Munchkini kass

Munchkini kass

Other names: dachshund cat , basset cat , american pygmy , munchkin , kangaroo , louisian creole , mei-toy , dachshund cat , munch , manchik

Munchkin refers to young breeds of short-legged cats. They are playful, affectionate and friendly creatures.

Characteristics of Munchkin cat

Villane tüüpLühikesed juuksed
Kaal3–4 kg
vanus10–15 aastat
Munchkin cat Characteristics

Põhilised hetked

  • Munchkins are mobile and inquisitive, often standing on their hind legs.
  • It is easy to get along in a large family, get along with other pets and children.
  • Undemanding in care.
  • They are prone to lordosis and obesity, so the Munchkins should be carefully chosen, follow the feeding regimen.

Munchkin is a cat breed that is distinguished by shortened legs while maintaining the proportions of the body and appearance of ordinary members of the family. The feature developed as a result of a natural mutation, so the vast majority of animals have good health. Munchkins are mobile, get along well with other pets, and are kind to children. Conventionally, the breed is divided into semi-longhair and shorthair lines.

History of the Munchkins

Munchkins are adorable short-legged cats.
Munchkins are adorable short-legged cats.

In the 30s of the twentieth century, references to unusual short-legged cats periodically appeared in Europe. The Second World War that broke out soon almost completely erased this genetic line. In 1944, a British veterinarian reported seeing several generations of cats that looked like normal domestic cats except for the limbs. After the war, such animals were seen in the USA and the USSR. In 1953, Soviet sources dubbed them “Stalingrad kangaroos”, suggesting that the mutation occurred due to existence in harsh conditions.

The modern development of the Munchkin breed occurred in 1983, when teacher Sandra Hochenedel from Louisiana, returning home, noticed an unusual pregnant cat. The woman took pity and sheltered her, giving the nickname Blackberry (Blackberry). Half of the kittens that were born also had short legs, which surprised Sandra a lot. She decided to give an unusual pet to her friend Kay LaFrance. So the Blackbury and Toulouse cats became the ancestors of the modern breed.

Sandra and Kay managed to interest Dr. Solveig Pfluger, who served as a judge of the TICA association, in the munchkins. He examined unusual cats and issued an unequivocal verdict – the breed appeared naturally, thanks to changes in the recessive gene that regulates the length of the paws. Unlike dachshunds and other short animals, the Munchkin’s short legs do not usually lead to back problems.

Munchkin kitten
Munchkin kitten

The breed was first introduced to the general public at the TICA National Show held at Madison Square Garden in 1991. Most of the audience and experts were critical of the vitality of the Munchkin, stigmatizing them as living evidence of a violation of the breeders’ ethics. Despite lengthy disputes, by 1994 TICA still managed to list the breed as developing. In the early 2000s, the Munchkins won the championship title and gained real popularity.

The breed is recognized by the associations TICA, AACE, UFO, SACC and WNCA. The FIF, CFA and Governing Council of the Cat Fancy societies refused to register the Munchkins, considering these cats to be genetically inferior. TICA decided the issue democratically – only cats whose owners are able to confirm a monopedigree pedigree in three or more generations are allowed to participate in the show. Munchkins got their unusual name in honor of the cheerful, friendly people from the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Video: Munchkin

7 Reasons You Should NOT Get a Munchkin Cat

Munchkin’s appearance


Munchkins are unique, they cannot be confused with other cats due to their strongly shortened legs. With an average body size, the legs of these cats are 2-3 times smaller than those of other breeds. Despite this mutation, the Munchkins have retained a healthy spine, so they have a mobile, flexible, strong body. The average weight of cats ranges from 2.2 to 4 kilograms.

Munchkins are often crossed with other breeds, so they can differ in appearance and character. Offspring are often long-legged. Such cats do not participate in the show, but can be used for the development of the breed, since the presence of two short-legged parents increases the mortality of kittens in the litter. Breeders are actively developing Munchkins, so the associations have not yet provided rigid standards.

