Munchkin Cat 101 Ultimate Guide + FAQs
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Munchkin Cat 101: Ultimate Guide + FAQs

Ever wished you could have a sweet, loving cat that would maintain the looks of a kitten for its entire life? If you’re looking for such a cat, you should get yourself a Munchkin cat.

What is a Munchkin cat? The Munchkin Cat is a cat breed with a congenital mutation that causes it to have shorter than normal legs. This mutation is caused by an autosomal dominant gene. Munchkin cats are divided into three categories – standard, super short and rug hugger.

If you’re interested in bringing one of these super sweet kitties home, you’re definitely asking yourself some questions about the breed. Do they have any health issues due to their mutation? Do they need special care? What kind of personality do they have? Do they shed? This guide will answer all these questions for you. Before jumping into all that, however, let’s take a look at whether Munchkin cats are suitable for first time owners.

Are Munchkin Cats Good For First Time Owners?

Yes, Munchkin cats are totally okay for first time owners. Here are some common questions first time owners have about Munchkin cats.

How Do You Tell If A Kitten Is A Munchkin?

Munchkin cats are characterized by a normal-sized body paired with shorter than normal legs. If you notice that a kitten has the normal body size for kittens, but then they have abnormally short legs, with the front legs a bit shorter than the hind legs, what you’re looking at is a Munchkin kitten.

Do Munchkin Cats Stay Small?

Fully grown Munchkin cats will have the same head and body size as fully grown, ordinary cats. Due to their shorter legs, however, they look much smaller than other fully grown cats. This is what gives Munchkin cats the kitten-like appearance, even when they are fully matured.

Are Munchkin Cats Genetically Modified?

A lot of people believe that the short legs on Munchkin cats are caused by genetic modification. This is a misconception. The short legs on Munchkin cats are caused by a naturally occurring autosomal dominant gene.

This means that if either parent is Munchkin, there is a high chance that some of their kittens will also be Munchkin.

How Big Can Munchkin Cats Get?

Due to their shorter legs, fully grown Munchkin cats have a height of about 6 to 9 inches, compared to average cats, which have a height of about 9 to 10 inches. Fully grown Munchkin cats will weigh about 6 to 9 lbs on average.

Do Munchkin Cats Have Health Issues?

Lifespan

The autosomal dominant gene that causes short legs in Munchkin cats has not been linked to any health issues that can cause Munchkin cats to die early.

So, how long do Munchkin cats live for? When properly cared for, a Munchkin cat will live for about 12 to 15 years.

While the Munchkin gene is not associated with any health conditions, Munchkins can still be affected by some health conditions that affect other cat breeds. Some health problems that can be of concern to Munchkin cats include:

Lordosis

This is a rare condition that will sometimes occur in Munchkin cats. Lordosis is a condition that leads to improper development of the spinal muscles.

In mild cases, this condition won’t affect your cat much, and most people won’t even notice that their cat is suffering from the condition. In extreme cases, however, it can eventually lead to paralysis.

Pectus Excavatum

Pectus Excavatum is a congenital condition that results in a deformed chest cavity and sternum, making a cat appear like it has a sunken chest. In mild cases, this condition will not affect your feline buddy’s quality of life.

In extreme cases, however, the condition can cause respiratory problems. Fortunately, the condition can be treated through surgery.

Other Common Health Problems

Some other problems that could be of concern to Munchkin cat owners include pancreatitis, feline lower urinary tract disease, hyperthyroidism, uremia, and lymphosarcoma. It’s good to note that most of these health conditions are not specific to the Munchkin breed.

Do Munchkin Cats Need Special Care?

Despite their shorter than normal height, Munchkin cats do not need any special care. Here are the key things you should be careful with when it comes to caring for your Munchkin cat…

Diet

Your Munchkin cat needs a healthy diet for proper growth and energy. Any high quality cat food, such as Nom Nom Cat Food, will be okay for your Munchkin Cat. What I love about Nom Nom Cat Food is that this cat food is rich in nutrients and vitamins that will ensure proper growth for your kitty.

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Multivitamin Supplements

Even when you’re giving your Munchkin cat a balanced diet, it is a good idea to use supplements to give your four legged buddy some of the much needed vitamins. One of the best multivitamin supplements I have found on the market is Vetri Lysine Plus Immune Support Supplement For Cats.

