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08.05.2022

Learn all about the Munchkin Ragdoll cat

Munchkin cats, characterised by their peculiar proportions, have become increasingly popular in recent years. The stubby felines, named after the equally adorable characters from the “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” have won over the hearts of cat lovers worldwide. 

So, what happens when the endearing mini cats cross with one of Britain’s most popular breeds? In this article, we explore the Munchkin Ragdoll cat in all their glory! We’ll discuss the breed’s personality, basic care, common medical problems, and nutritional needs.

Munchkin cats—physical characteristics

Munchkins are easily recognisable due to their short legs and elongated body (many compare them to the Wiener dog, i.e. the Dachshund). They are a medium-sized breed with a medium-plush coat. Male Munchkins typically weigh between 3 and 4 kg, while female Munchkins are slightly smaller, weighing 2–3.6 kg. 

These miniature felines were first discovered by British vets as early as the 1930s and have since become famous. While the breed is man-made, it has been confirmed that their trademark stubby legs are a result of a genetic disorder. Munchkins are born with an autosomal dominant gene that deforms the long bones in their legs, resulting in the atypical shortening. 

The lovingly nicknamed dwarf cats are often mated with other house cats. Crossbreeding has brought on several mixed felines with entertaining names, such as:

  1. Minskin or a Bambino—Munchkin mixed with a Sphynx
  2. The Skookum—Munchkin mixed with a LaPerm 
  3. The Lambkin—Munchkin mixed with a Selkirk Rex 
  4. The Napoleon or Minuet—Munchkin mixed with a Persian
  5. The Kinkalow—Munchkin mixed with an American Curl
  6. The Scottish Kilts—Munchkin mixed with the Scottish Fold 
  7. The Genetta—Munchkin mixed with a Bengal

Munchkins share many physical traits with the domestic cats they were mixed with. Depending on the breed, they can have short, medium, or long hair and a variety of coat patterns. The short- and medium-haired Munchkins have a plush coat, while the long-haired Munchkins have a silky coat.

Are Munchkins a recognised breed in the UK?

They’re just jealous of my uniqueness,

Source: Tran Mau Tri Tran

There’s some controversy regarding the Munchkin’s status as a unique breed. Several international associations refuse to put them in their registries since their distinct look is caused by an abnormal gene. UK’s own cat registration organisation, the Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF), states: “Munchkin (and other dwarf breeds) are unrecognised due to reported health problems.”

Munchkins are considered cats with a genetic defect rather than their own breed. Given the breed’s longevity, some organisations are arguing Munchkins deserve recognition, while others are apprehensive about actively breeding a cat with genetic anomalies. So far, the practice of crossbreeding dwarf cats with other, healthier breeds is still going strong—hence the Munchkin Ragdoll.

Munchkin Ragdoll personality

Psst, pay attention to me, human.

Source: Tran Mau Tri Tam

Just like their purebred cousins, Munchkins Ragdolls are tiny energy balls that love to run, chase, and play with toys. The stubby feline is famous for their playful nature and stamina, rivalling mouser cats twice their size!

Munchkin Ragdolls also make for wonderful playmates, thanks to their agreeable personalities and friendly disposition. They are quite clever cats, so they enjoy interactive games based on communication.

The stumpy felines are quick to pick up new tricks with ease. Munchkin Ragdolls can react to voice commands and understand basic non-verbal communication.

Overall, a Munchkin Ragdoll would make an excellent companion for kids and adults alike. The only potential problem is the feline’s vulnerability. Their small stature, combined with their breezy attitude, makes them easy targets for bullying. 

If not taught correctly, young children can accidentally hurt the miniature kitties, so it’s up to you to teach them boundaries.

Grooming a Munchkin Ragdoll cat

Munchkin Ragdolls may need a little help with grooming. Their unique physique prevents them from being as thorough as purebred cats. You’ll have to lend them your hand at least twice a week if you want their coat to be glossy and healthy.

This mixed breed has medium to long hair, so their fur doesn’t require daily upkeep. As you groom your cat, you can take the opportunity to check for lesions, flea bites, or similar health issues.

Here are some grooming tips for first-time cat parents:

  • Start brushing at the tummy or the back of the legs and move the brush upwards 
  • Buy a slicker brush instead of a stainless steel comb
  • Finish with a rubber brush to even out the fur

Weekly brushing can help reduce the number of hairballs your cat regurgitates. Cats can sometimes get a stomachache from ingesting too much hair. With regular grooming, the number of hair clumps will diminish. 

What health problems could Munchkin Ragdoll cats have?

Munchkin cats' inherent abnormality doesn’t necessarily affect their life expectancy but can compromise their health. Sure enough, Ragdolls also have a prevalence of certain medical issues, particularly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). 

As a result, a mix between a Munchkin and a Ragdoll cat is likely to suffer:

  1. Lordosis—This is an abnormal curvature of the spine in the cat’s lower back. Dwarf Ragdoll cats are susceptible to this condition, which is caused by the spinal muscles growing too short
  2. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) refers to several conditions that affect a cat’s urethra and bladder. The typical symptoms include decreased urination, straining while urinating, failing to urinate in the litter box, licking genitals, and blood in the urine
  3. Uremia—Uremia is commonly associated with kidney damage or obstruction of the feline’s urine passages. The common signs include loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting, and lethargy. Acute uremia can be dangerous because of the excess urea in the cat’s urine
  4. HyperthyroidismHyperthyroidism is the thickening of the feline’s thyroid, which results in hormone overproduction. The metabolic disorder is more common in older cats and is accompanied by an increased appetite, weight loss, and matted fur. Hyperthyroidism can contribute to high blood pressure and a type of heart disease known as thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy

Luckily, some of these disorders can be kept under control with a proper diet. The dwarf Ragdoll cats can have a long and happy life as long as you feed them healthy meals.

