What's up, Pawsome readers?!
Today's cat feature is no other than the controversial munchkin cat (also referred to as sausage cats) - a cat breed that is well-known for its notably short legs caused by a genetic mutation.
If you are as excited as we are about getting to know this cutie patootie and why it is a controversial cat breed, keep on reading!
The accidental discovery of the munchkin
A pregnant stray cat named Blackberry is the mother of the munchkin breed. She was accidentally discovered in 1983 by an American music teacher, Sandra Hochenedel, hiding under a truck. Sarah took her home and named her Blackberry. Soon after, Blackberry had given birth and half of her kittens were born short-legged. Sarah gave the short-legged male kitten to her friend and she named him, Toulouse.
Thus, it is believed that the munchkins are the descendants of Blackberry and Toulouse.
And the rest is history!
Why the munchkin cat is a controversial breed
In 1991, the munchkin was formally introduced on national television sponsored by The International Cat Association (TICA)which drew mixed reactions from the viewing public. While some cat enthusiasts thought this breed was exceptionally cute and adorable, some critics didn’t think so. They brought up that the munchkin's short, stumpy legs caused by genetic mutation (a type of dwarfism) can be harmful to their health; PETA even called this deliberate breeding process cruel and unethical.
Vets expressed their disappointment as well, and urged people not to fuel the trend for sausage cats.
The munchkins are popular among celebrities
It is no surprise that even celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, are quite obsessed with these cute short-legged kitties. She owns two munchkins named Shorty and Munchkin, whom you'll see quite often on her Instagram feed.
The hotel heiress is said to be one of the reasons why the munchkin breed has drawn so much attention and gained popularity over the years. We totally get her!
TIP: If you are also on the lookout for a famous munchkin cat to follow on Instagram, we highly suggest you check out Albert the Munchkin for some daily dose of cuteness!
The world's shortest living Cat
Lilieput, a 9-year old female munchkin cat from Napa, California was named The Shortest Living Cat by Guinness World Records in 2013, standing at 5.25 inches in height.
Is the munchkin cat for you?
Still on the fence whether or not the munchkin cat is the one for you? If you are new to the feline world, here are a few things worth noting:
- the munchkin comes in three leg sizes: standard, super short and rug-hugger
- sweet, kid-friendly and playful - perfect lap cat!
- moves fast and full of energy despite having short legs
- likes shiny things
- life expectancy: 12-15 years
- weight: 6 to 9 lbs.
According to many sources we've read online, the munchkin is typically healthy despite having short legs. So we highly suggest you get one from a reputable breeder and do your homework before taking this munchkin home.