Move over, Grumpy cat. Chava, the Munchkin kitten, is here to stay.
Kittens are automatically the most adorable pets to watch. They are spunky, playful, and so cuddly.
Recently, Instagram has blown up with pictures of the cute Munchkin kitten, Chava. Known for sleeping more like a human than a cat, Chava is winning the hearts of cat lovers everywhere and eliciting oohs and awws on every social media post. These funny animals are more than fodder for cat videos, though. The cat breed has a long and exciting history.
About Munchkin Cats
Part of Chava's cuteness comes from his unique breed and small size. A genetic mutation causes the cat's short legs. The Munchkin breed is also known for its sausage-like body, making them the dachshunds of the cat world. While the breed may be making waves on the internet today, they are not a new breed.
The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the breed in 1994. Cat experts were concerned that the change to the cat's genetics would cause health issues. The Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy refuse to recognize the breed because the short legs that make it one of the cutest cats do not meet their standards.
However, the origins of the breed are traced to a pregnant cat found in Louisiana in 1983.
A standard munchkin can be long-haired or have shorter fur. The Munchkin Longhair has a medium-length smooth coat, while the shorthair's fur is more of a medium plush. Those short legs, which are caused by an autosomal dominant gene that occurs repetitively, do not inhibit the cat's ability to play or walk around.
They are known for their spunky personality. They love being held and cuddled. They do well when their new home is filled with lots of interaction and fun. The breed is also known for kicking out its hind legs as a rabbit would.
Do Munchkin Kittens have a normal life span?
Female munchkin kittens grow up to be between 5 and 7 pounds, while adult males are generally around 7-10 pounds. Even with their genetic mutation, they lead a reasonably normal life living between 15 and 18 years. The mutation does not seem to cause any health problems in the cute cats. The short legs do not affect any of their bone structure, and they are not known for spinal problems. You should not need to do any genetic testing or have any concerns with their genes. The only cause for concern maybe if they are a hybrid.
How much does it cost to have your very own Munchkin Kitten?
Buying a munchkin cat from a breeder will set you back between $500 and $1200. The more miniature the kitten looks, the more the breeder will charge for it. If you want to purchase a female and have your own tiny munchkins running around, it will cost upwards of $2,000 to $3,000, especially if they are purebred. TICA has a list of reputable breeders or a cattery or two that you can buy one of these cute kittens from.
Can any breed have "Munchkin" qualities?
The genetic mutation can occur in any cat breed. It is not uncommon to see a calico munchkin cat or a pure white munchkin cat. Some other munchkin crossbreeds are Maine coon, Persian, ragdoll, siamese, and sphynx. There really is no shortage of available ways to mix this cute kitty.
What breed would you like as a Munchkin? Let us know on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!