Cats With Short Legs – 8 Modern Dwarf Breeds & Health Problems

Cat with short legs
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Considered as a rare breed of cats, cats with short legs have been seen multiple times in the previous century. Also known as dwarf cats, these cats are known for their short legs. Although these cats are short in size, they cannot be called miniature cats.

That being said, at present, there are numerous dwarf cat breeds in existence and they are all as charismatic as they appear. Let’s learn more about cats with short legs.

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Munchkin Cat

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 12 to 14 years
  • Size –  Small to medium
  • Weight – Female Munchkin- 4 to 8 lbs; Male Munchkin- 6 to 9 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and colour –  Longhaired and shorthaired with a semi-long silky coat or medium-length plush respectively coat
  • Talkativeness – Normal
  • Grooming pattern – Weekly once
  • Attention requirement – High
  • Activity level – High

Munchkin Cat  Appearance

The Munchkin cat appears medium shaped along with triangular ears, walnut-shaped eyes, and a long frame. In addition, munchkin cat features stubby and short legs and this remains one of the most recognizable features.

The Munchkin cat consists of well-sized forelegs and is never bothered by it short legs. Moreover, the cat appears in both long-haired and short-haired varieties.

Munchkin Cat  Coat and Colour

They are usually longhaired or shorthaired with a silky coat or plush length coat and consists of various colour patterns and combination.

Munchkin Cat Grooming

The munchkins require regular grooming. Longhaired cats need a brush at least thrice a week and shorthaired ones require a brush weekly once. Furthermore, frequent brushing stops matting, hairballs and shedding. Also, you must regularly trim your cat’s nails.

Munchkin Cat Temperament

This is a typical outgoing cat breed and much more agile and faster than it appeals. In addition, the people-friendly Munchkin prefers playing with other dogs and cats and children.

At times, these cats are referred to as “ferret-like”, as they play, chase, and run with toys. While sitting up, they assume “rabbit-like” posture, a feature which gave this cat the name “Stalingrad Kangaroo Cat.”

Not to mention, munchkins are also bred to a large number of domestic cats, and hence an individual cat’s trait and behaviour are based on its appearance.

Munchkin Cat Health Problems

However, like other normal cats, a munchkin cat is prone to these disorders-

1. Lymphosarcoma

A common type of cancer that occurs in the lymphocytes. An important factor in keeping the immune system healthy, lymphocytes are an integral part of the cat’s overall well being.

Especially, lymphoma causes around 33 per cent and 90 per cent of all tumours and blood cancers in cats.

2. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

This condition describes a different type of factors that damage the urethra and the bladder. Moreover, cats suffering from FLUTD exhibits pain and difficulty when passing urine, and the presence of blood.

Mostly, FLUTD can happen at any age and normally seen in overweight and middle-aged cats.

Signs of FLUTD

The common signs of FLUTD in cats include –

  • The appearance of blood in the urine
  • Passing urine outside the crate
  • Licking the private area excessively
  • Expressing a shrill while urinating

Causes of FLUTD

One of the main cause include uroliths or kidney stones in the urethra or bladder area.

Overall, factors including abrupt changes, multi-cat households, environment and emotional stress in daily routine can also increase the susceptibility of FLUTD.


Since FLUTD consists of different causes, it’s quite difficult to provide a fixed treatment. However, depending on your cat ’s signs, your vet will perform a series of test ranging from a blood test, urine culture, and urinalysis.

Other common disorders associated with Munchkins include

  • Uremia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hyperthyroidism

Munchkin Cat Nutrition and diet

For these cat breeds, a wet food nutrition is often regarded best, but at the same time, you can also give dry food. Discuss with your local vet regarding cat food if your cat suffers from obesity or diabetes.

Munchkin Cat Interesting Facts

  • These cats are named munchkins presumably after the classic “ The Wizard of Oz’s” cats.
  • In the year 1991, the Munchkin cat became a household name when it was introduced via a TV show.
  • Lilliput is the world’s shortest living Munchkin cat. It stands around 5.25 inches tall.
  • In general, munchkins appear in different types of colours, patterns, and shades.

