Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed

Longhaired Munchkins are very amicable cats that are highly spirited and enjoy running, chasing and playing with their favourite toys. They are very inquisitive and can be seen sitting up on their hind legs like a little rabbit to get a better view of something that captured their interest. If you are lucky to get to know one of these adorable cats, it will forever be etched in your heart. Longhaired Munchkins surfaced from a natural genetic mutation. They are well-known for their short legs, produced by an autosomal dominant gene that causes the long bones to develop at a shorter length, similar to Dachshunds. Because it is a dominant gene, it only takes a single copy of this gene to pass this trait to their kittens.

These highly intelligent are very curious. In fact, they love taking small objects and even hunt them. They are known to be very skilled at retrieving small items in games of fetch and learning how to walk on a leash or harness quickly. Munchkins are also known for their hoarding tendencies, similar to a Magpie. They will borrow or even steal small and glittering objects and tuck them away until they need them again. They were even called Magpies due to this specific quirky trait.

Despite their short legs, these playful cats run really fast. They can even compete with dogs and children. Munchkins’ lower body height allows them to easily and quickly slide under objects without the need to stop or bend down. Sure they won’t be able to jump high in a single bound, but that doesn’t stop them. They will still display their jumping ability as they find their way to the top by doing smaller steps.

Their name “Munchkin” came from the tiny inhabitants of Munchkin City in the 1939 novel written by L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz.”

Presently, Lilieput of Napa, California, took the world record of being the smallest living cat. Lilieput is a tortoiseshell Munchkin cat who stands at a measly 13 centimetres tall, as measured from the bases of her paws to the top of her shoulders. It was awarded by The Guinness Book of World Records in 2013.

Because of their complex breeding process and being a result of genetic mutation, Longhaired Munchkins are still fairly rare. 

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

Size:
Medium
Height:
12-17 cm
Weight:
2-4.5 kg
Life Span:
13-15 years
Temperament:
Playful, Curious, Active, Cute, Affectionate, Friendly
Coat:
Long
Colours:
Variety
Energy Level:
High
Registration:
TICA
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
  • Shedding: Medium 6/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
  • Activity Level: High 10/10
  • Playfulness: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: Low 2/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: Low 2/10

History

While it is a relatively new breed, it is not a new mutation. Munchkins have been documented in years and across the world. In a British veterinary report in 1944, Dr. H E Williams-Jones characterized four generations of short-legged felines, which includes an eight-year-old black female cat. It detailed that this female cat and her dam, grand-dam and progeny were all alike. The only difference between them and the other normal cats were their short legs. Unfortunately, this line vanished during the devastating World War II.

This characteristic was also seen in Stalingard in 1956, in New England in 1970 and in Louisiana in the 1980s. In 1983, a pregnant short-legged female cat was seen by Sandra Hockenedel that became the foundation of the Munchkin cat. Ms. Hockenedel named this pregnant cat Blackberry, and from her litter, a male cat called Toulouse was given to her friend Kay LaFrance. The Munchkin breed was founded from these two cats using domestic cats as an outcross to keep a vast gene pool.

The International Cat Association accepted the Munchkin breed into its New Breed development program in September 1994. This tracks the cat pedigrees used to create new breeds and supervises the breeding statistics as the new breed develops under the Genetics committee’s supervision. This breeding data shows that their short legs followed a dominant genetic pattern similar to that in Dachshund and Corgi. The Munchkin achieved its Championship status effective May 2003 after years of development and observation.

TICA allows the participation of Munchkins in cat shows, but the Cat Fanciers Association does not. 

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Appearance

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Munchkins have two coat lengths and a natural painter's palette of colours and patterns. It has been presented through the outcross program that keeps and maintains the breed's genetic diversity. Other cat breeds, in some cases, have been used to introduced specific features. However, a Munchkin is a one-of-a-kind cat breed and should never be considered just a miniaturized version of another cat breed. The longhaired Munchkins have a semi-long, smooth all-weather coat.

Munchkins are small to medium-sized felines. They weigh between 2 – 4.5 kilograms when fully grown. Their short legs are a natural mutation that shortens the long leg bones like the one that gives the Corgis and Dachshunds their short height. But, the spine of Munchkin differs in structure from those dogs, and so their short legs do not cause any spinal problems that sporadically appear in dogs. Any concerns about their mobility are quickly erased as you can watch a Munchkin run around and cornering determinedly in whatever game they are playing. 

Personality

Longhaired Munchkins are known for their playfulness. They love to run, play and hunt their favourite toys. In addition, they enjoy the company of children, other cats, cat-friendly dogs and other pets. You can see them as they giddily chase around with other cats in their games. Munchkins are very curious. They tend to sit up on their hind legs like a little rabbit to get a better view of something that attracts them. Munchkins don’t leave any area undiscovered or unexplored.

