649d4a45 25a5 4946 a741 5d9f2429decd RESIZED Munchkin Cat 1

Munchkin

Athletic / Active / Intelligent

Munchkin cats may have short legs (thanks to a genetic mutation), but they have a big personality. This breed is famous for keeping a kitten-like personality until its senior years, making these cats a favorite for those who want a fun-loving feline companion.

649d4a45 25a5 4946 a741 5d9f2429decd RESIZED Munchkin Cat 1

Health

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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Breed Profile

Height

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  • Males: 5-7 inches
  • Females: 5-7 inches

Weight

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  • 6-9 pounds

Lifetime

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  • 12-14 years

Health Risk

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Pancreatitis

What is it?

Pancreatitis is a moderately common condition in cats that can occur in any breed, where the pancreas (a vital organ between the kidney and liver) becomes inflamed.

% Cats affected:

Less than 2% of cats

Clinical signs:

Reduced energy, reduced appetite, lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, shock.

Treatment:

Medication, intravenous fluids (IV), analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and diet therapy.

Other risks:

Inflammation of the liver and intestine (known collectively as triaditis).

Average Vet Bill

$1500

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $1350

80% = $1200

70% = $1050

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

What is it?

Heart diseases are common in cats, and the most common amount these cardiac conditions is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (also known as HCM), affecting around 15% of all cats, according to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)

% Cats affected:

15% of all cats

Clinical signs:

Asymptomatic, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, lethargy, weakness, collapse, shock, blood clotting, pain or paralysis in hind limbs.

Treatment:

Medications, nitroglycerine, medical therapy.

Other risks:

No known cure, only treatment to manage symptoms.

Average Vet Bill

$1000

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $900

80% = $800

70% = $700

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Personality

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Friendly 

They have a people-loving, pet-loving, fun-loving temperament that melts the hearts of those they meet. 

Playful 

Playfulness and high-energy levels are common, even for a munchkin sharing traits from another breed. 

Curious 

Their curiosity can sometimes get them in trouble if you don’t keep a close eye on things. 

Kitten-like 

From playful energy to endearing naivety, they are cute as can be but sometimes a bit chaotic. 

Hoarders 

From toys to socks to shiny jewelry, you might find them building a stash for themselves, even if the objects don’t belong to them. 

Lifetime Care

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Coat

Munchkins have long hair, short hair, or anything in between.

Coat

Comprising several color and pattern combinations, including calico, tabby, grey, and more.

Hypoallergenic

No, munchkins are not hypoallergenic.

Grooming

Long-haired munchkins need brushing daily, short-hairs only once a week, nail trim and dental cleanings needs are standard.

Training

This breed is intelligent and can remember commands with positive reinforcement.

Living Space

Munchkins can thrive in apartments and homes and should only be indoor cats since they can be a bit too friendly without recognizing danger.

Lifetime Care Cost:

$19781

Munchkin cat: Breed Information Guide

 

Cats aren’t just a privilege to enjoy – they are a responsibility. Your cat relies on you for everything in their life, which means you need to consider their own needs, instincts, and health before your personal preferences.

Thankfully, there are many breeds out there, which means there is usually a perfect match for everyone. Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we want to help you find that match with our informative cat breed guides.

Today, we’re looking at one of the most unique cat breeds: the munchkin cat.

What is the munchkin cat like?

Ever wished your cat’s kitten phase could last forever? With the munchkin cat breed, it just might, so cat lovers take note.

Known for their diminutive size, thanks to legs that average around 3 inches long, these “sausage cats” are equally famous for their kitten-like temperament and whimsical personalities.

Their leg length is much shorter than normal cats, but they are otherwise normal cats in almost every way. You’re likely to find munchkins cuddling with their human, climbing on a cat tree, or curiously greeting strangers.

They’re sometimes compared to dog breeds like dachshunds and corgis, thanks to their short, long bodies with their hind legs slightly longer than their front.

Munchkin cats take their name from characters from The Wizard of Oz.

There is also some controversy with this breed. Does their dwarfism create predispositions to certain health problems? Potential concerns about health issues include spinal lordosis (and other spinal problems), pectus excavatumosteoarthritis, and more.

The science is still in question around this subject. However, most munchkin cats have proved to be healthy and have lived long high-quality lives.

Where does the munchkin cat breed come from?

Much of the munchkin breed’s earliest history is muddled. Reports of short-legged cats came from the UK and Russia in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the true matriarch of the breed, Blackberry, had her first litter under the care of Sandra Hochenedel in Louisiana.