Bambino Cat

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 12 + years
  • Size –  Small to medium
  • Weight – 5 to 9 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and colour –  Furry down/hairless
  • Talkativeness – Average
  • Grooming pattern – Regular
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – High

Bambino Appearance

This cat resembles a newborn and many are completely bald. In case if they have some, bambinos hair looks downy fluff and very light. In fact, Bambinos are a result of some good recent crossbreeding.

Generally speaking, bambino litters consist of short legged kittens and the very short legs are genetically drawn from the Munchkin. These cats have quite a big ears.

Also, these cats inherited their no hair coat with white or pink skin from the Sphynx.

Bambino Coat and Colour

Although they appear hairless, Bambinos are mostly covered with a fine, short down. The Bambinos wrinkle appears like chamois when you touch it.

Bambino Grooming

Also, frequent grooming is advised to reduce or remove sebaceous secretions. Moreover, weekly baths are advised. When bathing and grooming are not continued on a regular basis, these cats can develop skin infections.

Bambino Temperament

They are very affectionate, intelligent, and friendly. In addition, these cats love to be cuddled and handled and Bambinos moves along well with kids and other pets. Overall, Bambinos are very adaptable and adjust quite well to new environments.

Bambino Health Problems

Bambinos are a new breed, and more studies are required to confirm absence or patience for possible health issues. Let’s understand the health issues faced by its parents.

1. Sphynx Cat Health Issues

Some of the health issues faced by Sphynx cats include-

  • Heart disease
  • Build up of nasty skin conditions due to oil clogging on their skin
  • They are also prone to periodontal disease which means their teeth requires regular maintenance.

2. Munchkin Cat Health Issues

The shortened limbs are directly inherited from the Munchkins. This genetic mutation is known as pseudoachondroplasia and the Bambinos are unable to run fast or jump as high as your other cat breeds.

Therefore, the chances are that hairless bambino cats will mostly suffer from their parent’s conditions.

Bambino Nutrition and Diet

Bambinos require a high intake of meat for protein and fat.  Also, these cats are not too fond of carbs. In the long run, Bambinos are known to develop diabetes if they consume only carb-rich diet.

Bambino Interesting Facts

  • Bambinos produce both long-legged and short legged kittens.
  • In addition, these cat breeds also produce furry and hairless kittens as well.
  • Also, they are accepted in the REFR or Rare and Exotic Feline Registry.
  • The TICA also recognizes Bambinos as a new and experimental breed.

Dwelf Cat

Dwelf Cat Appearance

Dwelf cats are curl-eared, short-legged, and hairless cat derived from Munchkin, American Curl, and Sphynx. These cats have well-rounded abdomens and have short, powerful legs. In fact, the front legs of Dwelf cats are normally bowed in shape.

In addition, the Dwelf cat has long, slender tail and flexible hair on the top. Their head is long and these cats have prominent cheekbones. With almond-shaped eyes and large flexible ears,  the Dwelfs are known for their stocky, small appearance.

  • Native – United States
  • Life expectancy –8 to 12 years
  • Size – Small to medium
  • Weight – 4 – 7 lbs
  • Height – 6 to 7 inches
  • Coat and color – Hairlessness and very short; skin color, at times with black
  • Talkativeness – High
  • Grooming pattern –High
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Normal

Dwelf Cat Coat and color

The coat stretches from short downy hair to complete hairlessness. At times, eyebrows and whiskers may be very short or absent. They feel like suede, chamois, warm and soft.

In particular, wrinkles on the forehead, shoulders, and legs are preferred. Since this cat breed appears hairless, these kitties are either black or natural skin color.

Overall, the Dwelf cat also consists of darker markings.

Dwelf Cat Grooming

Being a medium to very high maintenance cat, they require timely bathing to preserve their skin supple, clean, and soft. Not to mention, these cats produce unnecessary wax and requires regular cleaning.

