I thought I was a dog person until I saw a munchkin cat in real life — they’re cute beyond belief. What is a munchkin cat, and why are they controversial?
Also called “sausage cats” due to their hot dog-like appearance, these cuties were discovered in the early twentieth century and only recognized as an official breed in 2003. This was after a long time of discussion and controversy. The International Cat Association was reluctant at first: one of the judges even resigned, calling the new breed (and its breeders) an affront to any breeder with ethics because the cats are intentionally bred with genetic mutations.
Some people still stand by the opinion that Munchkins shouldn’t be bred. Munchkin lovers state that in contrast to their dog counterparts, the breed doesn’t suffer from chronic illness associated with their short legs. Unlike breeds like the Dachshund that are known for their back problems, Munchkins are as healthy as more conventional cat breeds.
Even so, the American Cat Fanciers Association and other European groups don’t consider the Munchkin a recognized breed. Studies show that Munchkins do showcase some diseases like lordosis and pectus excavatum (a condition when the breastbone sinks into the chest of the cat), but as other cat breeds also suffer from these, experts are still on the fence about whether or not these conditions are breeding-related or are just a normal occurrence like with other cats.
Even so, Munchkins are thought to be a generally healthy breed, and they usually live between 12 and 15 years. If you want a lifetime of fun with your furry friend, consider a Munchkin!