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Siberian Munchkin Cat Mix – Care Guide, Pictures, Info & More

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

siberian and munchkin cat

Height: Up to 11 inches
Weight: Up to 26 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Colors: All
Suitable for: Families with older children without budget constraints
Temperament: Playful, energetic, affectionate

Siberian cats are very fluffy felines from Russia. Munchkin cats are a newer breed with a genetic mutation that causes them to have short legs. Therefore, when you mix these cats, most people assume you get a short, fluffy cat. However, this isn’t always the case.

Instead, as a mixed breed, this mix is a mixed bag. A specific kitten can inherit any trait from either parent. Therefore, not all of these cats have short legs, and not all are fluffy. Only about 25% of these cats will look like Munchkins. Many of them will have normal-length legs, and many will also have shorter fur.

However, these cats can only have traits that either Munchkins or Siberians have. Therefore, we do know a little bit about how these cats tend to look.

Siberian Munchkin Cat Mix Kittens – Before You Bring One Home…


3 Little-Known Facts About Siberian Munchkin Cat Mixes

1. These cats don’t always have short legs

Many pictures of these cats online show them with short legs. However, the majority of these cats won’t have short legs. Munchkin cats have a genetic mutation that causes them to have shorter legs than the average cat. This gene is dominant. Therefore, the cat only has to inherit one from either parent to have short legs. Regarding this mixed breed, only one of the parents will have this gene.

Furthermore, cats with two of these Munchkin genes aren’t viable and do not develop. Therefore, all Munchkin cats with short legs only have one of these genes. When mixing a Munchkin with another breed, only 25% of the litter will have shortened legs—that leaves another 75% of the kittens with normal-sized legs.

2. Pricing will vary a lot from kitten to kitten

Because kittens with short legs are rarer, they are usually much more expensive than other kittens. This fact is true for both purebred Munchkin cats and any of their mixed breeds. Therefore, plan on paying extra if you’re set on a kitten with short legs.

3. They aren’t the healthiest breed

The same gene that causes Munchkin cats to have short legs also causes various health problems. Munchkin cats are very likely to get severe osteoarthritis, for instance. Furthermore, they often have extra curvature of the spine. Many cat associations don’t recognize the Munchkin cat because of these health issues.

siberian and munchkin cat
Siberian Munchkin: Left – Siberian (Nynke van Holte, Shutterstock) | Right – Munchkin (MDavidova, Shutterstock)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Siberian Munchkin Cat Mix

Despite having occasional short legs, these felines are often playful and outgoing. They are more active than other breeds and love to climb and play. If they have short legs, they usually aren’t held back by this disability. Therefore, we recommend these cats for families interested in a more active, playful companion.

With that said, this mixed breed is often lovable, as well. They aren’t so active that they never sit down and cuddle. In fact, they can be extremely affectionate and sociable. They tend to get along well with just about anyone, especially if they are socialized at a young age.

Despite this, this mixed breed isn’t more likely to develop separation anxiety. They are decently independent and can be left alone for hours at a time. For this reason, they are suitable pets for those that are gone at work for much of the day.

While these cats are intelligent, that doesn’t make them particularly trainable. Unlike dogs, these cats weren’t bred to listen and obey people. Therefore, they may decide to do what they want, making training challenging. These cats aren’t always food-driven, which can make training even more challenging.

With that said, that doesn’t mean that these cats cannot be trained at all. However, you do need to keep sessions very short and work with your cat. It’s easy to get frustrated when training these felines, so be sure to end the sessions earlier than you might otherwise.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

These felines work best in families with older children if they have shorter legs. Cats with shortened legs are more prone to injury if they get dropped or stepped on. Therefore, they don’t always do best with smaller children. Injury is more likely with rough toddlers and preschool-aged kids who may not know how to handle them properly.

However, these cats are very sociable and tend to mesh with kids well from a temperament standpoint. If they have normal-sized legs, they can work very well with small children.

We recommend considering honestly whether or not your children can respect this cat’s space before adopting one with short legs. You don’t want the cat getting injured, after all.

Of course, socialization is still important. If you want your cat to get along with children, we highly recommend getting them around children as much as possible. Cats who aren’t used to children can be fearful of them, as they do act very differently from adults. To help felines get used to children, introduce them at an early age.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Siberian Munchkin cat mixes can get along with other pets. There is no innate reason why they won’t live alongside other cats or dogs. However, these felines do have strong hunting instincts. Therefore, they cannot be kept unsupervised with small animals. Even if your cat seems uninterested, its hunting instincts can kick on quickly.

