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Munchkin

The Scratching Post

Munchkin

The Munchkin is a naturally occurring cat with unusually short legs. The legs are caused by a spontaneous natural mutation called dwarfism. The Munchkin resembles a normal domestic long- or shorthaired cat in all but leg length. The body is semi-foreign and medium sized with a well-rounded chest and firm hips. The broad head is a modified wedge with high cheekbones. The muzzle and nose are medium in length and a slight nose bump is acceptable. The neck is thick and medium in length. The ears are broad at the base, slightly rounded at the tips and sit between the top and the side of the head. The eyes are large, walnut-shaped and sit far apart. The legs are very short with the hind legs slightly longer than the front. The tail is long and round. The shorthair's coat is plush, lustrous and medium in length. Both coat types are considered all-weather. All coat colors and patterns are accepted.

Temperament Munchkins are described as "ferret-like" in their playfulness, as they run, play with toys and chase. They are loving, affectionate and social. Despite the short legs, Munchkins can run, climb and jump, though not as high as other cats. Munchkins are curious, confident and outgoing. This breed is people-oriented and adores their human providers. They have been described as motorized dust mops and stay kitten-like well into adulthood. Munchkins can corner like a sports car and climb trees, curtains and scratching posts with the same agility as other cats. This breed also has an endearing way of sitting up, rabbit-like, on their hind legs. They get along well with other cats, dogs and children, making them a great all-around family pet.
Height, Weight Male Weight: 6-9 lbs. ; Female Weight: 4-8 lbs.
Health Problems Some Vets are concerned with lordosis, a downward curvature of the spine that gives the affected cats swaybacks. In severe cases, lordosis can compress the heart and lungs. More research will be done on this breed's health issues as they are a relatively new breed.
Living Conditions Keeping your cat indoors and neutering or spaying are essential elements for maintaining a healthy companion, and most importantly will extend the life expectancy of your cat.
Exercise Cats receive valuable exercise from playing. Playing builds the bond that you share as well as burns calories, releases aggression and burns off excess energy in younger cats.
Life Expectancy About 15 years
Grooming Longhaired Munchkins require regular bi-weekly grooming to keep their coat matt-free. The shorthaired version only requires a weekly brushing to keep its coat silky and smooth.
Origin Short-legged cats were around during the 1940s, but disappeared during WWII. In 1953, a short-legged cat was seen in Stalingrad; however, it wasn?t until 1983 that a short legged cat, later named Blackberry, was discovered by Sandra Hochenedel in Louisiana. Blackberry's first and subsequent litters consisted of about half short-legged and half long-legged kittens. A son from one of Blackberry's litters, Toulouse, was given to Hochenedel's friend Kay LaFrance. It is from Blackberry and Toulouse that today's Munchkin breed is descended. The breed was named for the little people of Munchkinland from the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. In 1991, the Munchkin was introduced to the public at cat shows in New York. In 1994, TICA accepted the breed in the New Breed and Color category; and for championship competition in 2002.