Munchkin kitten hiding

Munchkin Cat – A Buyers and Owners Guide With Breed Information, Facts and FAQs

The Munchkin Cat is a relatively new breed compared to more established breeds, such as the Maine Coon or the American Shorthair. Studies and evidence is still coming for a variety of questions still being asked, and it’s a breed not without controversy.

In short though, the Munchkin Cat is cute with a sweet nature that is growing in popularity and acceptance. It is almost exclusively characterized by it’s short legs, which have 3 subcategories of classification. It is not genetically modified as some believe, and owes its existence to a naturally occuring mutated gene. It’s been fully recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA), and is family and pet friendly. They are intelligent and playful cats, that are energetic, well mannered and outgoing, as well as being people friendly. They are an ideal indoor cat that comes in an endless variety of colors and will quite happily sit on your lap. Perhaps, most popularized by Paris Hilton, they nonetheless are winning over fans across the globe.

Appearance

Although the question of leg length completely dominates the debate both online and offline and most pictures will promulgate that fact, they in all other regards can appear like any other cat.

As they are cross bred cat they come in a variety of different colors and coat patterns, as well as face and ear shapes. They always partially appear like the cross breed that it comes from. An American Curl Munchkin Cat looks slightly different than a Scottish Fold Munchkin Cat.

The face and body of Munchkin Cats are proportionate to each other, it’s just the legs of the animal that are slightly smaller. This is primarily why the Munchkin Cat is said not to be suffering from dwarfism, where the proportions have changed.

Several people have noted that Munchkin Cats can often look like kittens for their entire lives, which may be the reason behind their rising popularity.

Size

A Munchkin Cat will stand around 6 to 9 inches tall. An average cat by comparison is 9 to 10 inches tall.

Munchkin Cat height graphic

It is considered a small to medium sized cat, rather surprisingly, and the variability in size comes from range with which the short legged gene produces and the variability of size in the cross breeds that may make a Munchkin kitten.

The weight range is around 5 (2.3kg) to 9 (4.1kg) pounds with the female being slightly smaller than the male.

The average Munchkin Cat will mature after 12 months and stop growing after around 18 months.

Coats

A huge variety within this trait as well for a similar reason. With genetics coming from either an American Curl, a British Shorthair or any other breed you can reasonably expect a wide spectrum colors, patterns and plumes,

Almost every combination is possible. The International Cat Association (TICA), the organization that officially first registered the breed says comes in both long hair and short hair. The huge scope of variety comes from the diverse cross breeding to ensure genetic diversity.

They maintain that the short hair Munchkins come with a ‘plush, medium, all weather coat’ and the long hairs come with a ‘semi-long, silky all weather coat’.

Lifespan

Munchkin kitten sleepingThose shorter legs do not translate to a shorter lifespan. A well cared for and healthy Munchkin Cat will live to an average age range of 12 to 14 years, which is quite respectable in the list of cat breed lifespans.

This is one of those statistics, as there are so many other with the Munchkin Cat where the data is still being compiled. They were only officially recognized as a breed since the early 90s so the data is only anecdotal and from a few generations.

The average lifespan should be a clue that the breed is not currently known to suffer from any debilitating health issues that aren’t already known and made susceptible to any other breed.

The fact is so far, and the data in the coming years will clarify this, that the Munchkin Cat is gloriously free of any diseases and issues that can be attributed to the short legged gene, and only this gene. Early health issue fears have subsided and the Munchkin breed appears to be as healthy as any other cat.

Treated well, and the Munchkin Cat may be more suited as an indoor cat than most contribute to the 12 to 14 year time frame. Again this is an average and there is plenty of possibility to exceed it. The shorter legs have so far failed to produce the chronic spinal problems that you can expect from similar proportioned dogs, such as the Corgi and the Dachshund.

General Information

There is a wealth of information to learn about the Munchkin Cat, here’s some of the more useful information.