That said, you must introduce your cat to other felines and dogs at an early age. Otherwise, they may fear them and not learn important social skills. We recommend socializing them often and regularly. If you have cats and dogs, this won’t be very difficult. However, if you don’t, you’ll need to find a way to get your cat around others.

Socializing is vital to allow these cats to get along well with other animals.

Things to Know When Owning a Siberian Munchkin Cat Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

These cats don’t have particular dietary requirements. While they may have some health problems, this isn’t linked to any dietary needs. Therefore, we recommend feeding these cats quality cat food.

Of course, figuring out what quality cat food is can be challenging. Because cats are obligate carnivores, we recommend choosing foods that are mostly made of meat. Named meat or named meat meals are best, as these meats are often high-quality. Unnamed meats can literally be anything, and by-products vary widely in quality.

We also recommend wet food for most cats, as it helps them stay hydrated. Cats are very prone to UTIs, and feeding wet food can prevent these common issues.

Exercise 🐈

Siberian Munchkin cat mixes tend to have excessive energy. Therefore, plan on purchasing lots of climbing structures and toys. Cats with shortened legs do not have diminished physical capabilities. Therefore, we recommend purchasing the same products for them as you would any other cat. They can run and climb on cat trees and use scratching posts without issue.

You should also play with these cats daily. Not only does this help them run through their excess energy, but it also prevents obesity. Being overweight causes many cat health problems, just like humans. Therefore, you need to keep your feline at a healthy weight to prevent illnesses. Many domestic cats are overweight, often because they do not exercise enough.

Training 🧶

While these cats aren’t the most trainable, we do recommend teaching them some basic commands to make both of your lives a bit easier. For instance, having your cat leash-trained can make transporting them very helpful. It also makes it easier to get them extra exercise if they become obese. You should also crate-train your feline with a travel crate to make visits to the vet less stressful.

Often, this is done by leaving the crate accessible to your cat and making it a fun and happy place. Many people use catnip and treats so that the cat associates the crate with happy events. Then, when you need to transport the cat, the travel won’t be as stressful.

You can train your cat in various other commands if you’d like. However, this isn’t necessary. It can help build your relationship with your feline and keeps them mentally engaged.

Grooming ✂️

This mixed breed’s grooming needs will largely be based on their coat type. Many of these felines will have long coats. These felines will develop tangles if they aren’t brushed regularly. You shouldn’t need to enlist a professional groomer, especially if you stay on top of bi-daily grooming methods.

However, you can enlist a professional groomer if you’d like. It all depends on your preferences.

If your feline has short hair, you probably won’t need to groom them. Often, these cats can keep themselves clean, as you’d expect.

Still, you should keep an eye on them for obvious grooming issues. Sometimes, cats can get stuff stuck in their fur, which may require your help. You may also need to trim your cat’s nails regularly. However, it does depend on how often your cat uses scratching posts and climbing trees. Sometimes, your cat’s activities will keep its nails worn down.

Health and Conditions 🏥

As a mixed breed, these cats are likely to be healthier than either of their parents. However, those with short legs are prone to the exact same problems as purebred Munchkin cats. Luckily, this doesn’t include spinal issues, like those common in dogs with shorter legs.

However, the gene that affects their legs also makes their joints less durable and they are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Even mixed-breed Munchkin cats with short legs are likely to develop these issues.

Furthermore, these cats are more likely to be born with hollowed chests. This serious condition is sometimes fatal to kittens. The treatment will vary from situation to situation.

While their health issues aren’t as troublesome as some other breeds, many organizations have refused to recognize the Munchkin due to their increased health issues.

On the other hand, the Siberian cat is very healthy. This breed developed naturally in Siberia. Therefore, they developed to be healthy and survive—not just for the way they look. They tend to have very few health problems for this reason.

Minor Conditions
  • None
Serious Conditions
  • Dwarfism (and associated effects)

Male vs. Female

Both the males and females in this breed are similar. While males may be slightly larger, this isn’t always the case. These cats vary so much that specific differences between genders cannot be determined.

Final Thoughts

Despite how they are advertised, Siberian Munchkin cat mixes don’t always have long fur or short legs. Instead, this breed varies quite a bit, as it depends on the exact traits the kittens inherit from their parents. Therefore, you never really know what you’ll end up with.

If you want a kitten with shorter legs and long hair, you’ll need to search hard and often pay extra.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Left – Siberian (Just-Mila, Shutterstock) | Right – Munchkin (otsphoto, Shutterstock)

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