Munchkins are a relatively new breed, so you might not know much about them. They’re fun-loving, energetic, and affectionate cats that are unique among dwarf cat breeds because they fit all the other size indicators of normal adult-sized cats, except for their cute, little legs.
For a cat’s coat to be known as calico, it must contain three colors—black, white, and orange. They will generally appear in patches, with white being the predominant color. These cats are named because the color of their coat resembles calico cloth, which was imported from India to Europe.
The Earliest Records of Calico Munchkin Cats in History
Munchkins might now be bred purposefully because of their short legs, but they owe their short stature to a naturally occurring gene. According to The International Cat Association (TICA), miniature cats were present throughout the 20th century. The Munchkin cats we know and love today can be traced back to a tiny feline named Blackberry, who had kittens in 1983 in Louisiana.
To breed Munchkins, you mate one Munchkin with another breed that does not have the mutation. Because the mutation is dominant, the resulting litter will be Munchkins. However, if two Munchkins are mated, the offspring will die, which is one of the reasons there is some debate about whether it’s ethical to breed Munchkins.
How Calico Munchkin Cats Gained Popularity
Munchkin cats can sell for $300 to $1,200, which is expensive when you consider how much the price rises in vet bills if the cat in question has any health problems. But Munchkins are gaining popularity for being “cute” thanks to their short stature.
They’re cute in a similar way to dachshunds. They look exactly like a typical cat except for their smaller legs, which means people are willing to pay extra for them. While there is controversy surrounding these cute kitties, they are such a new breed that we don’t know much about them. There are links between shortened limbs that can affect an animal’s ability to jump and an increase in the risk of joint disease. However, there is no proof that Munchkins are suffering from a lower quality of life because their legs are shorter; in fact, their average lifespan is 12–15 years. In time, we will learn more, but for now, they are continued to be bred, and people continue to fall in love with them.
Formal Recognition of the Calico Munchkin Cat
The Munchkin cat was recognized by TICA in 1997 and in 2003, and it achieved TICA championship status. However, because of the controversy surrounding breeding a Munchkin, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) don’t recognize the Munchkin as an official breed.
Top 5 Unique Facts About Calico Munchkin Cats
1. The Origin of Their Name Is Unexpected
It’s rumored that these small cats were named after the Munchkin characters in the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. They are also called “sausage cats.”
2. They Have This Thing About Standing
Munchkins are known to perch like ferrets or prairie dogs on their hind legs, so it looks like they’re standing.
3. Easy to Train
Munchkins are intelligent and confident, which is the perfect combination for training. They can be taught to walk on a leash and play fetch with various toys!
4. Paris Hilton Has Two Munchkins
Paris Hilton has two cats named Shorty and Munchkin. She’s been known to refer to her Munchkins as her “low-rider kitties.”
5. The Shortest Cat Was Called Lilieput
According to the Guinness World Records, the shortest cat was Lilieput from Napa, California, in 2013. This Munchkin measured 5.25 inches from the floor to the shoulders.
Does a Calico Munchkin Cat Make a Good Pet?
Munchkins are friendly, active cats that generally get along with children and other pets. They are curious cats and love to explore their surroundings. But they also love nothing more than to snuggle up with their favorite humans after a long day of playing and running around.
They are known to be confident extroverts and have also been known to have magpie tendencies. So, if you’re missing some jewelry, your Munchkin might be to blame!
They are well suited to most indoor living environments as long as they have room to explore, run around, and play. A cat tree with a low entrance is also a fantastic way for your cat to explore heights safely. They are just as skilled at climbing as other breeds, so you’ll still need to watch your curtains or blinds.
Thanks to their short legs, you’ll need to ensure that food dishes, litter boxes, and water bowls all have low edges or aren’t placed too high so your Munchkin can access them easily.
Calico Munchkins are short, curious, fun, and loving cats that would make an excellent addition to any home. They’ll be happy if they have space to burn off their energy and a comfy sofa to cuddle their humans. There is some controversy about breeding them, and it’s vital to pick a reputable breeder if you’re thinking of buying over adoption.
Featured Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock
- The Earliest Records of Calico Munchkin Cats in History
- How Calico Munchkin Cats Gained Popularity
- Formal Recognition of the Calico Munchkin Cat
- Top 5 Unique Facts About Calico Munchkin Cats
- Does a Calico Munchkin Cat Make a Good Pet?