Popularity

More on the controversy issue later, but over the years there has been slow acceptance of the Munchkin breed as domestic cat. Several high profile celebrities have raised awareness of the new breed which has helped booster the Munchkins fame, rightly or wrongly.

The Munchkin Cat had an auspicious start, with one TICA judge resigning, calling the Munchkin breed an affront to any breeder with ethics. Early health concerns seem to be unfounded, with data coming in all the time.

As time passes though, with more and more evidence that the Munchkin is a happy and healthy cat without any serious issues, more and more acceptance is becoming possible. While breeders were probably quite right to hold back on the breed for fear of promulgating a defect this fear is subsiding.

As a result more and more breeders, both professional catteries and private breeders to cope with the rising popularity, although the Munchkin is still failing to make any ‘Top 10’ lists on the popularity stakes, mainly I suspect because it isn’t a widely recognized breed.

This could well change in the future and with more and more adoption around the world.

Google has recently announced that Munchkin Cats were one of the most googled cat breeds from Long Islanders though, when they were asked,

Munchkin Cat kitten

Average Price and Cost

This varies considerably, depending upon location, age, variety, gender, and the professionalism of the seller.

An ‘average’ Munchkin Cat, if there is such a thing, will go from around $550 to $900 from a professional cattery for a well vaccinated, healthy microchipped kitten of around 12 weeks.

The females will tend to go for a little more as they are capable of producing Munchkin litters but it can often be negligible.

The younger the Munchkin is and the nearer to kitten status the more the price tag. Adult Munchkins can often be picked up for little or no cost from private sellers, relocating or unable to still look after the animal.

The biggest market comes from the very shortest legged Munchkin Cats at the point of purchase and the lifetime cost is similar to any other cat breed.

Intelligence

The IQ of the Munchkin Cat is said to be high, with some even using the phrase ‘highly intelligent’

Several vet blogs and forums have noted that the Munchkin is curious and friendly with a brain that likes to learn tricks. They are said to one of the cat breeds quite easy to train, which speaks of powers of concentration and adaptability to learn, a sign of intelligence.

They are said to quite like puzzle toys and could well be a reason for their seemingly boundless energy.

Interestingly, when the breed was still in a clarification program, it was noted that the Munchkin Cat had a tendency to hoard, in particular bright shiny jewelry.

Shedding

As with many of the breed specific traits, this is a difficult question to answer as it will depend largely on the cross breed of Munchkin Cat.

Coming with long or short hair, the fairest way to describe their propensity for shedding is to say average, with caveats.

Most people I have heard from, and indeed from my own experience I would say it’s a moderately shedding cat. Not overtly high or low.

Proper grooming and general cat health will keep this down to a minimum, as always.

Social Needs

The Munchkin Cat is considered a friendly and active cat and as such will happily play with just about anything in the household. Humans, other cats, dogs or inanimate objects.

They are naturally very curious and don’t expect them to be sitting around lazily not caring what you are doing. They are not above wandering around to see what is going on and engaging with other animals in the household.

Talking of which…….

Is it a Lap Cat?

Yes, most definitely yes. A Munchkin Cat is very affectionate and likes to be around you. It will most certainly jump up and sit in your lap when you are watching your favorite TV programs.

It’s not particularly needy, but does tend to be a lap cat.

Health Issues

Despite early concerns about health issues, with judges resigning and much controversy, they passage of time and some studies have given the Munchkin Cat a rather clean bill of health.

Many people were concerned that the breed would develop spinal problems and hip dysplasia due to the shorter legs, but subsequent studies have revealed these fears to be non founded. The Munchkin does not suffer from the problems that were thought of it.

There are two main health issues that are currently the cause of concern for Munchkin Cat owners.

Londosis

Munchkins are said to be vulnerable to this particular condition. Londosis is a specific condition whereby the spinal muscles to not develop correctly during growth. It’s very rare but the effect is to put a slight downward spiral in the spine.

There’s a severity range from mild to severe, with mild being slightly uncomfortable, but with severe Londosis a Munchkin Cat will be unlikely to survive as it develops.

