When a genetic mutation occurs naturally in a breed and developed over the years, it is quite easy that from it emerges a new breed. 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 at first they went quite unnoticed.
The first indications of the breed are found in the United States in the 40s in New York.
However, it was not until years later when these animals began to be reported as a possible race of their own. In the 1980’s in the United States 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 the breeding of the munchkin cat. The most interesting 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 munchkin in 1994 and included it in its development program, but FIFE has still not recognized this unique feline race.
At first, there were not too many breeders interested in this breed because of the possible health issues this breed could have. However, they soon dispelled 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 anywhere, either as a pet or as part of a breeding program to perpetuate the breed and to continue developing and improving its characteristics.
Features of the Munchkin Cat
The most distinctive feature of this breed are in fact the short length of its legs.
Nevertheless, as a breed that is still developing, it has many variations in its facial features, type of fur and tonality, since none of these features was essential for a specimen to be considered as a munchkin cat. Therefore, the only concern of breeders had to do with the length of the legs.
Hence, it is difficult to specify the physical characteristics of the munchkin cat breed. There are specimens of this breed that have even similar traits 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. Also within the breed could have all type of colors and patterns.
Its front legs are shorter than the back legs, which give them a very unique appearance, however, it has 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 munchkin normally weights around between 6 and 11 lbs (3 and 5 kg).
Munchkin Cat Behavior
The Munchkin cat is a very active and playful breed. He likes to run, jump and shows very remarkable agility. It is faster and lighter than other breeds precisely because of its features. You might see those little dwarfs climb, jump and slide through the farthest corners.
In addition, it is a very affectionate breed and used 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. He requires a high amount of physical and mental activity, so you must have time to spend and play with him on a regular basis.
Main diseases of the Munchkin Cat
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.
It is necessary to maintain a healthy diet for the munchkin cat so that the cat is always in good shape. 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 cats do not require special care different from any other breed.
Brush it once or twice a week.
It is essential to go to the veterinarian a couple of times a year to review it completely, and also to take the vaccines and dewormings.
To also avoid fattening and developing other health problems, he must always eat quality food in the right amount. Being such an active and energetic animal, it will require a higher dose of food, but always be careful as these cats are very gluttonous.
This cats need a lot of diverse exercise and activities.
The munchkin cat is certainly a great pet for the whole family.
Things to know about the munchkin cat
In 1991 an official presentation of this breed was made to the public. Specifically at a show organized by TICA in the United States in Madison Square Garden.
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 clear that this was not an issue. 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.
There are munchkins with longer legs than others. Hence, beyond being munchkin, these cats are known as baby legs when they have very short legs, or longlegs when the length comes closer to that considered normal within the feline world.
Munchkins have similar traits to many other breeds. However, these animals are not miniature versions of any of them, but a race of their own.
If you are considering adopting a munchkin cat 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.