Some of these kittens grew into short legs, while others had “normal” long legs. We now know that the achondroplastic dwarfism genes in munchkins pass down in all their kittens but aren’t always going to manifest, depending on what dominant genes are present.

To truly set the new breed in motion, one of Blackberry’s kittens, named Toulouse, was bred with her.

As the breed multiplied and gained new supporters, breeders moved to have it recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association). For a time, the movement was rejected due to controversial disagreements over whether their dwarfism is an increased health risk or not.

Eventually, the breed was accepted by TICA, and the ordeal had mostly served to increase the breed’s popularity. Today, the breed is still not recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association and other organizations around the world, including the CFA. However, the breed is also becoming more and more popular as time goes on!

Are munchkin cats affectionate with family?

Some cats are rather standoffish, even with family, preferring to do their own thing and have personal space. Munchkins are not those cats.

This dwarf cat breed loves to be around family (and strangers, too). Whether they are clingy can vary by individual. Some might follow you around the house, while others might run off and play frequently. In any case, they tend to enjoy attention and love to play with their owners.

Because they have high energy levels, they often like to play as much as they like to snuggle. This breed has a range of ways to show affection, so you can get a bit of lap-cat style love balanced with puppy-esque playfulness.

Are munchkin cats intelligent?

Munchkin cats have a certain kind of intelligence. Possibly due to their dwarfism, they have developed a sort of exceptional confidence and problem-solving ability that can help them when it comes to navigating around the house.

Training this breed is definitely possible, although it’s always best to start them young.

However, one thing to be aware of is that munchkin cats are not well-versed in recognizing threats. They are known to be very friendly and social with anyone and anything they meet, making them a poor fit for being outdoor cats.

Do munchkin cats do well with children?

Children are a wonderful fit for munchkin cats. Thanks to their kitten-like energy, they can often keep up with kids of any age.

They are small to medium-sized cats, which might make it tempting to pick them up, especially for a child, but their willingness to let this happen could vary widely from individual to individual.

How are munchkin cats with strangers?

Strangers are welcomed with opened paws, sometimes to the point that you must wonder if the munchkin could ever look out for itself.

 

Do munchkin cats get along with other pets?

Yes! Munchkin cats love to be around other animals, especially other cats, but also dogs in many cases.

Unfortunately, this love may not always be reciprocated. Like with strangers, you should supervise your cat’s first interactions with another pet until you feel the relationship has grown to total comfort.

Also, be aware that munchkins have a high prey drive, so they may chase smaller animals like ferrets and other rodents.

How to be the best pet parent for a munchkin cat

Much of being a great pet parent is taking the time to learn what your cat needs. That’s why we provide our Spot Pet Insurance breed guides and tons of additional resources over at our Blogbowl!

Note that adoption fees vary depending on whether your cat comes directly from a breeder or from a shelter.

How much does a munchkin cat cost?

Adoption fee: $3000

First year: $2645

Following years: $1224

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your munchkin cat

Training a cat may seem like a difficult affair, and it is normally nothing like training a dog. Cats are much more independent and free-willed than their canine compatriots in most cases.

Amongst cat breeds, munchkin cats can be easier to train than others. Part of this owes to the breed’s kitten-like attitude, which makes them a bit more pliable even into their middle-aged years.

Socialization is one essential form of training that introduces your cat to new situations. You can also train your cat in behavior (to avoid climbing on counters, for example) and even leash walking!

Always use positive reinforcement, and enforce harsh methods or punishments. Most breeds, including the munchkin, are sensitive and easily scarred.

What types of foods should munchkin cats never eat?

Munchkins, like all breeds, should be fed a high-quality diet of cat food and must be kept from certain foods which are unhealthy or toxic to cats in general. Below are some examples:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tuna
  • Dairy
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Avocado
  • Apricot
  • Peaches
  • Apple core/seeds
  • Bones
  • Chewing gum
  • Raw meat, eggs, or dough
  • Marijuana

Exercising tips to keep your munchkin cat staying fit and healthy

Thankfully, the high energy of the munchkin cat breed helps them stay fit. However, you will still need to encourage exercise from time to time and ensure your munchkin kitten or cat has sufficient space for play.

A cat tower or two is a great way to keep them climbing and moving throughout the day, even when you are not there to play with them.

You can also train your munchkin to leash walk, but you should never let them outside unsupervised, especially for long periods at a time or without a securely fenced area.

Munchkin cat life stages

Kitten: 0 – 18 months     |      Adult: 18 months – 10 years      |      Senior: 10  – 14 years