KITCHENER Cye may be the world’s shortest cat, but he’s certainly long on charm.
The three-year-old is a Munchkin cat, a variety bred for the genetic mutation that produces very short legs. Owner Sarah Langille of Kitchener, always knew he was particularly short, but now she has the papers to prove it.
Cye, who measures just 13.6 centimetres (5.35 inches) from floor to shoulder, received his official certificate Monday from Guinness World Records.
It’s official — he’s the shortest living cat, says Guinness.
Langille, 25, said she was sitting around at home last fall when a friend remarked that Cye was the shortest cat he’d ever seen.
That piqued their curiosity, and a search online soon revealed two other contenders, both of which loomed above Cye. Mr. Peebles near Chicago measured 16.5 cm (6.5 inches) — he has since died — while Fizzgirl in San Diego clocked in at 15.2 cm (6 inches), well above Cye’s diminutive stature.
Langille decided to contact Guinness, which required a number of tests: she had to provide a videotape of the cat, and certification from a veterinarian who had measured the cat three times with a special instrument.
With his long, normally proportioned body and short legs, Cye looks a bit like a feline dachshund — when he stands up, the eight-pounder actually looks like he’s lying down or crouching. Like many Munchkin cats, he enjoys sitting up on his haunches, rather like a feline meerkat or prairie dog.
Despite his short legs, and a damaged left eye he suffered as a newborn kitten, Cye is playful and active, leaping up to 2.4 metres (8 feet), though his style is more bunny than pussycat. Langille doesn’t let him outside, though, since his short legs make him vulnerable to predators.
Langille’s mother, Gail MacKay, knows his record may not hold forever, but doubts it’ll fall any time soon, since he beat the previous contender by about 2.5 cm. “My vet said the odds of another cat being shorter are slim to none,” MacKay said. “He doesn’t really have legs. He just has paws.”
Langille began breeding the Munchkin cats as a hobby about five years ago, but said she didn’t deliberately set out to breed a supershort animal. She only breeds a few a year, and they are usually spoken for as soon as they’re born.