalic” referring to “head.” These cats have distorted skulls that are short and broad.

It is believed that when Persian cats first arrived in Europe around the 1600s, they had wide faces that weren’t completely flat and small muzzles. In the 1950s, cat breeders chanced upon a Persian cat with an incredibly flat face, the result of a genetic mutation.

Selective breeding of cats with this particular trait led to rising demand for flat-faced cats, and as a result, we now have several flat-faced cat breeds with glassy eyes that make them look like they’re always wide-eyed.

8 Flat-Faced Cat Breeds

Here is a list of famous flat-faced cat breeds that are coveted around the world.

#1. Persian Cats

Persian Cats

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The signature features of Persian cats today include short faces, scrunched-up muzzles, and very chubby cheeks. This is the result of decades of selective breeding.

As is the case with other flat-faced cat breeds, Persian cats are definitely a little tougher to maintain. They need to be groomed regularly and prefer a quiet environment. This would also entail not having children around, as Persian cats tend to get easily frightened by chaos.

They do love a good ol’ belly rub though!

#2. Munchkin Cats

Munchkin Cats

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They are also referred to as sausage cats owing to their incredibly short legs — a result of their genetic mutation.

Munchkin cats enjoy being friendly with people and don’t mind being picked up. Their name is indicative of their significantly small size and the fact that they look like they need to be protected at all costs.

If they feel uncomfortable, Munchkin cats also prefer to slink away instead of getting aggressive; that’s how non-threatening they are. Give them a shiny object and they will be occupied for hours.

#3. Himalayan Cat

Himalayan Cat

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A hybrid of Persian and Siamese cats, Himalayan cats have faces that are quite similar to those of the flat-faced Persian kitty while enjoying the variety of coat colors inherited from their Siamese ancestors.

Himalayan cats are gentle and affectionate and equally playful. They have piercing eyes and extremely soft fur that require a lot of care. If you have children or old people in your house, a Himalayan cat would be great company.

#4. Bombay Cats

Bombay Cats

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Despite being short in height and having a short muzzle, this cat breed heavily resembles a wild cat.

Bombay cats possess lean muscles and pointed ears with a jet black coat. They have a majestic appearance as their eyes usually glow in shades of gold or copper. They’re quite playful as well and enjoy being active around the house. While you may not be able to own a panther, but you can more than make up for that wish with a Bombay cat.

#5. Scottish Fold Cats

Scottish Fold Cats

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The perfect representation of typical feline behavior, Scottish Fold cats are friendly yet aloof. They have the cutest faces with a short muzzle, wide eyes, and droopy ears. They’re quite docile as well and enjoy interacting with people.

However, the way Scottish Folds have been bred also makes them more susceptible to developing health complications. In fact, when they were first bred, they were removed from the books of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Scotland because of the constant health problems faced by this breed.

#6. Exotic Shorthair Cats

Exotic Shorthair Cats

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These cat breeds have a perfectly round-shaped flat face that delivers amusing expressions.

Exotic Shorthairs are incredibly social and are the most preferred option amongst cat parents looking for a breed similar to the Persian cat that does not shed as much. They don’t require too much grooming or special diets.

While they share the sweet face of their Persian ancestors, Exotic Shorthairs are more playful and active. But they will also love just following you around or sitting in your lap, making them perfect companions for those who live quiet lives.

#7. British Shorthair

British Shorthair

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Weighing between 8 and 16 lbs, British Shorthair cats are one of the largest flat-faced breeds.

They are notorious cuddlers and are perfect for first-time owners, as they are pretty gentle and well-mannered. Thankfully, their diverse gene pool protects them from a multitude of diseases. But they do need a full health check-up every six months in order to ensure zero complications from their flat-faced genetics.

#8. Selkirk Rex Cats

Selkirk Rex Cats

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The primary reason why the Selkirk Rex breed is so famous is because of its curly-haired coat. They are practically 6-16 lbs of plush hair and patience.

A mix of Persian, British Shorthairs, and Exotic Shorthairs, Selkirks are quite mellow and enjoy a laid-back day with people around, just like the British Shorthairs. They are also surprisingly low maintenance. With huge eyes and a relatively short muzzle, this breed is a highly coveted flat-faced cat.

How Much Do They Cost?


Flat-faced cat breeds can be brought for anywhere between $500 to $3000. This would cover the breeder’s expenses for safely raising the cat through the first month or so.

Their colors, breed, and availability are important factors along with their flat face that impact the price of these cats.

What’s the Best Flat-Faced Cat Breed?

Breeders consider the Scottish Fold cat to be the best flat-faced cat breed, owing to its signature smushed face, luxurious coat, and low maintenance needs.

Given the kind and gentle disposition of Scottish Fold cats, they thrive in houses with children. Not only are they counted among the best flat-faced cat breeds, they are also one of the most popular choices!

FAQ – Are Flat-Faced Cats Unhealthy?

The flat face of these cat breeds is no coincidence; it is a problematic genetic mutation that also involves an underbite and feline dwarfism.

Flat-faced cats can face breathing difficulties because of the shape of their skull; this makes them snorers. The tiny buccal cavity (mouth) is also an issue as it does not provide adequate space inside for their teeth, causing problems like overlapping.

As flat-faced cats’ eyes protrude from their heads, they’re more exposed to debris and other dust. These cats fare better under careful supervision but they are still at a higher risk of health complications.

A Few Parting Words

All that flat-faced cat breeds need is some special attention to ensure that their health is at its prime. Gentle care, regular check-ups, and a watchful eye are all that’s needed for your flat-faced cat to live a happy, healthy life!

About Author

Priscilla Dreher

Known for her travel blogs, Priscilla Dreher started out as sociologist in her career only to combine her love for writing with her penchant for philanthropy in the later years. A widely traveled author, Dreher has championed many human rights causes and continues to advocate for socio-political inclusivity in all her writing.