8 Adorable Munchkin Cat Breeds We Love

Cat Breeds May 15, 2024

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8 Adorable Munchkin Cat Breeds We Love

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The first Munchkin cat was discovered in 1983.

Unfortunately, due to controversial breeding, the munchkin cats weren’t recognized as a breed until 1994. The breeding process of these cats is a complicated process which is why they’re relatively rare.

One of the distinctive features of these cats is that they have short legs that are a result of a natural genetic mutation. Their legs are 3 inches shorter than those of an average cat and slightly bowed earning them nicknames such as the ‘sausage cats’ or ‘wiener dogs’. Their hind legs are also slightly longer than the front legs.

Further, these adorable cats are considered to be the original ‘dwarf cats’.

These beautiful furballs get their name from the prominent character with short and stumpy legs in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Despite their small size, munchkin cats are big on personality. They’re intelligent, active, curious, lovable and friendly kitties to both children and pets.

Besides, these cats’ tiny stature has earned them lots of admiration from social media enthusiasts and most of them have millions of followers on Instagram and YouTube.

Further, these popular cats have a kind expression that is hard to ignore.

Need more reasons to get a munchkin cat?

Here are eight Munchkin cat breeds that you can’t help but fall in love with.

#1 Minskin

  • Weight: 2-6 pounds
  • Height: 5-7 inches
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Personality: Social, curious and intelligent
  • Coat colors: Pointed colors with brown, cream, and white being common

Minskin is a new cat breed developed by Paul McSorley in 1998.

This feline was created by breeding a Munchkin with a Sphynx and a Devon Rex cat. A Burmese cat was later added to the breed’s development list. This resulted in a stocky-bodied cat with large blue eyes, sturdy little legs, and a stunning light peach fuzzy coat. This cat looks very much like the Sphynx cat except for her short legs.

This cat breed is quite popular due to her unusual hairlessness coat and tiny legs. Although most Minskin cats are predominantly hairless, some have patches of short fur on their ears, tails and feet.

Due to her hairless body, this cat is hypoallergenic making her a perfect pet for individuals with dog and cat allergies. The Minskin’s short coat is easy to maintain as it has small amounts of hair. However, you’ll need to bathe your Minskin once in a while to take care of her sensitive skin.

This adorable furball is intelligent, curious, very mischievous and a great entertainer. She also gets along well with children, pets and even strangers making her a great family companion.

Unfortunately, due to the close relation this breed has to the Sphynx cat, the Minskin is prone to heart problems.

#2 Bambino

  • Weight: 5-9 pounds
  • Height: 5-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Coat colors: Black, white, cream, brown
  • Personality: Social, playful and intelligent

Bambino is a new cat breed created by Pat and Stephanie Osborne in 2005. It’s a crossbreed of the Munchkin and Sphynx cats. This furball gets her short legs from her Munchkin parent and the hairlessness from the Sphynx parent. This cat also has large round eyes, large upright ears and a medium-sized body. Bambino’s hairless skin comes in many colour variations but black and cream are the common ones.

Bambino is an Italian word meaning baby. This cat gets her name from her short legs and her hairless body that looks like that of a baby.

This cat is friendly, affectionate and intelligent. As a pet, she’ll constantly play around the house and give you loving cuddles and snuggles.

The Bambino’s exposed skin needs extra care and maintenance. You need to wipe her body regularly to remove oil residue. Also, this cat’s hairless skin needs protection from direct sunlight and cold weather. When outdoors, ensure you apply some sunscreen to this feline’s body during summer and clothe her with some clothes to keep her warm during winter.

Unfortunately, just like the Minskin cat, the Bambino has a high risk of suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition inherited from her Sphynx parent.

