Skookum Cat

Skookum cat
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The Skookum cat is one of the dwarf cats of which there are no less than thirteen breeds.

All are created by crossing cat breeds with normal legs with the founding dwarf cat, the Munchkin. The mutant gene that produces the dwarfism is dominant.

The Skookum is a cross between the Munchkin and the LaPerm cat breed. The LaPerm is one of the Rex cat breeds with a curly coat so it is no surprise that this cat, as the above picture clearly shows, is a short legged curly coated cat. The rex type fur is low shedding.

There is the notable disparity in leg length, the hind legs being noticeably longer than the forelegs.

An interesting subject is the naming of this cat breed. Roy Galusha created the Skookum in 1990s and he explains the naming of the breed on this page: The dwarf cat and the origin of the breeds.

Skookum dwarf cat

License see note

In brief, the name Skookum was carefully considered by Roy and this an an extract from the story behind the name:

“……A local Native American word that comes from the Chinook language and was part of the Chinook Trade Language was Skookum (pronounced Skoo Kum). The word Skookum means mighty, powerful or great. It is also used to signify good health or good spirits. If someone really likes something, they might refer to it as being really skookum (“Boy that apple pie is skookum”) or if you really like a horse (“that is one skookum horse)….”

Skookum cat

The middle cat is a Skookum kitten. I’ve lost the credit – please notify me. Unfortunately, the naming of this cat became a contentious issue with TICA. They thought that it could translated to mean “scary monster”.

The Skookum cat is registered with the Dwarf Cat Association and TICA as an experimental breed.  This breed is also recognized by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry and as a new breed by Catz Incorporated the New Zealand National Registry for Cats.

The dwarf cats generally are agile athletic cats despite their short stature. They have a cobby body conformation. If you wish you can read lots more about the dwarf cat breeds by clicking on this link: Dwarf Cats and Miniature Cats. There are links on that page to the other dwarf cats.

Here’s some more information on the cats that make the Skookum cat:

LaPerm cat
This is a well established curly haired cat that is either short or longhaired. The above link takes you to a comprehensive discussion on the breed.

Munchkin
The founding dwarf cat and a popular and well known dwarf cat. The link takes you to some fine Helmi Flick photographs and a full description.

From Skookum cat to Home page

Photo center of page: Permission granted by image author and owner of cat in photo, Beth Fillman, for the promotion of education.

P.S. This page has been re-dated to 14th Dec 2018. It was written in around 2008.

20 thoughts on “Skookum Cat”

  1. Please, anyone who has a desire to breed other species for form alone, just don’t do it. If you must indulge in husbandry, breed for function alone, true, beautiful form will follow.

    With all due respect, by which I mean ‘none’ breeders of novelty, vanity companion species are unethical, greedy, cruel morons.

    I do not care how clean your cattery is, your ethics are irretrievably filthy.

    Reply
  2. Sorry I am breeding them. Have a laperm and a munchkin and got 2 short legs and 2 long legs.. and have done this cause I know there a rare breed.. but couldn’t fine anyone with them to figure out how much to seek them for. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Hello Corinne, I’m not actually sure whether the breeder still breeds these cats. They are very rare and I have a feeling that he no longer breeds them but I could be wrong. If he is breeding them then the price will probably be around the $1000 mark but that is a guess.

      Reply
      • Michael,

        Stumbled on your post again and thought I would reply. Not sure if there are any Skookum Breeders left in the USA. I know there were some in New Zealand. At one point, Skookums were registered as an Experimental Breed in TICA and as a New Breed and Color in UFO. I checked with the TICA site and the Skookum is no longer an experimental breed. I could not find a current reference to UFO, so I am not sure it still exists. I believe they were dropped as breeds because of a lack of breeder participation in TICA and UFO shows.

        My personal feeling is that if someone is presenting a Skookum for sale, then the Skookum should be the same price as a LaPerm or a Munchkin; it should not sell for any more.

        Yes, we did stop breeding the Skookum because the whole breed issue started revolving around politics and of money; not about the Skookum cat. TICA opposed the breed primarily because of a couple of judges who did not want to see the LaPerm put into other breeds and others because they didn’t want the Munchkin infused in other breeds. UFO wanted us to put other curly breeds in as foundation stock and we wanted to limit it to one curl so you could predict the curl and not have a hodge podge of curls to deal with. Our original breeding stock became farm cats on our ranch in Western Washington. We don’t have any short legs and curls left.

        We developed a breed standard and had pictures of what we wanted the breed to look like. We were trying to focus on developing a very standard breed appearance and didn’t want them to look like either the LaPerm or the Skookum. Unfortunately, the Skookum breeders were of a different mind. They wanted to produce something that they could get the most dollars for. They wanted to be able to register the cat according to how it looked. So they would breed a LaPerm to a Munchkin. If the offspring was short legged and curly, they would call it a Skookum, if it had long legs and curls, they would register it as a Laperm, if it had short legs and no curls they would call it a Muchkin and if it ended up with long legs and no curls, they would register it as breeding stock of either Munchkin or Laperm. They did not want to breed to the standard. The standard was the cat Winky who is at the top of your page. Most Skookums came out looking like munchkins with curly hair or LaPerms with short legs. Neither were acceptable in our minds. Both of the other pictures look like LaPerms with short legs. We felt the breeders that continued to breed did not want to work with a standard and just wanted to produce cats for quick sales.

        We do not breed Skookums any more. Nor will we start again. It took us to long to develop our breeding cats to the point that the cats were coming out to what we wrote the standard to (we wrote the standard not to what we initially produced, but rather to what we wanted them to be). It would take us many years to get back to where we were when we quit. You can not have one breeder breed to the standard and other breed willy nilly.

        It pains me to say, I agree with one of your previous posts, the breed was a failed breed. And no, I don’t think you will find a Skookum breedeer in the US; if you do, I would believe they are trying to produce a cat for extreme profit and have no interest in really developing a breed.

        Michael, if you ever need any more information, feel free to contact me.

        Roy

        Reply

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