The racy, low-slung Munchkin is built for speed and agility. Munchkins are the same as every other cat – except they have short legs, can run at speed and have exceptional cornering skills – they also have a great deal of love to offer their devoted owners.
The Munchkin is not a new mutation. Short-legged cats have been recorded throughout the years and around the globe. In a British veterinary report in 1944, Dr. H E Williams-Jones described four generations of short-legged cats including an 8 year old black female that had extremely healthy life. In 1983 Sandra Hockenedel found a pregnant short-legged female that became the foundation for the breed we call the Munchkin. Sandra named the cat Blackberry. She gave a male, Toulouse, from one of Blackberry’s litters to her friend Kay LaFrance and it is from these two cats that the breed was established using domestic cats as an outcross to ensure a diverse gene pool. After years of development and observation, the Munchkin achieved TICA Championship status effective May 2003.
These sociable cats are extremely playful and love to run, chase an play with toys. They love company including children, dogs and other pets. Munchkins are extremely curious and will sit up on their hind legs like a rabbit to get a better view of something that has caught their attention. These self-assured cats leave no stone unturned or corner unexplored. They may not jump from the floor to the top of the bookcase in a single bound but they will show off their jumping prowess and intelligence as they find a path that takes them there in smaller steps. Once you know them, these lovable little cats capture your heart forever.
They are a small to medium sized cat and weigh between 5 and 9 pounds when fully grown. Other than their short legs, they look just like any normal cat. The short legs are a natural mutation that shortens the long leg bones similar to the one that gives the Corgis and Dachshunds their short stature. However the spine of the cat differs in structure from that of a dog and so the short legs do not result in the spinal problems that sometimes appears in canines. And any concerns about mobility are quickly erased as you watch the Munchkin dashing around and cornering tightly in whatever game they are playing.
Munchkins come in both coat lengths (short haired Munchkins have a medium-plush, all-weather coat whereas the long hairs have semi-long, silky all-weather coat) and a wide variety of colours and patterns.
Grooming is quick and easy. Short hair Munchkins should be combed once a week to help remove loose dead hair. Comb the long haired Munchkins twice a week to remove the dead hair and prevent tangles or mats from forming.