You may have heard the term "munchkin", but have you ever met a Munchkin cat?
Munchkin's are a relatively new breed of cat that was recognized by the The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1995 and received full recognition in 2003. This breed of cat is often referred to as the "Dachshund of the cat world" and are recognizable by their very short legs, which are caused by naturally occurring genetic mutation. Munchkin cats were first introduced to the public back in 1991 via a national network cat show held by the TICA.
When the breed was first characterized, many people were concered about health and mobility issues surrounding this particular mutation, but early speculations surrounding spinal or joint problems never materialized.
Apart from their stubby legs, the Munchkin is not unlike other domestic cats. They are small to medium sized with a medium coat and moderate body type with a lifespan of 12-14 years. The males weigh between 6 and 9 pounds and the females tend to be smaller at around 4 to 8 pounds. The Munchkin comes in all colors and patterns as well as a long-haired variety. They are described as being sweet-natured, playful, people-oriented, outgoing and intelligent.
Munchkin's are still relatively new but despite their small size, there is a large interest amongst cat-lovers around the world.