Munchkin Cats and Kittens

Wundrland Cats

General Description

The racy, low-slung Munchkin is built for speed and agility. To appreciate these bundles of energy, one has to know one. They have lots of energy and great cornering speed-just like the sleek race cars they resemble-and tend to stay low to the ground although they are perfectly capable of jumping. They are a cat that provokes a reaction because of their short legs-those that do not know the cats in person see only a handicap whereas those that know them have come to love the bundle of joy that sees no limits. Badgers, ferrets, otters, raccoons, and squirrels are just a few of the animals in the wild that have short legs to help them survive-some are diggers, some are climbers and, in the case of otters, some are swimmers, but their short legs have evolved to help their survival skills. Dachshunds, Bassetts, and Corgis are a few of the dog breeds developed with short legs for specific purposes-Bassets are scent hounds and short legs put them closer to the scent while Corgis are herding dogs that need to turn on a dime, with rapid twists and turns to herd the animals in their charge. Munchkins are the same as every other cat-except they have short legs, speed & exceptional cornering skills, and a great deal of love to offer their devoted owners.


The Munchkin is not a new mutation. Short-legged cats have been recorded throughout the years and around the globe. In a British veterinary report in 1944, Dr. H E Williams-Jones described four generations of short-legged cats including an 8 year old black female that had extremely healthy life. The report stated that her dam, grand-dam and progeny all were similar and the only difference between them and normal cats were the short legs. This line disappeared during WWII. The trait was also seen in Stalingrad in 1956, in New England in 1970 and Louisiana in the 1980s. In 1983 Sandra Hockenedel found a pregnant short-legged female that became the foundation for the breed we call the Munchkin. Sandra named the cat Blackberry. She gave a male, Toulouse, from one of Blackberry's litters to her friend Kay LaFrance and it is from these two cats that the breed was established using domestic cats as an outcross to ensure a diverse gene pool.

TICA accepted the Munchkin into its New Breed development program in September 1994. The program tracks the pedigrees of cats used to create the new breeds and monitors the breeding statistics as the breed develops under the oversight of the Genetics committee. The breeding data showed that the short legs in the cat followed a dominant pattern of inheritance like that in the Corgi and the Dachshund. After years of development and observation, the Munchkin achieved TICA Championship status effective May 2003.  *** Special note, in 2012, Dr Leslie Lyons isolated the dwarf gene that causes the shortleg in felines, it is noted that it is not the same gene that causes it in dogs.  Dr Lyons has been instrumental in studying the Munchkins and has ruled out that the gene might cause spinal issues that the short leg dogs are effected with.  So, after many years with Dr Soliveg and Dr Lyons studying the cats, they have been given a clean bill of health ruling out any degenerative joint issue related to the dwarf gene.


These sociable cats are extremely playful and love to run, chase an play with toys. They love company including children, dogs and other pets, leading them a merry chase as they zoom by in their games. Munchkins are extremely curious and will sit up on their hind legs like a rabbit to get a better view of something that has caught their attention. These self-assured cats leave no stone unturned or corner unexplored. They may not jump from the floor to the top of the bookcase in a single bound but they will show off their jumping prowess and intelligence as they find a path that takes them there in smaller steps. Once you know them, these lovable little cats capture your heart forever.


Munchkins come in both coat lengths and a veritable painter's palette of colors and patterns. The colors and patterns have been introduced through the outcross program that maintains the breed's genetic diversity. In some cases other breeds have been used to introduce specific features however a Munchkin is a unique breed and should never resemble a miniaturized version of another breed. Shorthaired Munchkins have a medium-plush, all-weather coat whereas the longhairs have semi-long, silky all-weather coat.

They are a small to medium sized cat and weigh between 5 and 9 pounds when fully grown. Other than their short legs, they look just like any normal cat. The short legs are a natural mutation that shortens the long leg bones similar to the one that gives the Corgis and Dachshunds their short stature. However the spine of the cat differs in structure from that of a dog and so the short legs do not result in the spinal problems that sometimes appears in canines. And any concerns about mobility are quickly erased as you watch the Munchkin dashing around and cornering tightly in whatever game they are playing.

Grooming is quick and easy. Shorthair Munchkins should be combed once a week to help remove loose dead hair. Comb the longhaired Munchkins twice a week to remove the dead hair and prevent tangles or mats from forming.

Ok, now, since you are interested in Munchkins, what is a Napoleon/Minuet?

