Munchkin cat, the short-legged cat: characteristics and curiosities – The first and only Munchkin cat of its kind. A breed of cat with very short legs, nicknamed “dachshund cat” or “miniature cat”.
The Munchkin cat, nicknamed “The Little One”, is a breed as modern as it is. This cat takes its name from the small people that Dorothy, the protagonist in The Wizard of Oz, met when she arrived in Oz.
This adorable miniature cat, with an unusual physique for a feline, more like a stuffed animal than a cat, it can be recognized in particular thanks to its very short legs and its fairly spaced ears.
History of the Munchkin cat
Munchkin was first introduced to the United States in 1983. A Louisiana breeder named Sandra Hochenedel discovered a cat with this particular characteristic of very short legs.
Many years earlier, the same daring occurred in England, more precisely in the 1930s and in Russia in the 1950s. Cats with similar characteristics were discovered, but no one had the intuition to develop their breed.
The breed began to gain popularity in the 90s, being controversial, since some believed that his genetic condition could be a sign of serious spinal disease.
But over time it has been seen that the cat Munchkin is not so different from the other cats, he jumps and plays just like them. The only difference is that they cannot jump so high because of their short legs.
Characteristics of the Munchkin
The Munchkin cat is a medium to small adult cat, measure about 21-23 cm and weighs from 2.5 to 4 kg, with a life expectancy: 15 to 20 years. It has a well-formed and balanced, muscular body with a developed bone structure.
One of its characteristics is that of having very short, slightly arched legs. With regard to its short legs, which are the cause of genetic defects, related to spinal and bone problems, they can cause arthritis problems in cats.
The hair of this cat can be short or long but regardless of the length it is silky. There are many colors accepted in the breed standard: brindle, brindle and white, blue, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, cream, black, silver. Furthermore, it is also possible to find different combinations, from marble tones to tricolors.
The Munchkin should be brushed one or twice a week, especially if it is one of those with long hair. Particular attention should also be paid to this cat’s ears and teeth, which require weekly cleaning.
Its head is different from that of other cats: it has large expressive eyes on a triangle-shaped face with rounded contours accentuated by two ears, wide at the base and spaced apart from each other.
The tail is well stocked and the Munchkin carries it up when he walks. Characterally he is an extremely lively kitten who likes to hunt, jump and run everywhere and despite his short legs, he loves climbing.
He does not seem to be aware of his physical condition, that there is something different in him does not perceive him and it interacts with other animals as if it doesn’t know it is much smaller.
In spite of everything is a loving and sweet kitten with its owners, but also loves to be pampered and can not stand to be alone, being very sociable both with humans and with other family animals.
It is an extremely intelligent breed of cat that likes to learn and therefore it is easy to train it. A curiosity about this cat is that it has a tendency like a thief magpie that is, it loves to hide shiny objects and keep them hidden like treasures.
Always through the game, it is possible to keep this kitten’s body in training and it is absolutely essential to keep it in shape. Precisely because of this particular build it may have a tendency to gain weight.
That is why it is very important to offer him a quality food so that his diet is the most adequate and does not allow him to become sedentary.
A diet based on wet food for the cat is often considered the best, but you can also consider food, better to take into account the advice of your veterinarian.
In every home it needs a rich and balanced diet, adapted to his age and physical activity in particular. Per the rest does not have major health problems but as is typical for domestic cats, a munchkin can have the following ailments:
- hyperthyroidism, a hormonal imbalance;
- pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas;
- uremia, a kidney disorder;
- feline lower urinary tract disease;
- lymphosarcoma, common cancer that affects cats and dogs.