Pectus Excavatum

This condition occurs when there is a genetic deformity in the chest cavity. It can develop early on, mid life or towards the end of the Munchkins life and results in a sunken chest look.

Because of this, it is more commonly known as ‘funnel chest’.

Other Speculative Conditions

There have been a few studies that have given the Munchkin Cat a pretty clean health check but Petsafe, a national insurer gives the following as a list of things to be aware of for a Munchkin Cat.

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pancreatitis
  • Uremia (end-stage kidney failure)
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUDT)
  • Lymphosarcoma (cancer in the lymphoid tissue)

 

It’s important to realise that the health issues that are currently leveled at the Munchkin are not specific to the breed. Many cats suffer the same conditions, with some breeds being even more prone to these issues, it’s just that the Munchkin has an elevated level of risk above the average.

With all this though, comes the proviso that as a new breed, a lot of information could come to light in the coming years.

None of the conditions mentioned above are guaranteed either. It is more than probable that a well cared for, well exercised Munchkin Cat that has received a healthy diet will grow to a grand old age without significant health issues.

Weight

Munchkin Cats can vary a little bit in the average weight department because of the different cross breeds, but as an average guide they weigh around 5 to 9 pounds. That’s 2.3 kg to 4.1kg.

The male of the breed tend to trend towards 6 to 9 pounds with the female of the breed ranging from 5 to 8 pounds.

These are rough guides only as of course it’s possible to get cats outside this range occasionally.

Colors

There is such a bewildering array of colors in a munchkin Cat that it might be shorter to list the colors it doesn’t come in.

The same is true with patterns, whether it’s solid, tabby, or a bicolor.

Simply any mix of color and pattern style could be a Munchkin Cat. The reason is that there are plenty of cross breeds to give this extensive range.

If you type Munchkin Cat into google and look up the images, there probably won’t be a combination you won’t see. It’s very versatile in that regard.

History

Munchkin Cat kitten sleepingDespite being a relatively new breed as opposed to the more established ones, the Munchkin phenomenon is not new.

Dr H E Williams-Jones, a British vet in a report dated 1944, during the Second World War described 4 generations of cats that were short legged, including the story of an female short legged cat that lived to be years old, which was said to be extremely healthy.

It further mentioned that the progeny from these cats also had short legs, thus people are more than speculating that this was the naturally occuring Munchkin gene, but it is ultimately unprovable

Unfortunately, the lineage records disappeared after the war but similar stories are mentioned in Stalingrad, New England and Louisiana up until the 1980s in anecdotal form.

The modern history of the Munchkin Cat starts when Sandra Hockenedel, in 1983 is said to have found a pregnant short legged cat which she named Blackberry.

Blackberry, is the very first acknowledged Munchkin Cat by TICA.

Blackberry subsequently gave birth to a litter which also produced a few short legged kittens. One male was named Toulouse and he was given to her friend, Kay LaFrance.

These two cats were then cross bred to establish a diverse gene pool and the modern Munchkin Cat was about be born.

Origins

Essentially the origin of the modern Munchkin Cat as a breed is from the United States of America.

The advent of genetic testing in the 1950’s produced the technology that enabled these Munchkin Cats to be taken into the breeding program by TICA in 1994. A genetics oversight committee was established to track the pedigree of the Munchkin and monitor the developing new breed for abnormalities, health problems or any other issues that arise.

It took until May 2003, but eventually the Munchkin Cat was given official Championship Status by TICA after a decade of oversight development.

Munchkin Genetics

During the breed development program, more advanced genetic science than existed during wartime found that the Munchkin carry an autosomal dominant gene.

What this means in English, is that if one of the parents, male or female possess this autosomal dominant gene then a litter born may possess the short legged gene. Some kittens within that litter may not and some will.

There is a VERY important point to remember here.

The embryos can be either heterozygous or homozygous.

Heterozygous means that only one parent carries the gene and if that is the case, then the litter will develop into a Munchkin litter.

However, a homozygous embryo, that’s where both parents carry the Munchkin gene is considered to be ‘non viable’ due to gene lethality.

