orange persian cat with fluffy tail sleeping on a chair head on paws

10 Popular Flat-Faced Cat Breeds

Let’s be honest. All cats are adorable, but there are a few special breeds that just melts your heart every time you see them. Flat-faced cat breeds belong to that group, mostly because of their beautiful face and sociable, gentle nature.

From the shoe button eyes to that squishy pug-nose, everything about these cats is absolutely adorable!

While they are soft and squishy, they’re also living beings, so you can’t always adore them- especially when they don’t want the affection. Interestingly enough, most flat-faced cats love cuddling to the fullest, and you’ll get a living hug machine if you pet one.

It’s hard to resist their sweetness, and it’s time for us to introduce you to some of the most famous flat-faced cat breeds.

Munchkin Cats

silver and grey tabby munchkin kitten standing on grey fleece

It’s in the name. Munchkin cats are teeny tiny kitties with big round beautiful eyes that will make even the coldest of people feel happy! They’re commonly known as the dachshund of cats because of their short legs and flat faces.

Munchkins are cheerful, playful felines that can pack a punch above their weight with their never-ending energy.

They’re excellent posers, and their rounded contours add more to the gracefulness. They can sit up on their back legs when they need adoration and affection.

Munchkin cats are easily trainable, intelligent, and active breeds. They absolutely love learning new tricks and different puzzle toys. These beautiful felines are perfect as indoor cats and are one of the most popular flat-faced cat breeds.

Persian Cats

orange persian cat with fluffy tail sleeping on a chair head on paws

One might say that Persian cats are the single most famous felines in the world, and we do believe that they belong to the list of most popular cats in the world.

They’re widely appreciated for their jewel-like eyes and luxurious coats. These are docile cats and are sweet and gentle in nature. They’re what we call quintessential lapcats, as all they want is to lay down on your lap and get adoration!

Persian cats tend to have a stocky frame, a large head, alongside a beautiful broad chest. The wide-spaced eyes, flat face, and upturned nose go very well with their beautiful silky fur.

These are special cats that require daily grooming and taking care of, so you need to do regular cleaning if you want to keep them healthy and happy.

At times, you’ll feel like your Persian cat is a royal highness and needs to be treated like a queen all the time. But apart from that, they’re very relaxed and easygoing. They prefer a serene, calm environment and completely avoid chaos.

Persian cats tend to snuggle up on their bed or on your soft sofa. They’re what we call ‘the perfect’ indoor cat.

Himalayan Cats

chocolate point himalayan cat loafing on lawn with eyes closed

If you’re not an avid cat lover, you might actually mistake a Himalayan cat for a Persian cat because they have similar looks and postures. Himalayan cats, also called Himmies or Himmy, are a docile and sweet breed.

They’re basically ornamental cats, as they prefer to snuggle up to the sofa or your lap and rest…forever!

The difference between Persians and Himmies is that a Himmy cat tends to reserve its attention only for the family and the guests that it trusts.

They also prefer a calm and quiet environment and the usual meals. This cat breed requires affection, a little playtime every day. Since they have long coats, they also require daily grooming. Himalayan kitties are thought to be one of the most expensive cats in the world.

Exotic Shorthair Cats

tabby exotic shorthair cat lying on side on white sofa

While it’s true that Persian cats change the whole outlook of your house, it’s also true that they aren’t particularly easy to take care of. The grooming requirements might seem a bit too much to many, and there’s a solution to this.

Yes, we’re talking about the beautiful Exotic Shorthair cats. They, too, have button eyes and a smooshed face – but they’re way easier to take care of.

These are velvet cuties that are playful and will love even the smallest of gifts. Move a toy in front of it and see how these gracious kitties love it! They’re naturally docile and kind felines and tend to lie down on the sofa, waiting for your cuddles and affection.

Exotic Shorthair cats are ‘purrfect’ for active families and get along pretty well with other pets.

