munchkin breed information

common health issues

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition of increased thyroid hormone caused by a benign thyroid tumor. It is the most common hormone imbalance seen in cats, and its hallmark clinical sign is weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite. The disease can be controlled with medication or cured with radiotherapy.
Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
This rare immune-mediated disease occurs in newborn kittens. When kittens with Type A blood nurse from a mother with type B blood, antibodies from the mother attach to the kitten's red blood cells and cause them to be destroyed, leading to anemia (low red blood cells). Affected kittens are born healthy, but fail to thrive.
As its name implies, polycystic kidney disease is a disease in which cysts form in the kidney. This causes them to be enlarged, and disrupts their normal function. Polycystic kidney disease generally leads to kidney failure. There is no specific treatment � supportive treatment for kidney failure improves quality of life.
The cells of the body need sugar to function and need insulin to carry sugar in through their walls. Diabetic animals do not have enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, resulting in high blood sugar and starving cells. Treatment entails the lifelong administration of insulin shots, and usually requires frequent trips to the vet for rechecks.

Munchkins are short-legged cats that are named for the similarly short-statured characters in “The Wizard of Oz”. It is unclear when cats with this trait first emerged, but in a British veterinary report in 1944, Dr. H.E. Williams-Jones described four generations of short-legged cats. The trait was also noted in cats in Stalingrad in 1956 and in New England in 1970. Today’s Munchkins descend from a cat named Blackberry, who gave birth to a litter of short-legged cats in 1983. The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the Munchkin into its New Breed development program in September 1994, and breeding data has since shown that the short-legged trait is the result of a dominant gene, similar to that found in Corgis and Dachshunds (although the feline trait does not appear to carry with it the spinal problems to which those dogs are prone).

Munchkins have been bred from many varieties of domestic cat, and as a result, their coats can be long or short, and any color or pattern. She is a small to medium-sized cat, weighing between 5 and 9 lbs. Other than her short legs, she looks just like any normal cat – and moves like one, too! She loves to run, jump and play just like her taller cousins.

Known to be sweet-natured and very sociable, Munchkins enjoy the company of children, dogs and other pets. She is naturally intelligent and curious, and if something catches her eye, she will often sit up on her hind legs like a rabbit to get a better view.

Despite her mixed heritage, Munchkins are nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Munchkins are prone to include immune-mediated diseases such as neonatal isoerythrolysis; heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; eye problems such as glaucoma; metabolic diseases such as diabetes; thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism; and kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Munchkin inherits anything more than a down-to-earth demeanor (literally!), you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)