What Is a Munchkin Cat: Temperament, Health, Care, and Other Characteristics
If you think that all breeds of cats have existed for a long time, then that’s not the case. Munchkin cats are considered a relatively new breed. These unique cats have long made their way among Americans. However, among the breeders, there is still debate about the feasibility of the breeding. Since this is a new breed, research into its features is still ongoing. We want to share with our readers the information that is already known about these cats. Each breed is somewhat unique and in some ways hikes with others. Let’s find out what makes Munchkin cats unique. Enjoy the reading!
Munchkin Cat Info
- Munchkin cat origin: United States.
- Munchkin cat type: semi-longhair.
- Munchkin cat size: 5-7 inches and 6-9 pounds.
- Munchkin cat lifespan: 12-15 years.
- Munchkin cat colors: black, white, grey, red, brown, silver, etc.
Munchkin Cat History
Until the outbreak of World War II, this breed was popular, but with its beginning, there were almost no representatives of the breed. The starting point in history is considered to be 1983 when the teacher of music decided to adopt a pregnant cat. The woman’s name was Sandra Hochenedel. When the kittens were born, the woman noticed that most kittens have short legs.
What Is a Munchkin Cat?
This breed was introduced to the general public in 1991. However, it still has some problems with official recognition. TICA and the South African Cat Council are the only agencies that recognize these cats. Others believe the breed is confirmed by many genetic problems and should not be bred. Despite such controversy, this breed is popular in the United States. How are munchkin cats made? This breed is the result of spontaneous genetic mutations. Munchkin’s short legs are caused by a gene that makes the leg bones shorter than in standard breeds. The breeders claim that breeding these cats from two Munchkins is impossible since then the offspring will die. An interesting fact is that cats with long legs can have this gene and pass it on to the offspring.
Munchkin Cat Characteristics
Outwardly, these cats differ from others only in the length of their legs. However, there is also a division between themselves, but we will talk about this a little later. This breed is often called dachshund cats. What does a munchkin look like? Their body is elongated and muscular. The head is wide, wedge-shaped, slightly tapering towards the chin. The ears are small, set wide apart, and rounded at the tip. The eyes are large and expressive can be of such shades: green and crimson. Also, cats of white color can have eyes of different colors. The tail is slightly thickened, conical, always raised upwards. Despite the short legs, they are massive and strong with small round pads. This breed is considered semi-longhaired but both short-haired and longhaired cats are found. The most varied colors are one-color, bicolor, and tricolor. Let’s look at other characteristics.
Munchkin Cat Temperament
They are active and friendly cats that usually get along well with children and other pets. They are very curious and enjoy learning about their environment. And even when they become adults, the cats do not lose their curiosity and playfulness. In other words, Munchkin cat personality can be characterized as sociable, intelligent, and socially active. Cat behavior experts are convinced that this breed is confident in itself. However, they also have several strange habits. For example, collect different things in the house and hide them like a magpie. It may seem strange to you, but this kind of Munchkin cat behavior is considered the norm. Therefore, we do not recommend leaving valuables in a conspicuous place or spend a little time teaching the cat to touch only its toys.
Munchkin Cat: Full Grown Size
This cat is usually 5-7 inches tall and Munchkin cat weight about 6-9 pounds as adults. It usually reaches full adult size at 9–12 months of age. Therefore, Munchkin cats are considered medium-sized breeds. Factors affecting final size include nutrition, general health, quality of life, and other environmental factors.
Types of Munchkin Cats
There are two types of cats of this breed:
- Short-haired. Representatives of the first type have a plush coat of medium length, the latter has a semi-long silky hairline. The colors of munchkins can be very diverse – all possible combinations are allowed. The most common in short-haired cats are variations of the Siamese color and all types of colors with a pattern.
- Long-haired. Such representatives are rarer, but elegant silvery, smokey, and bicolor colors are popular among them.
How to Take Care and Train a Munchkin Cat?
These cats are unpretentious in keeping and do not require special care. It is enough to groom them once every couple of weeks, and for long-haired cats, it is better once a week. The cat should be bathed every 3-4 months, and then dried thoroughly so that it does not catch a cold. Regularly clean cats ears from accumulated dust and wax with a moistened cotton swab, keep eyes and teeth clean. As for the claws, you can trim them or buy a special scratching post. Particular attention should be paid to your pet’s diet. Consult a veterinarian who will find super-premium professional food for your cat. If you are going to feed your cat “natural”, then make sure that it receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals. To maintain a muscle corset, a large amount of protein is required. For this, lean meats, offal, cereals, boiled vegetables, dairy products, once a week – boiled sea fish or egg yolk are suitable. Fatty, smoked, or salty delicacies from the master’s table are strictly prohibited, as well as overfeeding. Otherwise, the cat is at risk of obesity. What do you know about Munchkin cats training? They are very smart cats, so it is easy to train them to the litter box. You can train the cat to stand on its hind legs at your request, clearly articulating the command and treating the pet with something tasty for a completed task. Many breeders recommend developing a kitten’s intelligence with the help of special toys or outdoor games, where the pet could show its resourcefulness. Never scold or punish your cat, otherwise, it may lose confidence in you.
Do Munchkin Cats Have Health Problems?
These are healthy cats with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. But, like any breed, these kittens can have certain health problems. In most cases, they will have heart problems, urinary tract infections, and pancreatitis. The point is that they are a relatively new breed and they are still considered a healthy breed. However, since their legs are very short, it is very important to avoid obesity. It’s unclear if conflicting leg mutations could cause other health problems or spinal problems. This breed is relatively young, so experts still have a lot to explore. However, there is one of the Munchkin cat health problems, which is discussed a lot. It is a lordosis of the spine (sprain in the thoracic region) but it is rather a genetic issue. You can help your cat stay healthy by visiting your veterinarian regularly.
Munchkin Cat Genetics
An autosomal dominant gene is present here. Only heterozygous (short-legged) cats can transmit this gene. Mating of two parents of this breed with short and long legs has the following percentage of offspring:
- 25% unviable;
- 50% short legs;
- 25% normal.
In simple terms, the scientists argue that kittens with two copies of the munchkin gene will not develop in the womb. Kittens with one Munchkin gene and one normal gene will be short-legged Munchkin cats. Kittens with two normal genes will be normal. But any of the kittens will be able to pass the Munchkin gene to their offspring.
Munchkin Cat Facts
- The cat’s name comes from the little character Munchkin from the book “A The Wizard of Oz”. They are also called “sausage cats”.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the shortest recorded cat is Lilieput, a female Munchkin cat from Napa, California. Height from floor to shoulder in 2013 was 5.25 inches.
- Paris Hilton has two cats of this breed.
- One of the features is their ability to stand on their hind legs like dogs.
Now the Munchkin cat breed is very popular because of its uniqueness. However, breeders fear that when the hype passes, the representatives of this breed will end up in shelters. We are sure that this is not the case, because the responsibility for the pet is not calculated by the moment of popularity. If you take a pet into your home, you must surround it with love and care from the first to the last days. If you have a cat of this breed and you know a few more friends, then try to create your own local club. We’re sure other hosts would be more than happy to join. If one of our readers has a Munchkin cat, why did you make such a choice? Share in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you very soon on the pages of our blog!
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