I am planning on getting a Munchkin next year after falling in love with my aunt’s Munchkin – the breeder has been breeding for many years and has had no health issues, and as far as people claiming these cats are not able to run and jump properly – my aunt’s Munchkin (named Turtle) can outrun my Bengal easily, and get to anywhere in the house no matter how high it is, she is full of energy and incredibly adept at escaping. I have seen very few recorded reports of spinal issues in cats, and seen it theorised that the lack of spinal problems (compared to the short legged dogs corgi and Daschund) is due to the fact that cats have a more flexible spine.
Beyond that, their personality is ridiculous, it’s as if they grow up and remain as silly and naughty as a kitten well into adulthood. Turtle is also very loving and affectionate.
These are feral colonies of Munchkins living very successfully in the USA, indicating that they are not disadvantaged by their short legs… the short legs may even give them an advantage in the wild as they can hide in taller grass without being seen.
I am entirely in favour of the responsible development of this cat as a breed. Also, TIC would never have accepted Munchkins as a registered breed if they were so terribly prone to health problems – before registering them they hired a vet and a geneticist to complete an extensive seven year investigation into their viability and genetic health with excellent results. The vet fell in love with them and now own several herself.
Just my two bobs worth, I’m a vet nurse and my boss and I learned and formed our opinions on these cats when we should have been working 😛 But we both love these cats… Turtle is a favourite in our clinic.
I am however, not comfortable with the cross breeding of these cats with short tailed, folded eared cats and the like, I am unconvinced as to whether this could possibly healthy, as their are known and documented health problems when those breeds are bred indiscriminately. In fact, there appears to be more health problems in Manx, Scottish Fold, Siamese and snub-faced Persian cats than Munchkins. Time will tell… in the mean time, this breed isn’t going anywhere.