Photo by © Theresa Fouche

Munchkin - Breed Profile:

Origin: USA
Colors: Any
Size: Small to medium
Coat Type(s): Shorthair and longhair
Grooming: Every few weeks (shorthair); twice a week (longhair)
Talkativeness: Average
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Moderately docile

Physical characteristics

The Munchkin cat is a small to medium cat with a very distinctive feature - short legs. The broad head is triangular with rounded contours. The cheekbones are high. The body is medium long with a rounded chest and firm thighs. The muzzle, nose, and thick neck are medium length. The widely set ears are broad at the base and rounded at the tip. The eyes are walnut shaped and widely set, too. The back legs are slightly longer than the front legs. The compact paws should not turn in or out. The tapering tail is moderately thick.
The weight is 4 to 9 pounds.

Temperament

Don't ever think that Munchkins feel humiliated or shy because of their short legs; to the contrary, these small cats are very self-confident and self assured. Even their feline friends treat them like usual cats. Munchkins can climb trees, scratching posts and curtains with the same agility as other cats, but their jumps are lower - the only physical disadvantage of having short legs. It is recommended to keep Munchkins indoors because, along with usual dangers, the breed is rare and thieves still exist in our world.
The personality of Munchkins can be very different, but basically they are outgoing, affectionate, people-oriented, and playful. They tend to hide things in secret places, so sometimes they are called "magpies".
Photo of Munchkin kitten by © Theani

Coat and grooming

Munchkins come in both short and long coat types. The coat of shorthair Munchkins is plush and glossy; it requires occasional grooming. The coat of longhair Munchkins is silky and soft, with easily noticeable breeches and a slight neck ruff. Also, the longhair variety should have long ear furnishings. Twice a week brushing is required.
Munchkins come in all colours and patterns.

Health

Some of the health concerns of this breed are pectus excavatum and lordosis. Albeit some breeders deny these problems, more research should be done to prove or deny it.

Other interesting facts

The Munchkin's short legs are caused by a spontaneous natural mutation known as dwarfism. Dwarfism can occur in all mammals including humans. In the Munchkin's case, all four legs are shortened while the head and body are normal size.
Munchkins are considered to be one of the smallest cat breeds.