Scottish Fold Cats

close up of a grey scottish fold kitten lying in sphinx pose on a bed

They’re often called ‘flops’ because of their cute, folded ears that resemble teddy bears. Scottish Fold cats have round, squishy faces with short noses, rounded paws, and big beautiful eyes. They require weekly grooming, and you’ll have to use different skin oils and other cosmetic items to keep them clean and healthy. 

The Scottish fold is moderately active, expressive, friendly, and very playful kitties. Not to mention, they’re quite intelligent and agile.

You can test their agility and intelligence with teaser toys. They prefer a companion alongside them and don’t like to be left alone for long periods at all. Even if its companion is another pet- they’re fine with it.

British Shorthair Cats

orange british shorthair cat lying on a wooden garden table in a sphynx pose on a sunny evening

Shorthair cats are often deemed a bit too playful and a tad bit aggressive to some extent. Interestingly enough, the British Shorthair breed is relatively calmer and doesn’t prefer to do a lot of exercises. They have large golden-yellowish eyes that make them look surprised all the time- which looks super adorable, truth be told!

Unlike another Shorthair on the list, the exotic shorthair- the British shorthair cat’s nose isn’t turned up. These flat-faced fur babies are quite stocky and stronger than other cats.

But that doesn’t mean they should be left alone- this just means they’re healthier than the likes of Persian and Scottish Folds. They’re quite low maintenance, just feed them on a regular basis and clean them- that should do!

Burmese Cats

grey burmese cat with green eyes lying on cream bedding staring to distance

As the name suggests, these are cats that originated from the Myanmar-Thailand border. They’re very curious, playful, and energetic kitties. The thing about Burmese cats is that they’re way more energetic than most other types of brachycephalic cats.

This highly intelligent breed enjoys human companionship and is very fun to play with- be it the usual play fetch or other games!

They have soft and silky fur and a quite sturdy body- a reason why it’s often described as ‘brick wrapped in silk.’ They are classed as flat-faced cats but the characteristic is less pronounced than in other flat-faced breeds like Persians. They’re relatively low maintenance and don’t require regular brushing or bathing.

Perhaps the best part about them is that they’ll be active and playful the whole day and curl up like a furry ball in their beds and sleep- just like us, humans!

Bombay Cats

young bombay cat with yellow eyes peering out from under a thin leafed houseplant

This breed of cats originated from Burmese cats, but they’re quite different considering their nature and looks. These are flat-faced felines that will enjoy a little meet & greet with you every time you get home from outside.

They get along well with children, older people, and other pets. Even though they look strong, they’re actually massive softies and loves affection to the fullest.

They sometimes look like mini black panthers, with a black coat, piercing yellow eyes, rounded heads, and muscular frames. They love to get on trees and have a clear sky view of everything that’s happening beneath them.

Bombay cats are quite playful and are quite athletic, to say the least. They are curious cats, so you can easily occupy them with different cat toys. Just like the Burmese cats, they too are low maintenance and only require weekly brushing.

Burmilla Cats

silver burmilla cat with green eyes in lying pose

As you can guess from the name, Burmilla cats are a mix of Burmese and Chinchilla cats. Truth be told, the mix turned out to be amazing, as they’re one of the cutest flat-faced cats in the world!

These soft fur balls are worth looking at all day long! They have broad, shallow muzzles that complement their big round eyes. Expectedly, Burmilla cats are one of the most expensive cats ever.

Unlike many other flat faced cats, they have a very well-defined chin, something that makes them look sharper and more beautiful.

In fact, their less-smooshed face is what attracts people. Burmilla cats are popular family pets, mostly because they love cuddles and bond well with children. They’re a bit picky about bathroom hygiene, so we’d suggest you pick a top-quality cat litter for this beautiful creature!

Selkirk Rex Cats

grey curly haired selkirk rex cat with yellow eyes in sitting pose on kitchen table

We wrap up our list with another breed of beautiful fur babies- the Selkirk Rex cats. These exquisite felines have smushed flat faces and plush tousled coats. The curly coats aren’t the only unique thing about them, though, as their whiskers also curl- making them look even cuter!

