The Munchkin is a naturally occurring domestic cat breed characterised by unusually short legs. A spontaneous change in the genetic heritage of the cat has introduced a gene similar to that seen in the Basset Hound, Corgi, and Dachshund, which the Munchkin closely resembles. However these cats have been proven free of the spinal problems sometimes found in the Dachshund.
Although only recently discovered by the cat fancy, Munchkin sightings were reported long before World War II in Stalingrad, Germany and in Great Britain. It was at times noted to sit on its haunches with its usually short legs in the air, similar to the alert stance of a rabbit, hence in 1953 it was dubbed the "Stalingrad kangaroo cat."
Seeming to have disappeared from Europe, the Munchkin was rediscovered in Rayville, Louisiana by Sandra Hochenedel in the 1980's. Sandra was in pursuit of a pet cat for her three children. She found Blackberry, a pregnant female cat living beneath a truck in a rural area. Back at home, Sandra was astonished when she realised the cat was unlike any other cat that she ever had seen. This extraordinary cat had body movements that were ferret-like with dwarf legs that resembled the Corgi dog. Blackberry proudly presented Sandra's family with several litters, and each litter included short and long-legged kittens. One day
Blackberry vanished. Sandra feared the trait was lost again, but it was not. The gene pool was retrieved from Blackberry kittens that had been given to Kaye LaFrance.
A Munchkin is a product of nature rather than a manmade breed. Because of the autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, a cat with the Munchkin gene will produce kittens with the same short legs. There is no evidence to suggest that the gene for short legs hampers survival or quality of life.
Munchkins are registered with The International Cat Association showable in the NBC (new breed or colour) class, and United Feline Organisation showable in championship. Munchkin breeders are diligently working to get the cat recognised for Championship competition with TICA.
The Munchkin is a medium sized cat with a substantial, thick semi-foreign body type and a well-rounded chest. Munchkin litters consist of both short and long legged kittens. Male Munckins are generally larger than their female counterparts.
Captivating Munchkins come in all colours and hair lengths. Both varieties have plush, all-weather, resilient coats with a lustrous, silky appearance. The longhair Munchkin has the distinction of sporting a beautiful plumed tail. Eyes are medium large and walnut shaped found in most colours with a deeper, more vivid eye colour preferred.
These irresistible cats can do anything other cats can do. Munchkins are able to leap great heights such as counter tops, although many prefer to intelligently find an easier way up. Munchkins movements are described as being like that of a ferret. They can also run extremely fast, despite their short legs.
Munchkins are defiantly exquisite cats full of cat adventurousness that all cat lovers appreciate, fully equipped with personality plus some, palsy-walsy, self-assured, and trainable to walk with a bounce on a leash. With amazement and enjoyment you'll watch these cuddly little cuties accelerate taking corners like small sports cars ducking under house hold objects. They can be taught to play fetch and to zestfully obey voice commands. The Munchkin is sociable and enjoys company. Friendly and self-assured the Munchkin gets along well with other cats, dogs, and people. They retain their kitten personalities throughout their lives. Munchkins can be a welcome delight in any home.
European Munchkin Foundation Providing information on Munchkins for potential breeders/owners and ensuring the Munchkin's future in Europe.
Munchkin Net Breed club dedicated to Munckins.
Get Down Munchkin Breed Club Breed club open to all Munchkin lovers.
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