Essentially, if both parents carry the Munchkin gene then the kittens have a very low chance of survival. Animal Planet says 25% of the offspring will perish.

This is an extremely important point to remember for breeders who have to be certain of parent lineage. Although, the lethal gene happens ‘in vitro’, meaning that the embryo does not develop, not that stillborn cats are born.

3 Different Leg Lengths

The biggest talking point surrounding the Munchkin Cat is of course leg length, questions are asked all the time about, how short they go, and what impact it has on quality of life for a cat.

The debate will rage on for a while longer yet, i shouldn’t wonder but in the meantime, there appears to have developed an unofficial notion about leg length that hasn’t been ordained from any informative authority.

Things have just developed this way, and now Munchkin Cats are pretty much considered in the to be in one of three categories.

Firstly though, as it’s quite possible for a Munchkin Cat to be born without the inherited gene there exists the strange category ‘non standard’ Munchkin. That is to say, a cat with normal leg length.

There then exists the three ever increasingly known categories of Standard. Super-short and Rug-Hugger.

There are no precise definitions that have so far been ascertained and agreed upon, so this should act as a guide only. As it’s so wide open, a half an inch either way can often cause a friendly disagreement as to whether its a standard or a non standard Munchkin or a Standard or a Super-short Munchkin.

The whole process really is to early to have any specifics with.

Standard

This is the longest legged of the Munchkin Cats and will be around 1 to 2 inches shorter than a normal legged cat.

Super-short

This is considered the medium in terms of Munchkin leg length. Somewhere around 2 to 3 inches shorter is a guide.

Rug-hugger

This is obviously the shortest of the classifications and is anything around 3 inches plus. It has a rather unflattering name but it does graphically demonstrate where in the chain of categories this particular style comes from.

Common Misconceptions

With short or very short legs there’s a couple of misconceptions out there. That they can’t jump or run and the Munchkin must have a lower quality of life.

This doesn’t seem to be the case.

In fact, if you’ve ever seen one of these things move around the house they can move at astonishing speed.

They can also jump just fine, while in play or in anger. They are quite capable of reaching a kitchen countertop and run upstairs as if they weren’t there sometimes.

The quality of life the Munchkin receives doesn’t seem to be impacted.

It seems they don’t realize they are small.

Common Cross Breeds

In true cat fashion a Munchkin Cat can breed with any other cat, however, breeders and the public have sort of come together to breed specific crosses between Munchkin Cats and other breeds.

These are known as Recognized Breed Derivatives.

That’s basically a fancy way of saying that certain breed crosses have become common and therefore requested and recognized. It’s got to the point that the common cross breeds have been given specific names to denote the cross breeding.

These are;

LaPerm (Skookum)

The Skookum cat was specifically bred from a cross between the LaPerm breed and a Munchkin Cat. The idea was to create a small legged cat with a curly coat. Roy Galusha joined with other breeders in the 1990s all around the globe and now the Skookum is recognized TICA as an experimental variety.

Skookum Munchkin cat

In appearance, this short legged little Munchkin Cat has the curls of a LaPerm. They eyes are large with a proportionate body. The coat comes from the LaPerm so is light and airy. It is able to be long haired or short haired. A very cute cat that is bundles of fun.

Sphynx (Minskin and Bambino)

The Minskin cat is a breed that is a cross between a Sphynx and a Munchkin. Like the Maine Coon, this breed was from the State of Maine, by Paul McSorley in 1998.

McSorley is a professional breeder and was trying to develop a cat with short legs and denser face fur compared to the torso. He used his own show Munchkin Cats to start the process with a purebred Sphynx. The first Minskin cat was born in July 2000, and was called Rory.

Just 5 years later, there were 50 of these new Minskin cats that were recognized by TICA.

From 2008, the Minskin breed is now in the TICA program called Preliminary New Breed (PNB). The next step is Advanced New Breed ANB), which the newly formed Minskin will have to advance through before being accepted for Championship status.

