If you’ve never seen a Munchkin cat in person, we must warn you that you will have difficulty “not smiling” when you do. This is because these cute little devils are adorable in an “odd” way. While it is true that this cat, among the many different cat breeds, has stirred up quite a bit of controversy in recent times, we here at IndulgeYourPet are pretty fond of these little guys and tend to agree with the International Cat Association in their decision to “officially” recognize this as an actual breed in and of itself in late 1994.
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) don’t officially recognize the breed yet, but we feel they will eventually come around. And if they don’t, that’s “OK” because it doesn’t change that these little guys are fantastic cats!
But it is a Munchkin…
The “right” cat for you? That’s the real question, which is why, in this article, we want to take a moment and discuss what it’s like to own a Munchkin cat so that if you ever find yourself lucky enough to make one of these incredible little creatures, your own, you won’t be disappointed six months later.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Munchkin Cat Breed Fast facts
Country of Origin: United States
Size: Medium in size, yet very short in stature
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
Head shape: Round
Life Span: 10 to 13 years plus
Origin of the Munchkin Cat Breed
Regarding the controversial “nature” of the Munchkin cat breed, most conflict centers around whether the breed is defined in and of itself or is simply a “subset” of the species affected by a mutated gene. “Munchkin-ism” isn’t a new “trait” seen only in Munchkin kittens within the United States.
Cats displaying short legs have been well documented throughout Europe as early as the 1930s, and had it not been for WWII, it’s entirely possible that these guys would have made a much “bigger” splash on the world had they not been nearly wiped out during this time. They were so common during this time that they earned the nickname “kangaroo cat.”
This is why…
Many “purists” argue that the Munchkin cat breed isn’t a true cat breed but rather just a subset of a domestic shorthair or longhair cat. The good news is that because we’re just a bunch of folks who love animals and don’t particularly care whether one organization “recognizes” a particular cat or dog breed, we don’t have to involve ourselves with any of this drama.
All we need to ask ourselves is…
Do these cats suffer as a result of their short legs? Because if they did, it would be cruel to continue breeding them for this “trait,” which we here at IndulgeYourPet wouldn’t be “OK” with. The good news is that “having short legs” doesn’t bother these guys. You’ll find these guys to be very capable little runners, making them quite the “urban hunter” and a lot of fun to play with.
For this reason…
It’s almost best to consider these little guys like some of the short-legged dog breeds that we’re all familiar with, like the:
And you don’t hear anyone complaining about those great animals now, do you?
Which brings us to…
The modern-day “version” of the Munchkin was accidentally discovered when a Louisiana music teacher named Sandra Hochenedel found and rescued a “stray” Munchkin on the streets in Rayville, Louisana, in 1983. (1) Like most times when you choose to adopt a “star,y,” you’re usually rewarded shortly afterward with a few puppies or kittens. And wouldn’t you know it, some of those kittens were “Munchkins” too!
Which brings us…
Today, these little guys are causing quite the “stir” in the feline world, and why shouldn’t they? After all, no matter your opinion, they are undoubtedly UNIQUE!
Aside from the fact that all Munchkin cats and kittens are going to have shortened limbs, you’re generally going to find that they will look very similar to a domestic shorthair or longhaired cat (thus, one of the arguments that the Munchkin isn’t an actual breed of its own). This makes sense since the Munchkin cat breed isn’t an ancient cat breed; its origin stems from a spontaneously mutated gene, meaning that just about all “colors or patterns” will be acceptable, provided that the short gene is present and dominant.
Because these cats so similarly resemble a domestic shorthaired cat, you can assume that their “grooming” needs will be pretty basic in the “shorthaired” variety and will usually only require periodic brushing with the “longhaired” type. It’s also safe to assume that these little guys will be great with kids and quite affectionate, even though they will also be full of energy. So, if you decide to purchase a Munchkin kitten or adopt a Munchkin rescue cat, be prepared for a cat that loves running around and playing while enjoying a good afternoon with you on the couch!
Potential Health Concerns
Another primary reason why many “purists” have had a difficult time accepting the Munchkin breed as a valid and separate breed is because of concerns that these cats may be prone to suffer from some spinal issues found in other cat breeds with “altered or mutated” genes. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Munchkin cats. The Munchkin cat breed does seem to be pretty healthy overall. That said, we’ll be the first to admit that because this breed is so “new,” we should probably “refrain” from declaring this breed as a “totally” healthy one for at least a few more decades so that we can get an accurate idea about the overall health of the species as a whole.
This brings us to…
The last point we want to make is deciding what kind of cat you should and shouldn’t adopt. While it’s not uncommon for someone to spend days, if not weeks, researching what “kind” of animal they should purchase, few of these people will explore where or not they should buy a pet insurance policy for that same animal.
Purchasing a pet insurance policy isn’t always the “right” choice for everyone; how will you know if getting one isn’t suitable for you unless you research what these “kinds” of policies will and won’t cover? Knowing how much one would cost could go a long way in deciding if you might like to know if your little guy gets sick or injured, you won’t be on the hook for 100% of their medical bills.
This is why…
We chose to write our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that you don’t have to do all the research on your own and so that you can quickly determine whether or not a pet insurance policy is right for you.