Munchkin cat Head

It is proportional to the size of the body, has rounded contours, the shape of a modified wedge. The cheekbones are high and are usually more pronounced in cats than in cats. The muzzle is of medium length, the transition of the nose to the forehead is smooth. Some deflection of the bridge of the nose is allowed. The chin is not large, firm.


Munchkin looking out the window
Munchkin looking out the window

Almond-shaped, medium or large size. A fairly wide landing at a slight angle provides the muzzle with an open expression. Munchkins do not have a strict relationship between eye color and coat color.


The ears are wide at the base and rounded at the tips. Shells can be medium or large in size, set wide and high. The presence of brushes is permissible only in representatives of the breed with long hair.


In cats, the neck is larger, more muscular, denser than in cats.


The body of the munchkin is elongated, it cannot be called compact. The back has a slight slope down from the tail to the shoulders. The thighs are firm, the chest is rounded. The skeleton is of medium size, the muscles are well developed. Cats are usually larger than cats. Angled blades are allowed.

Munchkini kass
Munchkin and his toys

Munchkin cat Legs

The limbs are short, located at the same distance in the direction of view from head to tail. The upper and lower parts of the forelegs, as well as the thighs and lower parts of the hind legs, are equal in length. The hind limbs are often slightly longer than the forelimbs. Munchkins have three legs: regular, short, very short (Rug hugger).


Ginger kitten munchkin
Ginger kitten munchkin

Munchkin’s paws are proportional to the body, have a rounded shape. Curvature outward or inward is not allowed.


The length of the tail and body is usually the same. The thickness is medium, there is a rounded, somewhat narrowed tip. During movement, the tail comes to a vertical position. In the presence of long hair, this part of the body receives an abundant plume.

Munchkin cat Wool

The coat is silky semi-long or velvety short, with a medium undercoat.


Munchkins can have any coat color, bicolor individuals are often found.

Munchkin cat Lifespan

Munchkins live 12-13 years, but with professional care they can live up to 16-20 years.

Võimalikud puudused

Too short or long nose, protruding sternum, round head and eyes, cow-like paws, stocky short body, curly coat.

Disqualification signs

Deafness, amputated claws, cryptorchidism.

Disqualifying vices for the show

The presence of characteristic features of other breeds, drooping croup, excessively concave back.

Photo munchkins

Munchkin cat character

Munchkin on hind legs
Munchkin on hind legs

Munchkin really looks at life and does not complain about its trials, he is confident in himself and his abilities, good-natured, curious. To people, these cats seem slightly out of this world. It cannot be said that the character of the Munchkins is approximately the same, it depends on the genes, so they have different types of behavior. But in general, these are groovy animals, with great sympathy for people.

Representatives of the breed love outdoor games, the short paws of the Munchkins do not prevent them from being nimble enough: they jump very smartly on low tables, chairs, and other furniture. Yes, and the favorite curtains of the owners are also easily stormed by them. Of course, they won’t be able to jump too high, but stealing something tasty from the kitchen table, after jumping, for example, onto a stool, is a couple of trifles for them.

Munchkins are smart, very friendly, clean animals, quickly getting used to a new environment, people. They remain playful throughout their lives, especially fond of children. Munchkins are extremely inquisitive, often “borrowing” and hiding small things to play with in moments of loneliness, so it is better to hide all valuable, fragile trinkets away. It is advisable to periodically look for such “treasuries”, since the missing keys, socks, pencils are usually located there.

Munchkins are distinguished by truly canine devotion to the owner, but they have their own character, they are able to stand up for themselves. These cats easily endure trips, do not resist walks on a harness. An interesting feature of the breed is the ability to sit on its hind legs for a long time, surveying the surroundings. At the same time, the front paws hang funny along the body, which is why Munchkins are often called “kangaroo cat”.

Munchkin cat Care and maintenance

Who is the most curious cat?
Who is the most curious cat?

This breed is easy to keep, does not require special care. Experts recommend following a few simple rules.

