Munchkin cats, also known as sausage cats, have longer bodies and short, stubby legs caused by a genetic mutation. They are the feline versions of dog breeds like the Dachshund.
Contrary to what their name may suggest, these cats don’t remain kitten-like forever; they grow into proper adult-sized cats with long spines and tails. However, they retain their trademark short legs. Munchkins are as energetic and lively as other cats and remain unperturbed by their hard-to-miss dwarf trait.
Although Munchkin cats have been around since the early 1990s, they are still relatively rare. Read on to learn more about these eight Munchkin breeds.
The 8 Munchkin Cat Breeds
Bambino Munchkins are a pleasure to have in any household because they are friendly, playful, intelligent, and highly affectionate. These cats are also highly vocal and love to mimic having conversations with their owners.
They are generally healthy and have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. You can increase the odds of your pet leading a long and happy life by keeping them indoors, where their skin is protected from direct sunlight.
The Minskin has undergone two phases of development. At first, the breed was created by crossbreeding the Munchkin and Sphynx to create the Bambino Munchkin breed. Later, Paul McSorley added the Burmese and Devon Rex to develop the Miniskins as we know them today.
Apart from the short legs, other highly notable traits of the breed include an almost hairless coat, a characteristic inherited from the Sphynx parent. Although these cats also have scarce patches of short fur on the face, feet, ears, and tail, they are an excellent option if you want the closest thing to a hypoallergenic cat.
Temperament-wise, Miniskins are natural entertainers. They are playful, curious, mischievous, and generally fun-loving pets that get along with kids and other resident pets. Like most crossbreeds, they are relatively healthier than their purebred counterparts and enjoy an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
The Lambkin is a crossbreed between the Munchkin and Selkirk cats. This is a relatively new breed and one of the rarest worldwide. Among the breed’s most prized features is its curly coat with super soft and wooly guard hairs, thanks to its Selkirk heritage. These cats look as cuddly as they naturally are.
Moreover, Lambskins have warm personalities, and most are loving and calm. They are social butterflies that love spending time with their owners and even tolerate kids and other pets. Unfortunately, they are not your regular low-maintenance cats and are known to experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended hours.
Lambskins are hybrids of two well-natured feline breeds. They have one of the highest average life expectancies of roughly 15 to 20 years.
Napoleon cats are arguably the cuties of the Munchkin world. They are a crossbreed between the Munchkin and Persian cats and combine the best traits of both worlds. They have large, bright, expressive eyes and medium or long-haired coats that come in various colors and patterns.
Compared to other Munchkin breeds, Napoleons are some of the most popular cats because of their cute looks and sweet temperaments. They are super friendly and family-oriented. Furthermore, these cats love being the center of attention and thrive in homes that can provide loads of human interaction.
If you adopt a Napoleon Munchkin cat, prepare to provide more than average grooming. Whether your cat has a medium-length or long coat, you should brush it several times weekly to keep it looking its best. When bought from an ethical breeder and offered proper care, Napoleons enjoy an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
The Kinkalow Munchkin breed is a hybrid between the Munchkin and American Curl. They have a low-slinging body because of their short legs and an ultra-dwarf look because of their extra-long tail and curled ears. Like most Munchkins, the Kinkalow is quite rare.
Despite their height, Kinkalows are active cats who love to romp and chase after anything that moves. They are intelligent, witty, and capable of causing chaos in your home if they lack abundant sources of entertainment.
Moreover, these cats love to cuddle and have trouble deciding whether to run after their toys or curl up on their owner’s laps. During bonding sessions, ensure you have a brush at hand because your pet’s curly coat needs brushing at least twice weekly. It is also crucial to constantly check and clean your pet’s curled ears. With proper care, Kinkalows live for 12 to 15 years on average.
The Dwelf Munchkin breed is a crossbreed between a Munchkin, Sphynx, and American Curl. These cats have mystical aesthetics and look like Dobby from the Harry Potter series. They get their name “Dwelf” from the fact that they are dwarfs that look like elves. They have little or no fur because of their Sphynx parents, curled ears from American Curl heritage, and short legs from Munchkin parents.
Dwelf Munchkins are natural charmers with energetic, playful, outgoing, and affectionate personalities. They are family-oriented and get along fine with kids and other pets, including different feline and canine breeds.
Although they look unique, Dwelfs need the same care as other hairless cats. Ensure you protect their skin from sunburns and clothe them during the colder months. Dwelfs are generally healthy and long-lived cats with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The Genetta Munchkin is a crossbreed between the Munchkin, Savanna, and Bengal. This unique feline breed looks like a wild cat because of its Bengal cat heritage. The name “Genetta” was inspired by the African Genet, a wild cat native to Africa but widespread in southwestern Europe. Generally, the feline looks like a miniature version of a wild cat!
Genettas have warm temperaments and are prized for their sociability and playfulness. These cats are brilliant and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay out of trouble. Although they look untamed, they are cuddly and pretty good with kids and other pets.
The general care of a Genetta is manageable even for a new pet parent. Moreover, they are relatively healthy and more long-lived than most Munchkin cat breeds. With proper care, these cats can live between 12 and 16 years.
Skookum Munchkin cats are crossbreeds between the Munchkin and LaPerm. They get their short legs from their Munchkin heritage and their curly coats from their LaPerm parent. Among the most distinctive features of Skookums is that you can tell males and females apart based on their coat textures. While males have kinkier fur, females have soft, plush coats.
Skookums are affectionate, social, and gentle felines who love cuddling up with family members. They also have a playful side and benefit in settings with plenty of entertainment. Although a Skookum doesn’t mind being an only pet, they can adjust in multi-pet homes.
The curly coat of this Munchkin breed doesn’t need much maintenance. You only need to brush it once or twice weekly to remove mats and tangles. Skookum cats can live between 10 and 15 years on average with proper care.
Munchkin cat breeds are short-legged felines with big hearts and charming temperaments. Although vertically challenged, these cats are relatively healthy and even recognized by The International Cat Association. Unfortunately, they are a subject of controversy, and some even believe they have a physical deformity, and breeding them is unethical.
In truth, these are just normal house cats with an autosomal dominant gene that affects the growth of their limbs.
Although they can’t jump too high, their short legs don’t hinder them from walking around pretty fast. If you are looking for a feline friend that can continually amaze you with her unique abilities and personality, it’s hard to go wrong with a Munchkin cat breed.
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