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Munchkin Cat History, Character, Health, Breeding & more

The Munchkin cat or Sausage cat is a relatively new breed of cat characterized by its very short legs.
This original-looking cat breed originating from the USA is still a rarity elsewhere. Their characteristic short legs are the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation. However, it is exactly this feature in combination with their distinctive nature that makes the Munchkin cat so special in the eyes of their breeders and fans.

Munchkin Cat History

Munchkin cats were discovered as early as the beginning of the 20th century, falling into oblivion during the Second World War. Later, the Munchkin appeared in Stalingrad, New England, and finally in Louisiana in the 1980s. There Sandra Hochenedel discovered a small black cat with short legs. She christened the kitten "Blackberry." Blackberry gave birth to several kittens, half of which were short-legged in each litter. Toulouse, a male from a litter of Blackberry, was passed on to a friend of Sandra Hochenedel. With these two cats, the foundation stone of the Munchkin breeding was laid.

In 1991, the Munchkin cat was exhibited for the first time in New York at Madison Square Garden, and in 1994 it was included in the breeding program of TICA (The International Cat Association). The breed received Championship status in 2003. A number of prestigious breed associations, such as FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline), do not recognize the Munchkin. It is claimed that the Munchkin is based on a hereditary disease or that the breed is prone to health problems due to the deformity of the legs. However, many Munchkin breeders, as well as veterinarians, believe that the Munchkin cats are not limited in any way and are not more prone to health problems than other cat breeds.

The name "Munchkin" comes from the eponymous small-bodied people of the fantasy land of Oz from Fleming's "The Wizard of Oz" from 1939.

Munchkin Cat Appearance

The legs of the Munchkins are striking. These are extremely short in relation to the body. They are considered the trademark of this cat breed. At the same time, the legs of the Munchkin are strong and muscular well developed.

Their ears are disproportionately large, sit pointing upright on the head, and are slightly rounded at the tips. The head is wedge-shaped and the forehead is flat. The eyes have an almond shape, are quite wide apart, and are slightly slanted. The eyes occur in all colors.

The legs of the Munchkin should be the same length, but the hind legs may be slightly longer. The paws should point neither out nor in, but forward and rounded. The tail is as long as the body and is slightly rounded at the tip of the tail.

The Munchkin is medium to large in size, and its stature is quite muscular. On her cute little legs, the female Munchkin weighs two to three and a half kilograms, males three to four kilograms.

The Munchkin comes in a shorthaired and semi-longhaired variety (Munchkin Longhair). Their short and very plush (Shorthair) or semi-long silky (Semi-longhair) coat lies close to their muscular body. The Munchkin comes in every color imaginable from black and white to gray and red and in many different markings. Also, the eye color is not fixed.

Meanwhile, subtypes of the Munchkin also exist. One of them is the dwarf Mei Toi. Also particularly short-legged breedings with the designation "super short" Munchkins are already known.

Munchkin Cat Character

Her character is described as affectionate, calm, and at the same time very sociable as well as lively and playful. Their urge to move is just as pronounced as that of other cats. It is rated as medium to high. She loves to run and play. Munchkins are able to jump despite their short legs but not as high as other cat breeds. Nevertheless, their short legs do not limit their mobility. Especially their speed is remarkable. In addition, Munchkins like to climb, which is why a scratching post is indispensable in the cat household.

As a rule, the Munchkin Cat gets along very well with children, other cats, and pets in general. She loves it when her human roommates give her lots of love, attention, and positive attention and let her participate as much as possible in different aspects of their lives. This is because the Munchkin is very interested in family life and likes to take an active part due to her inquisitive nature. Munchkins are known for their curiosity: To get a better view, the short-legged furry noses often stand on their hind legs.

For this reason, the Munchkin should not live in a household where it is left to its own devices all day. Households with older people who have plenty of time to spend with their beloved pets are ideal. A family with children, other cats or pets also suits the Munchkin's nature. Provided, of course, that the children are considerate and responsible with the pet tiger.

Munchkin Cat Care and attitude

The Munchkin is less suitable for keeping as an outdoor cat. After all, it can only cope with the outdoors to a limited extent, in contrast to its jumping companions. However, a secured outdoor area, such as a cat-proof garden, suits her very well.

Depending on how long it is, you should care for the coat of your beloved pet tiger on dachshund legs with a brush at regular intervals. This will prevent the matting of their fur. Besides, regular grooming with the brush has the effect of strengthening the bond between the two of you. And last but not least, your favorite sofa will be spared from cat hair. In every household with a cat belongs a scratching post. The Munchkin also likes to sharpen her claws on it, which she maintains and sharpens in this way.

Munchkin Cat Health

According to "The International Cat Association" (TICA), contrary to the opinion of critics, the short legs are not accompanied by a restriction of their mobility, as well as back problems.

Since the Munchkin is a relatively young cat breed, no definite statements can yet be made about breed-specific diseases.

However, cats of this original breed are often diagnosed with lordosis. This is a convex curvature of the spine towards the front. The animals affected by lordosis often die at a young age. Whether the disease is related to the short legs is unclear. Unlike the dachshund, which is also known for its short legs, the munchkin probably does not have a fundamental tendency to diseases of the spine.

With a species-appropriate attitude and nutrition, Munchkins can become up to 18 years old.

Munchkin Cat diet

What kind of food does my Munchkin cat need?

Dry food offers advantages especially to the cat's owner: It develops little odor, and the cat can eat it whenever needed, for example, when its owner is at work. However, in the sense of the cat, it should definitely only be a supplement or alternation to the wet food. This is the only way to guarantee a balanced diet. The dry food is to be criticized that it contains only a little water, namely only about eight percent. This does not correspond to the natural eating habits of the cat, which in nature regulates its fluid intake through food. If the cat only eats dry food, it can develop bladder and kidney diseases. In addition, dry food has a high energy density, so it can also lead to obesity. Some veterinarians, on the contrary, recommend a diet based on - high-quality - dry food.

Cats would probably rather buy wet food because it is more in line with their natural eating habits. Be sure to look for the right composition of meat and vegetables. Good varieties can also be recognized by the fact that all processed animal by-products are listed in detail. This transparency builds trust. Offal such as liver, heart, and stomach are considered high quality. Only a maximum of two to five percent of the ingredients should be of vegetable origin.

Barfing - biologically species-appropriate raw feeding - is also recommended:
The cat, as you know, is carnivorous by nature. Their diet should naturally take this into account. Barfing corresponds to the instinct, metabolism, and anatomy of the cat. It is based on the dietary habits of the wild ancestors of today's domestic cats. Barfing offers numerous advantages. Thus, it ensures healthy teeth and prevents the formation of tartar, as well as food allergies and kidney diseases, ensure high quality and freshness of food, higher nutritional values, and does not use chemical and synthetic additives.

How do I find the right Munchkin breeder?

Since the Munchkin is mainly bred in the USA, getting a Munchkin cat is not so easy. Occasionally reputable breeders can be found, but you should be prepared to drive some kilometers. The price for a Munchkin ranges from 300 to 1,500 US dollars.

Make sure that it is a reputable breeder who handles his animals responsibly. Kittens should stay with their mother cat until at least 12 weeks after birth to learn everything feline essentials. Keep your distance from breeders who offer pedigree cats at cheap prices without papers.

Munchkins are rarely found in animal shelters, but maybe your dream cat is waiting for you there. So the walk to the shelter is worthwhile in any case!

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