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Lambkin Cat (Munchkin & Selkirk Rex Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

Munchkin and Selkirk Rex cats

Height: 7 – 8 inches
Weight: 4 – 9 pounds
Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
Colors: White, brown, ginger, cream, gray, black, blue, silver, fawn
Suitable for: Families with children and other pets
Temperament: Sweet, gentle, good-natured, calm

The Lambkin, also known as the Nanus Rex, is a very special breed of cat indeed. The breeding of Munchkin cats with the Selkirk Rex resulted in this adorable Munchkin dwarf cat with a curly, sheep-like coat. The Lambkin’s unusual appearance is sure to catch the attention of cat lovers everywhere, but this is only one of the many traits that make the Lambkin a unique and wonderful breed.

The Munchkin and Selkirk Rex are both unique-looking with great personalities and these characteristics have been passed down to the Lambkin. Let’s explore this distinctive and rare cat breed in more depth.

Lambkin Cat Breed

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Munchkin cat breeds and the Selkirk Rex are generally chilled-out yet energetic and playful at times too. The Lambkin is best described as a good mix between energetic and docile. Like any cat breed, they need regular play and mental stimulation as they’re also highly intelligent.

This extremely sociable, affectionate breed enjoys human company very much, so be prepared to spend a lot of time with your Lambkin! The Lambkin may not be the best breed for you if you don’t spend much time at home or prefer a more independent cat.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Lambkin

1. Lambkins Were First Bred by Terri Harris

A breeder named Terri Harris is the person responsible for the Lambkin Breed’s existence. It was either at the end of the 1980s or the start of the 1990s that her experiment took place—the exact date is uncertain. Her goal was to create a short-statured breed with fur like the Selkirk Rex’s.


2. Lambkins Are Somewhat Controversial

As a member of the Munchkin breed family, the Lambkin’s short stature is the result of a genetic mutation that some argue causes health issues and pain. Lambkins do have a pretty long lifespan, though.


3. “Nanus Rex” Has a Special Meaning

“Nanus”, the first half of the fancier term for “Lambkin” translates in Latin as “dwarf”. “Rex” refers to the short, curly coat caused by a genetic mutation in animals.

Parent breeds of the Lambkin Cat
The parent breeds of Lambkin Cat: Left – Selkirk Rex (athree23, Pixabay) | Right – Munchkin (Phannasit, Shutterstock)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Lambkin

Like Munchkins and Selkirk Rexes, the Lambkin is a highly intelligent cat with a lot of love to give. They need a devoted cat parent who enjoys spending time with the Lambkin as much as they enjoy spending time with them.

Lambkins are incredibly affectionate and make wonderful companions. Their docile, friendly natures mean they’re adaptable to a variety of households and are quick to settle in with loving owners. They very much enjoy cuddles and the warmth of their owner’s lap but are equally happy to play, so be sure to keep plenty of toys around. You may be surprised at just how agile they can be.

Most importantly—don’t let those little legs fool you! The clever, curious Lambkin can often be found climbing, exploring, and generally nosing around in their environment.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Absolutely! The loving Lambkin is likely to fit right into families. As long as children are taught to respect the Lambkin and return their gentleness, there’s no reason why this breed won’t make a fantastic family pet. Children are sure to love the adorable Lambkin and will enjoy petting and grooming them—the Lambkin’s fur is surprisingly soft.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As an easygoing cat, the Lambkin is more than capable of co-existing peacefully with other pets, including dogs. Of course, every situation is relative and depends on the pet and its personality. As long as the Lambkin is paired with an equally easygoing, non-aggressive pet there shouldn’t be a problem.

Things to Know When Owning a Lambkin:

Food & Diet Requirements

Like all other cat breeds, Lambkins are carnivores. They derive nutrients from meat and as such, need a diet with plenty of animal-based proteins and fats. The dietary requirements for Lambkins don’t tend to differ from those of other cat breeds unless your cat has been placed on a special diet by a vet for health reasons.

The Lambkin will happily eat both dry and wet food. When picking a cat food, you’ll want to look for one packed with protein, good fats, amino acids, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Exercise 🐈

Though known for being docile, Lambkins need regular exercise just like any other cat breed. Because of their intelligence, they are very curious and particularly enjoy investigating new items. Munchkin cat breeds are famous for being like magpies—they love seeking out, pilfering, and hoarding interesting objects.

This quirk provides an excellent idea for keeping your Lambkin mentally stimulated. You could place objects around their environment for them to find and hide away—a treasure hunt of sorts, with a few tasty nibbles thrown in (even if just as a token of appreciation for being so cute and hilarious).

They also enjoy chasing string, toy mice, and feathers. Always keep plenty of toys around for play sessions and your Lambkin will likely repay you in lots of cuddles.

Training 🧶

It’s no secret that most cats are smart and Lambkins are no exception. These intelligent and curious cats can be very alert and receptive to their environment. This high intelligence means you shouldn’t have too many problems with the basics like litter-box training. Some even learn to do tricks and play games like fetch! With that said, cats will be cats and will simply do what they want to do most of the time!

Grooming ✂️

Despite their unique curly coats, grooming requirements for Lambkins aren’t too heavy. This is because their fur is pretty soft despite appearances, so gentle brushing a few times a week should suffice to keep their coat free of knots and matting.

Brushing is great for cats because it improves skin circulation and gets rid of any dirt, debris, or dead skin cells that may be lingering in their coats. Most importantly, most cats love it and it’s a great way to bond with them.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Though the Lambkin has a long lifespan it can, like other Munchkin breeds, sometimes fall victim to orthopedic health conditions. This happens as a result of the breed’s unique body type.

Some of the health conditions Munchkin breeds are more prone to include Osteoarthritis, Lordosis, Hypochondroplasia, and Pectus Excavatum. This doesn’t mean that your Lambkin will have any of these conditions, but it’s best to keep an eye out for them.

Minor Conditions
  • Gingivitis
Serious Conditions
  • Lordosis
  • Pectus Excavatum
  • Hypochondroplasia
  • Osteoarthritis

Minor Conditions:

  • Gingivitis: A common gum disease in cats that causes redness and swelling of the gums. Though it can cause pain, it’s usually easily treated.

Serious Conditions:

  • Lordosis: Lordosis is the curvature of the spine in the lower back.
  • Pectus Excavatum: This condition causes a malformed sternum and rib cage. It requires evaluation and treatment as early as possible.
  • Hypochondroplasia: Bone deformity and abnormal bone growth.
  • Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint condition causing the breakdown of the cartilage between the joints.

Male vs Female

Male Lambkins are generally between 6 and 9 pounds, while females weigh slightly less at between 4 and 8 pounds. Males may also be a couple of inches taller. Apart from this, there is no significant difference between the two genders. As with all cats, males can be prone to aggression if not neutered, and unspayed females in heat may become overly affectionate and loud.

Final Thoughts

The Lambkin is basically a whole lot of love in a tiny, adorable, curly package. Their loving and friendly personalities make them a delight to be around and great companions that will never fail to put a smile on your face. Add to this their hilarious magpie-like tendencies and you’ve got yourself a truly lovely cat to spend your life with.

Those interested in acquiring or adopting a Lambkin might be disappointed, however, because the breed is so rare. Think of Lambkins as the unicorn of the cat world. On the bright side, there’s always the Selkirk Rex or one of several other Munchkin breeds to consider


Featured Image Credit: Left – This road is mine, Shutterstock | Right – mdmmikle, Shutterstock

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