Munchkin Ragdoll cats’ nutritional needs

What’s for dinner?

Source: Bobbi Wu

Choosing the right diet is vital for the dwarf Ragdoll cat’s well-being. To preempt kidney disease and urinary tract inflammations, the kitty needs food that’s:

  1. Hydrating—Munchkin Ragdolls need plenty of moisture to ensure their urinary and digestive tract function normally. Water will also keep their blood pumping and skin healthy 
  2. Rich in animal protein—The biologically available protein in animal tissue should be the backbone of your pet’s diet. Munchkin Ragdolls need daily servings of chicken, turkey, or fish to sustain their energy and bodily functions
  3. Low in carbsCats don’t need carbs in their meals (other than for bulk). Since they’re prone to hyperthyroidism, Munchkin Ragdolls should avoid high-carb foods, like rice and other starches

The tiny felines shouldn’t eat a dry-food-only diet because it doesn’t work with their specific biological needs. Cats who have kibble each day without drinking enough water can develop chronic dehydration, which can, in turn, affect their urinary health

A Munchkin Ragdoll cat should eat regular servings of wet food that will deliver enough energy for their high jinks. For the most part, wet recipes recreate the cat’s ancestral diet, delivering primal nutrients like protein, taurine, and water.

You don’t want to go overboard, even with healthy meals. Munchkin Ragdolls are prone to metabolic disorders, so you shouldn’t overfeed them, as it might disrupt their metabolism. But how do you decide how much to feed your kitty

The optimal daily intake for domestic cats, especially those that don’t go outside that much, is 40 calories per one kilo of their weight! 

Untamed—a five-star menu for your Munchkin Ragdoll cat 

Untamed is a proponent of an all-natural feline diet that’s:

  • Rich in protein—We deliver twice as much animal protein as the industry standard 
  • Made with whole meat—Our products are made with high-quality poultry and fish 
  • Vet-formulatedUntamed recipes are formulated in collaboration with vets to best cater to the feline’s biological needs
  • Ethically made—The whole meat in our recipes is ethically reared, and our fish is dolphin-safe and sustainably caught
  • Fussy eater approved—Our food can make the pickiest eater go wild even if they normally dislike wet food

We try hard to preserve the nutritional qualities of our fresh, natural ingredients and gently steam each meal for optimal results. The effects of our human-grade, whole meat diet are mirrored in your cat’s overall health. Based on the feedback from our loyal customers, here’s what you can expect after switching to Untamed:

Timeline

The Untamed effect

Within a week

The first few servings of Untamed food should improve your cat’s digestion, ensuring a tidier litter box

After two months

After two months of eating our food, your cat’s gorgeous fur should become shinier and fuller, with less shedding

Within four months

Four months on the Untamed diet should help your cat remain at a healthy weight and reduce the number of hairballs

Long-term benefits

Cats who are part of the Untamed clowder have healthy eating habits and suffer fewer GI issues and dental problems

The best of the best!

Image (c) Untamed

Choose the perfect diet for your Munchkin Ragdoll

Feel free to take Untamed’s quick-and-easy online quiz and design the ideal meal plan for your cat! Once you enter their food preferences, sensitivities, and life stage, you can browse our incredible menu to find the perfect combination.

Untamed recipes are made with both gravy and jelly textures, and all-natural, premium meat cuts, such as: 

  • Chicken breast 
  • Chicken liver
  • Duck breast
  • Lean ham
  • Salmon fillet
  • Tuna steak
  • Sardine and mackerel fillet
  • Shrimp

All Untamed products are entirely free from sugar, grain, vegetable protein, animal derivatives, and other iffy ingredients. Our food is free from all known allergens, and we also offer two hypoallergenic recipes made with a single source of protein—Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly and Chocka Chicken in Jelly!

Some of our culinary headliners include: 

Product

Key ingredients

Chocka Chicken in Jelly

  • 60% chicken breast
  • 37% chicken broth

Chocka Chicken with Duck in Jelly

  • 57% chicken breast
  • 37% chicken broth
  • 5% duck

Chocka Chicken with Ham in Gravy

  • 58% chicken breast
  • 33% chicken broth
  • 5% ham

Chocka Chicken in Gravy

  • 58% chicken breast
  • 33% chicken broth
  • 5% chicken liver

Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly

  • 60% whole tuna meat
  • 37% fish broth

Tuck-in Tuna with Salmon in Jelly

  • 55% tuna
  • 37% fish broth
  • 5% salmon

Tuck-in Tuna with Shrimp in Jelly

  • 58% tuna
  • 33% fish broth
  • 5% shrimp

Surprise your cat with a tin of Untamed’s Tuck-in Tuna!

Image (c) Untamed

How to sign up 

If you sign up for a multipack trial box today, your little Munchkin Ragdoll can enjoy our fresh feline delicacies tomorrow! All you have to do is:

  1. Visit the Untamed online cat food store and take the Try Now quiz 
  2. Answer a few questions about your cat’s eating habits
  3. Click on the desired Untamed products
  4. Place the order 

From then on, you can kick back and relax until the first meal box is delivered to your door. Once your cat goes through the starter pack, you’ll get adequate supplies of selected Untamed products every month.

Remember, you and your kitty are the ones calling the shots when it comes to your monthly cat food subscription! You can always make changes to the schedule and adjust the meal plan.