Cat lovers and owners with short-legged cat breeds will all agree that these little cats are just as sweet in nature as they are in appearance.
Most people think of Munchkin kittens or cats when they hear the term short-legged cat. The Munchkin is the most popular cat with short legs. Due to the popularity of the Munchkin cat, we now have many other short-legged cat breeds.
Munchkins are to the cat world what Corgis are among dog breeds. They are very cute, fluffy little pets. I have to admit, conducting this research has brought me much joy.
Looking at all the cute photos and reading all the interesting facts about each of these cat breeds has been a lot of fun.
If you are trying to decide whether or not to adopt one of these cat breeds, I truly hope this article helps you shape your decision.
Munchkin – The Short-Legged Cat
Munchkins might be short, but their cute appearance and even cuter personalities are not small at all! They are as cute as a button, and their personality is full of fun; these cats love to socialize and play.
Munchkins get their name after Munchkin Country from the excellent novel The Wizard of Oz. The breed would not even exist if it wasn’t for a lady in Louisiana, named Sandra Hochenedel, who saved a stray cat and named it Blackberry.
The Munchkin cat breed descended from Blackberry, so did all the other mixed breeds that came from it. Thank you, Sandra!
Munchkins are small to medium-sized cats that are active, full of energy and affectionate towards their owners.
This dwarf cat breed is still rather new to a lot of people, and TICA (the International Cat Association) only recognized them in the early 2000s.
Munchkins are also rare, which is another reason many people are still unaware of this breed’s information.
They are rare because their breeding process is complicated, as they are bred to produce a genetic mutation. This means the price for a Munchkin cat is usually quite high; depending on the breeder and the pedigree, it can be as high as $4K.
I can’t believe that there could be a human being out there that doesn’t find Munchkin cats cute. Munchkin cats have a unique appearance that cannot go unnoticed, just like the Sphynx cats.
When you see them you’ll immediately be intrigued, because these cats are simply so unusual. Munchkins have a similar build to most other domestic cat breeds, except for their legs which are a few inches shorter than average.
Adult Munchkin cats typically weigh from 6 to 9 lbs, and they grow to a similar length as other domestic cats except their legs are shorter. These cats are often called sausage cats, similar to the Dachshund “wiener dog”.
Munchkin cats have shorter legs because of a genetic mutation, but their coat colors and patterns aren’t affected by this, so they can have a range of different color and pattern variations.
These amazing cats can have short hair or a longhaired coat. It is rare, but Munchkin cats can also be hairless.
These cats can have different coat patterns, but the most popular ones include solid black, calico, tabby or solid gray.
If you happen to adopt a Munchkin cat, you should groom them regularly. Long-haired Munchkin cats need to be brushed frequently so their coats don’t get matted or tangled, while shorthaired ones need to be brushed once a week.
These short-legged cats are quite active, energetic, friendly, and sociable. Munchkin cats make good family pets because they get along well with other pets and are good with people of all ages, including children.
They love to explore and show great interest in whatever their owners are doing.
Munchkins are also widely known for being cats who remain kittens for a longer period of time. Not only because they are smaller and look younger and cuter than other cats, but their personality is quite “kittenish” for some time.
They love to play! If there’s ever a time when they’re not playing or snooping around, Munchkin cats are totally up for snuggles! They love to nap next to you or on you, and they love their cuddle time with you.
Munchkin cats are quite sociable and extroverted; they are loyal, bold, and smart. These friendly cats love to feed their curiosity with many different things; from exploring and sniffing around to observing their humans.
They may be small, but that doesn’t stop them from jumping or perching on their hind legs, anything that helps them to be part of your everyday life.
The Munchkin cat has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and for the most of it these cats are quite healthy. However, just like all cats, this cat breed can also be prone to some health issues.
Munchkins can develop UTIs, cardiac problems, or pancreatitis. Again, this is not a very old breed so you should be wary of any behavior changes as this might be a sign of some unexpected health problem, just like any other cat.
As with all pets, you should watch out for obesity. This is especially important with Munchkin cats, as they have shorter legs so excess weight can put pressure on the joints and this is not good for them.
Your vet can help you establish a good diet plan for your Munchkin, and you’ll be all set for keeping your pet’s body in peak condition.
As with any pet that you take care of, regular check-ups at the vet are essential for your cat’s health and your happiness.
Other Short-Legged Cat Breeds
Now we have learned all about the Munchkin breed, let’s find out about other short-legged cat breeds that you might be interested in.
Let’s see what other cats with short legs there are; some of these you might not have even heard of!
The Minskin cat is an extraordinary small breed. This is yet another cat breed that is distinguished by its short legs. This breed was produced by a breeder from Massachusetts called Paul McSorley.
