Though it may look the world of cat fancy got jealous and created a feline Dachshund, the mutation that resulted in the Munchkin’s short legs occurred naturally and randomly. Of course, it was too darn cute to let it happen only once, and thus an intentional Munchkin breeding program was born.
Short of height but long on fun, the Munchkin is a very social, confident, and people-oriented cat. Nothing about their diminutive stature keeps them from a full life of enthusiastic play, though they may have a harder time jumping onto the counter tops: harder, but not impossible.
A lot of controversy has existed around the Munchkin breed with many concerned about the potential health issues such a mutation might cause, as evidenced in dog breeds with similar features. Cats have a far more flexible and mobile spine, however, and thus far there has been no evidence that Munchkin cats suffer from an increased incidence of spinal or other skeletal issues.
Appearance / health:
Munchkins are small to medium sized cats best known for their unusually short legs. They have a somewhat thick body, though not compact, and their back gently slopes upwards from shoulders to tail. Their frame is medium with well-developed musculature. The average weight for male Munchkins is between 6 and 9 lbs, while females are usually between 4 and 8 lbs. The legs are quite short and may be slightly bowed. The tail tapers to a rounded tip, and is not overly thick.
The mutation that created the Munchkin occurred in within the domestic cat population, and thus the head and face of the Munchkin is very classic. The head is proportional with the body, a modified wedge with rounded contours. Ears are also proportional, broad at base and rounded at tip. The eyes are wide-se and walnut shaped, and may come in all possible colors.
The Munchkin may be either long or shorthaired. The short coat has a medium undercoat which gives it somewhat of a plush texture. The long coat is silky and flowing, with shaggy britches and a fully plumed tail. All color combinations and patterns are recognized for this breed.
Despite their resemblance to Corgis and Dachshunds, a cat’s spine is structurally different than a dog’s, and the Munchkin has none of health issues of these short-legged dog breeds. There appears to be a somewhat increased incidence of sway back (lordosis) and hollowed chest (pectus excavatum), but these are conditions which can occur in other breeds.
Behavior / temperament:
The Munchkin is an active, playful, and social cat. Their unusual body structures in no way limits their ability to zoom about the house and play with toys, and though they must make shorter leaps, they are as fond of jumping as any cat. Extremely curious, the Munchkin is known to sit up on their hind legs to observe something that has caught their attention, a position they are able to hold for long periods of time.
Because they love to play and they love company, Munchkins often do very well in households with children. They also tend to be very easy-going around other pets, including dogs and other cats. They enjoy being handled, and when they’re worn out for the day, will enjoy having a lap to cuddle in.
sweet, wonderful lap cats, Playful Munchkins, comical appearance, healthy breed
outdoor cats, stairs
relatively new breed, genetic dwarfism, low rider, genetically short legs
Truly a unique and amazing cat.
We gained a Munchkin family member in the spring of 2014. We had just gotten a calico kitten named Fifi who was about 3 months old and we were outside with her in the yard. Suddenly we hear tiny meows and rustling coming through a very thick patch of kudzu in the woods. Seconds later a teeny tiny scruffy orange scrap of a kitten comes leaping out and running to us. He immediately climbed into my lap and started purring and wanting affection. The poor little guy's fur was completely matted, every bit of it, and he had fleas. My cat fanatic 7 year old son scooped up the kitten, and held him close. He looks at the kitten and says "what?" and holds the cat to his ear for a moment. "He says his name is Finnegan mom." *holds cat to ear again* " But we can call him Finn, or Finny." What could I say other than welcome hone Finny? We ended up finding the former owner of Mr Finn, a very nice man that meant well, but simply didn't know how to Cat very well. He told me that Finn was a Munchkin cat and that's why he looked the way he did. Which was adorable and hilarious. Something about his big ears, little face and stumpy legs just cracked me up. Finn was adorable. He was very affectionate and good natured with the whole family, which includes 3 young boys, as well as with other animals. He rarely strayed far from the yard, preferring instead to be Fifi's shadow and constant companion. He doted on her, and still does to this day. The relationship those two cats have would make many humans jealous! As he grew into an adult, the goofy looking kitten turned into a rather handsome cat. His orange and white fur grew thick, and his legs made him just look compact rather than stunted. Don't think for a second his stature slows him down a bit. This cat is a master of agility! I've nicknamed him "Adventure cat" because he still stays close to home, but will gleefully follow along on hikes in the woods, where he tears up and down trees, up the sides of creek beds and any where else he can find to explore. He is incredible to watch, and runs around in a tree with the ease of a squirrel, I kid you not. Finn recently became the father, sadly the small litter of four only had a single survivor. A little fluffy orange boy we named Egg. Finn shows the same wonderful affection he has for Fifi to his son. He is a very loving and attentive father! To watch him with the kitten is amazing. We will go out in the woods, and Finn will stay far enough behind Egg to allow him to learn independently, but close enough to step in if needed. I saw this in action when Egg managed to get himself caught in a very precarious spot, as soon as he cried out in distress, Finnegan was ON. He jumped across a creek, clawed his way up the steep creek bed and into the thick patch of briar to help his baby. I have never had a cat that has the same level of personality and heart as Mr Finnegan. Munchkin cats are far more than just a regular old kitty on short legs. They are known for their unique and friendly personalities and sense of adventure. I would highly recommend this fantastic breed to any cat lover! .
From Aja Olander Aug 29 2016 2:38AM
Great diet to prevent and treat bladder stones
I highly recommend Hill's Prescription Diet c/d wet food for treatment and prevention of bladder stones. Bladder stones in cats are predominantly composed of either struvite or oxalate minerals. They can be very irritating and lead to pain while urinating, obstruction, blood in the urine, and infection. The c/d diet is formulated to alter the bladder environment to make it unfavorable for stone formation. C/d also comes as a dry kibble. The wet version is recommended because the extra moisture helps to dilute the urine, which reduces inflammation and pain. Oxalate stones always require surgical removal. After surgery, Hill's c/d diet can be used to prevent recurrence. Struvite stones may also be surgically removed, but can also be dissolved without surgery if the cat is placed on a strict c/d diet. Once the stone is dissolved, the c/d diet should be continued to prevent recurrence. The c/d diet is very safe. If you have multiple cats, it is usually okay for all cats to eat this diet. It is only available with a prescription from a vet and is somewhat expensive. In the end it will save money by greatly reducing the chance of bladder stone recurrence. .
From M Teiber DVM 55 days ago