The Munchkin crossed with a Sphynx, called a Bambino (meaning ‘baby’ in Italian) was registered with TICA in 2005. It is an ‘experimental kitten’ that looks like a kitten into adulthood.

It has large ears that sit upright, with the hairlessness of the Sphynx cat breed. Apparently, this breed news a lot of care in the bathing department as there is no hair that produce the natural skin oils. It’s probably not a good idea to have one of these cats in a cold environment as well, unless you plan it as an indoor cat.

Physically speaking, the Bambino those are the two most striking features, the hairlessness coupled with the Munchkins shorter legs.

Selkirk Rex (Lambkin)

Lambskin Munchkin CatThe Lambkin has become the common name for a cross between a Selkirk Rex and a Munchkin Cat. It sometimes get the unflattering name of ‘dwarf cat’.

The Lambkin, like most of the derived cross breeds inherits two distinct features. The short legs of the Munchkin and the very curly coat of the Selkirk Rex. The effect is to make it look ‘lamblike’, hence the name. It can also retain that kitten look well into adulthood, if not its entire life.

It is registered as a breed with TICA and due to the coat may require a little more brushing than other Munchkin Cats to keep it in good condition. They are also considered one of the smallest cat breeds currently known.

Persian (Napoleon)

Napoleon munchkin catAdditionally known as the Minuet cat, the Napoleon is a cross between a Persian and a Munchkin Cat. It is both short and long haired.

The breed was started by one Joseph Smith (a Basset hound breeder) inspired by a Wall Street Journal cover that showed a Munchkin Cat. Although he admired the Munchkin, he seemed to want to breed out the more indistinguishable longer leg versions and choose the Persian because of beauty and boning.

He wanted to create a cat that looked more like a purebred and the Napoleon has the distinct short legs from the Munchkin. The Napoleon inherits a round face, eyes and a thick dense coat from the Persian.

This combination makes it very unique, and easily distinguishable thus has been recognized by TICA, although as of January 2015 they have changed the name to Minuet for the breed.

American Curl (Kinkalow)

Terri Harris, a cat breeder started the Kinkalow breed in the mid 1990s which is a cross between the American Curl and a Munchkin Cat.

She started an experimental breed program, and the kittens she produced turned out exactly had she had hoped. They had the Munchkin’s shorter legs and those very distinctive American Curls ears. It seems to have inherited both the genes that were wanted.

Munchkin kitten walking

The breed then moved into TICA’s experimental breed program.

(Hint – I personally like these and have several myself)

Scottish Fold (Scottish Kilt)

A cross between a Scottish Fold and a Munchkin in order to get the shorter legs of the Munchkin and the folded ears of the Scottish Fold. The Scottish Fold itself are the result of a genetic condition and the British Veterinary Association wants the breeding of scottish Folds banned (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-39717634).

The breed has been accepted by TICA and along with the folded ears, they have very rounded faces, making them look like kittens, especially as they are quite small. It is said to give them a slight owl like appearance.

Munchkin kitten hiding

A Scottish Kilt is among the more rare Munchkin breeds and as such can be a little more expensive. There can sometimes be waiting lists with the more well known breeders and are said to be also, slightly more difficult to produce.

Bengal (Genetta)

genetta munchkin catThis is the cross breed that looks like a mini tiger, and I can predict it will be a big hit over the coming years. It’s the cross between the Munchkin and a Bengal.

It has a very unique and distinguishable coat pattern and started being bred by a program at Pawstruk cattery. It was initiated by Shannon Kelly in 2006 who wanted a Munchkin Genet lookalike with a more favorable temperament.

Just before Christmas 2006, on December 13 we have the first recorded littler of Genetta kittens to be born.

So even though this breed looks wild, it is in fact domestic in nature. It is not yet currently recognized by TICA, but the hopes are in the future it will be.

In appearance it looks very similar to a Bengal with the very distinctive body color pattern and the wide head and elongated neck.

Controversy

Despite The International Cat Association both initiating and empowering the breed of Munchkin Cats, it is fair to say that not everyone in the cat world feels the same.

