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Kinkalow Cat Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

kinkalow cat lying down

Kinkalow Cat Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Because of their rarity, you might not have heard of a Kinkalow before, but their appearance likely makes you curious, and we can’t blame you! We think that this dwarf breed has so much to offer potential owners, and you’ll want to learn more. These short-legged little creatures are perfect for any cat-loving home.

Breed Overview


7–8 inches


3–7 pounds


12–15 years


White, orange, black, tortoiseshell, gray, cream, calico

Suitable for:

Active families, multi-pet households


Playful, curious, adventurous, affectionate

They have a playful nature that any cat lover can appreciate. Plus, they have adorably tiny legs, and it will be fun to watch them bounce around your house playing. The only catch is that you may need more than a bit of luck finding one.

Kinkalow Cat Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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Kinkalow Kittens

kinkalow cat lying down
Image Credit: Anciens Huang, Shutterstock

The Kinkalow kitten is an exceptionally rare sight. Before you start your search, you should be prepared to travel out of state potentially. Depending on your geographic location, you might even need to arrange for shipping if you would like to have one of these pets. 

This breed is not necessarily a new one, but they have always been in the experimental breed category. So, if you’re lucky enough to find a nearby breeder, expect high prices and a long waiting list. These kittens might require deposits, contracts, and all sorts of hoops to jump through. Once you cross this threshold and secure your cute little short-legged kitten, you can expect to pay a total cost that might raise your eyebrows a bit.

The likelihood of finding one of these exotic kitties at a rescue or shelter is next to none. However, you might be able to find cats that share certain resemblances—they would love a lovely, new, warm home and a family to love them! 


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Temperament & Intelligence of the Kinkalow Cat

Kinkalows have all the qualities most cat lovers adore—spunk, adventurousness, playfulness, intelligence, comical behavior, and affectionateness. Also, they are insanely cute and entertaining to watch when they play.

The Kinkalow is a real brainiac. They love to spend time with their owners, which makes it even more likely that they will want to learn from you. Since they are so clever, it makes them excellent candidates for special training if you’re willing to teach them.

Kinkalows are the life of the party. They want to be in on everything that happens, whether looking out a window at the neighborhood or nosing in on your family dinner. They will happily accompany you to the bathroom or sleep on your feet as you work from home in your office.

But don’t think that Kinkalows are shadow cats. They are pretty independent, and they’re good matches for owners who have a moderate work schedule. However, you’ll need several stimulating toys to keep them occupied during those alone hours.

Kinkalows are fierce, agile, and incredibly prey-motivated, making them excellent hunters. Providing surfaces to climb, scratch, and play will make all the difference—plus, it encourages healthy behaviors.

The Kinkalow is incredibly outgoing, greeting strange faces with no issues. They would much rather explore new experiences and people than run from them.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Kinkalows are excellent pets for families and have very happy-go-lucky personalities. They usually match very well with all household members. However, some might pick their favorites, gravitating toward them more often.

They’re incredibly active and ready to play at any given time. Therefore, they can make unbeatable playmates for school-age children. However, Kinkalows and toddlers might be a little rough with one another, so supervision should always be a top priority.

The Kinkalow is only moderately vocal, and they don’t meow much to get their point across. Sure, leave the food bowl empty, and you might get an earful, but they are otherwise pretty calm.

Because they’re quiet, they’re ideal if you have close neighbors or roommates. However, because of their rarity and high cost, we recommend keeping the Kinkalow indoors.

white kinkalow cat standing on a piano
Image Credit: UW.ART, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

You might have a Kinkalow that thinks they’re a dog. It is not unusual for them to hang out with you, come when they’re called, and even walk on a leash. Their social demeanor makes them awesome companions and playmates for other domesticated pets.

They pair very well with other cats and dogs because of their curiosity and desire to play. If you are gone often, they won’t turn down a playmate to cuddle and run around with while you’re away.

However, it’s best to keep them away from small animals. Reptiles, birds, and rodents are prey for Kinkalows and can spark their prey drive in an instant. Too many risk factors come from mixing predator and prey. So, even if it seems like your cat and hamster might be best friends, you might not want to find out.

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Things to Know When Owning a Kinkalow Cat

Food & Diet Requirements

Kinkalows don’t have any specific dietary restrictions, but it’s vital to prevent them from gaining too much weight. Because they have short legs, extra weight can put pressure on the spine, leading to joint issues.

