When a genetic mutation occurs naturally in a breed, and it is enhanced and developed over the years, it is quite easy that from it emerges a new breed that becomes recognized as such. This is the case of the munchkin cat, an animal that at first glance might seem manipulated by the hand of the human being. But the truth is that these cats appeared casually and naturally, and that even at first they went quite unnoticed.
The first indications of the breed are found in the United States in the 40s, specifically in New York. Previously, very short-legged cats had been sighted elsewhere, but on these animals the necessary attention was not paid to enhance this characteristic. Apparently, it was a farmer who saw a very short-legged kitten grow, but, not properly documented, that characteristic disappeared with him as well.
Therefore, it was not until years later, after the second world war, when these animals began to be reported as a possible race of their own. In particular, it would also be in the United States and the 1980s, when a music teacher was left with a street cat that had abnormally short legs. This cat was also pregnant, and half of the puppies with short legs similar to their mother’s were born in the litter.
From then on and from these specimens, began breeding of what is now known as cat munchkin, enhancing the characteristic short legs that today are so popular in homes around the world. The most curious thing about this breed is that it is still in the process of development, and has not been officially recognized as such by all feline associations. TICA recognized the cat munchkin in 1994 and included it in its development program, but FIFE has not recognized this unique feline race to date.
Although at first, there were not too many breeders or cat lovers interested in this breed because of the controversy generated around their health, they soon dispeled doubts and munchkin cats began to be valued and desired by people from all over the world. So much so, that today it is easy to find specimens of the munchkin breed of cats anywhere, either as a pet animal or as part of a breeding program to perpetuate the breed and to continue developing and improving its characteristics.
Features of the Munchkin Cat
Were it not for the most distinctive feature of the breed, the short length of its legs, the physical features of munchkin cats would be very similar to those of most feline breeds. In fact, one of its qualities is that it has many variations in terms of its facial features, type of fur and tonality, since none of these requirements was essential for a specimen to be considered of the munchkin breed. Hence the only concern of breeders had to do with the length of the legs.
It is difficult, therefore, to define the physical characteristics of the munchkin cat breed. It is not uncommon to find specimens of this breed with traits similar to the Persian cat or the Siamese cat, and with a fur that does not respond to any of them. In general, the fur in this breed is usually soft, dense and fluffy, and can occur in several lengths, from short to long. As for coloration, there is no restriction, and within the breed all colors and patterns are accepted.
Separate mention deserve its legs, modified naturally by genetics, and unique among all feline breeds. And it is that these are short or very short legs, especially the front ones, which give it a very concrete appearance even though they have no negative effect on their health. Amid the difference in length between the front and rear legs, it is common to find specimens of so-called munchkin dwarf cats supported as kangaroos, only on the hind legs and with the fronts collected.
Moreover, the dimensions of the munchkin breed of cats are normal and average of other breeds, perhaps noticeably smaller. The most common is to find specimens of weights between 3 and 5 kilos, weights similar to those of many other breeds.
Munchkin Cat Behavior
It might seem that the cat’s characteristic short legs munchkin involve a quiet animal that spends most of the day sleeping. But nothing further from reality. This kitten is very active and playful, it is always running and jumping, and showing a very remarkable agility. Perhaps it could even be said that it is faster and lighter than other breeds precisely because of this feature. So don’t doubt that you’ll see your cat climb, climb, jump and slide through the farthest corners, just like a cat with the longest legs.
In addition, it is a very affectionate breed and accustomed to the presence of people from their origins. That is why it is one of the most advisable breeds of cats as a pet for families of all kinds. It gets along great with children and even with other pets as long as the baby munchkin cat is properly socialized. And he’s very intelligent, awake and curious, so he spends a lot of his time exploring and learning new things.
It is not a cat that enjoys solitude and tranquility precisely because of its energy. It requires a high level of physical and mental activity, so your family must have time to spend with him and to perform all kinds of challenges and challenges on a daily basis. In addition to giving him all the love and love he deserves.
Main diseases of the Munchkin Cat
The most important thing about the health of the munchkin cat is to make it clear that its short legs are no problem for them. And they also do not involve any genetic or inherited disease, back or joint problems or mobility. On the other hand, these are strong and healthy animals that usually show greater resistance to common feline diseases than other breeds. Maybe because of the variety of genes found in his DNA. Of course, some healthy guidelines and habits will have to be maintained so that the cat is always in good condition, especially when it comes to eating. And it is that these cats tend to gain weight easily, and obesity is a serious health problem for cats in general and for the munchkin cat in particular.
Munchkin Cat Basic Care
Munchkin are cats that do not require special care or different from any other breed. Within normal and usual care, you will have to take into account your type of fur to keep it in good condition through baths and brushes. Although trying to brush it in any case between once and twice a week, and bathe it every six or eight weeks with special products for cats. On the other hand, it is essential to go to the veterinarian a couple of times a year to review it completely, and also to carry your vaccines and dewormings a day.
To also avoid fattening and developing other health problems for this reason, you must always offer a quality food and in the right amount for your weight. Being such an active and energetic animal, it will require a higher dose of food, but always be careful not to pass, because these cats are very gluttonous.
Following these guidelines, and providing you with diverse exercise and activities, and a proper education, the munchkin cat will certainly be a great pet for the whole family. It also remembers the importance of the socialization of the animal from the first moment, so that as an adult it has a good relationship with both humans, cats and other animals.
Things to know about the munchkin cat
In 1991 an official presentation was made to the public of this breed, and it was through television. Specifically at a show organized by TICA in the United States in Madison Square Garden.
Although at the beginning of their breeding it was thought that these cats could suffer certain diseases and problems related to the spine due to the low length of their legs, studies made it clear that this was not the case. Unlike in short-legged dog breeds, such as dachshund, which does suffer from column problems, munchkin cats have no problem moving or jumping in the same way as any other feline breed. And this is due to the difference between the column of cats and that of dogs.
Within the breed, cats with relatively longer legs may occur than others. Hence, beyond being munchkin, these cats are known as babylegs when they have very short legs, or longlegs when the length comes closer to that considered normal within the feline world.
Being like the unique cat munchkin, the truth is that they share traits with many other breeds. However, it should be borne in mind that these animals are not miniature versions of any of them, but a race of their own increasingly recognized and loved throughout the world.
If you want a munchkin cat to be your new adventure companion, the first thing you need to do is look for munchkin cat hatcheries specializing in it. They are becoming easier to find anywhere in the world, but you will always have to make sure that it is a professional and trusted center, that guarantees the health and characteristics of your new friend. In addition, never purchase an animal from an individual or a pet store, because you will have no guarantee of its origin and you would be contributing to indiscriminate breeding.