The Minskin was produced by mixing a Munchkin cat with a Sphynx and adding the Devon Rex and the Burmese cat. By combining these four different cat breeds, we get the Minskin!
The Minskin is known for its short legs, and its front legs are a bit shorter than its back legs. Despite that, these cats aren’t any less active than long-legged cats.
Minskins have large eyes and ears and round heads, and they weigh approximately 4 to 6 pounds.
Minskin cats reach a maximum height of 8 inches. These cats, like their Sphynx ancestors, may seem hairless, but they actually do have furry points on their tail, back, and around their whiskers and eye area. These areas are incredibly soft, while the stomach is always hairless.
Minskin cats can be several different colors, and their possible coat patterns include colorpoint, solid, tortie, and tabby.
Minskin cats are great for families as they are often praised for their friendly and affectionate nature. These cats are great with kids and with people of all ages.
They are also welcoming to strangers, which makes them ideal for families who tend to have frequent visitors to the house.
Minskins are also quite tolerant and can get along well with other pets, including dogs. However, if there are any changes taking place in the home, or any new pets being introduced, remember to do it gradually for the best outcome.
You need to be extremely cautious when your Minskin goes hunting rodents and bugs around the house.
Despite their small stature, their natural hunting instincts and their playful nature can easily put them in danger with these other small creatures that they prey upon.
These cats are smart, curious, active, and rather independent. They make great cuddle buddies and love their owners as much as they love them.
The Minskin cat is still rather new and rare, so determining exactly what health issues they might be more prone to is still quite difficult.
So far, these cats are generally very healthy, and their average lifespan ranges from 12 to 14 years.
There are, however, some genetic disorders that a Minskin cat can inherit from its parents. It can be more prone to spinal problems, heart problems, or may have an increased risk of feline infections or skin problems.
2. Dwelf Cat Breed
The Dwelf Cat is a mixed breed; it is a mixture of the American Curl, Sphynx, and Munchkin cats. It is still new so it is rare, but its popularity is increasing all the time.
They can be quite pricey, so if you decide to buy one, look for reputable breeders you can trust!
Dwelf cats are very small; with their height range of 6 to 7 inches, and weight 4-9 lbs. The Sphynx genetics are the most prevalent in this breed, they are hairless and are called ‘dwelf’ since their looks remind of both elves and dwarves.
Dwelf cats are playful, affectionate, and loyal. They form very strong bonds with their owners. This cat breed is also extremely smart, and rather independent, but they still love the company of their favorite humans.
They are curious and playful, so entertainment won’t be an issue. However, they can get prone to separation anxiety if left alone for a long period of time.
They love to be held and cuddled, and their intelligence means that they are happiest when they have many different sources for entertainment; both physical and mental.
Dwelf cats are good for families, they will get along with all ages. However, any change or arrival of new people needs to be introduced slowly since these cats are wary of changes in their lives.
The Dwelf cat is a rather new breed, so there’s not much health info available. Currently, it is considered a healthy cat, with just a few health conditions that they might be particularly prone to developing.
Some of these health issues weren’t detected in the Dwelf cat breed, but their parent cats developed them, so this needs to be monitored.
If you notice any symptoms of skin problems, ear infections, joint diseases, spinal issues, HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), or pectus excavatum, it is best to visit the vet!
3. Lambkin… Really?
Lambkin cat is probably the funniest cat breed name I’ve ever heard. Researching about this cat breed has brought me nothing but joy! Looking at the pictures of these super cute cats was awesome.
These cats are also called Nanus Rex and are quite rare. They were produced somewhere in the early 1990s by mixing a Selkirk Rex and a Munchkin cat.
As well as being extremely cute, Lambkin cats have a wide variety of possible colors. They are a small breed, but interestingly, their head size is the same as other average domestic cat breeds.
Fuzzy and cute, it looks like these cats have inherited all the best traits of their parent breeds.
Lambkin cats are calm, loving, quiet, and quite tolerant of other pets. They are great for families and get along well with kids.
Lambkin cats love to play and cuddle and will be delighted to play with any other pets in the household.
There are many cat breeders who think that the Lambkin’s small legs have no negative impact on the breed, but many vets are concerned about the possible dangers of allowing dwarfism to this extent.
Due to the Lambkin’s genetic mutation in the breeding process, a significant number of kittens die before being born.
Vets have legitimate concerns that this means these cats are in danger of suffering and that ethical codes must be considered. There are multiple research studies being undertaken on this topic.
4. Genetta Cat Breed
Genetta cats, like most of these cat breeds with short legs, are fairly new and rare. The breeders that produced the Genetta cat breed mixed the Munchkin cat breed with Bengals.