Indeed, even at the time of TICA’s momentous decision, one judge resigned called the Munchkin breed ‘an affront to any breeder with ethics’.

In developing the breed, Dr Solveig Pfleger and David Biller ascertained that the Munchkin was seemingly healthy and free from issues of the spine and genome problems.

Decades later, and with much anecdotal evidence coming in that the Munchkin is a healthy breed, the Cat Fanciers association and other global cat authorities do not share the argument, including ones in France and Australia. They still do not recognize the breed.

The argument against promulgating the breed seems to be derived from perceived health problems, and the issue of breeding a mutated gene. It should be noted though that the mutated gene is naturally occurring.

Also, the issue of gene lethality, meaning that both parents cannot be Munchkin Cats is making many people hesitant about adopting the Munchkin as an official breed.

The debate may continue for a long while yet while these issues remain unresolved.

Munchkin Cat kitten standing

Personality

This is a pint size cat with a huge personality, that is sure to be quite infectious to any cat lover. Munchkin Cats are very sociable, will wander around anywhere being naturally curious.

They are very active and seem to run and play a lot, especially with toys. They are quite happy in company, including children and other pets, which can sometimes get interesting, as if you have seen a Munchkin Cat move it can corner like it’s on rails.

It’s often suggested that a Munchkin can often be taught to obey word commands, should you wish to do so. They can’t leap on counters quite as frequently, but often will use other furniture around to achieve the same result.

A confident and self assured cat that seems to like shiny things. The developers of the breed program even noticed this tendency to hoard, which is a sign of intelligence.

Temperament

TICA itself describes the breed as ‘active outgoing and built for speed’.

They are very outgoing and are not shy about investigating new things, from people to other dogs and cats. They are one of the most sociable of the breeds and loves company.

They adore being handled and has a naturally friendly demeanor around children.

It’s said that they are very puzzle orientated, and like to explore a lot. You will have to find ways to entertain a Munchkin Cat, it seems to expect activity.

Overall, they are very peaceful, approachable and affectionate and aren’t particularly aggressive unless you’re a cat toy or a mouse. They are also loyal.

Family Friendly

Quite simply, Munchkin Cats love the interaction between children, cats and even dogs. As well as their human companions. Assuming everyone is friendly towards them.

They are even meant to be good with very young children, and it’s not unknown for a Munchkin Cat and a baby to play together.

Unless you’re a mouse, they very rarely initiate a conflict and you should be quite safe, either bringing another cat into the household or bringing a new Munchkin Cat to the household.

According to Catime, they publish a list of the most family friendly cats of all time. Notice how many of them are one of the recognized cross breeds for the Munchkin.

That should give you a clue.

It Sits on its Haunches

Munchkin Cat kitten standingThe Munchkin Cat has an odd habit, that is not as prevalent in other cat breeds. It’s perhaps because of their extremely curious nature, but many Munchkin Cats will sit on their hind legs, a bit like a meerkat does, in order to get a better view or understand what is happening.

It happens so often, as all my Munchkin Cats do it. It doesn’t just briefly stay there either, it can sit on its hind legs for quite a while trying to work out what is going on.

I’ve not really noticed this with any other cat breed, but a Munchkin Cat has a high chance of performing this little ritual

Notice how it naturally seem to sit up straight when it’s curious. This is typical.  Personally I think it looks quite cute in its effort to stand up.

Grooming

Grooming a Munchkin Cat and making it look pristine is pretty easy, it’s not a high maintence cat in that regard. They don’t don’t go outdoors and come back in looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge.

They come in short and long hair, so a schedule can be made to make the best of the conditions.

Broadly, grooming can be brought down to a few activities.

  • Combing
  • Brushing
  • Washing
  • Nail clipping
  • Teeth brushing

 

A Munchkin will be much like any other cat and perform its own grooming routine, however if you want to give it a helping hand, then you can.

