Cat Breeds

Munchkin cat

Munchkin cat is a controversial breed of cat with extremely short limbs. This effect is caused by a mutation causing hypochondroplasia or pseudoachondroplasia.


Munchkin cats are intelligent, cheerful, sociable and emotional. They attach to their owner like dogs. They love being close to people, accompanying them in everyday activities and love stroking. They get along well with other cats and animals at home. Their non-aggressive nature makes them a great companion for older children. They feel left alone at home for too long.

These cats, because of their intelligence, quickly and willingly learn tricks in exchange for small delicacies. They also like interactive toys. They easily learn how to walk in braces and on a leash, willingly take walks. Their short paws do not stop them from an active lifestyle – munchkins love to play and hunt for toys. They can also run fairly quickly. They are not too lively, but if they target a place, sooner or later they will get there anyway.

Munchkin cat

Munchkins quickly accept strangers and new places. So they will be a good choice for people who travel a lot or move frequently. They are suitable for singles and families with children.

Munchkin cat. Advantages and disadvantages

Munchkin – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • slightly less fit than a long-legged cat
  • not suitable for keeping as an outgoing cat – it may not cope in nature
  • very rare breed, expensive and difficult to get


  • nice family companion
  • easy to learn
  • accepts other animals
  • not requiring care

Munchkin cat. Health

Munchkin’s short limbs are the result of a spontaneous dominant mutation that sometimes occurs in domestic cats. However, according to munchkin breeders, the spine in this breed retained elasticity and flexibility similar to that of other cats. However, some feline organizations (including FiFe) refused to register this breed due to the high harmfulness of this mutation to health. Another argument for rejecting this breed is the fact that when crossing two short-legged cats, on average 25% of embryos die.

Munchkin cat

Two problems with the skeleton seem to occur more often in munchkins than in other breeds: lordosis (exaggerated bending of the spine) and funnel-like chest. There have also been reports of cats of this breed suffering from severe rheumatic pains, even preventing entry into the litter box.


A healthy munchkin does not require specialized feeds. Like any cat, it should be fed with good quality food or balanced food prepared at home. Remember to adapt the food to the age, health and activity of the individual. For cats of this breed, you need to be extremely careful not to lead your pet to obesity. The specific structure of his paws and joints can make even a small overweight will be a huge health problem for this cat.


This breed is relatively easy to care for – just comb the fur once a week, and periodically clean your ears and eye corners. It is recommended to trim the nails every 2-3 weeks, if needed. The long-haired variety may require more frequent combing to prevent the formation of tangles.

Munchkin cat

Munchkin cat. History

The history of the breed began in 1983 in the state of Louisiana. Sandra Hochenedel took in a short-haired, black and white pregnant cat with short paws, which she called Blackberry (Blackberry). Earlier, the kitty was half-wild and hid under abandoned cars. The guardian assumed that the short legs are the result of malnutrition during adolescence or some kind of illness. She was surprised when it turned out that this feature was inherited by Blackberry children. One of the kittens, named Toulouse, Sandra gave a friend – Kay La France. All modern munchkins are derived from this pair – Blackberry and her son Toulouse.

The official presentation of the breed to professional felinologists took place at the TICA exhibition in Madison Square Garden in 1991. Observations have shown that shortening of the limbs does not affect the mobility of the joints and the spine, which happens in short-legged cats. Munchkins are eager to climb and boldly jump, although of course, they are not able to do it as high and far as long-legged cats. However, taking into account their structure, they show great grace and agility. At the stage of breed consolidation and research on the feature of limb shortening present in munchkins, crossbreeds were carried out with other purebred and non-breed cats, resulting in many related breeds.

Munchkin cat

TICA recognized the breed in 1994. The breed is not recognized by FIFe, CFA and GCCF due to the significant harmfulness of the dominant mutation to cat health (frequent other defects, 25% fetal mortality).


Munchkin (read: manczkin) – breeds not recognized by FIFe

EMS code: MCK

  • Origin: Louisiana, United States
  • Character: intelligent, cheerful, sociable and emotional
  • Size: medium-sized and not very athletic, short-legged cat
  • Weight: males on average 3-4 kg, females 2-3.5 kg
  • Head shape: conical, with rounded contours, proportional to the body, high cheekbones. Also normal.
  • Ears: broad at the base, with slightly rounded ends. Medium to large – proportional to the head. Brushes at the ends of the ears are allowed only for long-haired varieties.
  • Eyes: medium or large, almond-shaped, set wide enough, which gives the cat an “open” look. Set at a slight angle to the base of the ears. No relationship between eye color and color.
  • Hair: short hair is plush to the touch, with a dense undercoat. Long – silky, similar to Turkish angora.
  • Color: all colors and patterns are acceptable.
  • Immunity/susceptibility to diseases:  very resistant, lordosis and funnel-like chest occurs.
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years

Interesting facts

The Germans baptized the munchkins as “kangaroo cats” because they like to sit with their front paws raised and observe the surroundings. While most cats stand on their hind legs to look around, the munchkins simply sit on their buttocks, leaning on their tail.

The feature of shortening limbs is dominant, which leads quickly to the formation of hybrids advertised as new breeds ( Dwarf Cats ):

Bambino – crossword with sphinx
Dwelf – crossword with the breed American Curl
Napoleon – crossword with cat Persian
Skookum – crossword with the breed LaPerm
Kinkalow – crossword with the breed American Curl
Lambkin – crossword with the breed Selkirk Rex
Mei toi – crossword with Ocicat and cat Singaporean
Genetta – Mallard ras munchkin, bengal cat, savannah, domestic shorthair and oriental shorthair cat
Minskin – cross breed munchkin, sphinx, devon rex and burmese cat

The name of the breed comes from the Munchkinland invented by Frank Baum – part of the land of Oz, inhabited by dwarf munchkin.

The breed causes considerable controversy. Some are delighted with its appearance, others strongly protest against breeding cats with the “short leg” gene. Certainly, it would be more difficult for them to survive if they were deprived of human care and it is not advisable to spread the short-legged gene to the population of free-living cats. On the other hand, they are so rare and valuable that each individual has a guardian.

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