What do you get when you mix a dash of doll-like Persian and a pinch of the petite Munchkin? None other than the Minuet — a baby-faced feline who is every bit as sweet as her saccharine looks imply.

The name game

The breed isn’t named after the elegant, French-bred dance that swept European ballrooms in the 18th century. Rather, she earned her posh moniker from renowned emperor Napoleon ‘Minuet’ Bonaparte! Why? They are both known for being distinctively short! The Minuet was originally known as the Napoleon Cat; however, The International Cat Association (TICA) elected to change the name to Minuet in 2015. The Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF) still refers to the Minuet as the Napoleon Cat.

All American

The Minuet was developed in the United States by Basset Hound breeder Joe Smith, of Blueline Cattery. Smith was fascinated by the Munchkin cat and her genetics, so in 1996, he began crossing the Munchkin with the Persian. It was Smith’s hope that he could create a breed with universal appeal — and he did! In 2001, Smith registered the Minuet with TICA as an Experimental Breed; by 2002, the Minuet had been bumped to Registration Only status and has now reached Champion status.

Coat check

While many breeds come in a handful of hues, the Minuet comes in every color and pattern of the rainbow. Even better, her coat can be long or short, so the variations are endless for her lush, soft-to-the-touch mane.

Roly poly

Medium in size, with a low-slung form that mimics that of a Dachshund, the Minuet carries herself regally upon her short legs. Her head, muzzle and cheeks are perfectly round, giving her a true baby vibe, while short, rounded ears contribute to her overall circular aesthetic.

Photo: Yetsu Yamazaki

As sweet as she looks

Affectionate, good-natured, lovable and caring, the Minuet is the pièce de résistance! She lives to love and will sprinkle that love upon her humans every chance she gets. Until she lets her curiosity get the best of her, that is. She may look as innocent as can be, but that innocence is laced with inquisitiveness.


The Minuet has an energetic spirit, so she rarely passes up the chance to climb or jump. But her true forté is running. Though her legs may be itty bitty, she is one mighty feline when she wants to move, taking corners at breakneck speed and resembling a furry race car as she zooms around the house!

Fun Fact: In order to achieve those doll-like looks, Joe Smith actually used a doll-faced Persian,
as opposed to a modern Persian. Doll-faced Persians have a perma-sweet expression and longer nose than their modern counterparts!

Leg lessons

Minuets don’t always have short legs. The dominant gene in Minuet breeding is for short legs; however, all short-legged cats carry the recessive gene for long legs. In order for a Minuet to have short legs, at least one of her parents must have short legs. With that sentiment in mind, a standard Minuet is one who has short legs, whereas the non-standard Minuet is her long-legged counterpart. Regardless of leg length, they still share the same adorable looks and personality.

Family feline

Human-oriented and bursting with love, the Minuet makes the absolute perfect cat for a mixture of families — from young couples to those just adding babies to their brood. She adores being cuddled, snuggled, carried and pet, so families with gentle children are a fave. But don’t worry — she’s not one to discriminate against singletons. As long as you’re showering her with love and affection, you’re a superstar in her eyes!


The Minuet loves her people, but she won’t demand your time. A self-starter who knows how to entertain herself, the Minuet will meet you at the front door when you return home from work and follow you from room to room to show how much she cares. That said, she isn’t opposed to trotting away and playing on her own (or with another family pet) from time to time.

Loyal and loving

The Minuet is fiercely devoted and will stay loyal to her preferred person until the end of time. Consider her your sassy soulmate.

Read Next: The Orange Tabby Cat — 8 Fun Facts

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