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To fully appreciate these loving and joyful bundles of energy, called Munchkins, you really have to own one!

The Munchkin is not a new mutation or a man-made breed. Short-legged cats have been recorded throughout the years and around the world. In a British veterinary report in 1944, Dr. H E Williams-Jones, documented four generations of short-legged cats. Included was an eight year old black female that had an extremely healthy life. He reported that her mother, grandmother and offspring were all short-legged and that the only difference between them and normal cats were the short legs. This line later disappeared during World War 2. These short-legged little creatures were also seen in Stalingrad in 1956, in New England in 1970 and in Louisiana in the 1980s.

In 1983, Sandra Hochenedel, a music teacher in  Louisiana, found two pregnant cats that had been chased under a truck by a bulldog. She kept one of the cats and named her Blackberry. Half of Blackberry’s kittens were born short-legged.  Sandra gave a short-legged male kitten from one of Blackberry's litters to a friend, Kay LaFrance, and she named the kitten Toulouse. Toulouse was an unneutered cat with outdoor access and after some time a population of stray short-legged cats started to form. It is from Blackberry and Toulouse that today's Munchkin breed is descended.

These sociable cats are extremely playful and love to run, chase and play with toys. They thrive on company and attention, including that of children, dogs and other pets. Munchkins are very curious and will sit up on their hind legs like a rabbit to get a better view when something has caught their attention and will investigate and explore every nook and cranny. Although they may not jump from the floor to the top of the bookcase in a single jump, they are determined to go where the other long-legged furry friends go. Being so intelligent, they will find a path that that will take them there in smaller steps taking the "scenic route".

Munchkins are oblivious to the controversy surrounding them, and go on being just what they are, cats; self-assured and outgoing. They love to wrestle, chase and play with their long-legged cat friends and happily unaware that there's anything different about them. Their cat friends treat them like they would any other playmates. They are very good hunters and love a good game of catnip mouse, but when playtime is over, they want a warm lap to snuggle into and strokes from a loving hand, like any other cat.

The Munchkin is a breed that provokes a reaction because of their short legs; uninformed members of the public, who do not know the cats in person, see only a handicap whereas those that know them have come to love these little bundles of joy that see no limits.

A lot of animals in the wild have short legs and have adapted and survived perfectly well! Dachshunds, Bassetts, and Corgis are a few of the dog breeds developed with short legs for specific purposes. Basset are scent hounds and short legs put them closer to the scent while Corgis are herding dogs that need to turn on a "tickey", with rapid twists and turns to herd the animals in their charge.
Munchkins do not suffer spinal problems sometimes associated with the aforementioned canine breeds. Munchkins are the same as every other cat, except they have short legs, speed and exceptional cornering skills. Most of all, they have a great deal of love to offer their devoted owners.

Munchkin coats come in both long and short coats, as well as all colours and patterns, introduced through the outcross program that maintains the their genetic diversity. In some cases other breeds have been used to introduce specific features, however, a Munchkin breed is unique and should not be a miniaturized version of another breed. Shorthaired Munchkins have a medium-plush, all-weather coat, whereas the longhairs have semi-long, silky all-weather coat.

They are a small to medium sized cat and weigh between 5 and 9 pounds when fully grown. Other than their short legs, they look just like any normal cat. The short legs are a natural mutation that shortens the long leg bones similar to the one that gives the Corgis and Dachshunds their short stature. However the spine of the cat differs in structure from that of a dog and so the short legs do not result in the spinal problems that sometimes appears in canines. And any concerns about mobility are quickly erased as you watch the Munchkin dashing around and cornering tightly in whatever game they are playing.

Once you get to know the Munchkin breed, these adorable little babies will capture your heart forever.


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