Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Genetta

Comparable Breeds
Bengal, Munchkin
Active, playful, social, affectionate, energetic, friendly, alert, smart
Best Suited For
Cat loving families and singles who have the time to devote to an intelligent, active, and attention-seeking pet
12-16 years
Lean, muscular
4-8 lbs
4-12 inches
Genetta Breed History

The Genetta is a new feline breed that is still being developed by breeders at Pawstruk Cattery. This is a dwarf breed that has been bred to feature short legs and marbled or spotted fur. And because of its coat pattern, this little cat can resemble the spotted African Genet.

This unique breed was started by Shannon Kiley in 2006, when she had the idea to create a new cat that would satisfy exotic animal enthusiasts who wished they could own a Genet but couldn’t get one for various reasons, or who simply liked the look of a Genet but wanted an animal with a docile temperament. It was on December 13, 2006 that the first litter of Genetta kittens was born, after Shannon spent time selecting the cats that would be used as the foundation for the new breed.

Even though the Genetta Cat looks like a wild Genet, this is a domestic feline, and no Genets were used to create this breed. Instead, this breed has been developed by crossing Savannahs, SBT Bengals, and Munchkins. However, the Genetta might have Asian Leopard or Serval lineages, as well as Ocicat and Oriental Shorthairs, incorporated into the breed at some point in the future.

Today, the Genetta’s breeders are working on getting it registered by TICA (The International Cat Association). The goal is to have the breed recognized in major cat registries in the future.

The Genetta is a dwarf breed that has been bred to feature short legs and marbled or spotted fur.

Breed Traits

Genettas are energetic, playful, and affectionate kitties. They enjoy being active and will even play fetch. Because they are friendly cats, they make wonderful family pets, and they can get along well with other animals, including dogs.

These alert and smart kitties also require plenty of human interaction and attention. They will seek out your company, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Overall Description

Even though the Munchkin is used to breed the Genetta Cat, these kitties could feature long legs or short legs. In a single litter, there could be both long-legged and short-legged kittens, but the short-legged cats will be considered the “standard” for the breed, while the long-legged felines will be considered “non-standard.”

Long-legged, or non-standard, Genetta Cats might look similar to the Bengal, which is also used to create the Genetta. However, breeders are hoping that, as the Genetta is developed further, even the non-standard kitties will not resemble a Bengal in terms of body type.

The head of a Genetta Cat will be longer than it is wide, and it will form a narrow wedge shape, with the skull curving past the cat’s ears to elongate the appearance of the neck. The ears should be rounded and large, and the tip of the ear should only be a bit smaller than the base. The eyes should be large and slightly slanted, the chin should be weak, the nose should be wide and large, and the neck should be slender and long.

A Genetta’s thick tail should have a puffed appearance, thanks to its fur, and it should be long (preferably longer than the length of the body). The feet are oval and small, and the body, which can be described as long and tubular, should have long, firm, and lean muscles. These cats can even be described as having a weasel-like appearance.


A Genetta Cat could feature several different coat colors. These include snow spotted, silver, brown, and black. You may also see a Genetta sporting a marbled pattern in brown, chocolate, silver, cinnamon, black, or a snow color. Calico, torbie, and white patches are actually considered undesirable for this breed.

Eye colors for the Genetta will include green, amber, and dark brown.

Grooming Requirements

Those who are in search of a low-shedding feline breed may want to consider the Genetta, as these kitties will shed minimally. Also, those cats that have a higher percentage of the Bengal breed in their lineage will end up shedding the least amount, as they will feature a pelt-like, slick, and tight coat.

Overall, grooming requirements for the Genetta are minimal. Brushing your pet once a week should be sufficient as a means to keep the coat looking healthy while bonding with your companion.

Photo credit: Pawstruck

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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