Munchkin cats, also known as sausage cats, have longer bodies and short, stubby legs caused by a genetic mutation. They are the feline version of the Dachshund. Contrary to what their name may suggest, they 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 care for in any household because they are friendly, playful, intelligent, and highly affectionate. They are also highly vocal and love to have 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. Later, Paul McSorley added the Burmese and Devon Rex to develop the Minskins as we know them today.
Apart from the short legs, other highly notable traits 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, Minskins are natural entertainers. They are playful, curious, mischievous, and 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. The Lambkin is a relatively new breed and one of the rarest worldwide. Among the cat’s most prized features is their curly coat with soft and wooly guard hairs, thanks to their Selkirk heritage.
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 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 breeds. They have large, bright, expressive eyes and medium or long-haired coats in various colors and patterns.
Compared to other Munchkins, Napoleons are some of the most popular cats because of their cute looks and sweet temperaments. They are friendly and family-oriented. Furthermore, they love being the center of attention and thrive in homes that can provide loads of human interaction.
If you adopt a Napoleon Munchkin, prepare to provide more than the 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 purchased from an ethical breeder and provided the proper care, Napoleons enjoy an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
The Kinkalow Munchkin is a hybrid between the Munchkin and American Curl. They have a low profile 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 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 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 is a crossbreed between a Munchkin, Sphynx, and American Curl. They have mystical aesthetics and look like Dobby from the Harry Potter series. They get their name “Dwelf” because they are dwarfs who look like elves. They have little or no fur because of their Sphynx parents, curled ears from their American Curl heritage, and short legs from their 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 is a crossbreed between the Munchkin, Savanna, and Bengal. This unique feline looks like a wild cat because of the Bengal heritage. The name “Genetta” was inspired by the African Genet, a wild cat native to Africa but widespread in southwestern Europe. Generally, they look like a miniature version of a wild cat!
Genettas have warm temperaments and are prized for their sociability and playfulness. These brilliant cats need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to avoid 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 longer living than most Munchkin breeds. With proper care, Genettas can live between 12 and 16 years.
Skookum Munchkin cats are crossbreeds of 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, 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 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 breeds are short-legged felines with big hearts and charming temperaments. Although vertically challenged, these cats are relatively healthy and recognized by The International Cat Association. Unfortunately, they are a subject of controversy, and some believe they have a physical deformity, and breeding them is unethical.
In truth, they are 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 who can continually amaze you with unique abilities and personality, it’s hard to go wrong with a Munchkin cat.
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