In today's video, we are going to talk about a cat breed that sparked a lot of controversy in its debut. The introduction of this breed was scorned back in 1991, by many who thought that the breed was suffering, mainly due to its notably short and stubby legs.
The Munchkin Cat Breed.
Munchkin Cats are a form of domesticated cats with short stumpy legs. accompanied by an elongated spine.
Shortlegged cats aren't a new breed, they can be documented as early as the 1930s, and cats with considerably shorter legs were written about in England as well. It also became apparent that these cats supposedly disappeared during World War II, where many dogs and cats took a devastating blow in numbers.
Amazingly, the munchkin breed came about by accident in the 1980s, when Louisiana school teacher, Sandra Hochenedel found two shortlegged, pregnant cats hiding under her car. She kept one of the cats and named her Blackberry. Half of Blackberry's kittens were born with short legs. It has been determined that the official "munchkin" breed, named after characters from the Wizard of Oz, can credit its lineage to Blackberry.
While they had been around for decades, munchkins were only accepted as a breed by The International Cat Association in 2003. They are not yet accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association. Like hairless sphynx cats, which also have an unusual look, people either love them or hate them, at first glance, but the appeal has been gaining over time.
Munchkins owe their short legs to a naturally occurring gene, not human selective breeding. The gene responsible for the breed's short legs has been linked to the same gene, which gives dachshunds and Welsh corgis their diminutive stature. However, since the spine of a cat is physically different from that of a dog, munchkins do not suffer the spinal problems that are sometimes associated with those canine breeds.
The breed's most distinguishable feature are its legs, which can be categorized by three different types: rug hugger, supershort, and standard. Munchkin cats born with short legs, have a common dominant gene, specifically called the heterozygous gene. Cat's missing this gene will not be born with short legs.
Those born with short legs, which may be somewhat bowed in nature, have a slight lift from their shoulders to their haunches, because their legs are slightly longer in the back than the front.
A wide variety of coat colors and patterns appear in the munchkin cat breed, including calico, pointed, tortoiseshell, tuxedo, tabby, and bicolor. There is also a longhaired munchkin cat; the silky hair requires routine grooming to maintain ideal and healthy conditions. The shorthaired munchkin cat has a mediumplush coat that is soft to the touch.
Munchkin cats are considered to be mediumsized, weighing on average between 6 and 9 pounds.
Munchkin cats are known to be rather healthy; so far, there aren't any congenital or genetic conditions specific to the breed that have been reported. Choosing a reputable breeder from which to purchase your pet will help minimize the risks.
Early speculation that the breed would suffer from spinal issues, due to their short legs has thus far been diffused by tests conducted in 1995 on some of the oldestliving munchkin cats, who showed no signs of joint and bone problems.
Some munchkin kittens are born with their back paws curling backwards; this is not considered an abnormality, as the paws straighten out and grow to be perfectly normal.
As with any pet, be sure to regularly consult a veterinarian for routine care and medical advice for your fourlegged friend.