If you own a short haired Munchkin cat then I’d recommend a quick brush once a week. If it’s a long haired Munchkin then perhaps twice a week would be more ideal.

It’s perhaps beneficial to keep the brushing experience positive and provide attention and treats while you do so.

You should also trim the nail reasonably regularly. When a cat walks around your house and occasionally gets its paws stuck on clothes, towels or bits of furniture – it’s time to trim those nails.

You can take your Munchkin to a professional groomer if you like but it’s often just a simple matter of pushing your thumb in to the pad of the paw so the nails extend and then clipping the nails with some professional nail clippers.

An often neglected part of cat care is the teeth and it’s advisable to clean your Munchkin’s teeth occasionally. Gently massaging the gums can get your Munchkin used to activity in the area then a small brush can be applied, often with some cat suitable toothpaste and gently brush away, if you can, to get rid of plaque and bacteria.

Although cats are naturally clean creatures and will groom themselves, this seems then seem unnecessary, but washing your Munchkin can often get things out of the fur that a cat can’t by itself.

You can either bathe them or shower them, they are quite up for a helping wash, or at least mine are without too much trouble. I can even use a hair dryer on them without too much difficulty. They really are quite docile cats in this regards. After a good helping bathe then the coat will look even more luxurious and soft.

In all these regards, it’s best to start early, so your Munchkin gets used to the activity right from an early age. Try brushing the teeth of an adult cat that’s never done it before by comparison.

Here’s a helpful video if you’d like a little more information.

Famous Munchkin Cats

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton has two Munchkin Cats, names Munchkin and Shorty.

They are probably famous on the basis that their owner is famous, but nonetheless, they do get mentioned on social media. Ms Hilton regularly posts pictures on her instagram, twitter and facebook pages, so a quick search should bring them up.

They could be twinned cats, but Munchkin and Shorty are cream colored and with the occasional rust looking patch.
It’s fair to say that as a celebrity owner she has done much to publish about the breed and make people aware of the Munchkin Cat.

Albert the Munchkin Cat

More famous in his own right, is Albert. With 560k subscribers it’s fair to say he is quite famous.

You can quite often see regular pictures of him dressed in clothes and videos of him sitting on his hind legs.

Albert looks to be a rug-hugger style Munchkin Cat, sporting creamy white coat and black and tabby face with a mottled brown back.

I’ve no idea how much McDonald’s paid for the McDonald’s costume to be worn but it is all in a humorous way, so no harm done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Munchkin Jump on Countertops and Kitchen Surfaces?

Yes, they can. And indeed do. Because the Munchkin Cat comes in a variety of leg lengths, this is perhaps a question for an individual cat. As leg length plays an important part in the physics of a cat jumping it stands to reason that a rug-hugger will not be able to jump as high as a standard Munchkin Cat.

Although mostly they will sit on their hind legs or use furniture intelligently to get where they want, they are indeed capable of leaping on kitchen countertops, especially if there is food around and they are encouraged to do so.

From my own experience my super-short munchkin cats mainly prefer to leap on beds and coffee tables but there is plenty of evidence to suggest they can jump higher than you might give them credit for.

Can Munchkins Go Outside or Are They an Indoor Cat?

Yes they can. No problem at all. Mine are indoor Munchkins but I take them out frequently for walks in parks and such and they suffer no great stress.

If i lived somewhere more conducive to them being an outdoor cat I would have no hesitation in letting them outside. They have no worries about going around outdoors mush like any other cat.

They certainly not an indoor only cat which I have heard mentioned a few times. They are perhaps one of the more suitable breeds for being an indoor cat but it’s not an either / or scenario.

If you get one, it will happily go outside and play and roam.

Are Munchkin Cats Genetically Modified?

No, they are not. This is a question that gets frequently asked. The reason for the confusion is that a Munchkin Cat is specifically defined as one which has a short leg gene within its genetics.

However, the gene is naturally occurring. It occurred in nature and was not a man made gene as far as we know. No human constructed a Munchkin Cat, therefore they are not genetically modified.