These cats are small, small, small! Genettas grow only 5 to 8 inches in height and only weigh about 5 lbs. Only if the genes for short legs don’t come through, their size reaches around that of an average domestic cat.
Cat enthusiasts, and potential buyers, want their Genetta to be as small as it can. The smaller, the better, they say.
The coat patterns and colors are meant to resemble a wild-cat. Most Genetta kittens are leopard patterned, so you won’t find a classic pattern within these kittens.
The possible colors of these cats include brown and orange, covered in stripes or spots. These are the most common colors. Genettas commonly inherit the Bengal’s lovely green eyes.
Genetta cats are extremely social, smart, and active. They are playful and easily trained. These cats get along well with people and are more than happy to play with anyone.
Their intelligent nature requires mental stimulation and plenty of sources of entertainment. These cats adore being around people.
Genettas don’t have a tendency to develop any specific health issues or disorders, but some diseases can be inherited from their parent cats. Their life expectancy is up to 15 years and no serious medical issues have been noted as of yet.
5. Bambino Cat Breed
Bambino cats are cute chunky versions of Sphynx cats. This cat breed is produced by mixing the Sphynx with the Munchkin.
They are quite short and mostly hairless, but not always. Some of them have just a little bit of fur, and some kittens have coats, and are therefore called coated bambinos.
Just as with the Genetta cat breed, bambinos can sometimes grow up to have regular length legs. Bambino cats are quite rare and therefore very pricey.
Bambino cats strongly resemble their parent breeds. They are small like the Munchkin and almost hairless like the Sphinx.
They grow up to 8 inches in height and weigh between 4 and 9 lbs. They are usually solid white, black, or beige, but other colors are possible as well.
Bambino cats are intelligent, playful, and friendly. These cats love to spend time with their owners and they are well-adjusted, sociable, and friendly towards other pets. They are tolerant of dogs and can be easily trained.
As these cats are smart, they require a lot of entertainment, toys, and attention from you. They are quite energetic, and they need to be kept occupied. They are good with kids and make great family pets.
Quite affectionate and loyal, these cats form strong bonds with their favorite people.
They will get along well with other pets, but because of their natural instincts to hunt, they shouldn’t be alone in a room with hamsters or rabbits, for example.
Bambino cases are usually quite healthy, but some health conditions can be inherited from their parenting breeds, for example hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which can be inherited from their Sphynx parents.
This is why you should always look for reputable breeders who undertake regular screening for common health conditions. This is of utmost importance.
These cats can be quite sensitive to cold weather, so you might need to provide them with cute sweaters and blankets.
6. The Kinkalow
Kinkalow cats are also quite rare and unique in appearance. They are known for being extremely active and playful cats, and many people see them as the cutest of all cat breeds.
Kinkalows are a mixed breed of the Munchkin and the American Curl.
Kinkalow cats have very short legs, but their bodies are long. They have cute ears which resemble their American curl parent cat. They have a medium-length coat which can be either solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, or calico.
Kinkalow cats have different possible colors, including black, white, beige, orange, and blue. Kinkalow cats typically weigh 3 to 7 lbs, and they typically reach a height of 8 inches.
Kinkalow cats are very playful, outgoing, energetic, and affectionate. They’re also loyal and docile and can be trained easily. As they are so smart, they pick up the most important things by themselves, e.g. using the litter box.
They love cat trees, toys, playtime, cuddling, and anything that involves their favorite humans. These cats are also good for first-time pet owners as they aren’t high maintenance. They are great for families, people of all ages, and will get along with other pets.
The average lifespan of a Kinkalow cat is 12 to 15 years. These cats are typically very healthy but might be prone to developing spinal issues.
You need to monitor their general health, of course, but especially their back health.
7. Napoleon Cat – What?!
Funny enough, there’s also a short-legged cat breed named Napoleon. These cats are also called the Minuet and are quite beautiful. They are a hybrid of Persian cats and Munchkins, so they cannot be anything less than gorgeous!
Napoleon cats reach a maximum height of 8 inches, and they typically weigh from 5 to 9 lbs. Their possible coat colors include brown, mink, lilac, white, chocolate, or a combination of these colors.
This rare breed is quite intelligent and can be easily trained. Napoleon cats form strong bonds with their owners, and are very affectionate and loyal.
They are great for people of all ages and they are great for families because their laid-back personality suits both kids and the elderly.
Napoleon cats are very active and full of energy. These cats are very cuddly, and they love to be around other pets rather than being alone.
Napoleon cats are generally quite healthy, but some health conditions can be hereditary. Some serious health issues that your Napoleon cat might inherit from its parent breeds include PKD (polycystic kidney disease), cataracts, or lordosis.
8. American Curl
American curl cats generally look like any other domestic cat, but due to a genetic mutation, they have curled ears.
