Tea Cup Kitten Anyone?
Veterinarian Reviewed on March 11, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
These tiny kittens will grow to be around 3 to 6 pounds for the female and 3 to 7 pounds for the male, and come in a variety of breeds. Tea cup kittens can be quite expensive and most breeders have a very long waiting list. Tea Cup breeders set their price on two factors: the kittens predicated adult size and how closely these kittens meet the standard for their breed. For example, the largest of the miniature cats will usually be between $350 to over $600 each. Persian kittens that are just a bit smaller will cost you between $500 and $1000 each and the tiniest of the miniature Persians will cost more than $1000 each.
However, most breeders are still working on breeding the perfect size tea cup kitten consistently. This is why most breeders will only be able to give you an estimate of the cat’s adult size based upon the size of the kitten’s parents. Genetics and environmental factors mean there will be a variation in size as well.
When deciding on purchasing one of these tea cup kittens, you will come across two different names: MiniPers and MiniPaws. Bred and developed by Cher Simnitt in California, the MiniPers are Tea Cup and Miniature Persians and Exotics that are not Achondroplastic-type dwarves, but instead are Primordial Dwarves, proportionate in all aspects, just smaller overall than a regularly sized Persian or Exotic.
The MiniPaws were developed by a cattery called My Tea Purdys. They are a hybrid of Tea Cup and Miniature Persians and Exotics, carrying both the Achondroplastic-type and Primordial-type dwarfism. MiniPaws are proportionately small with shortened, stubby, legs.
The most popular type of tea cup kitten is the Himalayan and the Munchkin, which is the only naturally occurring dwarf cat. Munchkins were bred with a Persian cat to develop the Napoleon tea cup kitten; and the Lambkin which was developed by cross breeding a Munchkin with a Selkirk Rex.
The Lamkin’s have very soft curly coats that make them look a lot like miniature lambs.
The Teacup Himalayan kitten is a pedigree breed of cat and is one of the most sought after tea cup kitten. The costs of these kittens are usually between $450 and $1500 and are sold with a certificate of lineage. But are not for the faint hearted cat owner! These cats require extensive commitment to the proper care and grooming of their thick fur.
The newest of the tea cup cat breeds are the Napoleon’s. These cats were bred by Joe Smith and have long, lovely coats and large beautiful eyes that resemble that of the Persians eye’s.
In most catteries these tea cup kittens are bred to be small by inbreeding. The tiniest cat of one breed is bred with the tiniest cat of another breed. Such breeding progresses through the generations in order to perfect the tiniest of tea cup kittens. Frankly speaking, this breeding ultimately results in dwarfism for these cats.
Photo Credit: Cute-n-Tiny
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan