With its conspicuously shortened limbs, the Munchkin cat appears extremely clumsy. The affectionate animals conquer the hearts of cat lovers all over the world with their special looks and character. However, the distinctive short-legged nature of the breed is viewed critically and so the breed was not recognized by the breeding associations in German-speaking countries. Nevertheless, the Munchkin also finds fans in our latitudes.
History and Origin of the Munchkin Cat
The history of the Munchkin Cat began in the USA in the early 1980s. Sandra Hochenedel took in a pregnant cat and christened it “Blackberry”. When Munchkin kittens were born, they turned out to be short-legged. Among the kittens, there was also a tomcat who was named “Toulouse”. Today, Toulouse is considered the progenitor of the breed that is now known as the Munchkin.
In 1991, a Munchkin cat was presented for the first time at a show in New York. The short-legged cats were included in the TICA breeding program in 1994 and in 2003 the breed received championship status.
Long before the 1980s, there were always short-legged cats in nature, but only with targeted breeding did they become more widespread. Breed clubs such as the Fédération Internationale Féline do not recognize the Munchkin as a breed. While many breed associations believe that the breed is inherited and that its short legs can lead to health problems, Munchkin breeders and veterinarians alike believe that the Munchkin is by no means more prone to health problems than other cat breeds.
Essence and Character
With its nature and character, the small cat will certainly conquer your heart. As a real cuddly cat, the Munchkin is extremely human-friendly and affectionate. The fur noses are playful and like to romp around despite their short legs.
Thanks to its intelligence, the curious Munchkin cat is able to keep an eye on everything and also likes to stand on its hind legs to keep track of things. She likes to be near “her” people, so you should make all rooms of the apartment accessible to a Munchkin. Her sociability ensures that she both enjoys and actively demands attention from people and also likes to interact with children and pets and gets along well.
The Appearance of the Munchkin Cat
The short-legged Munchkin cat is also known as the dachshund cat because of its body shape. This is not only due to the extremely short legs, which are reminiscent of a dachshund but also to the muscular, strong body. The wedge-shaped head shape and the relatively large, upright ears are also characteristic of the look of the Munchkin Cat. Add to that the clever, almond-shaped eyes that are set wide apart. The look is completed by the medium-length tail, which tapers and ends in a rounded tail tip.
Attitude and Care
Basically, the Munchkin is easy to care for and robust. Due to her nature and character, she will certainly fit well into your household. Because they get along well with both children and other pets, the short-legged cat is considered the ideal family cat. But the Munchkin also gets along well in a single household if it does not have to be alone for too long and has a conspecific at its side.
Outdoor Cat or Indoor Cat?
Munchkin cats are territorial and don’t tend to stray. Due to their physical limitations, it is advisable to keep short-legged cats as indoor cats. Of course, it would be ideal if you could offer a Munchkin Cat a secure outdoor space or, even better, a secure garden. However, if you only live in an apartment, you should offer the sweet velvet paw a varied environment with opportunities to climb and play.
How Much Activity Does the Munchkin Cat Need?
As a sociable fellow, the Munchkin cat definitely values daily play and cuddles. Despite their short legs, cats are very agile and love to romp and play. Although a Munchkin will not set any jump records and it is not possible to strut around gracefully, the cats are extremely quick and agile and can reach high speeds when playing. Accordingly, you should make sure when playing that the Munchkin does not necessarily have to jump. It is better to challenge the intelligent cat with clicker training and intelligence games.