Adorable and cuddly, teacup cats have become a very popular choice for people looking to buy a pet. As one of the world’s smallest cat breeds, they are considered rare and are a “specialty” type of cat.
They fall into the “miniature” category of small cat breeds, of which there are three types: dwarf, miniature, and teacup. All of these have distinct variations.
True teacup cats are small versions of regular cats and all their features are in proportion to their body size.
The proportion rule is crucial to remember when looking for a true teacup cat, as some breeders will try to sell dwarf or miniature cats (which are technically different breeds with different proportions) as teacup cats, when they are not.
Dwarf cats have smaller legs with bigger bodies, Breeders may not do this deceptively; many simply don’t understand the subtle differences between dwarf, miniature, and teacup breeds.
However, some less scrupulous breeders may claim to have teacup cats, when they are actually selling a fully-grown cat who just happened to be the runt of the litter.
Weight is another factor that can be used to determine if a cat truly meets the “teacup” definition. While standard female adult cats weigh 11-14 pounds, with toy female cats weighing 7-9 pounds.
True teacup female cats weigh 3-6.5 pounds on average.
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For males, standard adult cats weigh 12-17 pounds. Male adult toy cats range between 8-10 pounds, and true teacup males weigh in the range of 3-7.5 pounds.
The breed of the cat is another way to know if it is a teacup or not. The only true teacup breed in the United States is called a “Teacup Persian,” known as the MiniPer or MiniPurr.
Of all the types of Persians, silver and golden ones are the most in-demand as teacups. It is crucial to note that teacup cats are not officially recognized as a breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association and are usually the result of inbreeding, given the overall rarity of the necessary “teacup” genes.
The breeding process can be very time-consuming and difficult.
Small Comes at a Big Price
Due to their small size and the breeding process, teacup cats can have a host of serious health problems. Since the are so small, they should not be adopted or purchased before they reach the age of 5 months, as it is too difficult to care for them at home before this time.
Teacup cats will likely not live as long as standard size cats.
Some of the health problems they can experience include heart murmurs and enlargement of the heart, seizures, possible blindness, soft bones that grow abnormally, bowed legs, reduced muscle mass, and limb weakness.
True teacup cats purchased from breeders generally cost between $1000-2000.
Extra Care Needed for Teacups
Teacup cats need loving homes, just as all cats do, and they can be just as loyal and gentle as any standard-sized cat would be. They need extra-special care and attention, particularly in their first year of life.
They should be examined by a veterinarian within 3 days of purchase and may need more frequent veterinary care throughout their lives than standard size cats.
Nevertheless, they can be the perfect feline friend for many people and are ideally suited to those who have lots of time for them and for people who live in smaller spaces.