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Old 02.09.2019, 09:51
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Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Searched the internet and it seems very difficult to find munchkin (short leg) cats and breeders.
It would be an indoor apartment cat with balcony netting.
Does anyone have experience with this or ideas?
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Old 02.09.2019, 10:24
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

There is a good reason why you are not finding these cats: Breeding for shortened legs is considered Qualzuct, abusive breeding practice, by Schweizer Tierschutz:

http://www.tierschutz.com/publikatio...xtremzucht.pdf

Kurzbeinigkeit: Die sogenannte «Dackelkatze» (Munchkin) besitzt verkürzte Vorderbeine und kann deswegen nicht hoch springen – und so auch nicht aufs Sofa gelangen und Haare hinter- lassen. Verzichten Sie auf diese Rasse, da sie klar eine Qualzucht darstellt!


Please do not go this route. You should find a normal, healthy cat - and give him or her all that is needed for a healthy, happy life.
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Old 02.09.2019, 13:32
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Thanks Meloncollie but the species of cat that I'm referring to is not mentioned in that document. Also these cats are not bread for short legs - it is a naturally occurring genetic mutation. These cats are healthy, have no medical problems or back issues and do not suffer in anyway.
Now if for some reason these cats are not permitted in Switzerland that's another story but these cats are truly not bread to have these characteristics.
Btw these cats are considered to be very affectionate and good humored.
Am I wrong?


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There is a good reason why you are not finding these cats: Breeding for shortened legs is considered Qualzuct, abusive breeding practice, by Schweizer Tierschutz:

http://www.tierschutz.com/publikatio...xtremzucht.pdf

Kurzbeinigkeit: Die sogenannte «Dackelkatze» (Munchkin) besitzt verkürzte Vorderbeine und kann deswegen nicht hoch springen – und so auch nicht aufs Sofa gelangen und Haare hinter- lassen. Verzichten Sie auf diese Rasse, da sie klar eine Qualzucht darstellt!


Please do not go this route. You should find a normal, healthy cat - and give him or her all that is needed for a healthy, happy life.
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Old 02.09.2019, 13:40
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Do you have any further info on this "permitted" breed of cat with the mutation you mention? Maybe a link or something that would help give more colour to your request for info?

I've only heard of the Munchkin cat which is popular but not an officially recognised breed up to now.
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Old 02.09.2019, 13:41
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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Thanks Meloncollie but the species of cat that I'm referring to is not mentioned in that document.
Yes, it is:

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Kurzbeinigkeit: Die sogenannte «Dackelkatze» (Munchkin) besitzt verkürzte Vorderbeine und kann deswegen nicht hoch springen – und so auch nicht aufs Sofa gelangen und Haare hinter- lassen. Verzichten Sie auf diese Rasse, da sie klar eine Qualzucht darstellt!
Tom
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Old 02.09.2019, 14:22
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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Also these cats are not bread for short legs - it is a naturally occurring genetic mutation.
That does not mean that promoting the genetic mutation is in line with animal welfare standards.

From Berner Tierschutz, page 13:
https://www.bernertierschutz.ch/wp-c...lt_24_2017.pdf

Dackelkatze / Munchkin
Wie bedenkenlos körperliche Abnormitäten zum Rassestandard erhoben werden, lässt sich auch am Beispiel dieser Katzenrasse aufzeigen. Diese ist in den USA sehr populär, weil sie nicht aufs Sofa springen und dort ihre Haare hinterlassen kann. (!) Hauptmerkmal dieser Rasse ist der unpro- portionierte Zwergwuchs, das heisst Stummelbeine, die auf einer auffälligen Verkürzung der Beinknochen
beruhen. Die verkürzten Beine beein- trächtigen die Tiere in der Fortbewegung, insbesondere beim Klettern sowie bei Sprüngen.


Which DeepL translates as:

Dachshund cat / Munchkin
How unhesitatingly physical abnormalities are raised to the breed standard can also be shown by the example of this cat breed. This breed is very popular in the USA because it cannot jump on the sofa and leave its hair there. (!) Main characteristic of this breed is the disproportionate dwarfism, i.e. stump legs, which are based on a noticeable shortening of the leg bones. The shortened legs affect the animals in their movement, especially when climbing and jumping.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

Yes, there is purposefully a rather elastic definition of Qualzucht but the goals are clear: Breeders must not 'pursue breeding objectives which are associated with pain, body damage, damage or profound interference with the animals' appearance or abilities'. (That's the DeepL transpation of SR 455.102.4, art 2.)

Does breeding for shortened limbs to create Munchkin cats meet that criteria? A quick google suggests that many in Swiss Tierschutz think so.


