With fascinating histories, striking good looks, and personable dispositions, it’s no wonder that many flat-faced cats are among the most popular cat breeds.
The sovereign of all smooshy-faced cats is undoubtedly the sweet-natured Persian. With ancestors hailing from the Middle East and Asia, they come in many different colors: white, cream, gray, and orange are some of the most popular. Low to the ground and stocky, these glamorous cats aren’t big jumpers—instead, they’re more than happy to nap all day in a favorite cozy spot.
Himalayan (Colorpoint Persian)
The Himalayan gets his flat face from Persian lineage, but his gorgeous colorpoint coat and striking blue eyes come from his Siamese parent. Playful and curious, Himalayans are quite fond of cat toys and cuddles. Like all the flat-faced cats on this list, Himalayans have particular grooming needs to maintain their fine looks. But instead of a chore, think of brushing your cat as bonus bonding time.
For a long-living and peaceful companion, look no further than the British longhair. This chatty kitty will curl up beside you for up to 15 years! You can teach the longhair any number of tricks, as she’s quite bright and eager to be engaged—with a little persuasion, that is. Motivate her to exercise a little more each day by running a feather wand up and down a cat tree or through a cat wheel.
The longhair’s parent breed is the British shorthair. His Roman forebears arrived in England centuries ago as dedicated vermin hunters on farms, but this handsome plushie with adorable chubby cheeks adapted to indoor cat life well. Today, shorthairs are a prominent feature on the cat show circuit. This kind and affectionate kitty becomes fast friends with dogs, kids, and other cats with proper socialization and introductions.
As one of the most popular short-haired cats in the world, it’s easy to think the elegant exotic shorthair would let fame go to her head and be a total hands-off diva. To the contrary, she’s devoted to her humans and loves one-on-one time with them—so much so that she might develop a little separation anxiety if left alone too long.
Easygoing, spunky, and charming, the Scottish fold is a rarer flat-faced cat breed. While the folded ears (which are caused by a genetic mutation) aren’t guaranteed to all kittens in a litter, the lush coat is. That fur does shed, but weekly brushing helps control the fluff. Also known as the Highland fold, this is one smart kitty who loves to play games, totally dispelling the myth of the aloof feline.
If you want a cat that’s more athlete than couch potato, meet the Burmese. The question is … which one do you bring home? According to the Burmese Cat Club, there are two types to choose: the American and the European. An American Burmese has a wider head, more rounded eyes, and is often stockier, whereas the European Burmese has a wedge-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, and is a little more lean. Neither are as flat-nosed as other breeds on this list, but both share an endearing, almost dog-like social temperament. In fact, you can train them to fetch and perform other fun tricks.
A munchkin is about 3 inches shorter than the average cat, but stands tall with feisty cuteness. Considered one of the top small cat breeds, munchkins are social, energetic, and a teeny bit rascally—they have a knack for stealing shiny objects and stashing them away! But because the short-legged mutation can be fatal if two munchkins are bred together, it’s essential to research ethical munchkin breeders so you get a healthy kitten.
The bright and cheerful Selkirk rex is an all-American kitty with European and Asian roots. A cross between a Persian, British shorthair, and exotic shorthair, she was first bred in the 1980s in Montana. The coat is the breed’s staple and is either loose and wavy or tightly curled. What’s more, kittens within the same litter can have one type or the other! This sweetheart loves to follow her humans around in anticipation of enriching playtime, but she’s equally happy to warm the couch cushions for you.
A little-known flat-faced cat is the sleek Burmilla. His parents are a silver-coated chinchilla Persian and a Burmese, providing him with a double-dose of good looks, intelligence, and effervescent personality. This kitty is a prime adventure cat—he responds well to leash and harness training and loves to explore the world while on hikes with you. He also enjoys lazing about in catios with high perches.
As one of the few solid black cat breeds, the muscular Bombay was created to resemble the Indian black leopard. This American shorthair and Burmese cross inherited traits from the parent breeds such as athleticism, friendliness, and deep love for their humans. Depending on the breeding program, she might also have much less of a smooshed face than others on this list, but have your vet check her out for a clean bill of health just to be sure.