Also, Dwelf cats require claw trimming once every fortnight.

Dwelf Cat Temperament

Dwelf cats love their humans and are adjustable to being handled. In fact, Dwelf cats are playful, active, friendly, and sociable. Moreover,  the short legs of Dwelf cats do not prevent them in any way.

Other than that, climbing is definitely not a problem because they will find new inventive ways of climbing onto cupboards and beds.

Dwelf Cat Health Problems

Being a new breed, it’s quite difficult to mention any prominent health issues. However, at present, it appears that this breed of cat looks healthy and robust. There can be genetic issues associated with this cat.

They include

  • Pectus excavatum ( a deformity that produces a sunken chest and funnel chest)
  • Lordosis (inward bending of the spine)

All in all, these traits can be ‘bred-out’ in case a well-planned breeding schedule is strictly followed.

Dwelf Cat Nutrition and diet

In general, hairless cats like the Dwelf requires a rich calorie intake. Therefore, feed them with good commercial cat food and if required to contact your vet for a daily feeding plan.

Dwelf Cat Interesting Facts

  • The Dwelf is a hairless and curious looking breed that’s known for its dwarf-like body and elf-like features.
  • Like their Bambino counterparts, these cats also retain their appearance and kitten attitude.
  • An exotic breed like the Dwelf is a cat for all open-minded cat lovers.
  • In particular, the characteristics of these cats are almost next to impossible to ignore.

Minskin Cat

  • Native – United States
  • Life expectancy –12 to 14 years
  • Size – Small
  • Weight – 4 – 6 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and colour – Sparse hair, in all patterns and colours
  • Talkativeness – Low
  • Grooming pattern –High
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Normal

Minskin Appearance

These cats have very short legs. In fact, the fur appears only at certain places including face, ears, nose, legs, and tail. Especially, the belly looks hairless and only sparse hair appears all over the body. Moreover, when Minskin has fur, it resembles the finest silk fabric.

This cat features semi-cobby body, stocky body and looks low to the floor. With big eyes, rounded head, large ears,  this cat’s facial appearance looks comical.

Minskin Coat and Colour

All points and coat colours are accepted. Thus, a Minskin cat may have the colour of a tabby or a Siamese.

Minskin Grooming

The Minskins require frequent bathing. This stops the oil buildup in their skin. Also, this breed enjoys very less shedding.  Like other hairless cat breeds, Minskins need protection from the sun’s rays.

In winter, these cats love wearing sweaters to keep themselves warm.

Minskin Temperament

They are very friendly, loving, and cuddly cat. Being very affectionate, Minskins are known to move with other pets as well. Very intelligent, the Minskins are an entertaining and friendly companion.

Overall, these cats adjust suitably to new environments with ease. In addition, these cats display an endearing charm to communicate their needs. Besides, although Minskins are silent, they easily make their intentions clear.

 Minskin Health Problems

These breeds are prone to common health problems handled by most cats. In general, the hairless skin of the Minskins can develop yeast infections. Overall, lordosis or pectus excavatum are seen in these cat breeds. Cats should be vaccinated to prevent them from contracting deadly diseases.

Minskin Nutrition and Diet

They require fresh clean water and good quality homemade or commercial cat food. Also, these cats love milk and contact your vet if your cat suffers from lactose intolerance.

Minskin Interesting Facts

  • Minskins have a unique Boston connection.
  • These cats have a very sensitive coat and trust everyone alike.
  • The distinct visual appeal of the Minskins makes them a sitting target for abduction.
  • Overall, they love snuggling with you.

Kinkalow Cat

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 12 to 15 years
  • Size –  Small
  • Weight – 3 – 7 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and colour –  Short to long
  • Talkativeness –Average
  • Grooming pattern – Weekly once
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Normal to high

Kinkalow Cat Appearance

The Kinkalow is a cross breed between the Munchkin and the American Curl. Due to its Munchkin parent, these cats are short. Moreover, when a Kinkalow cat is born, they mostly contain straight ears. But later, the ears curl and turn crescent-shaped.

