9 Things You Didn’t Know About Munchkin Cats

Munchkins (“Sausage cats”) are known as medium-sized cats with short legs which resulted from a genetic mutation called achondroplasia

Despite the condition of their legs, this breed of outgoing cats is capable of reaching high places but it might just take a little longer.

If you’ve ever seen one, you might be able to know what munchkins are. But wait – there are more controversies to discover about this adorable little breed which caused disputes in the feline world. 

Munchkin cat with blue eyes

The following are some things about munchkins you might not have heard about yet:

1. The First Modern Munchkin Cat Was Discovered By Accident

Short-legged cats are actually not new. They were already found in England but they have been wiped out during World War II. Fortunately, they made a comeback when a Music Teacher in Louisiana named Sandra Hochenedel first discovered munchkin in 1983 accidentally.

She rescued two cats hiding in a truck after being chased by a bulldog. As she went home, she found out that the two short-legged cats were actually pregnant. Sandra kept the black cat which she named Blackberry and gave away the grey one which she named Blueberry to her friend.

One of Blackberry’s kittens named Toulouse was given to Sandra’s friend, Lafrance who lived in the same town. Lafrance owned a lot of cats and she let them roam outdoors. After a while, the town became full of munchkins cats.

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2. Munchkin Cats Love Shiny Things

Munchkins are so in love with lustrous things which made the cat fanciers give them a nickname of “magpies” or “magpie cats”. Similar to magpie birds, munchkins have a habit of borrowing shiny and small objects like pieces of jewelry and hiding them in secret places for later play. Curiosity is the primary reason for this behavior.

You should hide your valuables from these kitties if you don’t want to go crazy looking for your stuff.

3. In 1994, Munchkin Was Accepted by TICA

There are lots of disagreements when it comes to this breed’s capability of reaching the breed standards. Most animal lovers question the health of this breed because of the presence of a mutation. Cat lovers argue that Munchkins cannot do things that other registered breeds can such as jumping too high.

Some critics predicted that it is prone to having hip and leg problems. Because of all the controversies, Munchkins were refused by cat registries and were not registered until The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted this breed in 1994.

Today, Munchkin cats have already been a registered breed at other cat registries like The American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE), The United Feline Organization (UFO), Southern Africa Cat Council, and Waratah National Cat Alliance in Australia.

Fluffy Munchkin Cat

4. Their Short Legs Actually Help Their Survival Skills

Short legs are not a hindrance but an advantage for Munchkins. If Animals in the wild such as squirrels and raccoons are helped by their short legs in surviving, so do Munchkins. Their legs should not be seen as a disability because, despite this condition, munchkins are still capable of doing what most cats can do.

Munchkins tend to stay low to the ground but they are built for speed and agility. Having natural hunting instincts, Munchkin cats are capable of chasing mice and other small animals. Aside from catching their prey, they can fight for their mates too.

5. Munchkin Is Named After the Novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Yes, the term “Munchkin” in cats are related to munchkins in the famous novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This novel was written by L. Frank Baum in the 1900’s. It soon became a film in 1939.

Munchkin generally means short-legged people or child that’s why it was used as the name of the short-legged cat breed, Munchkin cat.

6. Despite Having Short legs, Their Spines Are Completely Normal

Munchkin cats might have health issues like Lordosis, but other breeds of cat can have it too. Lordosis can range from minor to severe. It is a condition in which the spinal muscles grow short causing the sinking down of the spine to the body.

So far, there are no breed-specific spine problems observed with Munchkins and studies show that according to x-rays, the spine of Munchkins are same with other cats with the same age.

7. Short-legged Munchkins Can Sit Like A Bunny And Prairie Dog

Munchkins are really attention-seeking breed of cats. They are entertaining and highly intelligent which help them learn to perform different kinds of tricks. Like bunnies, Munchkins can sit on their hind legs.

This posture of Munchkins resembles Prairie dogs. They are able to do this because their hind legs are a bit longer than the front.

8. Lilieput, A Munchkin Held The Guinness World Record Of The Shortest Living Cat In 2013

A Tortoiseshell Munchkin named Lilieput with a height of 5.25 inches was crowned back in October 2013 as the Shortest Living Domestic Cat. Christel Young of Napa Valley, a professional pet sitter by that time, found Lilieput at the age of 2 years old. She decided to adopt the stray cat which turned out to be an affectionate Munchkin girl.

Lilieput can’t be found today. She might have gone missing or passed away. Now, a 3.7 inches high cat named Fizz Girl is the shortest cat that was verified by Guinness World Records.

9. Not All Munchkin Cats Have Short Legs

You might have thought that all munchkins have short legs but actually, not. The sizes of munchkin’s legs can vary in three types: “standard”, “super-short”, and “rug hugger”. Standard is the longest while rug hugger is the shortest type.

In Summary

Overall, Munchkin cats are really interesting breed but until now, people are still trying to condemn by saying that Munchkins are too far from the cat breed standards. There was even a TICA judge named Katherine Crawford who quitted her position after the acceptance of TICA to Munchkin cats as a breed.

Despite the entire objection about Munchkins, these cats are very energetic and great to play with all day and night long. Munchkins are fast runners and they can easily overcome obstacles. All the controversies regarding this breed all the more made it gain more popularity.

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