Another interesting feature about these cats is that their face looks like they’re smiling! Imagine a furry ball of happiness roaming around your room, smiling- sounds heavenly, no?

These kitties absolutely love cuddling and will walk around you for attention. Because of their unique fur, they’re often called ‘cats in sheep’s clothing.’

Selkirk Rex cats aren’t prone to tear duct issues, which is common amongst other flat-faced cats. They require occasional brushing twice or thrice a week, but apart from that, they’re quite easy to maintain. Just play with them with maybe a fishing pole toy or flashlight beam- and see how happy they get! 

Health Concerns With Flat Faced Cats

Smushed face cats actually have a specific medical term to describe their flat faces. They are called brachycephalic cats. Brachycephalic is a phrase derived from a Greek word meaning “short head”. Essentially, the bones of the skull are shortened creating a pulled-in look on the nose and cheekbones. Whilst this is a desired look in some cat breeds as it adds to the cuteness of the breed it can also lead to problems with cats that have the condition. 

Some of the medical issues that brachycephalic cats are prone to include:

  • Breathing Issues
  • Protruding Eyes
  • Eye Infections
  • Misaligned Bite
  • Facial Skin Conditions
  • Increased Dental Disease
  • Difficulties Giving Birth

Breathing Issues

Flat-face cats may suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome. This is a condition that causes the cat breathing difficulties and is caused by a narrow nasal passage, smaller than normal nostrils, and larger than normal soft palate. Basically, the cat may struggle for breath as their breathing is simply restricted by their anatomical structure.

Protruding Eyes

This may not seem like an obvious problem but in some cases, the eyelids can be too small leading to issues with the cat’s cornea being overexposed. This can lead to a condition called exposure keratitis.

Eye Infections

The change in the bone structure of the cat’s face can lead to issues with tear ducts. Tear ducts would normally drain into the nose but in flat-faced cats, this process may not be as efficient leading to permanent ocular discharge, or teary eyes. Whilst this in itself might not be too troublesome it may promote an increased likelihood of eye infections.

Close up side shot of the flat face of a white persian cat with green eyes

Misaligned Bite

It goes without saying that shortened facial bones and changes to the face structure that alter the upper or lower jaw could potentially lead to bite issues. Additionally, a cat with poor bite alignment might end up with a drooling problem that could be messy! A misaligned bite is known to contribute to an increase in dental disease in sufferers.

Facial Conditions

Smooshed face cats tend to have additional skin folds on their face created by a normal amount of skin hanging on a smaller face. These folds can be breeding grounds for skin infections and conditions especially given that brachycephalic cats may also suffer from ongoing watery eyes and excessive drooling which can make skin conditions more prevalent.

Difficulties Giving Birth

Not an obvious issue at first glance until you learn that the conditions which give rise to shortened facial bones also create problems in the cat’s pelvic structure and size. Often, brachycephalic cats have a smaller pelvis that can lead to delivery problems during birth.

In principle, it would be smart to stay away from individual cats that display excessive evidence of this condition. 

In our opinion, the potential health issues associated with the condition do not warrant the perceived rewards in the standards of cuteness the cat owner may infer from a cat with an excessively flat face. 

Some breed standards such as that for the British Shorthair issued by the GCCF actually demand that the facial profile of the cat is not over short and give guidelines on permitted nose length in an effort to reduce health issues in the cats and to re-establish a more natural breed profile.
You can read more about treating brachycephalic cats here.

Final Words

Cats are one of the most adorable animals all around the world, and when it comes to flat-face cat breeds, they’re one of the cutest pets ever! While we really love the fact that you’re interested in cats, we should remind you- petting a cat is no easy job.

They require constant attention and care, so only pet one if you have the time and the intent to do so!

We hope you’ve learned at least something about smooshed face cats from this article!