Kinkalow Cat Coat and colours

They have a short or long fur coat.  And this appears fairly sleek and smooth and in different patterns and colours.

Kinkalow Cat Grooming

These cats require very little grooming and weekly once maintenance is sufficient.

Kinkalow Cat Temperament

They behave silly and mischievous like the Munchkins. At times, the Kinkalows behave like dogs and will follow you wherever you go. In addition, the Kinkalows carry a mystical and a strange look. This cat breed survives long than their counterparts.

Overall, they are full of energy, crazy, wild, and loving.

Kinkalow Cat Health Problems

As a matter of fact, these cats are quite robust and they normally don’t get any health issues. Normally, if they do suffer from any health problem, it would have been through genetic inheritance.

Kinkalow Cat Nutrition and Diet

These cats do not require anything special. So, you better feed this cat with normal cat food. As such, the Kinkalows are subject to obesity and if you notice her getting overweight, kindly balance her diet suitably.

Kinkalow Cat Interesting Facts

  • Bear in mind, not all these cats are seen with curled ears. In reality, they carry this gene and can literally transfer it to the next generation.
  • In terms of behaviour, these cats are curious and playful without being hyperactive.
  • They are considered as an experimental cat breed.
  • In particular, the Kinkalow cats are highly energetic and will use their short legs for climbing any surface.



Lambkin Cat

Lambkin Appearance

Lambkins are a crossbreed between the famous Selkirk Rex and Munchkin cat. This cat consists of a small to the medium-sized body. In general, it will mainly have short legs from the Munchkin or crinkled coat from the Rex cat.

Moreover, both these breeds contribute to the appearance of the Lambkin. However, the visual appeal of this cat depends upon its parents inherited traits.

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 12 to 14 years
  • Size –  Small
  • Weight – 4 – 9 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and color –  Longhair, curly, and all colors
  • Talkativeness –Average
  • Grooming pattern – Weekly
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Average

Lambkin Coat and Color

Since the Lambkin cat attracts the curly hair, it’s necessary to take care of its coat.

Lambkin Grooming

In general, Rex Fur appears quite fragile and easily prone to breaking. Also, brushing too hard damages the coat of this cat. Moreover, you should make sure your Lambkin cat gets a regular bath in order to prevent the clogging of oils.

Overall, the exact level of grooming depends on the nature of their coat but however, they require regular health and maintenance.

Lambkin Temperament

These cats inherit the sweet-natured personalities of their ancestors. Lambkin cats love petting and physical contact. In addition, breeders agree that the small size these cats inherit does not prevent them from chasing or leaping as another breed would.

Lambkin Health Problems

As a matter of fact, cats are not short-legged by nature. Also, the short legs are produced by a disorder known as achondroplasia. Not to mention, there is some disagreement over whether or not the Lambkin suffers from discomfort or health issues.

Furthermore, a responsible study is presently in progress to decide the result of dwarfism. However, in time, we will learn more about these cats and in the meanwhile, you can contact your vet.

Lambkin Nutrition and Diet

These cats love meat-based food items. However, contact your vet for a customized diet plan for your cat.

Lambkin Interesting Facts

  • Regarded one of the world’s rarest breeds, the Lambkins are also called as Nanus Rex.
  • In general, these kittens are usually neutered and cannot take part in shows.
  • This breed is officially recognized by the TDCA (The Dwarf Cat Association) and the TICA (The International Cat Association).
  • The Lambkin cat resembles a “young lamb”, justifying its name.

Skookum Cat

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 10 to 15 years
  • Size –  Small
  • Weight – 4 – 9 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and color –  Short to long
  • Talkativeness –Average
  • Grooming pattern – Weekly once
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Normal to high

Skookum Cats Appearance

Being a crossbreed between the Munchkin and LaPerm cat, Skookums are easily identified by their curly coat and short legs. This cat contains shorter bones. These cats are also popular for its stocky and short body. Also, Skookums have shorter front legs compared to their hind legs.