#3 Dwelf

  • Weight: 4-7 pounds
  • Height: 6-7 inches
  • Lifespan: 8-12 years
  • Coat colors: Black, cream
  • Personality: Energetic, social, friendly, outgoing

Dwelf is a crossbreed between the Munchkin, Sphynx, and American Curl cats. This furball inherits her short legs from the Munchkin, hairless body from the Sphynx and her curled ears from the American Curl.

This unusual-looking cat gets her name from the dwarf and elf due to her short legs and the elf-like ears. In addition to the short legs and hairless skin, this cat has an athletic body and large eyes. The Dwelf bears a close resemblance to the Bambino cat.

Notably, this cat is extremely rare and expensive too.

The Dwelf cat’s outgoing and playful nature makes her a wonderful family pet. These cats enjoy human company and will get along well with children and other pets.  They are also full of energy and tend to be quite mischievous. They love climbing, jumping and running around and they’ll do anything to get your attention.

The Dwelf hairless skin needs constant protection from cold and direct sunlight. You should also bathe this feline regularly to keep the skin clean and healthy.

The Dwelf cat is prone to skeletal and joint problems which are genetically inherited from her parents.

#4 Genetta

  • Weight: 4-8 pounds
  • Height: 4-12 inches
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Coat colors: Marbled or striped variety of red, orange, black, silver, and brown
  • Personality: Friendly, playful, smart

The Genetta cat is named after the African Genet, a wild spotted fox-sized cat. The Genetta cat’s unique marble and spotted coat pattern is hard to miss. The Genetta was bred by Shannon Kiley from Pawstruck Cattery Texas in 2006. This cat was a crossbreed between the Munchkin, Bengal, and Savannah cats.

Genetta inherited most of her traits from her cat parents. Her sturdy legs are from the Munchkin and the exotic spotted coat is from both the Bengal and Savannah parents. This cat has a wild tiger appearance combined with a lively and friendly nature. Other traits that characterize this feline include large round ears, a wide large nose, large eyes, a long thick tail and a long slender neck.

These cats are playful and friendly to both children and pets. They don’t like to be left alone for long hours as they constantly crave human love and attention. This also means they love to cuddle and snuggle. These mischievous cats are also easily trainable.

Their low shedding coats need regular brushing to avoid matting and tangles.

#5 Kinkalow

  • Weight: 3-7 pounds
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Coat colors: White, chocolate, calico, tortie, tabby, gray, orange, cream, black
  • Personality: Active, loyal and intelligent

The Kinkalow cat was developed by Terri Harris in 1994 in Florida. This cat derives her name from two words, kink and low referring to her kinky ears and short legs. The Kinkalow is a crossbreed of the American curl and Munchkin cats. She gets her curly ears from the American curl and short legs from the Munchkin parent.

The Kinkalow is an experimental breed which explains why she is so rare.

The Kinkalow cat is a close cousin to the Dwelf. This feline shares multiple traits with the Dwelf cat except that her coat is full of fur.

This social and active cat makes the perfect pet for families with lots of time to share. Kinkalow’s dog-like nature makes her a very loyal and loving companion. This cat will follow you around and constantly snuggle and cuddle next to you. They are also playful and intelligent cats that enjoy playing games with children.

Their curled ears need frequent cleaning to prevent infections. You also need to brush their hair regularly to remove tangles.

#6 Lambkin

  • Weight: 5-9 pounds
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Personality: Playful, sweet-natured, gentle and affectionate
  • Coat colors: Comes in various colors and patterns, but predominately white

The Lambkin cat derives her name from the woolly coat of a young lamb. This breed was developed by Terri Harris in 1991 after crossing the Munchkin and Selkirk Rex cats.

The Lambkin has large round eyes, a curved fluffy tail, a curly coat, and short legs. Their short legs make them have a noticeable waddle as they walk. Each of this breed parents contributed a dominant gene to the offspring. The cat’s short study legs and tightly bound curls are from the Munchkin and Selkirk Rex parents respectively. However, some Lambkin cats have straight hair inherited from the Munchkin parent.