It’s best to give them a protein-rich diet with all the essential vitamins and minerals and keep snacks to a minimum. Because your Kinkalow will be very active, they can easily maintain a healthy body weight with appropriate servings.

You can work with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your cat. You can choose from various commercial diets, including dry kibble, wet food, semi-moist, homemade, and freeze-dried meals.

Exercise 🐈

It won’t be a difficult mission to persuade your Kinkalow to exercise. They are very energetic and need interactive toys, cat trees, and scratching posts. Since your cat only needs roughly 15 minutes of exercise daily, it should be no trouble.

Kinkalows enjoy playtime with their owners, and if you would like to partake in those activities, they would be more than happy to run around with you. Just be careful to protect your forearms; Kinkalows are skilled kickers.

Despite their small legs, Kinkalows enjoy strenuous exercise and need an outlet to expel their energy. If you do not teach them how to use a scratching post, they’ll sharpen their claws on the furniture and fabrics in your home.

Training 🧶

Kinkalows pick up concepts like using the litter box in the first few uses. They are very sharp, quick, and active. Because they are so in tune with their surroundings, they make very good candidates for advanced training like walking on a leash and learning tricks.

However, they’re independent and have a mind of their own. Sometimes, the habits you consider poor behavior are challenging to correct, even with training. For example, your Kinkalow might enjoy watching you cook dinner and refuse to leave the kitchen. They may not jump on the counter or pounce on your food, but it may be difficult to convince them to leave the area.

Although training them requires plenty of patience, it’s best always to use positive reinforcement methods whenever possible. Kinkalows can get their feelings hurt easily, and it’s best to avoid screaming at or scolding them. They are also highly food-motivated, so having treats is a must. It makes your life easier, and it builds trust with your cat.

Kinkalow cat
Image Credit: UW.ART, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Kinkalow should be no problem. They’re incredibly clean animals that never miss a good tongue scrubbing. They do most of the hard work for you and only need to be brushed a few times weekly. However, daily brushing is a great way to remove excess shedding and dander. Plus, it is a way to be affectionate to your cat, creating a bonding experience between you.

Kinkalows don’t need to be bathed often unless they get dirty, but if they need a bath, you can use hypoallergenic cat shampoo to reduce the risk of any chemical irritation. You’ll also need to brush their teeth at least a few times a week, inspect their ears regularly, and trim their nails every month.

Health Conditions 🏥

The Kinkalow can inherit health conditions from either parent; they’re vulnerable to the same conditions as the American Curl and the Munchkin cat. While generally healthy, the Kinkalow has its share of potential genetic and congenital health issues. The best way to keep them healthy is to ensure they maintain regular veterinary appointments at all stages of their life.

When your cat is a kitten, they will go to the vet quite frequently to ensure their growth is on par and that they have all necessary vaccinations. During their first year, you will also have the option to have your cat spayed or neutered and microchipped.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Spinal Issues
  • Degenerative joint disease

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Male vs Female

Male Kinkalows are slightly larger and stockier than their female counterparts. They weigh a few pounds more but have the same bodily structure overall. When it comes to sexual gender differences, both males and females are capable of spraying to mark their territory when they reach maturity at six months. However, the behavior is common in males and typically solved by neutering.

Regarding personality, it’s hard to tell what you will get in either gender. However, males tend to be a little more vocal than their female counterparts. Females might be slightly more selective about who they spend their time with. No matter what, you’re sure to get an affectionate companion.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Kinkalow Cat

1. The Kinkalow Originated in the United States

The Kinkalow cat breed was created by crossing American Curl and Munchkin genes. It’s a real wonder they aren’t in the home of every cat lover around. So, what do you get? This adorably cute folded-eared cat with tiny little legs.

2. Kinkalows Are Extremely Rare

You’ll be lucky to find a Kinkalow kitten since they’re rare. If you’re fortunate enough to find a breeder specializing in Kinkalows, you might have trouble getting your hands on one. The waiting list for a kitten is likely pretty long, but if you’re patient, you may get lucky!

3. Kinkalow Cats Have an “Experimental Breed” Status

The Kinkalow is considered a rare exotic breed. They are still in the experimental breed status from The International Cat Association. In our research, it doesn’t look like the breed is fighting for any other title for the time being.

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Final Thoughts

The Kinkalow is ideal for any family or single owner. The trick will be whether you can find one within a reasonable distance. They’re still in experimental status with the TICA foundation to this day. But if you are lucky enough to find one, you can expect a playful, excitable companion who loves you just as much as you adore them.

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit: Anciens Huang, Shutterstock

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