---

However, when in doubt you need to go to the source. That would be the BLV:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home.html

Write them and ask specifically.

---

I have to hop on my soap box here. What is the point of breeding for dwarfism, or for that matter brachycephalic dogs and cats, or dogs whose heads are too large to allow natural birth, or sloping back legs to give a 'stacked' appearance in the show ring, or any other of the myriad breeding goals we have subjected dogs and cats and other animals to?

All of these were once 'natural' genetic mutations - and would have likely died out as the mutation is detrimental to the animal. But breeders have kept the mutation going, to the detriment of the animal, in pursuit of nothing more than a trendy look.

(I am well aware that ultimately most domesticated animals are the result of some degree of genetic interference. That is, however, the subject of another thread..)

Why not go for a normal cat, one that can exercise his inate need to jump and explore your home, and simply adapt your home and balcony for the cat's safety, as many other cat owners have done?


---

But in the end, the BLV defines Qualzucht, so you need to contact them.

---

By way of background, here is the Verordnung des BLV über den Tierschutz beim Züchten referenced above:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...541/index.html
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Old 02.09.2019, 14:33
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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Thanks Meloncollie but the species of cat that I'm referring to is not mentioned in that document. Also these cats are not bread for short legs - it is a naturally occurring genetic mutation. These cats are healthy, have no medical problems or back issues and do not suffer in anyway.
Now if for some reason these cats are not permitted in Switzerland that's another story but these cats are truly not bread to have these characteristics.
Btw these cats are considered to be very affectionate and good humored.
Am I wrong?
A lot of these cats are the result of a selected couple of which one carries the gene, so to me they are especially bred for their deformation, it is indeed a naturally occurring genetic mutation just like Hypochondroplasia in humans.

I just can't understand why somebody would especially seek out a deformed animal or support its distribution?
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Old 02.09.2019, 14:48
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

So many beautiful kittens that need to be adopted... and you want a specific "look"?

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Searched the internet and it seems very difficult to find munchkin (short leg) cats and breeders.
It would be an indoor apartment cat with balcony netting.
Does anyone have experience with this or ideas?
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Old 02.09.2019, 17:46
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

OK OK I'm a bad person, I will now tell my daughter that she's also bad. Sorry if I upset anyone.
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Old 02.09.2019, 17:59
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

No, you and your daughter are not bad. Just let her know what goes on behind breeding pets for a certain look. There's a life lesson there - looks don't matter, love does. And it also just feels good knowing you adopted an animal in need. Introduce her to any other kitten, she'll love it.

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OK OK I'm a bad person, I will now tell my daughter that she's also bad. Sorry if I upset anyone.
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Old 02.09.2019, 18:05
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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OK OK I'm a bad person, I will now tell my daughter that she's also bad. Sorry if I upset anyone.
Don't worry about feeling bad, at least you haven't bought one yet so no-one need feel upset:

Dog breeders have been doing it for years:

Dachshund
French Bulldog
King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua
Shih Tzu
Dalmatians

and many more all have faults which cause suffering to the dog caused by breeding.
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Old 02.09.2019, 19:51
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Also you could have some patience and see if munchkins pass by in rescue centers or through animal protection organisations.

Nobody could mind if you take a munchkin from there as for cats in there simply goes they're all equal and all deserve their chance for a better life, taking one from a breeder is what would disturb plenty of us here, since it encourages to keep on breeding on a deformity.
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Old 02.09.2019, 21:46
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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OK OK I'm a bad person, I will now tell my daughter that she's also bad. Sorry if I upset anyone.
Your daughter is not a bad person and you're most likely not one as well. Now's your opportunity to do a good thing and set a good example for your daughter by explaining why that kind of a cat is not the right option.

Props on planning on keeping it indoors though. All cat owners should be doing the same.
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Old 03.09.2019, 13:44
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

I'll second Joey's, Tom's, Edwin's and and Downerbuzz's comments: This is a perfect teaching moment for your daughter.

The Dark Side to the animal trade is so insidious because it is often cleverly disguised - and cleverly sold. Most of us don't know the Dark Side exists until we stumble across it. Many of us feel so strongly about this issue because we live with, and love, the victims of these barstewards. And so we work to open more eyes.

Phrases like 'natural mutation' are typical of Dark Side tactics. Such phrases might seem to the uninitiated an innocuous, acceptable explanation... until you look behind the curtain and see that what the producers (I'll not dignify them as breeders) are doing in many of these so-called designer pets is selecting for a genetic defect, weakening the animal, for the sake of novelty, fashion - and greed.

It's important that we all make ethical choices when we look for our pets. The only way that we beat the Dark Side is by starving the barstewards of income until they go out of business.

