The Napoleon "journey" began with the Wall Street Journal's publication of the article on the Munchkin on June 12, 1995. Joe Smith was immediately enamored with the short legged cat. Having been a Basset breeder he felt it was about time the short legged gene came to the cat world. He loved the Munchkin cat but felt that the unavoidable long legged versions were indistinguishable from what was filling up animal shelters all over the country. In his mind, something had to be done to create a cat unique in both short and long legged versions ... something that "looked" purebred. He chose the Persian Breed Group for these reasons, boning and beauty. The Napoleon standard was written with this in mind.
This is where the breed has the best of both worlds. The Munchkin has contributed a comical, outgoing, and active personality combined with the Persian Breed Group that makes them a hands on lap cat that enjoys petting and snuggling, also. The perfect combination to produce a personable cat with minimal grooming. The breed is attentive to it's humans needs, they are not overly vocal or demanding. They adjust well to people and other animals. They are family orientated and can bond to more than just one person.
Round! Stunning eye candy. The cat should appear round everywhere starting with a perfectly round head, a round forehead that flows into a round face with large round expressive eyes set far apart. The nose should be broad with nostrils that are easy to breathe out of. The Napoleons have an open sweet expression, never appearing grouchy or mad. There should be no tearing of the eyes associated with a show quality specimen.
One of the striking traits is the luxurious flowing coat, in any color, including the pointed varieties from the Himalayan out-crosses. It is a low maintenance manageable coat, requiring an occasional combing. Unlike the Persian, the coat should have less undercoat, not cottony, therefore requiring less grooming but still impressive and flowing. Another difference from the Persian is the tail should be as long as the cat's body, reaching at least to the neck, with a flowing plumed tail on the long haired cats. Clean rounded tips of ears are desired with generous ear furnishings on the sides.
The body should be semi-cobby and well rounded. The back should be straight from front to back, however, the legs may be longer in the back presenting a slight rise to the rump. Napoleons should not be small cats, the standard says medium. The boning should be medium to substantial.
The breed is a hybrid breed, still in the foundation development stage with breeders blending the two acceptable out-crosses, the Munchkin Breed Group and Persian Breed Group. This creates the distinctive Napoleon look overall and helps to create individual line looks that meet the standard. At this time the breed has not determined a time frame to close the out-crosses. The breed also comes in a short haired variety which comes from both the acceptable out-cross of the short haired Munchkin and Exotic Short Hair, which is included in the Persian Breed Group.