Vetri Lysine Plus Immune Support Supplement For Cats

This is the supplement I use for my two Munchkin kitties, and thanks to this supplement, my two kitties hardly need any trips to the vet.

Playtime

One thing I love about Munchkin cats is that they can get adequate exercise on their own. They don’t require much guidance from you. All you need to do is to get them toys to play with. 

One toy I have found to be particularly useful for my Munchkins is the Ralthy Interactive Robotic Cat Toys. What I love about this toy is that it is fully automatic. It will turn on for 10 minutes every hour, keeping your kitty entertained even when you’re not around.

Ralthy Interactive Robotic Cat Toys

Can Munchkin Cats Be Left Alone? Temperaments Of Munchkin Cats

Temperament

Munchkin cats are highly social, loving and playful kitties that will thoroughly enjoy your company. Munchkin cats like to cuddle, and whenever they get the chance, they will hop onto your lap and snuggle against you.

Munchkin cats also like to be held, which means you should always hold your kitty and pet them whenever you can. Unlike most other cats, which are independent and don’t need lots of attention, Munchkin cats don’t like being left alone.

Are Munchkin Cats Hard To Take Care Of?

Munchkin cats are very easy to take care of, provided you are giving them the right food, and enough opportunities for play.

Due to their friendly and docile nature, Munchkin cats make great pets for all sorts of households. These lovely kitties will get along well with everyone in the family, including children, as well as other pets, including dogs.

To Munchkin kitties, everyone is a potential buddy. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep a Munchkin cat.

Intelligence

Despite their smaller size, Munchkin cats are very intelligent. They are also highly curious, and will often sit back on their haunches to observe and try to understand everything you’re doing.

Due to their high IQ and curious nature, Munchkin cats are very easy to train. You can easily train your Munchkin cat to walk on a leash, or even how to do tricks. A good way to keep your Munchkin’s highly intelligent mind stimulated is to provide them with puzzle toys.

Do Munchkin Cats Shed A Lot? Grooming Tips For Munchkin Cats

Shedding

Munchkin cat’s shedding level will depend on the specific breeds that your Munchkin kitty comes from, as well as the kind of coat they come with. Some Munchkins will come with short hair, while others have long hair.

If your Munchkin is short haired, once-a-week brushing will do, while felines with longer hair will require more frequent brushing.

To avoid damaging your kitties coat when brushing them, you should get a high quality deshedding tool. One of the best options is the Furminator Deshedding Tool, which is designed specifically for cats and has high quality bristles that will get rid of loose hair without damaging your cat’s coat.

Furminator Deshedding Tool

Most cat owners also realize that they need a vacuum to help them deal with the loose hairs their cat leaves all over the house. If you don’t have one already, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is a great choice. Equipped with dirt detector sensors, this vacuum will automatically know the areas that need cleaning.

iRobot Roomba i3+

Bathing

Like most cats, Munchkin cats are adept at keeping themselves clean, so you don’t have to worry much about bathing your feline buddy.

If need be, however, it is perfectly fine to give your Munchkin a bath. When doing this, make sure to use products that won’t be harmful to your kitty’s coat and skin. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo For Cats is a great option, since it is formulated with ingredients that are gentle on your cat’s skin and coat.

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo For Cats

Related Questions

Why Are Munchkin Cats So Expensive? Munchkin cats are generally expensive because there is a lot of demand for them. Buying a Munchkin cat from a breeder will set you back between $1,000 and $2,300. However, you also have the option of adopting a Munchkin cat from a shelter or rescue center. This will cost you about $75 to $100.

Do Munchkin Cats Scratch Furniture? If they are properly trained, Munchkin cats will not scratch your furniture. If you notice that your Munchkin cat is scratching furniture, you need to get them a scratching post. If they continue scratching furniture even when they have a scratching post, this could be a sign that your Munchkin cat is anxious or stressed.

What Is A Standard Munchkin Cat? Standard Munchkin cats are the tallest category of Munchkin cats. Their legs are just 1 or 2 inches shorter than the legs of normal cats. Other categories of Munchkin cats are Super Short, whose legs are shorter by 2 to 3 inches, and the Rug Hugger, which is the smallest Munchkin cat, whose legs are shorter by 3+ inches.

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