Flat faced cats have stolen the hearts of cat lovers everywhere. With their rise in popularity on social media and the array of famous flat faced felines, it’s no wonder these breeds have taken the world by storm!
Why do cat breeds have flat faces?
Flat faced cats, or brachycephalic cats, first gained recognition in Europe in the 1800’s. Though the Persians we know and love today have their signature flat facial appearance, that was not always the case. While the original Persians may have had a smaller muzzle then other cat breeds, they still had wide faces and more prominent noses.
It wasn’t until the 1950’s when breeders came across a Persian with a severe genetic mutation resulting in a flat face. Cat lovers fell in love with this feature, so breeders began to breed specifically with this genetic mutation. As the years went by, more and more breeds with flat face features began to come about.
Though these features are adorable, they do come with possible health risks. Many of these breeds are prone to heart conditions, respiratory difficulties, and suppressed immune systems. These cats can still live a long and healthy life, but it’s important to be aware of the possible risks and have an established relationship with a veterinarian.
No matter what, these cats sure are cute! Now that you understand how these furry friends became so flat faced, let’s dive into the 10 best flat faced cat breeds.
The Persian is one of the first known flat faced cat breeds, and are likely the most well known of the 10 breeds. Though the first Persians may not have had the signature look that they do now, their unique appearance is part of what makes these cats so popular among cat lovers.
The Persian is known for their long and luxurious hair, wide eyes, and squishy face. Coming in a range of different coat colors, these cats can have quite the regal appearance. Some of the most popular Persian coat colors are white, cream, and grey. While their coats may be beautiful, their long fur does come with quite a bit of required maintenance. The Persians fur can easily become tangled and matted, so it’s best to factor in at least one quick round of brushing once per day.
While some choose to shave their Persian cats to keep on top of their grooming schedule, this is not needed as long as you commit to regular brushing. As long as you are able to provide the care that this breed requires, the Persian can be an incredible addition to your home. The Persian is known to be extremely loving and laidback, making them a wonderful family cat.
2. Chinchilla Persian (Silver Shaded Persian)
If you are a Persian cat lover, you will fall in love with the Chinchilla Persian. The Silver Persian has all the wonderful qualities of the standard Persian, but with a stocking coat color that is sure to blow you away!
The Silver Shaded Persian often has a light grey hue with a white “backdrop” to their fur and the same long coat that they are known for. Their doll-like facial features and their spectacular fur color sets them apart from the rest, and is a beloved member of the designer cat family due to this.
3. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is truly one of a kind. The popularity of this breed has skyrocketed over the last few years, likely due to how many celebrities have welcomed them into their home. With their signature folded ears and their wide eyes, the Scottish Fold is one of the most adorable cat breeds out there.
The Scottish fold is thought to have originated from a Scottish barn cat that had ears that folded forward, and then went through years of selective breeding to achieve the traits that they carry now. Though breeding programs were started in the 1960’s in attempt to have this breed officially recognized, it wasn’t long before some countries began to take the Scottish Fold off the list of recognized breeds.
The Scottish Fold does come with a long list of possible heart complications, which led to this breed being turned away from official breed recognition. While the Scottish Fold may come with their own list of health risks, people still treasure this unique breed.
4. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is the perfect cat for those who really love the Persian appearance, but don’t want to deal with the grooming requirements. Exotic Shorthairs have a similar look and build, but can even be a bit smaller. Their similar appearance is due to the belief that the Exotic Shorthair was created by crossing the Persian with the American Shorthair, sometimes even with Russian Blues.
Similar to the persian, the Exotic Shorthair is laid back and fun loving. While they can certainly be playful and participate in daily cat antics, they do enjoy living a calm and collected life. With little grooming requirements and their wonderful personality, it’s no wonder this breed is so treasured by cat lovers everywhere.
The Himalayan cat is one for the books. This stunning cat is a mixture of the Persian and the Siamese, giving them the adoring traits that each breed has to offer. The Himalayan has the luxurious coat of the standard Persian, with the points of the siamese. Their ear tips, tail and paws are often brown or blue, pairing perfectly with their usual light blue eyes.
