The Munchkin Cat Breed: Everything you need to Know

Munchkin cats are small and short, furry balls of energy. These unique cats are a perfect fit for family homes with children. 

These energetic little cats are friendly, and they will get along with other pets and children. They love to explore the world around them. One day, you might find your little Munchkin standing on their hind legs to get a better look at something that caught their eye. 

Munchkin
Munchkin

Quick facts about the Munchkin

Weight: 6 to 9 pounds Height: 5 to 7 inches
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: high Activity level: active
Vocalness: when necessary Coat length: short
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: kids | seniors | dogs | other cats | families
Traits: Munchkin cats are easy to train and groom, friendly toward humans and other pets, friendly toward strangers, and tolerates being alone.

Munchkins have a boisterous and kitten-like personality that will last well into their adult years. They will often spend hours running around and playing with their toys. These little Munchkins loved to be snuggled by their humans. 

You won’t have to worry too much about giving your Munchkin plenty of exercise. They will usually tire themselves out. Just make sure that you give them lots of toys, scratchers, and low cat trees to play with. 

You can even train your Munchkin to walk on a leash and even play fetch with you. They’re also intelligent and respond well to clicker training and positive reinforcement. 
Just be careful. You might see that some of her toys might suddenly disappear. Sometimes, it might be a piece of your shiny jewelry. Just like a Magpie, Munchkin cats like to hide away their favorite toys, so they can play later. 

This breed has a very recognizable look that cat owners will either love or hate. Their legs are about three inches short than the legs of the average cat. In most cases, the adult Munchkins will weigh between six and nine pounds.  

Each Munchkin will have its own color and coat combinations. Some cats will have long coats, short coats, or even be hairless. Long-haired Munchkins will have smooth and soft fur. Short-haired Munchkins, on the other hand, will have luxurious medium-density coats. 

Munchkin

Munchkin cats will come in different shades of color. But the most popular coat colors and patterns are solid black, grey, calico, and tabby. It’s important to remember that Munchkins are their own unique breed and not smaller versions of other cat breeds. 

Your Munchkin’s grooming needs will depend on their coat. Long-haired Munchkin’s coats should be brushed frequently to prevent tangles. On the other hand, short-haired Munchkins only need to be brushed weekly. 

In most cases, your cat will be able to clean herself, but her small legs will make personal hygiene a little more difficult. Your Munchkin will also need an occasional bath to help them stay clean. You should also remember to trim their nails and clean their ears. 

Your Munchkin will need food and water bowls and litter boxes that have low edges. Also, make sure that you give your Munchkin plenty of fresh water and healthy cat food. 
 

Origin

United States

Health

Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

The Munchkin cats, also called “sausage cats,” are purely domestic cats known for the distinguishing characteristics of having very short legs, resulting from a genetic mutation in the Munchkin breed. 

It is important to note that when two munchkin cats are bred, the tendency of the kittens having the mutated genes known as “lethal gene” is high, which would not make the kittens survive. 

However, breeders often cross shorter cats of a different breed with the Munchkin cat to produce offspring with short legs. With a life expectancy averaging about 12-15 years, the Munchkin cats are blessed with good health.

Despite their excellent health, the Munchkin cats have a few health concerns attached to them due to the lethal gene causing short legs. The primary condition is Lordosis affecting the spine. Another condition affecting the Munchkin cats is the pectus excavatum (hollowed chest).

As a result of their short legs, the Munchkin cats have also been prone to Osteoarthritis.

Lordosis in Munchkin cats occurs when the spine does not grow accordingly, giving it an inward curvature appearance. The spinal vertebrae form a depression downwards towards the body in the affected Munchkin cats.

Some breeders believe Lordosis in Munchkin cats results from the defective gene causing the short legs. However, Lordosis has also been seen in other cat breeds.

The severity of this condition in Munchkin cats varies. In milder cases of Lordosis, the chances of survival are better than Munchkin cats with severe Lordosis.

Another health condition observed in Munchkin cat, quite similar to Lordosis, is pectus excavatum. This is a congenital condition (happening before birth that causes the ribcage and sternum to Invert more into the chest.

This condition is sometimes called funnel chest. Pectus excavatum, in severe cases, may lead to cardiac or respiratory issues in the munchkin cats due to the funnel-shaped chest not giving room for expansion of the heart and lungs.

Some common symptoms to watch out for in the Munchkin cats with this condition include,

● Flat chest and irregularly shaped rib cage.

● Breathing difficulties or respiratory distress.

● Chest dips inwards when breathing.

It is best to reach out to a veterinarian when lordosis or pectus excavatum signs are observed in the kittens of Munchkin cats. 

Diagnosis of lordosis and pectus excavatum in munchkin cats is through radiography of the spine and chest. 

Lordosis and pectus excavatum can be managed via surgical interventions if diagnosed early enough. It is best to discontinue breeding Munchkin cats with these medical conditions.

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