There is controversy over this breed. Is it right to breed cats for a deformity?
by Barbara George
Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
The Munchkin cat is the shortest cat breed with adults growing to as little as 150cm tall. Like some other unusual breeds, the Munchkin is the result of a genetic defect, in this instance dwarfism which gives them short legs and a body in proportion to their size.
Short-legged cats have been seen around England and Europe for almost a century. The official Munchkin breeding began in America in the 1980’s. The only known health issue is when both parents have the dwarfism gene as dominant, then kittens are stillborn. Other than that, there are no more health issues than in any other breed, and there are no spinal issues as in dogs with short legs. There is controversy over this breed. Is it right to breed cats for a deformity? This breed is not recognised by many of the cat associations around the world.
Munchkins come in all colours and patterns and both long and short fur. Short-haired cats need grooming once a week while long-haired cats should be groomed twice a week. Other grooming functions include cleaning ears and teeth, and keeping claws trimmed.
What these cats lack in height they make up for in personality, energy and intelligence. They are great hunters and known for an affinity to shiny items, often taking them away for later play. Munchkins are friendly and generally get along with most animals and people, and love to play and socialise. They enjoy learning and keeping their minds active.
Smaller cats need some adjustments to live in our homes. Lower litter trays are needed, as well as smaller beds. For safety check for small spaces where they can be trapped; drains, gutters, burglar bars etc.
These short cats can get into any small space, and are great explorers. They are not great at jumping and need a stairway of sorts in order to reach high places. To make up for his lack of height when looking around they will stand on their powerful back legs, much like a meerkat.
Munchkins have a normal lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. Typically they stay playful for their entire life, and still happy to play and learn. These cats are not readily available to purchase locally.