Whats in a name?, the Napoleons were required to change their name by TICA for the cats registered with that organization in 9/14 due to some complaints to the reference to the French under much objection, the breed group chose a new name Minuet....same kitty, just a different other organizations or areas of the world, they are called Napoleons and if associated with TICA, Minuets....anyway you look at it, they are a great new breed that is a hybrid cross of a Munchkin and Persian, they are still developing as a newer breed in looks and type.  We started our bloodline of Naps from scratch by crossing our show Munchkins to our show Persians to foundation our own line and bring in new genes to the breed since the gene pool was limited and we wanted to work with rarer colors.  Naps have the temperments of both their parent breeds, outgoing, social, family cats, they are not as quiet as Persians and love to play and frolic with their families and be involved in what's going on. they should have a heavier coat than a longhair Munchkin but not as heavy as a Persian so some grooming is required on a longhair.

General Description

An endearing doll-like face and a low-slung body like a Dachshund help the Minuet capture your heart and bring a smile to your face. They combine the older doll-faced Persian look with the short legs of the Munchkin and come in all the colors of the rainbow and both long and short hair. A man-made breed currently in the early stages of development, the standard Minuet comes with short legs but there are also kittens with normal leg length but the same sweet look. It comes in both short- and long-haired coats.


The Minuet shares its history with the Persian that has been a part of the cat fancy from its beginnings in the late 19th century and with the modern Munchkin whose roots go back to 1983. Sandra Hockendal rescued a pregnant cat with short legs – some of her kittens did too and Sandra's Louisiana plantation became the base of a population of short legged cats that results from a dominant dwarfism gene. TICA recognized the Munchkin for registration status in 1994 and for Championship status, after years of careful monitoring for health, in May 2003.

In 1996, Joe Smith (Blueline cattery) started breeding Persians with Munchkins. Joe was a Basset Hound breeder, a low-slung breed of dog, and became intrigued with the Munchkin and its genetics. He wanted to create a breed that would have universal appeal whether the cat had the signature short legs or the longer legs of the non-standard version. Joe decided to call his breed the Minuet after the short-statured Minuet Bonaparte. The Persians used were the so-called doll faced Persians which had a longer nose than the modern Persian and a very open sweet expression. In 2001 Joe contacted TICA and the new breed was added to the list of Experimental breeds and by 2002 Joe had met the criteria for the next stage in development and the breed was advanced to Registration Only status. This important step recognized the name and started the breed on the first rung of the ladder towards championship status.

It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to develop a new breed and there are often frustrations and heartaches along the way with both the development and the process to get a new breed accepted. In 2008, Joe moved on to other projects and other Minuet breeders picked up the torch to continue the drive towards full recognition. Sam Tate (Wonderfulkitty cattery) and Margie Gardner (Creators) continued to push the breed forward but it was not until Teri Harris (Munchkinlane) presented the breed to the TICA board in September 2011 that the Minuet got to the coveted next step of Preliminary New Breed and could begin showing in that class at shows effective May 2012.


The Minuet is a gentle, extremely affectionate and people-oriented cat. They have the gentleness of a Persian and the energy and curiosity of the Munchkin. Their big eyes in their sweet faces give them a look of complete innocence while their inquisitiveness gets them into all kinds of scrapes. While gentle, they are also self-starting when it comes to activity and like the Munchkin can navigate the curves of their self-defined race-track for the day at breakneck speed.


In appearance, the first thing you notice is the sweet face and the second the short legs. While derived from the Persian and the Munchkin, the Minuet is a distinct breed with its own characteristic look. The head is round and has great big eyes but rather than the short snub nose of a Persian, the Minuet has a longer nose much like the earlier Persians. The standard Minuet has short legs but the non-standard version with the long legs still has the same distinctive features in the head and there is no mistaking the fact that it is a Minuet.

Round is the word most associated with the breed. The round head has a shape like a pie-plate and big round eyes like marbles are set into it. Round cheeks, round top head, round muzzle. The ears are medium to small and also contribute to the round look of the head. The nose has a slight change of direction often referred to as a ski jump nose meaning it tips up ever so slightly at the end. All of which combine to present the very sweet innocent look of the breed.

They are a medium-sized strong cat—and their low-slung bodies reflect that. Like Minuet, they wear their short-legged bodies with great authority. Roundness also has a role in the overall structure of the body—they have a semi-cobby body which gives a sense of roundness and the overlaying musculature emphasizes that same roundness. These sturdy cats have strong, solid boning and excellent musculature kept in shape by their active natures that has them running round the house and up and down the stairs.