5 Things to Know About Minskin Cats

Lovable and playful, these rare cats have a generally healthy constitution and get along well with other animals.

By: Paul McSorley
They love being lap cats. By: Paul McSorley

1. Key Characteristics

  • Height: 7–8 inches
  • Weight: 4–6 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12–15 years

The minskin looks something like the corgi of the cat world, with its short legs and stocky body. The cats are outgoing and affectionate with a unique coat (or perhaps lack thereof). They have round heads, large ears and large, round eyes.

The belly is hairless, but there are patches of fur on some parts of the body (face, ears, tail, legs and nose).

2. Where They Came From

Minskin cats have Boston roots. Cat fancier Paul McSorley wanted to create a cat with points of fur similar to the color points on a Siamese. Beginning in 1998, he crossed a hairless Sphynx with a munchkin and later crossed Burmese and Devon rex cats.

He achieved his desired result in July 2000. Breeding efforts continued, and by 2005 there were 50 new cats. According to The Cat Encyclopedia, the name is a combination of the words “miniature” and “skin.”

Because the cats are still considered a new breed, the International Cat Association is monitoring the development of the breed (minskins are not listed on the Cat Fanciers’ Association website).

3. How Friendly Are They?

Minskins are engaging and affectionate. They love people and children. They absolutely live to greet you at the door when you come home. These cats also enjoy spending time with dogs and other felines. They are intelligent, playful and entertaining — in other words, a cat lover’s dream.

One common characteristic of minskins is their love for being lap cats. A virtual heating pad, a minskin will enjoy tremendously snuggling with you.

4. Is This the Right Cat for You?

Exercise Needs

MEDIUM: Minskins are as active as most other cats, but they can’t jump as high because of their short legs. This won’t stop them, though. Being quite creative and clever, they will use various pieces of furniture to reach their destination, sort of like cat parkour.

Note that minskin cats should not be allowed outdoors for several reasons:

  1. Their coats are sensitive.
  2. They are affectionate and trusting with everyone (even other animals) and may not identify dangers or threats.
  3. Their uniqueness may make them a target for theft.
  4. They may get lost or injured.

Grooming Needs

LOW: Minskin cats have little hair, so you don’t need to worry about brushing. Just wipe the coat down occasionally as needed. After baths, wrap your little buddy in a warm towel to keep the chill off.

Minskins’ large ears need regular cleaning, so make this a part of your routine to prevent ear infections. Teeth cleaning and nail trimming are also grooming priorities.

Health Problems

LOW: Minskins are generally healthy. But keep them warm — their scant hair makes them sensitive to temperature extremes.

Because the minskin breed was created by crossing other cat breeds, your cat may experience health problems common to those breeds, including:

  • Spine curvature
  • Concave or sunken chest
  • Heart problems (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Eating more during winter
  • Ear infections
  • Eye irritation

Learn more about this lovable breed in this video:

5. Where to Adopt One

In a recent search on several websites, the minskin breed was not listed. Additionally, we couldn’t find any rescues. If you have your heart set on one, contact a breeder — but make sure you know the breeder is not running a kitten mill.

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