This cat comes in a variety of coat colors and patterns. The Lambkin cat also comes in both long and short hair versions. It’s one of the rarest cat breeds in the world and also among the heaviest Munchkin breeds.

Lambkins are playful and friendly felines. Their highly tolerant, gentle, affectionate, and sweet nature makes them great companions for families with children. They also enjoy snuggling and cuddling next to their favorite person.

Notably, leaving your Lambkin cat for too long isn’t recommended as these felines are known to get destructive when bored. Keep your lambkin mentally and physically stimulated by offering her lots of puzzles and play toys.

This furball’s coat is super soft and requires daily brushing to keep it clean and to prevent the fur from matting. This cat also needs to be bathed regularly to remove dirt from her coat.

#7 Napoleon

  • Weight: 5-9 pounds
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Coat colors: Variety of colors and patterns, but mostly comes in solid white, cream, and chocolate
  • Personality: Social, loving, playful, and easygoing

The Napoleon furball was created by crossing the Munchkin and Persian cats. This feline is characterized by a round face, big eyes, short legs, and a luxurious plush coat.

This breed takes the best from her parents. The small legs are from the Munchkin and the adorable short snout face and the fluffy coat are from the Persian parent. The coat of this dwarfed cat comes in many shades and in both short and long-haired versions.

A short-haired Napoleon has a soft dense coat while long-haired Napoleon cats have soft straight topcoats and thick undercoats.

Since this cat’s development in 1995, the Napoleon has become one of the most popular cat breeds. She is named after the short stature of French general, Napoleon Bonaparte. This small cat is also called Minuets.

Napoleons are playful and friendly cats that need lots of human interaction. They are also social and will get along well with children and other pets.

The level of maintenance for this cat depends on the coat. Daily brushing is required for the long-haired Napoleon while the short-haired version requires weekly brushing.

#8 Skookum

  • Weight: 3-7 pounds
  • Height: 5-6 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Coat colors: Variety of solid colors, bicolor, and color points
  • Personality: Intelligent, energetic, playful, curious, and easy going

The Skookum is an experimental breed created by Roy Galusha in the 1990s. This breed was developed by crossing the Munchkin and the LaPerm cats.

This furball has expressive walnut-shaped eyes, large ears, a long thick puffy tail, short legs and a stunning curly coat. The whiskers and eyebrows are also curled.

The Skookum inherits her curly coat from the LaPerm and the short legs from the Munchkin parent. The Skookum’s curly coat comes in both short and long-haired versions. Female Skookum cats have loosely curled hairs while male cats have kinkier hairs.

The Skookum cat is nicknamed ‘the Shirley Temple of the cat world’ because of her short stature and curled coat. This cat derives her name from the Native American tribe of Skokuum. The word Skokuum refers to something durable, brave, and powerful.

This cat has an intelligent, affectionate, social, and calm personality. She is also a friendly cat that gets along well with children, strangers and other pets including dogs.

These playful and sweet-natured cats are suitable for large families that can devote plenty of time to them. They retain their playful kitten-like traits even in adulthood.

The Skookum coat is easy to maintain despite it being curly. But it needs to be brushed occasionally to prevent it from matting.

Most of the above Munchkin cats are recent experimental breeds that still have lots of developments underway. And even though the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) has not yet fully recognized some of the discussed Munchkin cat breeds, experts say that the genetic mutation in these felines does not result in any severe health issues. Besides, with proper care, some of these cat breeds can live up to 15 years.

Moreover, these dwarf cats are not only known for their short legs but also their playful, fun-loving, and energetic nature. These munchkin furballs also have plenty of affection to share with you. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to the cats coat colors and patterns just in case you decide to adopt a munchkin cat among the many discussed above.

Agnes is a freelance writer with big love for all fluffy creatures, especially her Maine Coon cat. She's written over 200 articles about animal care, ranging from how to raise kittens to the healthiest pet snacks on the market
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