These playful and active cats may not be able to jump high in a single bound; they can still showcase their jumping ability and smartness as they find ways to reach the top of furniture using smaller steps. Even with short legs, Munchkins love running around fast and even doing tight corners with precision. They love climbing and jumping as if they do not have short legs.

Munchkin is an easygoing and welcoming cat breed. They can quickly go along well with other cats, dogs and even small children. They are an excellent feline companion for families with children and whatever living situation they may be in. Just make sure to provide a space where they can play and run around. Although, keep in mind that Munchkins do not like being left alone for long periods of time. Because of their activeness and intelligence, keep their mind stimulated by providing lots of interactive toys. A cat tree with low entrance points to aid them as they explore heights quickly.

Once you get to know these adorable and cute cats, it will capture your heart and make you choose them over and over again. 

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Trainability

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Longhaired Munchkins are a delight to train. They are bright and very curious about everything. If you can train them early, please do so as this can be beneficial for you and the welfare of your cat. Start by introducing them to do easy tasks like where to eat, where their litter boxes are and how to use their scratching posts. As they develop and get used to training, you can train them more commands, tricks, and games such as walking on a leash and playing a game of fetch. As mentioned, Munchkins adore human interaction, and they will regard each training session as a love language from their human companion.

Provide many interactive toys to boost your Munchkin’s mind and stimulated. Don’t forget to give them small rewards such as treats and kibbles when they complete a trick, follow a command or simply behaving during your training sessions.

When a Longhaired Munchkin is appropriately trained and familiarized with diverse people, various pets and environments at kittenhood, this lovable feline companion will thrive into being a well-balanced, well-behaved, and well-rounded family pet. 

Coat & Care

Even longhaired, they are easy to groom by combing their lush coat twice a week to eliminate loose dead hair and prevent matting and tangling. You can bathe your Munchkin occasionally, even if they can clean themselves. There are specific shampoos available to care for their lush coat and its colour. In addition, you can use a few drops of traditional dish soap in eight ounces of water in their bath to take away any grease or dirt in their coat.

Train them to get used to being groomed as early as kittenhood. Start using a very soft brush to brush their coat gently. Make it a pleasing experience for your Longhaired Munchkin so they would naturally abide for grooming. And because this is a part of their training, remember to give them a reward for good behaviour to reassure them.

Inspect their ears and eyes regularly as these parts can be likely to have an infection. For their eyes, examine it every day, if possible, for dirt, stains and discharge. You can clean it using a fresh, soft cloth damped with a pet eye cleaner to eliminate any stains or discharge that may lead to infection. However, keep in mind to use a different part of the cloth to prevent any risk of possible eye infection. For their ears, check them for any dirt or wax buildup. Wipe it out using new, clean cotton balls with an ear cleanser. Don’t use cotton swabs, as this can irritate or damage your Munchkin’s delicate inner ear structure. If you smell any bad odour from their ears, call your vet promptly for care and treatment. This can be an indication of infection.

Brush their teeth weekly to avoid tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Buy a vet-approved pet toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth and mouth thoroughly. For their nails, trim them as often as twice a month or as needed. Check their paws as well to see if it is healthy, injury and dirt-free.

Because they have a low-lying body, it is vital to keep their litter boxes clean all the time. This is to prevent its long coat from getting dirty, clumped litter to cling to their hair. If not checked regularly, your cat may ingest this soiled litter and may lead to health problems in the future.

Lastly, it is recommended to keep your Longhaired Munchkin as an indoor pet. Not only it will keep them from getting any diseases that they may get outdoors or other unfavourable conditions such as animal attacks and accidents. Keeping them inside your house will keep your Munchkin safe from wandering outside and may deliberately or unintentionally be taken by passersby, who can get charmed by their unique beauty and appealing personality. 

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Health

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Munchkins, both longhaired and shorthaired, are not prone to arthritis and do not have problems walking or moving as they get older. Many years of research have validated that there are no debilitating genes linked with this breed. A pedigreed Munchkin should not require testing for any breed-related illnesses or diseases unless they are a Munchkin hybrid. 

Children & Other Pets

Longhaired Munchkin is becoming more popular not only because of how cute and adorable they look but also because of their endearing personality. Their affectionate, loyal and playful nature made families with children and other pets choose a Munchkin to be their family pet. Children will love these adorable felines as they have the same energy and playfulness to intermingle with them. Remember to supervise these interactions to prevent any accidents while playing.

Munchkins can live in one roof calmly and harmoniously with other pets, including other cats and cat-friendly dogs. In fact, they love having companions to play with and interact with. Just ensure that they are gradually acquainted with the existing pets and in controlled areas to guarantee that they go along well together. 

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

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