munchkin breed information
common health issues
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.