This stature makes this cat stay lower to the floor. These kitties consist of a wedge-shaped head, large broad ears, and walnut-shaped eyes. Finally, the neck and the body will appear broad, and the chest also looks rounded.

Skookum Cats Coat and color

Another important feature of this cat is their curly coat. They appear short or long and features a soft, texture. This cat’s coat can consist of different colors and patterns, including colorpoint, solid, and bicolor.

Skookum Cats Grooming

Maintenance of Skookum cats is quite simple. These cats love pampering and the fur texture actually looks easy for grooming. Therefore, in order to maintain your cat’s coat fabulous and dashing, you can easily clean it at least twice a week.

Skookum Cats Temperament

Skookums are sweet and affectionate. Moreover, these cats are playful, outgoing, and curious. Indeed, Skookums are self-assured and confident and they love climbing and jumping. These cats follow a strange practice- to hide objects in different places.

Skookum Cats Health Problems

Generally speaking, the Skookum does not suffer from any major illness as such. However, if you wish to adopt one, ensure your cat comes for a reputable breeder and carries a health certificate.

Skookum Cats Nutrition and Diet

A well balanced, good cat food is necessary for the overall health of your cat. Moreover, ensure that your cat has easy access to clean drinking water 24/7.

Skookum Cats Interesting Facts

  • The name “Skookum” comes from the Chinook Native American language and it means powerful, great, or strong.
  • They have a special tail, tapering at the base and appearing pom-pom.
  • Created by Galusha in the early 90s, the Skookum is identified as a popular breed by many European registries.
  • In countries like Australia, this breed is accepted as a regular show cat.

Napolean Cat

  • Native –  United States
  • Life expectancy – 9 to 15 years
  • Size –  Small
  • Weight – 5 – 9 lbs
  • Height – 7 to 8 inches
  • Coat and colour –  Short to long
  • Talkativeness –Average
  • Grooming pattern – Weekly once
  • Attention requirement – Normal
  • Activity level – Normal to high

Napolean Cat Appearance

This cat is the result of a successful crossbreeding between a  Persian and the Munchkin cat. Known as “baby doll face”, these cats appear long-legged as well as short-legged.

In fact, they are not a hairy Munchkin or short-legged ones like Persian, this cat contains the best of both worlds. Overall, the Napolean cat features a strong, muscular, and firm body.

Napolean Cat Coat and Colors

When you handle a cat like this, you will easily notice that their fur appears plush and luxurious. In case of a shorter coat, they appear soft and dense. On the contrary, the longer coat contains a thick soft, straight, soft hairs.

A Napolean cat can show a different range of patterns and colours.

Napolean Cat Grooming

They need a medium level of grooming. Furthermore, the grooming is based on your cat’s coat texture. Depending on the size of the coat, cats with longer coats need grooming twice a week and cats with shorter coats need brushing once a week.

Napolean Cat Temperament

The petite Napolean suits anyone who is searching for a sweet, easygoing pet. Furthermore, even families with small children will love the company of these cats. Napolean cats feature a warm, friendly, and a social behaviour.

Also, these cats do not like to be left alone, and they enjoy human companionship. Overall, a Napolean cat is known for its gentle, people-friendly, and affectionate behaviour.

Napolean Cat Health Problems

You should ensure that your cat is bought from a recognized breeder. In general, Napolean cats are susceptible to diseases including Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD. Grooming their coat at least once a week prevents matting of fur.

Other health issues include

  • Lysosomal accumulation neuropathy
  • Peritoneopericardial defect
  • Photophobia
  • Cataracts

Napolean Cat Nutrition and Diet

You can choose from dry, canned, or raw cat food. Especially, provide your cat with clean drinking water and milk should be provided only as a reward.

Napolean Cat Interesting Facts

  • The cute Napolean cat was created by Joe Smith.
  • The breed came into existence in the year 1996. He named it Napolean, after the French Emperor who was popular for his short frame.


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