There are responsible, ethical breeders in Switzerland, who work for the good of the breed and love of their cats. If you are looking for a particular breed-specific trait, go to one of them, be guided by their experience and advice as to whether one of their cats is right for your family.

If you are not tied to specific breed characteristics, go to a shelter, speak with the staff to help find a cat whose needs meet what your family can provide. Or ask the local vet if he or she knows of a litter of kittens soon to need homes - and again, be guided by his or her advice.

Contrary to what you might hear, there are indeed Swiss rescue groups who will home an indoor cat, although many might want you to adopt a bonded pair. Again this is for the welfare of the cats, most need the company of their own kind. You may have to look a bit harder, as the prevailing preference seems to be for outdoor - but indoor cats are out there, looking for good homes.

All the best to you and your family.
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Old 03.09.2019, 18:06
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

I know it is an unpopular opinion when you see how many videos on Facebook pop up about puppies and kitten getting rescued, but: I am very happy to have a cat I bought from a very good breeder. I got the cat when it was four months old as this is the recommended age when you can separate them from the mother. What happens in this first four months seems absolutely crucial to the cats behaviour and personality… From day one did we enjoy a cat that never had any issue using its litter box or getting touched… and I am pretty sure thats because it was raised right. If you have a farm is it great if you can give some abandoned kittens a new home. Feral cats rehomed to live in an apartment? Good luck.

And on another side note: All comments on munchkin cats here are correct. That does not mean that all "pure bred" cats follow some idiotic beauty goals: there are quite some races that are considered "natural" as they have been that way for centuries and usually among the most healthy cats around. Examples: Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest, Russian Blue, Thai (old style),...
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Old 03.09.2019, 18:18
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Thirty years of rescue work have changed my outlook considerably - notably my idealism has been tempered with a huge dose of reality.

I've come to see that the root cause of the pet overpopulation is lack of committment to the animals one takes into one's home. We need to fix the irresponsible owner problem first and foremost.

Towards that end, it matters less to me that one gets one's critter from a reputable, ethical breeder or a reputable, ethical rescue. Choose whichever is right for your family, but make sure that your choice is indeed reputable and ethical. (Eyes wide open, all that glisters is not gold, due diligence required.)

No, what matters most to me is that owners commit to giving the animal a happy, healthy, species-correct-within-the-human-world life, for his natural lifetime, no matter what happens in yours.

The irresponsible owner drives the demand that keeps the Dark Side, the battery producers, animal dealers, irresponsible BYBs in business. To fix the irresponsible owner problem IMO the way forward is education, education, strict animal welfare laws with actual teeth in them, and more education.

Responsible, ethical breeders and responsible, ethical rescues should be allies in the fight against the Dark Side - we both want the best for the critters we love.

Last edited by meloncollie; 04.09.2019 at 01:35.
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Old 03.09.2019, 18:19
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

We got our cats from a breeder too. I was happy for rescue cats but my wife wanted Bengals.

The breeder only bred a few a year.

My wife met up with the breeder several times and we all had to go as a family for tea, and to see how we, and especially our children interacted with her own cats.

It was more a case of whether we were suitable to be cat owners than anything else.

We were also taught how to interact with them, how to handle them, and most importantly, what not to do.

The kittens came house trained which was great too.
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Old 03.09.2019, 18:26
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

What Tom said. And I never understood all those posts you find online of people who find it difficult to know which breeder is a good one and which not... If the breeder happily shows you his place and gives you a ton of tips how to treat your animal right... is he probably a good one.
If he only cares about the money and cannot show you the animal "because its not in the country yet"... well, make an educated guess. (and yes, that last one happened to me when inquiring...)
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Old 04.09.2019, 08:46
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

Absolutely my experience with dogs has been that a good breeder will make the meetings more about whether or not THEY approve of YOU as a home for their puppies/kittens in this case, not the other way around. My first conversation with my current dog’s breeder involved me asking very little questions; in fact, it felt more like a job interview than anything else! Of course I had time to ask my questions later, but the breeder answered most of them up front without being asked anyway. She happily showed us several times the litter, mom and the surroundings, and we remain in good touch to this day.

It’s not worth buying from an irresponsible breeder. And if you get word out to local rescues and community that you’re looking...in any case my experience in the US was that my two rescues were actually rehomes from acquaintances, the one a puppy exactly fitting my needs, even down to the breed, from a retired couple heartbroken because the wife had to be hospitalized for her dog allergies that had gone undiagnosed until the moment she brought a puppy home. The second was from my boss, a young dog who had been abandoned time and time again and ended up getting dumped at my boss’s house instead of returned again to the shelter. My boss’s current dogs weren’t accepting the newcomer and she knew I was looking for a second dog so...not at all the kind of dog I was looking for, but she got along great with my existing dog and my family loved her.