While the Himalayan has the combined personality of both breeds, they often lean more towards the standard characteristics of the Siamese. Himalayans are often laid back, affectionate, and vocal. These cats love to talk to their owners, and make a wonderful chatty friend to have in your home.
Since they do have the long hair of the Persian, this breed does require frequent grooming. It’s best to stick to daily brushing to prevent any tangles and mats.
6. British Shorthair/Longhair
The British Shorthair & Longhair breeds are a way to enjoy a designer breed cat without the common health risks that come along with other brachycephalic cat breeds. The British Short/Longhair has less of a chance of developing dangerous heart and respiratory conditions, but it’s best to still be aware of these possible risks.
This breed is usually a bit more stocky than the other cats on the list, but still has the characteristic flat face and wide eyes. Though their muzzle tends to be a bit more wide than the other breeds on this list, they still have significantly smaller muzzles than standard cat breeds.
Their grooming needs will of course vary depending on if you have a short hair or long haired cat, but each are gorgeous nonetheless. Just make sure to implement daily brushing if you have a British Longhair, and your cat will have luxurious locks that they’ll be proud of. With their calm and loving personality to go along with their endearing appearance, you’ll have a one of a kind furry friend.
The Bombay is known as the “mini panther” of all designer cats. The Bombay is agile, athletic, and an energetic furry friend for an active home. Bombays do tend to have a larger muzzle then other flat faced cats, possibly causing them to be more playful than their fellow designer breed friends due to an easier ability to breathe. Due to this, they also tend to be healthier.
Part of what makes this breed so unique is their signature black coat. They have an all black coat, all black paws, black nose and mouth, and piercing yellow or green eyes. There’s no doubt about it, the Bombay is striking!
The Burmese is similar to a Siamese cat, but with a twist. The Burmese came about when a cat from Burma was bred with a Siamese cat in the US, leading to this stunning designer breed. The Burmese can either be solid brown with darker points, or the signature Siamese color of light brown with darker points.
The Burmese are known to have short and silky fur, meaning they do not require regular grooming. Though they benefit from brushing to reduce any shedding in your home, you won’t have to worry about tangles or mats.
Similar to the Bombay, the Burmes cat is usually incredibly active. Likely due to their muzzles being longer than other flat faced breeds, they are always on the go and ready to play. The Burmese cat is happy to spend their day running around the house and chasing every ribbon in sight, but then cuddling up with their owner on the couch. You truly get the best of both worlds with this stunning breed.
The Burmilla is one of the most stunning breeds on this list. Though they are still considered a flat faced breed, their chin and muzzle is more defined. With their unique coat appearance, defined chin, and piercing eyes, it’s no wonder the Burmilla is so special to designer cat lovers.
The Burmilla is a cross between the Silver Persian and the Burmese. They typically have a white coat with light silver markings, and striking light green or yellow eyes. Their fur can range from short hair to medium hair, but generally does not require much maintenance.
The Burmilla usually lives a long and healthy life due to their longer muzzle shape, and tend to be on the playful side. They enjoy nothing more than playing with their favorite human, and would be a wonderful addition to any home that’s looking for an energetic and loving furry friend.
While the Burmilla is unique, their standard price certainly reflects that. Since they are one of the most rare breeds on this list, they typically cost more.
10. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex has the most unique appearance of all the flat faced breed cats we’ve discussed. We guarantee that you have not seen a cat that looks like the Selkirk Rex, as they sport a long list of physical traits that set them apart from the rest.
The number one characteristic that makes the Rex so special is their long and wavy hair. The Selkirk Rex looks as if they woke up in the morning and crimped their hair, as they have long locks with wavy kinks. Apart from their wavy coat is their constant grumpy expression that presents on their face at all times. Their “forehead” appears to be wrinkled and scrunched, giving them a look of disdain.
Though they may appear grumpy, they are actually extremely lovable. The Selkirk Rex loves to be in the company of others and talk to their favorite humans. With their wavy hair and their talkative personality, it’s no wonder this breed is growing in popularity among cat owners.