Munchkin Cat Breed Profile | Cat Breeds

Plants toxic to cats
Plants toxic to cats - A - Z guide to toxic plants

cat vaccinations
Vaccinating your cat - Everything you need to know about cat vaccinations.

Hyperthyroidism in cats
Hyperthyroidism - Caused by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland which produces excess amounts of hormones which increase metabolism.

Cat fleas
Cat fleas - Everything you need to know about cat fleas and how to get rid of them.

 

 

Cat World > Cat Breed Profiles > Munchkin Cat Breed Profile

Munchkin Cat Breed Profile

Table of contents

Munchkin cat history   Munchkin appearance   Munchkin temperament   Munchkin care   Lifespan

Munchkin cat history:

Munchkin cat

Munchkin cat Photo by Helmi

The Munchkin cat is a relatively new breed of cat discovered in 1983 that is characterised by its short-legged appearance. The breed is the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation. Originating in the state of Louisiana,  a teacher by the name of Sandra Hochenedel rescued two cats who had been chased under a truck by a dog. Both cats had short legs. Sandra gave away a grey cat, called Blueberry and kept the black one, named Blackberry.  Blackberry was pregnant at the time of her rescue and went on to give birth to four kittens, two of whom also had shortened legs. One of the short legged kittens named Toulouse was given to Kay LeFrance. It is Blackberry and Toulouse who became founders of the Munchkin breed.

Munchkins have a genetic condition known as "achondroplastic dwarfism", which is seen in humans too. It was first observed in a population of cats in the 1930's but these cats disappeared during the war. The condition affects the long bones of the legs, with all other bones in the body unaffected. The gene responsible is dominant, it requires only one copy from the parent to be passed on. The gene is lethal in the homozygous form (ie; the offspring receive two of the gene, one from each parent). As a result, you can not breed Munchkin to Munchkin and domestics are used to outcross to. When mating a Munchkin to a long-legged cat, approximately 50% of the litter will be short legged.

In 1991, the Munchkin was introduced to the general public via a live cat show held at Madison Square Garden. The breed achieved championship status with TICA in 2003

The breed is somewhat controversial among cat fanciers, many of whom have concerns about the breed worried the short legs and long spine will cause  lordosis, which is a downward dip in the spine, which is a condition that affects short legged breeds of dog such as the dachshunds. However, it is claimed that the spine of the cat is much different and  no such problems occur in the Munchkin. The jury appears to still be out on that. Not every cat recognises the Munchkin for the above reasons. Notably the CFA, GCCF and FiFE.

The Munchkin cat is named after the Munchkins from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.

Munchkin cat appearance:

Munchkin catThe Munchkin is a medium sized cat with shorter than average legs. The front legs are around 3 inches long, the rear legs are somewhat longer. Everything else about the Munchkin is proportional to the average sized cat. Care must be taken with outcrossing to avoid bowing of the legs in the breed.

It is still somewhat difficult to define a type as they are outcrossed to domestics, which themselves come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The breed comes in almost every coat colour and pattern and in both short and long hair.

Munchkin cat temperament:

Munchkins are playful, outgoing and it is said that they maintain their kitten-like personality well into adulthood. It is said that Munchkins are easily trainable.

They are social, affectionate and get along well with people, including children and other animals and make a fantastic family pet.

Despite their small stature, the Munchkin can run and jump just like any other cat. They have a similar movement to ferrets.

Munchkin cat care:

Munchkins require little in the way of care. The longhaired Munchkin will require daily grooming to keep the coat from matting.

Lifespan:

12-14 years.

Related content:

Cat Breeds

 

 

Munchkin Cat Breed Profile | Cat Breeds
Cat Breed Profiles
Maine Coon profile Maine Coon
Affectionately known as coonies, the Maine Coon is the largest breed of domestic cat.
Bengal breed profile Bengal
Originally christened the Leopardette, the Bengal cat is a hybridization of domestic cats and Asian Leopard Cats (a small wild cat)
Ragdoll breed profile Ragdoll
The Ragdoll is an extremely laid back and placid breed of cat whose history dates back to the 1960's with a white female cat named Josephine.
Burmese breed profile Burmese
The Burmese cat is a popular breed of cat and for good reason. They are the third most searched breed of cat on this site.
Persian breed profile Persian
One of, if not the most popular breed, the Persian is one of the oldest known breeds of cat.

 

Munchkin Cat Breed Profile | Cat Breeds