I wish you the best in finding the right cat(s) for your family! A good breeder can produce a lovely cat (friends of mine raised a litter that had been abandoned along with their mother on their farm. The mother was not feral and so they put an incredible amount of time into raising those kittens right. Man they were good cats). A bad breeder can breed a nightmare. My aunt has a high dollar Bengal that’s absolutely nuts and riddled with health problems. And a good rescue can help identify what cat/kitten would fit your needs as well. Best of luck!
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Old 04.09.2019, 12:37
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Re: Where to find a munchkin cat/breeder

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I know it is an unpopular opinion when you see how many videos on Facebook pop up about puppies and kitten getting rescued, but: I am very happy to have a cat I bought from a very good breeder. I got the cat when it was four months old as this is the recommended age when you can separate them from the mother. What happens in this first four months seems absolutely crucial to the cats behaviour and personality… From day one did we enjoy a cat that never had any issue using its litter box or getting touched… and I am pretty sure thats because it was raised right. If you have a farm is it great if you can give some abandoned kittens a new home. Feral cats rehomed to live in an apartment? Good luck.

And on another side note: All comments on munchkin cats here are correct. That does not mean that all "pure bred" cats follow some idiotic beauty goals: there are quite some races that are considered "natural" as they have been that way for centuries and usually among the most healthy cats around. Examples: Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest, Russian Blue, Thai (old style),...
I was refused a cat from the rescues here because I cannot give them access to the outdoors. I also fell in love with a particular breed when visiting a friend, so I went against my beliefs of "don't shop, adopt". Where I definitely draw the line is buying a cat who has been bred to have features that may negatively impact its life, such as the aforementioned Munchkin cats or Scottish Folds.

Unfortunately, the popular cat lover accounts in Instagram such as cats_of_Instagram show a disproportionately high number of posts featuring Munchkins, Scottish Folds, Sphynx, Manx, Devon Rex and other "unusual" cats. There is one highly questionable breeders'/cat fanciers' association (TICA) that acknowledges these breeds in their standard - most others, including the more Eurocentric FIFE do not. In fact, they decidedly discourage the breeding of these types of cats.

Still, humans are simple souls, they tend to want what they repeatedly see, often without thinking about the impact of their choice. This does not make you a bad person, it just makes you misinformed and manipulated. If you refuse to acknowledge the reasoning behind why you cannot get such an animal in Switzerland and then import one (such as an acquaintance did with a certain type of cat), then you are veering towards the stupidly stubborn, bordering on selfish. And you risk getting into trouble, as well as increasing the chances of unwittingly supporting a kitten/puppy farm.

So, what to do? This is definitely a learning opportunity for your kid, just because you see a thing and everyone is going ooh and aah does not mean she should be drawn in. In fact, it relates to what will probably become a topic that will hit you later on, this habit of surgically modifying one's appearance to fit in with some trend (is it just me or do almost all girls between 16 and 25 have the same lips, eyebrows, eyelashes, makeup and hairstyle these days?). Like with producing an animal just to look cute, messing around with your face because your friends are doing it may go dreadfully wrong and if you look into the sources of the hair extensions, eyelashes, Botox etc. you open the door to a dark world...

The closest type of cat that looks a bit like a Munchkin without the deformity is a British Shorthair. The Swiss BSH breeders are pretty protective of their cats, if they are indoor only you are very likely going to find yourself obligated to get two - which I would recommend anyway. A BSH kitten will set you back anywhere up to CHF 1800 and be sure to do your research into the family tree of its parents to check for any incidences of HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). This is a genetic condition that some of the larger breeds including BSH, Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons are prone to.

If you are after a smaller size of cat that is very playful and mischievous, an Abyssinian may be a good fit, but they are more sleek than fluffy. Since this may come up: The other "trendy" cat I would advise caution for is Bengals, as they are not the easiest to keep sufficiently entertained.

Finally - if you do choose a pedigree cat, do your research and don't be guided by price when making your choice. As you can imagine, there are people out there looking to make a quick buck and the living conditions of the animals - especially the Tomcats - can be really grim. Also seriously question the professionalism of any breeder who would give you their kittens before they are 12 weeks old (14 weeks would be better) or who do not thoroughly check where the kitten is going. And if you decide to get farm kittens, bear in mind that they have going outside in their bones for generations, so they may not adjust to indoor life. That was another factor that influenced my choice of pedigree cats, they have never been outside, nor have their parents or grandparents.
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