A young breed with short legs. A gentle and friendly cat. Because of their unusual appearance, Munchkins are called “dachshund cats”.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 2—3 kg
male: 4—5 kg
female: 15 cm
male: 15 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—4 kitten
United States
in 1983
Life span
Life span:
13—17 years


Munchkin is a young breed. Because it does not have any standards, behavior of pets depends on genes. Specialists notice that Munchkins are curious and active cats. They are interested in everything that happens around. They like games and can spend whole day chasing a ball. Despite short legs, these pets are very quick. Munchkins climb on curtains and low surfaces, get into cupboards and boxes. They like standing on hind legs and making a smart facial expression. They can stand like this for few minutes.

These cats are gentle and friendly. They quickly get used to people and can barely stand being alone for a long time. They enjoy taking part in all family activities, but they can`t be called intrusive. These pets can fell the mood of a person and express respect. Munchkins get on well with other animals and don`t show aggression. They are ideal friends for a small child.

Munchkins can be trained. They can understand easy commands and can bring back toys that were thrown for them. It is important not to shout at these cats. Bad attitude can negatively affect their health.


Munchkins are small cats. Their body is long and flexible. Because they get crossbred, their appearance might vary. This breed does not have a specific standard.
Can be long and short. The undercoat is of medium length. Feels silky.
All colors and patters are acceptable. Bicolor cats are the most popular ones. 
The head is wedge-shaped, with rounded contours. 
Eyes are big, wide, almond-shaped. Colors vary.
Ears are of medium length, set high. They are wide at the base and have rounded tips.
The neck is short and muscular.
Legs are short and straight. Front legs are longer than hind ones.
The tail is proportional to the body. It is wide at the base and gets thinner down to the tip.

Basic Care

Munchkins require minimal grooming. Short-haired pets should be brushed once a week, long haired — two times a week. For brushing long-haired Munchkins, use slickers and massage brushes. Then, pet your cat with wet hands to take remaining hairs of.

Munchkins are neat cats. They can take good care of themselves. You should not give them a bath often. One time in half a year will be enough. Long-haired Munchkins should be washed with special shampoos for long hair. Use a hairdryer after giving your cat a bath. Eyes and ears should be cleaned with wet cotton pads once a month. Teeth have to be brushed with a special paste once a month so that the cat does not get tartar. You don`t need to trim cat`s claws if it has a claw-point. 

Munchkins should eat natural food or one of premium quality. Food of high quality maintains vitamins and minerals needed for your pet`s health. Munchkins have high chances of getting obese. Their natural diet should be well-balanced. To be energetic, these pets need proteins. They can be fed with not greasy boiled meat — chicken, beef, rabbit meat; dairy products — kefir and cottage cheese, boiled vegetables and porridge.

Health and Illnesses

Munchkins can live up to 17 years if treated well. This breed appeared naturally, that is why health of these pets is strong. The only hereditary health issue is lordosis. 

Lordosis is an abnormal curvature of spine. Muscles that hold the cat`s spine get weak and move it in the thoracic region. Noticeable curvature disrupts the normal functioning of heart and lungs. Eventually, the cat might die.

Short legs of Munchkins is a genetic mutation. If a kitten receives a gene responsible for this function from both parents, it will be born with legs of different length.

History of the Breed

First short-legged cats are were mentioned in 1930. People were paying attention and interest to an unusual appearance of cats. British vets became seriously interested in them in 1944. Later, these cats were mentioned in American and Soviet newspapers. Soviet cat owners thought that the mutation had been caused by military conditions. 

Officially, history of this breed dates back to 1983, the USA. An American teacher Sandra Hochenedel took a pregnant cat from a street to her home. Half of her kittens were born with short legs. Sandra gave one of the kittens to her friend Kay, who was a cat breeder. He showed the cat to a judge of TICA association, Solveig Pflueger. He started researching it. Genetic analysis showed that the breed appeared naturally, and that the length of legs is caused by a recessive gene. 

In 1991, Munchkins took part in a show for the first time. Experts were doubtful about the vitality of the breed until they held their own genetic researches. In 1994, the TICA organization started popularizing the breed. Six years later, Munchkins won a show for the first time. The breed started becoming more and more popular. In 1995, it was officially recognized.