Munchkin is a new cat breed that has attained popularity very recently. Munchkin is a dwarf cat that made its debut in the year 1991. There was a lot a controversy surrounding this cat breeds because many people thought the short and stubby legs of this cat would affect the overall health of these cats. But, time has proved that this relatively short cat has a nice and energetic personality along with good health. The short size of their legs is due to a genetic bone mutation that can appear in domestic cats, but this has been used selectively by breeders to produce cats that look very similar to Dachshunds.
Munchkins come in all different colors, patterns and have the same personality of an average domestic cat. Their short stature doesn’t restrict these cats from doing things that other cats do. He can jump like any other regular cat breed, though jumping on your furniture can be slightly difficult for them. The size of their legs is the only feature that separates them from other cats otherwise they are very much like any other domestic cat.
Munchkin is a cat breed produced due to natural genetic mutation. Short legged cats have been around from 1930s when they were found in England, but these cats disappeared during the World War ll. Such type of cats was also reported in Soviet Union in the 50s and was referred as Stalingrad Kangaroo cats. These cats had the ability to sit up on its haunches. The story of Munchkins originated in Louisiana in the year 1983 when Mrs. Sandra discovered two cats trying to hide under a pickup truck. She took them home and later on noticed that these two cats were pregnant and had short legs.
She kept the black cat with her and gave away the gray one. When her black cat gave birth to kittens she gave one short legged kitten to her friend in Monroe, Louisiana. This kitten had free access to the outside world and came in contact with other cats in the open. This led to an increase in the population of Munchkins around Monroe. These cats were no less than other domestic cat breed and competed well with the other felines for prey and mating.
Sandra and her friend contacted the genetics committee of TICA where a detailed study was conducted on these cats. The study determined that the short and stubby legs were a result of genetic mutation, which was of dominant nature. This had an effect on long bones of the legs of these cats. This mutation was natural and any cat with these dominant genes will have short legs. Many other breeders joined in creating this breed and tried to gain acceptance from TICA for the Munchkin. This cat was named after the little people in the Wizard of Oz.
Their requests were turned down initially for not having sufficient information about the breed. In 1994 finally the Munchkins were granted acceptance and got recognition as a new breed by TICA in the year 1995. After granting the acceptance TICA member, Katherine Crawford resigned as a judge on the ground that the short legs of this cat was a handicap for this breed as it would cause back, leg, and hip problems in the future.
As of today no such problems have been reported in the Munchkins. Even breeders got their munchkins examined through x-rays to check their joints and bones and found no problems. Munchkins attained the championship status in 2003.
The unwarranted controversies related to this cat breed have increased the interest among cat lovers about this cat thereby increasing the popularity of this cat. A lot of media mileage for this breed increased the curiosity for this cat leading to huge public demand, which led to waiting list as their supply was also limited. The supply could not match the demand for this breed.
Munchkin can come in both longhaired and shorthaired versions with a wide array of color and pattern options. The various color options have been created by out crossing this breed that helps in maintaining the genetic diversity of this breed. Munchkins with short hair have medium and rich all weather coat. The semi-long haired versions have long hair with silky and all weather coat. Munchkins can come in Siamese pattern.
These dwarf cats are small to medium sized cats that weigh in the range of 5 to 9 pounds once they are fully grown. Their overall looks are similar to any other domestic cat except for short legs. The spine of cats is different from dogs so the short legs in cats will not result in spinal problems in cats, which is the case with dogs.
You will be surprised to see these short cats leading active and energetic lives just like any other cat. They tend to put a brave fight when they come across difficult situations. The average life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 15 years. Munchkins can cost anywhere from $350 to $500.
Munchkins are outgoing and self assured cats. They enjoy playing with their other feline friends without even being aware that anything is different about them. They seem to be very confident about themselves. Except for jumping on top of bookshelves Munchkins can do everything like regular cats. These short legged cats are good hunters and enjoy a good game. After playing, these cats love to snuggle on your lap and enjoy a good pat.
Munchkin Health and Care
Earlier it was believed that these cats might develop spinal problems, which is commonly found in short legged dog breed, but this fear did not materialize. It is a very healthy cat breed with strong back and legs. Grooming is similar to any other cat breed. Long haired cats need brushing once a week while shorthaired ones need less. Munchkins need food at least twice a day while kittens need more food. There is no special diet you need to follow for this cat breed and stick to the diet what regular cats love to eat.
These are very social cats and love to play, run, chase and play with toys. This bred like the company of children, dogs, cats and even other pets. These curious cats tend to sit on their hind legs just like a rabbit to get a good view of things. These lovable cats have a tendency to capture more hearts.
Munchkin with Children and Pets
These social and outgoing cats like the company of children and enjoy playing games with them. This people loving cats get along well with dogs, cats and other pets in the house. They enjoy their company to the fullest.
Munchkin is a good family cat with all the regular features of domestic cats except with short legs. Munchkin cats are a breed like no other, both in looks and personality. Munchkins are full of life, with an unflappable spirit that allows them to act a lot bigger than their short legs let on. With their short stature, Munchkins have an adorable quality that is both comic and charming. Munchkins have an unquenchable thirst for fun and exploration, but also appreciate a good cuddle from time to time – often purring louder than other cats due to the excitement. Overall, Munchkin cats bring so much joy and unique energy into the lives of those lucky enough to own them.