Described by the International Cat Association as ‘sweet-natured, playful, people-oriented, outgoing and intelligent’ it is tempting to believe that the Munchkin cat is the most perfect of pets. Yet some have argued that the genetic mutation that causes the cat to have short legs can lead to painful hip and joint problems in later life.
That being said, the breed’s critics are vastly outnumbered by its fans.
Munchkin (or sausage) cats were first documented in British veterinary reports of the 1940s, but it was in North America that the cat eventually found fame. It is thought that most of today’s American Munchkins are descendants of a Louisianan cat called Toulouse that back in 1983 was born of a long-legged cat.
A calm and loving temperament
The calm and loving temperament of this cat is what attracts owners. It is very sociable and loves being around people, which is rare for felines. It is also exceptionally tolerant of other animals including dogs.
The cat’s biggest fans are children, who often regard it as cuter than a long-legged variety.
The Munchkin has since been crossed with, among others, the LaPerm cat to create the Skookum, the hairless Sphynx to create the Minskin and Bambino, and the Scottish Fold to create the Scottish Kilts.
The Munchkin demands as much care and devotion from its owner as do other breeds. It is prone to be sedentary due to its reduced agility so its diet should be levelled appropriately. Your brushing the cat every day will prevent its fur from becoming tangled and matted.
Importantly, regular check-ups by a vet will ensure that any conditions that do arise from the cat’s genetic mutation can be identified early on.