by Charlotte Perrin
Calico Ragdoll Munchkin
I bred my first Munchkin litter in 1994, but succumbed to public opinion and quit until 1998, when I decided to breed what I liked, not what the public wanted.
I find the smallest Munchkin babies to be the most fragile, crowded out sometimes by the larger long-legged siblings, and sometimes caught under Mom and suffocated accidentally.
If mom has large nipples, it can be hard for the smallest to hold on, also. HOWEVER, the strongest usually survive, and by the end of the first week, they become tenacious in their lust for life.
I have actually hand fed the weaker ones, only to have them fade away after a week or so. It seems the ones that make it past the first week, are destined to survive. I also breed a short-leg parent to a long-leg parent, and never inter-breed. I have bred Siamese and Bengals for over 15 years, but now I just love to breed Munchkins.
Compared to those two breeds and the several other breeds that my friends raise, I find Munchkins to have about the same amount of problems from birth to age 10 weeks as the kittens from non-Munchkins.
I also find the mothers to be extra loving and attentive if bred after about 15 mos. of age, in general. Often more so than some of my Siamese and Bengal moms.
The first time a litter of Munchkins was born with feet that were pointing out or almost backwards, I freaked out! However, as the weeks went by, they turned around, and by 9 weeks, they were all correctly oriented! Later I found out that this can happen normally, and doesn't mean it is a genetic problem. It certainly is strange, though.
I have had one Munchkin kitten with a mis-shaped rib cage, that didn't survive past 14 weeks of age. HOWEVER, I also had one Bengal kitten who had the same problem, and died at 10 weeks old.
Other than those two kittens, I have never had a mal-formed kitten in 21 years of cat breeding! So with that information and experience, I can say breeding and/or owning a Munchkin is not a risk, it is pure joy!
Thank you, Charlotte >^..^<;:::;~