Cat Breeds 101: Munchkin!

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Cat Breeds 101: MunchkinPhoto – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0

The occurrence of short-legged cats has been documented since the 1940s, but the ancestors of Munchkins only arrived in 1983. A music teacher named Sandra Hockenedel discovered two short-legged and both pregnant cats which she named Blackberry and Blueberry. She gave away Blueberry and kept the other one. Eventually, the one she kept became the foundation of the lovable breed which we currently known as the Munchkin.



After making a few litters, Blackberry disappeared. Hockenedel eventually gave one of Blackberry’s litters to her friend Kay LaFrance which she was named Toulouse. Remained un-neutered, Toulouse had an easy access to outdoor cats, thus, this short-legged breed started spreading. Today, Blackberry and Toulouse are widely considered as the breed’s ultimate ancestors. [1]

Munchkins are perhaps best recognized for their short legs. A series of tests has already been conducted to determine the underlying factors behind the occurrence of their short legs. Some experts assumed that it could be that the breed is suffering from spinal problems. Some critics even assumed that the breed may develop hip, leg, or back disorders just like other short-legged species just like the Dachshund dogs. [2]



Some cats of this breed may have forelegs which are slightly shorter than their back legs. They may have shorter legs compared to other cats, but this does not limit their ability to move, run, leap, and even survive. On the other hand, they have well-spaced, walnut-shaped eyes, which give them an alert expression most of the time.

It was in 1991 when the breed was introduced into the general public, but it was only in 1994 when The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the breed. In May 2003, the breed has finally received its championship status.

However, there are still world renowned organizations which have not yet registered the Munchkin breed. These organizations include the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

The Munchkin is a breed of feline that comes in a variety of patterns and colors. They usually have medium to long semi-plush coats. They possess medium undercoats. They also have lustrous coats which are known to be resilient to any type of weather condition. When they reach their full size, they weigh between 5 and 9 pounds, with males slightly larger than the females. [3]

Known to be outgoing and intelligent, Munchkins are the type of cat that responds positively when handled by their owners. The breed is also known to be people-oriented and sweet-natured.



Also, the breed is noted to be playful most of the time. In fact, they love chasing toys and smaller animals. They also love the company of other pets, as well as children. Munchkins often have the habit of standing on their hind legs while watching something that really caught their attention.

In terms of grooming, Munchkins are relatively easier to take care of. In fact, brushing their coats at least twice a week will already do. Regular brushing helps in removing loose hairs and tangles which may subsequently result to mats.

SOURCES:

[1] http://www.tica.org/public/breeds/mk/intro.php?zoom_highlight=munchkin
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchkin_cat
[3] http://www.tica.org/members/publications/standards/mk.pdf

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