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Munchkin Longhair Cat: Pictures, Info, Care Guide & More

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By Nicole Cosgrove

black and white longhair munchkin cat
Image Credit: Zoo Design, Shutterstock

The Munchkin is well known for its short legs and long body. This medium-sized cat usually has a medium-length coat, but the Munchkin Longhair has a naturally longer coat. The coat can be virtually any color and pattern, and the cat’s temperament matches that of the Munchkin which means it is playful and fun as well as loving and loyal.

The breed needs to be kept as an indoor-only cat, and the unique skeletal structure of the breed means that it can be prone to certain physical conditions that other cats are not.

Below, we take a closer look at this unique feline so you can determine whether it is the right breed for you.

Height: 5–7 inches
Weight: 6–9 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: White, black, red, brown, ginger, blue, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico
Suitable for: Families looking for an affectionate cat, with time to play
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, playful, lively

The Longhair Munchkin has the same physical characteristics as the Munchkin, with its short legs earning it the nickname of the sausage cat. However, it differs from the standard Munchkin because it has a longer, thicker coat.

This means that the Munchkin Longhair does have higher care requirements because you will need to brush and groom the cat. It also sheds more, so it will take more time to clear up after.

However, they are loving and affectionate, and loyal and playful, making them a great choice of family feline.

Munchkin Longhair Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

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The Earliest Records of Munchkin Longhair Cats in History

The Munchkin breed originated in the US when the mutation that causes the short legs in the breed was first spotted in a litter of kittens in 1983. Although short-legged cats had been noted previously, this litter of kittens was kept and intentionally bred. Because their physical appearance stems from a genetic mutation and can cause physiological problems in the breed, not all fancier associations officially recognize the breed.

Because the cat is not recognized by most registries, there are many color and coat variants available, with no standards across the breed, which means that the Munchkin Longhair is just one example of the breed.

Tabby longhair munchkin cat on blue leash
Image Credit: Tori Blue, Shutterstock

How Munchkin Longhair Cats Gained Popularity

The Munchkin was first officially shown at cat shows in New York in 1991. Its unique appearance meant that the cat caught the attention of visitors. In 1994, it was accepted as a breed in the New Breed and Color category by The International Cat Association (TICA).

The breed is still quite rare and because it needs to be kept exclusively indoors to prevent injuries and other problems, it has not gained that much popularity because potential owners do not see the breed that often.

However, as well as its unique looks, the Munchkin has a loving and affectionate personality, which makes it a favorite breed with its owners.

Formal Recognition of the Munchkin Longhair Cat

The Munchkin was officially recognized by The International Cat Association in 1994. Otherwise, it is not recognized by fancier associations around the world, because of concerns with breeding cats with genetic mutations. This position is unlikely to change, which means that the Munchkin is unlikely to gain recognition in the future.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Munchkin Longhair Cats

1. They Get Their Name from The Wizard of Oz

The name Munchkin is derived from the fact that the breed is shorter than typical, and it was named after the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. The Munchkin is sometimes also known as the sausage cat or the Wiener cat because it shares the same physical characteristics as the Dachshund.


2. Some Munchkins Can Jump Well

Although the short legs and the deep chest of the Munchkin can make it difficult for cats of this breed to jump and reach high ledges, some Munchkins are highly capable and athletic jumpers. If you do take on a Munchkin, you should be prepared to feed them on the floor, provide plenty of space on the ground for sleeping and other activities, and don’t be surprised if your cat never jumps to high places.


3. The Munchkin Longhair Takes a Lot of Care

As well as ensuring everything your cat needs is on or near ground level, you will also have other care elements to consider. Although the Munchkin is a generally healthy breed, it is more prone to certain conditions, as a result of its unique physical shape. Look for signs of curvature of the spine and have your cat checked by a vet regularly.

Specifically, the longhair Munchkin needs regular grooming and may need extra help with this because of its inability to reach areas of its coat.

adorable munchkin cat
Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock

Does the Munchkin Longhair Cat Make a Good Pet?

The Munchkin Longhair Cat is an unusual breed. Most people have very little experience with the breed because, as well as being rare, it is also kept exclusively as an indoor cat, so it is rare to see one on the streets.

This also means owners need to provide lots of enrichment, both physical and mental, for their Munchkin cats. Scratch posts, toys, and playtime are important for this surprisingly energetic and lively feline. As well as being affectionate and close to family, the Munchkin will usually get along well with visitors.

However, prospective owners will need to ensure they have a safe setup for their Munchkin. Although some can jump and are quite athletic, they won’t be able to scale the heights of other cat breeds. Food, water, litter, and comfy spots should be provided at or near ground level.

The coat of the Munchkin Longhair does take more maintenance than that of the standard Munchkin, which means daily brushing will be required to prevent the coat from becoming disheveled and matted.

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Conclusion

The Munchkin Longhair is a long-haired variant of the Munchkin, which is also known as the “Wiener Cat” or the “Sausage Cat” because it has the same long body and short legs as the Dachshund. It is a rare breed but while it does require some special care and attention due to its long coat and its short legs, it is a loving and energetic cat that can make a great family pet.

They aren’t recognized by most fancier associations, although TICA does formally recognize the Munchkin breed.


Featured Image Credit: Zoo Design, Shutterstock

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