Munchkin Cats Have Short Legs
The Munchkin's short legs are the result of a genetic mutation. Kittens in the same litter can have varying lengths of legs. Typically, the front legs are a bit shorter than the back legs.
Munchkins Named for The Wizard of Oz
If you find yourself clicking your heels together over these cute little cats, it probably won't surprise you that they are named Munchkins after the characters in the movie The Wizard of Oz. This is due to the short stature of both the actors and the cats.
Munchkin Cat and Kitten Personality
As a breed, Munchkins are easy-going and calm. They love children and are friendly toward everyone they meet. Although there are always variations from one cat to the next, a Munchkin should be a fairly social addition to your family.
Short Haired Munchkin
The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes two classes of Munchkins for competition: The Munchkin and the Munchkin Longhair. Pictured here is the Munchkin. Notice its sleek, shiny coat. Although the fur is classified as short, the coat is actually medium length.
Long Haired Munchkin
Pictured here is a long-haired Munchkin cat. If you choose to get a long-haired cat, you'll need to groom him regularly to keep his fur from becoming matted.
Buying a Munchkin Cat
Munchkin cats typically cost around $250 to $500 for a purebred kitten. Some Munchkins can be much higher depending on any rarer qualities they have such as color and the breeder. It's also possible to find Munchkin cats in rescues and shelters though most of these will not be kittens.
Sitting and Standing Munchkins
Munchkin cats have a tendency to "sit" on their haunches because of the anatomy of their hind legs. You might look at the short-legged Munchkin and think they can't get around much, but they can be just as energetic as a regular cat, like this Munchkin kitty climbing up his scratching post.
A Napoleon Munchkin
Munchkins have been bred to other cat breeds to create new versions of the Munchkin. For example, this lovely Persian Munchkin comes from breeding a regular Persian cat to a Munchkin. This crossbreed is called a Napoleon.
Munchkin Breeder Association Controversy
While the Munchkin is recognized by The International Cat Association, the breed is still not recognized by the larger Cat Fancier's Association and also the American Cat Fancier's Association. This is because of concerns over whether breeding cats with such short legs is healthy for the animals.
Inquisitive Munchkin Collectors
Munchkins have been called the "magpies" of cats because they are known for claiming items in the household. If you have a Munchkin and are looking for a shiny item like a key ring, it's a good idea to check your Munchkin's bed to see if he's "collected" it.
Images of Munchkin Cats
Munchkins make wonderful pets. In addition to their warm, loving personalities, they are just plain cute! You'll find that Munchkins don't have the spinal problems typically encountered in dogs with similar stature. This is due to the difference between feline and canine spines.
If you enjoyed learning about the Munchkin, check out this Himalayan Cats slideshow to learn about another beautiful type of feline.