Often compared to the Dachshund or Basset due to their short legs, the Munchkin cat is a recently created cat breed. However, it is struggling to become popular, its numbers being reduced and some feline institutions are still resistant to its recognition.
Despite everything, all those who have had a Munchkin agree that it is a quality companion, as pleasant to breed as it is to observe on a daily basis.
Active despite Its particular physique, playful and curious, It also shows off Its tender and friendly temperament to all members of Its family, including other animals.
History of the breed
Officially, the Munchkin is originally from the United States, but based on research by Sandra Hochenedel, the woman who adopted the stray cat from which the breed was developed, there are descriptions of similar cats dating back years. 1940 in Germany.
Music teacher Sandra Hochenedel, discovered, in 1983, a pregnant cat with short legs, hidden under a truck in Rayville, Louisiana. She collected it and gave it the name Blackberry. Half of the kittens It gave birth to had the same physical peculiarity as It.
She sent them to Dr. Solfeig Pfleuger, a geneticist in Springfield, Massachusetts, who examined them including x-rays. It didn’t reveal any joint or bone deformity. In fact, these cats’ leggy bodies were due to a spontaneous genetic mutation.
After extensive research, Sandra Hochenedel was able to find the writings of a German veterinarian who, in 1944, described a rather similar feline and whom he called ” kangaroo cat “.
She thought the Munchkin existed at least since that time, but that race was at the brink of extinction at the end of the 2 th World War.
The Munchkin has been exposed for the first time at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1991. A few years later, an article in the New York Times devoted to the race showed how opinions were still very divided about it.
The paper referred to the 1995 International Cat Show. Event organizer Vicky Markstein said she ” loved ” this newcomer to the feline world, while Katherine Crawford, a judge at the International Cat Show Association, said she was ” horrified. “Of this” alteration of the basic structure of the cat.
The breed is recognized by the International Cat Association and the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins), but not by the International Feline Federation.
- Its body: rectangular, medium to large size. The musculature and bones are well developed. The main feature is the short legs. They are sturdy and straight, the feet are round in shape and larger in males. The neck is medium in size and well-muscled.
- Its hair: short or half-long. In the short-haired variety, the coat is of medium density and the undercoat is moderate. In the half-long haired, the coat is denser in the panties.
- Its color: all colors and combinations are accepted.
- Its head: triangular in shape with rounded contours, larger in the male. The nose is straight, the muzzle well defined.
- its eyes: medium to large, nut-shaped, arranged at an angle. All colors are allowed as long as they are very bright and intense.
- Its ears: medium in size, wide at their attachment, set apart and slightly rounded at their end.
- Its tail: thick at its attachment, becoming thinner, moderately long, with a rounded end. The plume is sought after in the long-haired variety. The posture is high and straight when the cat is walking.
Behavior and Character
The reduced length of its legs does not prevent it from being an active and lively cat, who loves to run and climb. Sociable, the Munchkin cat gets along as well with its congeners as with dogs.
With Its master, It’s affectionate and playful. This cat is a pleasant companion for the whole family, including children.
The Munchkin is a cat who likes to explore Its environment. It does not hesitate to move slightly away from home to discover and meet new people, but It tends to keep a close distance from home.
It will systematically seek to find the comfort and security of home, with Its family. It can therefore very well live in an apartment, even if the ideal would be for It to have a secure outdoor space.
Health & Maintenance
The Munchkin cat is a fairly robust and healthy cat. Its short legs are however likely to cause It difficulties, according to various sources including the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare; it’s particularly a question of osteoarthritis.
Hypoallergenic Breed: No
The life expectancy of a Munchkin is between 13 and 15 years.
The Munchkin is a cat whose maintenance does not pose any particular difficulty. Its light undercoat means that Its shedding and hair loss are moderate. It therefore only asks for basic care, including regular brushing.
The hygienic care of the Munchkin consists of good brushing once a week. It becomes more frequent during the moulting period: daily or every other day.
This helps It get rid of dead hair which, when It licks it, can accumulate in the form of balls in Its digestive tract.
Special attention is also to be paid to Its eyes and ears, to be examined and cleaned regularly.
Munchkin’s dietary needs are similar to those of other cats. It is simply necessary to take care to avoid any excess of energy intake in order to protect it from the risk of overweight, which would become all the more problematic for this short-legged cat.
The cat must also have free access to fresh, clean, and regularly renewed water.
Is Munchkin Cat Right For You?
- The Munchkin is a rustic cat, which can adapt to all types of environments, both indoor and outdoor life.
- It is a robust animal, which is not afraid to face extreme cold or heat waves. Moreover, the Munchkin cat is very active and It’s a tireless runner. Thus, he will be happy in a spacious and open space.
- It is strongly recommended that you provide it with a high perch or a cat tree so that it can burn off its excess energy.
- Affectionate, the Munchkin cat will find happiness with a loving, present, and attentive master.
- It will like to be pampered, played with, and taken care of on a daily basis, otherwise, It will be unhappy.
- The Munchkin is very sociable and playful. Thus, it will be enjoyed in a family with children and other animals.