  • Despite the gregarious nature of cats, they are very fond of “twisting nests” in order to feel protected while relaxing. Set up a munchkin basket, small sturdy box, or other soft-lined house.
  • Get a deep tray, because clean pets actively bury waste and are able to litter around.
  • Short-haired Munchkins need to be combed once a week, long-haired – 2 times. The main thing is to prevent the occurrence of tangles.
  • It is enough to bathe these cats once every 3-4 months with special shampoos.
  • Changing claws is usually easy for Munchkins, especially if there is a scratching post in the house. Once every 2-3 weeks, it is worth checking the condition of the paws in order to help the pet if necessary.
  • Ears should not be cleaned deeply and very carefully, about 1 time per month.
  • It is undesirable to let cats go for a walk on their own, as a squat animal often looks like it is preparing to attack, which can be misunderstood by other pets or people. Due to the short legs, the Munchkin can be injured.
  • Munchkins should be fed moderately, because, despite their high mobility, they are prone to obesity. Provide frequent replacement of drinking water, good nutrition.
  • Using special toothpastes once a month, you can successfully prevent the development of oral diseases in Munchkins.

As for nutrition, it is not recommended to feed the cat from the general table. Use specialized or separately prepared natural foods. These types of food should be alternated, but not mixed in one plate. Do not purchase cheap foods as they are similar to fast food for humans. Are you going to cook food for the munchkin at home? Experts advise to make a diet in this way:

  • 60% – raw or boiled meat (rabbit, beef, offal);
  • 30% – boiled or raw vegetables;
  • 10% - teravili.

Munchkins should not be treated with salty, sweet, fried, smoked, bean dishes, fish, fatty meats (lamb, pork). An adult cat can be fed a couple of times a day, kittens – up to 6 times a day.

Munchkini kass

Munchkin cat health

Kaks sõpra
Kaks sõpra

The Munchkin is a young breed with an actively expanding gene pool, so its representatives rarely suffer from congenital diseases and have good immunity. Owners should be aware that such cats are somewhat intolerant of plant foods, so its share in the diet should be small. Sometimes there are cases of congenital lordosis – excessive deflection of the spine in the area of ​​​​the shoulder blades.

Munchkins can suffer from lordosis. This is a disease in which the muscles that support the spinal column are weakened, and it moves into the chest cavity, while pressing on the heart and lungs. A slight curvature will not cause problems, but it can be aggravated by trauma and obesity. Severe lordosis causes breathing difficulties, increases the load on the heart muscle, which can lead to illness. However, lordosis is a fairly rare disease. By the way, other breeds of cats can also suffer from it.

Since the Munchkin’s short legs are a natural genetic mutation, some kittens’ legs may be short, while others may be regular or long. If the gene responsible for short limbs is inherited by the embryo from both parents, it can be fatal.

Kuidas kassipoega valida

The rules for selecting Munchkin kittens are standard: take mobile, clean babies from the age of 12 weeks with the necessary vaccinations. Contact only reliable catteries offering registered animals. This will allow you to get a really healthy kitten, without serious birth defects. Munchkins have won the love of a wide audience, so real queues often line up behind them. If a certain gender, type of color, coat length is not important to you, you can get a kitten quickly enough. You should not buy munchkins in bird markets or through private listings, tempted by a low price. This can result in long-term treatment of the animal or the acquisition of a non-viable individual.

Photo of munchkin kittens

How much does a munchkin cost

The price of a Munchkin kitten in Russia ranges from 50 to 70$, depending on gender, color, coat length, and a specific breeder. It is customary to cross Munchkins only with healthy domestic cats of a similar appearance or among themselves. Hybrid kittens that have inherited the characteristics of other breeds are not allowed to the show, therefore they are sold at a reduced price. They do not differ in character from their counterparts and sometimes look nicer than the exhibition ones. Also, healthy pets with other features of appearance that cause disqualification in competitions will be cheaper. This is a great opportunity to acquire a devoted four-legged friend at an affordable price.

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