Munchkin is World’s Shortest Cat

A dwarf cat, a Munchkin, is the world’s shortest domestic cat according to Guinness World Records. Lilieput, a tortoiseshell-and-white, is 13.34 centimetres (5.25 inches) from the base of the front paws to the top of the shoulders.

Lillieput, a Munchkin 10 years-of-age.
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Lillieput, a Munchkin 10 years-of-age. Photo: J.L. Sousa – Napa Valley Register

Lillieput lives with Christel Young in Napa, California. I know Napa from the wine they grow there and export internationally.

It seems that Christel Young effectively rescued Lillieput because we are told she was an “abandoned castoff”. Christel says she is at about the maximum age for a Munchkin at aged 10. If she is correct this is a considerably shorter lifespan than usual which is nearer 15-18. I presume this is because Munchkins are dwarf cats and that the gene creating dwarfism affects health and lifespan.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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24 Responses

  1. Serbella McGee says:

    I’m not a fan of deliberately breeding cats with those characteristics, but if one is born and they’re otherwise healthy I believe they should be allowed to live out their lives safe and happy.

    Lillieput is a real cutie. She’s not ugly. I’m glad she found a wonderful forever home with Christel Young.

  2. Christel Young says:

    Lilieput is my little girl and I love her very much.
    I rescued her in 2006 when she was about 2 years old.
    There is so much stuff out there about her but nobody really asked any questions because she seems to be only linked to GWR.
    I know from the day I saw her that she was unique in many ways. She loved me right away and allowed me to pick her up. I gave her a home and security and love. That is all. She is my little treasure and I adore her.
    My little dwarf ( freak of nature )and all the other things that people called her. There is not a lot of information out there about Munchkins and they where not recognized as a breed for a long time.
    I tried to find some information when I first found her and she became pregnant but not much information was out on the internet.
    I entered her in the Guinness book of records when someone walked by my home looked at her and said ( and you the god damn ugliest thing I ever seen). I almost started crying because he hurt her feelings and brought back bad memories. I believe that someone trough her out there saying she was a ugly thing and left her out there to fight for her little life. That’s when I wanted to show anybody how special she is.
    Nobody ever asked about my personal opinion. I don’t think that it should be breed on purpose. She has the same problems that any dwarf faces therefor has a shorter life span and so on.
    I named her Lilieput
    from the german name Liliputaner meaning dwarf.
    That’s what she is a little dwarf and I love her.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thank you, Christel for visiting and commenting. It is always nice to hear from the person who is the cat’s Guardian/caretaker.

  3. Leah says:

    I’m not fond of the Munchkin breed sorry to say I feel that its sad that they have been bred deformed (because thats how they look not cute) to please people why like quirky breeds

  4. Michele S. says:

    I appreciate that nature will sometimes throw a genetic curve ball, but that is accidental and not intentional.

    To me, the Munchkin’s legs are so disproportionate to the size of their body that I’m of the opinion that it’s cruel.

    Guinness World Records stopped accepting nominations for world’s heaviest cat category because they didn’t want to encourage people to overfeed their cats. So I’m disappointed that they have a category for the shortest cat, especially as it is only recognised by one cat registry.

  5. Michele S. says:

    I may be in the minority, but I don’t find anything cute or appealing about deliberately breeding cats which are handicapped in some way.

    I note it’s only TICA who recognise the Munchkin as a breed, but then I’m of the opinion they happily accept “novelty” breeds because they have little genuine concern for the welare of the cats themselves.

  6. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    A beautiful little cat doomed to a probably shorter lifespan because of being bred deformed, I find that very sad.
    It’s heart breaking to me that many cats are especially bred that way for the glory and the money of the breeder and so people can ‘own’ something different.
    They need to take a look round Rescue Shelters and see all the beautiful ‘ordinary’ cats needing loving homes, some doomed to die because there are not enough of those homes.
    All breeding should stop until all Rescue Shelters are empty!

  7. Barbara says:

    Poor little soul this seems to be the price that these manufactured cat breeds have to pay, not only going through life physically disadvantaged but losing a lot of years of life. I’m glad this little cat has had a happy life with Christel I hope she proves everyone wrong and has more happy years yet to come.

  8. A beautiful freak of nature.Sad that they have smaller life-span than the average cat, the same case as in freak humans.Michael i happened to spot this cat at Pemuteran in Bali.It was the shortest stray cat i have seen.It was definitely not a kitten.It was dark and hence the photo is a bit hazy.One strange fact of the stray cats of Indonesia is that most of them have distorted tails and some even have docked tails akin to bobcats.

  9. NANCY SCHWOPE says:

    What a little sweetie pie.

  10. Dee (Florida) says:

    Oh how cute. A little squatty kitty.
    Before I read, I was wondering about the lifespan, which seems to be shorter for even dwarfed humans too.
    I can see the aging in her face, but darling nonetheless.
    I could see myself carrying and kissing her forever.

    • I think she is cute too. Ten years is short. I am a bit surprised that the owner believes the lifespan of dwarf cats is that short. I have not heard that before.

      • Jayme says:

        Perhaps this is give and take? Being in pet loss support groups i have heard of domestic cats dying at 8, 9 and 10 years old. I feel like i should of gotten more from my boy Chad also, but he left me at 11 years old. I was hoping to squeeze at least 15. Then a friend of mine had a cat he rescued from the street. He had her for 17 years. I guess it all depends huh? 10 does seem short. The breeding perhaps? Knowing that, i would be inclined to give extra doses of affection.

    • Jayme says:

      hahaha.. i like that. Squatty. I was surprised to see that she hardly has any length to her legs. She is too cute for words. Like you, i can see the age taking its toll in her little face.

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