The Munchkin is a domestic cat breed, which is popular for its
unusually short legs. These short-legged cats have been recognized in
1930s in England. But World War II took its toll on the cat and they
were suddenly disappeared. These cats were rediscovered in Europe in
1983 when Sandra Hochenedel found an extremely short-legged black cat
living under a trailer in Louisiana. Sandra named this cat, Blackberry.
When she found Blackberry, the cat was pregnant and half of her kittens
were born short-legged. One of Blackberry's kittens, named Toulouse,
became the father of a breeding program that established the breed in
North America. Recently, it has been accepted as a breed by TICA.
Munchkin was previously tagged as a Kangaroo cat until 1953.
A Munchkin can easily be distinguished from other breeds of cats because
of its physical appearance. These cats have extremely short legs. But it
does not make any difference in their activities as they can do
everything that other cats do. They can range high counter tops and can
even run as fast as any other cat. Munchkins also come in different hair
lengths, but the longhair Munchkin has an extraordinary beautiful plumed
tail. Munchkins are generally found in medium size with well-rounded
chest. They have plush and resilient coats with a lustrous, silky
appearance. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. Munchkins
have large walnut-shaped eyes, which are generally found in deep and
The Munchkins are affectionate and well-balanced cats. They are very
friendly and easily feel at ease with anybody, even with other pets.
They love human company and do not prefer to be alone. It has been seen
that the more companions they have, the happier they will be. These cats
are adventurous, self-assured, playful and outgoing in nature. A
Munchkin is said to be the ideal indoor pet, because of its outgoing and
social personality. Because of its adventurous nature, the Munchkin cat
loves playing with little kids.
As they are considered intelligent cats, they can easily learn to play
fetch and can learn to obey simple voice commands in a short time. One
of the rare temperament of Munchkin which is not found in other breeds
is, they are collectors in their own way and have an eye for little
things in rooms, such as, jewelry and small toys. They even have the
habit of hiding their collections under the sofa, bed or even in
appliances, which according to them are appropriate hiding places.
The genetic mutation, which is the reason for the short-legged trait in
munchkin cats, is often referred to as achondroplasia. But it has not
been proven yet, as achondroplasia is typically associated with an
enlarged head as well as short legs, and this combination of features is
not seen in munchkin cats. Thus, the reason for the short legs is
sometimes been referred to as hypochondroplasia. Munchkin Cats are also
said to be prone to lordosis and pectus excavatum, and they may have a
particular affinity to these conditions.