Interestingly enough, the American curl is recognized by the CFA as a breed of cat that can be long-haired or short-haired, and it is the only one.
The American curl cat breed is distinguished by its striking curled ears. What is interesting is that a breeder cannot know what kind of ears the kittens will have when breeding cats.
Each kitten can have their ears curled to a different degree and in a different way.
The CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) states that American curl kittens are born with straight ears, but their ears curl after a few days.
American curl cats have a wide variety of possible colors and coat patterns, including tortoiseshell and color point. They have round eyes, a slightly longer body, and a wedge-shaped head.
American curl cats are affectionate, intelligent, and active cats that only reach maturity at the age of two or three.
These cute felines love to play and they require a lot of playtime and cuddles every day. They’re not very vocal, but will chirp when necessary.
These cats love to snuggle besides their favorite humans, and are very fond of lap naps. American Curls are friendly and welcoming to strangers as well.
American Curl cats are generally a healthy breed. However, due to their curled ears, they can be more prone to ear infections than other cats, so you will be required to clean their ears carefully.
As far as other health issues are concerned, you need to take your American Curl on regular trips to the vet, because they, like all other domestic cats, can develop certain diseases or conditions..
9. Skookum Cats
Skookum cats are still seen as an experimental breed by some. These cats are produced by mixing the Munchkin cat and LaPerm cats. Most dwarf cat breeds have Munchkins in their ancestry line, hence the short legs.
Skookum cats inherit their short legs from Munchkins and their curly, wavy coats from the LaPerm.
It is known that this cat breed has been around since the 1990s, when Roy Galusha crossed the two breeds. Fun fact: Their name comes from a Chinook Jargon word that means powerful.
Skookum cats have long tails with rounded tips; they inherit their size and coat type from the parent LaPerm and Munchkin genes. They typically weigh from 4 to 7 lbs, with females being smaller (as is usual in cats).
Their beautiful fuzzy, wavy coats can come in any color that its parent breeds have. Possible coat patterns include solid, bicolor, or colorpoint.
The Skookum cat breed is still fairly new, so we can only make assumptions on its personality traits based on its parents’ personalities. It is bound to inherit some of the qualities of each parent breed.
Any severe health issue that may affect the Skookum cat more than other breeds is still unknown, since Skookum cats are rare and new.
However, all dwarf cats are generally prone to some health issues, most notable spinal problems. Some years need to pass in order to conclude what kind of health issues Skookum cats might be predisposed to.
What are short legged cats called?
There are several short-legged cat breeds, but people usually refer to the Munchkin cat breed when they say short-legged cats.
Do Munchkin cats suffer?
Generally, Munchkin cats grow up to live a healthy life. However, due to the genetic mutation that causes the shorter limb defect, they can be more prone to spinal issues or osteoarthritis.
Are Munchkin cats healthy?
Yes, Munchkins are known as quite a healthy breed of cat. There are no genetic health conditions that are specific only to this breed. Still, always look for registered breeders when adopting or buying, as they will have monitored the cat’s health up to the point of purchase.
Why shouldn’t you buy a Munchkin Cat?
You should not buy a Munchkin cat if you consider their breeding process cruel, as some people do. Munchkin cats are produced and bred for dwarfism, which is a genetic mutation.
Another reason is that there are many stray cats or abandoned cats in shelters and rescue centers, and still breeders produce more and more litters just for the money. Adopt, don’t shop.
Why do people buy Munchkin Cats?
Munchkins, despite the controversy concerning their breeding process, are being bought by many people. These cats have some very good traits, just like many other cats do. They are active, friendly, sociable, and affectionate… all good traits a cat can possess.
On the plus side, Munchkin cats are incredibly cute! They look like kittens for most of their lives, just a slightly bigger version. Their coats are soft to touch and they love to cuddle.
What are the benefits of Munchkin Cats?
Munchkin cats are not high maintenance pets. They are active, friendly, loyal, and affectionate cats that make great family pets. They are good with kids, other pets, and people of any age. Munchkins are simply great to own, they possess lovely personality traits. They are sweet by nature and extremely cute in appearance.
What is a Munchkin cat’s lifespan?
Despite all the fuss and controversy about the breed’s development, the life expectancy of a Munchkin cat is 12 to 15 years on average.
All in all, short-legged cat breeds, other than having short legs, have one thing in common: they are all incredibly cute!
I hope that this article has answered all the questions you might have had about cats with short legs, what breeds there are, and why their legs are shorter than those of other common domestic cat breeds.
I’ve listed all the short-legged cat breeds and provided some brief info about them, and I truly hope that you’ve learned something new and interesting today. I know I did!.
Cats are simply great! Short or long-legged, fluffy or hairless; they make life so much better!