United States



Adult Weight

4-9 pounds

Life Span

12-15 years


Sweet, friendly, curious, playful


Kangaroo cat, Magpie, Sausage cat


Small short-haired and long-haired



Personality and Temperament

The Munchkin cat is so much more than an adorable little pet: These cats are sweet natured, personable, and playful. With extra short legs that contribute to the breed’s nickname “Dachshund of the cat world,” these kitties tend to be on the small side. They may have short or long hair, and they come in every color imaginable. Thanks to the bouncy, short strides they take when running, Munchkin cats are often compared to rabbits and ferrets. The truth is, they are 100% feline, with magnetic personalities, a strong play drive, and an intense love of cuddling. As you might have guessed, this breed is named after the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. Their short legs are caused by a naturally occurring genetic mutation that is caused by an autosomal dominant gene. Munchkin cat breeders select for this gene, which affects leg bone length. These kitties don’t know that their legs are far shorter than the average cat’s; they simply enjoy life a little closer to the ground! To get a better view, they’ll often stand on their hind legs. Munchkin cats come in three different heights: Standard, supershort, and rug hugger. Leg length affects the height only; the rest of the cat’s body is proportioned like that of an average domestic cat. You might think that Munchkin cats can’t jump. While it is true that their leaps are not as impressive as those of average sized cats, many individuals can make it from the floor to the seat of the couch or the top of your bed with ease. Since they aren’t likely to leap onto tall tabletops and high display shelves, members of the Munchkin cat breed might be ideal for people who love cats but worry about the impact they might have on collectibles. One thing is certain: Bring a Munchkin into your home, and you’ll instantly fall in love with their adorable looks and charming personalities.


Munchkin cats do not have any special nutritional requirements, however it is best to offer a high-protein diet. If you are not feeding your cat fresh food, be sure to choose a high-quality brand that includes real meat or fish as the first ingredient.
Munchkin cats’ grooming routines vary depending on their coat length. If your Munchkin has a short coat, then you’ll want to brush them just once or twice per week to remove any loose hair. If you have a long-haired Munchkin cat, daily grooming is essential. Keep your kitty’s claws clipped to prevent damage to your belongings, and consider teaching your kitten to allow toothbrushing from a young age.
Since Munchkin cats love to play, it isn’t at all difficult to encourage them to get enough exercise. These kitties absolutely love their toys and they love it even more when their human companions take time out for interactive play. As Munchkin cats get along very well with other pets including well-mannered dogs, they will enjoy playtime together when given the opportunity.
It’s very important to note that breeding one Munchkin cat to another Munchkin cat can lead to serious health problems in the offspring. If you plan to adopt a Munchkin kitten, be sure that you work with a responsible breeder or adoption agency. Responsible Munchkin breeders outcross cats with the short legged gene with cats that do not carry the gene. This greatly reduces the risk of health issues that could cause discomfort and early death.


Affection Level 100%
Activity Level 90%
Pet-Friendly 100%
Kid-Friendly 90%
Sociability 100%
Intelligence 100%
Playfulness 100%
Independence 20%
Vocality 40%
Grooming 60%


The Munchkin cat breed is relatively new, although individual cats with shorter than average legs have been noted and even encouraged throughout history. The breed’s story begins in 1983, when a female cat was rescued in Louisiana. She had been abandoned outdoors, and had been chased under a pickup truck by a dog. This cat, later named Blackberry, was pregnant and gave birth to a litter that included some kittens with short legs. Her rescuer, Sandra Hochenedel, gave one of the male short-legged kittens to a friend named Kay LaFrance. This kitten was named Toulouse, and was eventually bred back to Blackberry. Their offspring formed the foundation for the Munchkin cat breed as we know it today. Responsible breeders do their best to ensure that kittens are healthy and comfortable in their bodies. Instead of pairing registered Munchinks with one another, they outcross Munchkin cats with domestic cats and other purebreds, ensuring a diverse gene pool and reducing the likelihood of genetic diseases. The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Southern Africa Cat Council are the only registries that currently accept Munchkin cats. Much controversy surrounds the breed, as not all breeders take responsibility for preventing painful issues that adversely affect the welfare of the individuals they produce. TICA granted the Munchkin cat breed championship status in 2003, but no progress toward advancing the Munchkin’s status in the world of cat fancy has occurred since then.

The Breed Standard


The Munchkin cat is a small to medium-sized breed that matures to an average weight of 5 to 9 pounds. Females are usually smaller than males.


The head should be a modified wedge shape with rounded contours, and should be of a size that is proportionate to the cat's body.


The eyes should be walnut shaped and should be wide enough apart to provide an open, alert expression. Eyes may be of any color.


A Munchkin cat's ears should be proportionate to the head, with broader bases and slightly rounded tips. Longhair Munchkin cats may display lynx tips.

Legs & Paws

A Munchkin cat's legs should be short, and should be set evenly apart, with the upper and lower forelegs being of equal length. The back legs may be of the same length as the front legs, although longer back legs and shorter front legs are acceptable. The paws should be round and compact. Feet should be pointed straightforward, not pronated inward or outward.


The tail should be of medium length – about the same length as the cat's body. It should taper and have a rounded end.


Shorthaired Munchkins have plush, soft coats. Long-haired Munchkin cats typically display very soft, silky coats.


Munchkin cats may be of any color and pattern imaginable. Solid colors, tabbies, harlequins, and pointed varieties are a few examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does a Munchkin cat cost?

    How much does a Munchkin cat cost?Munchkin cats cost between $1,000-$2,000.
  • How big do Munchkin cats get?

    How big do Munchkin cats get?Munchkin cats tend to be small in size. A fully grown Munchkin cat might weigh between 4-9 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 6"-9" inches tall.
  • How long do Munchkin cats live?

    How long do Munchkin cats live?The Average lifespan for Munchkin is 12-15 years.
  • Do Munchkin cats shed?

    Do Munchkin cats shed?Munchkin are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.
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