Are Munchkin Cats Cruel?

I don’t think so, but there are plenty of people who think the opposite. Indeed, the first TICA judged resigned purely for this reason.

I’m guessing but i think it stems from the argument that we are breeding cats with known qualities that could be considered ill fitting for survival in the wild.

Early on in the breeds history there were legitimate health concerns but as time passes these seem to be receding more as a legitimate argument. Also, I find it difficult to believe these cats couldn’t survive in the wild. They’ve been surviving just fine before the gene was isolated.

Additionally these cats are extremely fast, jumping isn’t the only cat hunting skill. I’ve neither seen nor heard of any evidence to suggest that they are disadvantaged to the point of it being genetically unwanted to survival.

I suppose it comes down to what your definition of cruel is. My cats are extremely well cared for. They fed, groomed and entertained and seem to suffer no ill effects. If other people want to define these sorts of things as cruel then so be it.

Personally I believe a well cared for Munchkin is not as cruel as an ill treated other breed of cat. This is an argument that seems to be in the eye of the beholder.

Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic, in the cat sense means the relative likelihood of causing allergies or an allergic reaction. Does your Munchkin Cat bring you out in sneezes essentially. If a cat is considered hypoallergenic, it just means it is unlikely to cause reaction issues.

Although no cat can be considered completely hypoallergenic as the protein in any cats saliva called Fel D1 is usually what causes all the cat allergies.

Thus it’s normally just a matter of degree. Some cats are known to produce less saliva causing all the irritating itches and reactions.

As with most things Munchkin Cat this is a bit of a mixed bag because most vets considered say no, the Munchkin is not hypoallergenic there it can cause itching and sneezing. However, the LaPerm, a recognized breed derivative is considered one of the most hypoallergenic cats out there as it doesn’t shed much.

So the true and real answer is – depends. Is the breed derivative known for being hypoallergenic. If it is, then the Munchkin cross breed will likely be as well.

Is the Munchkin a Breed?

Yes, but it’s only recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA).

TICA initially came out with the breed program and declared the Munchkin Cat to be a breed through the 1990s and 2000s. They held, events, conducted exhaustive studies and gave the Munchkin their seal of approval as an official breed.

Everybody else said no.

The Cat Fanciers Association, the largest of the organizations, still to this day say no, they do not recognize the Munchkin as a breed.

So the answer to this question is still largely open. If you are a fan, then TICA seems to be the emblem holder for its progression of acceptance.

Is it a Dwarf Cat?

No, and this one is quite categorical as well. There’s some confusion surrounding this issue. The genetic mutation that is naturally occuring for Munchkin Cats is often referred to as achondroplasia. This is a condition usually associated with an enlarged head, relative to a small body and legs.

That condition is colloquially known as dwarfism.

Munchkin Cats do not possess this trait. The body and the head are proportionate to each other, it’s just that the legs are shorter.

The more accurate description for Munchkins is hypochondroplasia or pseudoachondroplasia.

Thus the Munchkin Cat does not suffer from dwarfism.

What’s the Quality of Life Like?

Judging by what mine are like, just fine. The royalty of the cat world if truth be told.

The query behind this question I think belongs to the same concern that with shorter legs the Munchkin must be somehow disadvantaged and suffer somewhat. That somehow the Munchkin Cat sits there suffering bravely for our amusement.

If you’ve ever seen one run, play and generally be a cat, then you can dispel these notions pretty quickly.

If you care for your Munchkin then it will do just fine. It will happily run around your house and be a companion as long as you want it to.

As I said, mine are treated better than when my parents come round so their quality of life is just fine. As fine as if they were brought up in Egypt during the days of the Pharaohs really.

Will They Hunt?

Yes, these things will pounce on anything.

As kittens they are extremely playful, and as we all know that a precursor for the hunting instinct.

To be honest, mine are more indoor cats, than outdoor ones, so they don’t get the opportunity to do much mouse hunting, but I have no doubt they could survive in the wild quite well if need be.

Finally, here’s a couple of videos;

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