The Scottish Fold Munchkin cat is one irresistible cute little furball.
You may have come across some pictures on Instagram, Facebook, or cat shows and maybe wondered, “What breed of cat is this, and what’s up with the short legs and folded ears?”
Well, that’s the Scottish Fold Munchkin cat for you (they’re also referred to as Scottish Kilts, FYI).
Keep reading to find out where these cats came from, how they got their features, and everything you need to know before owning this cat.
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Size and Appearance
Scottish Fold Munchkin cats are generally small to medium felines. They only grow up to 7 inches tall.
Males can weigh up to 9 pounds, while females’ weight ranges from 4 to 8 pounds.
These cats are characterized by short legs, a stocky body, a round head, and folded ears.
Some cats have a single fold in their ears, while others feature a double-fold or a triple-fold. Those with triple-fold ears are common in cat shows.
Their expressive blue eyes complement their small bubbly stature, but you may also come across other eye colors.
Despite their short stature, these cats can run, jump, and climb.
Scottish Fold Munchkin cats can be shorthaired or longhaired depending on the parent cat characteristics.
They are available in all recognized colors and patterns, including solid colors, tabbys, and tortoiseshells.
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Cats are considered the cutest animals, and that’s not just a matter of opinion!
So, how does this relate to the Scottish Fold Munchkin cat?
Breeders are always trying to come up with the cutest cat possible by altering some of the features that make cats attractive.
This involves selective breeding different cat breeds by selecting the genes that cause the adorable features in each breed and produce a kitten with traits from both cat breeds.
The short legs, folding ears, and stocky body didn’t come by mistake.
It’s because the parent breeds of the Scottish Fold and the Munchkin cat, and the breed was introduced to the public in 1991.
To better understand the Scottish Kilt, let’s discuss each of these parent breeds.
Scottish Fold Cat
Scottish Fold cats were first discovered in the 1960s. Susie, a cat with an unusual fold along with the ears, appeared at a farm in Scotland.
Susie gave birth to a litter of kittens, and to the surprise of the farmers, 2 of the kittens had unique folded ears.
A neighboring shepherd and cat fancier, William Ross, acquired one of the kittens and had them registered with Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), and began cross-breeding them with other cats.
The folding ears are caused by a genetic mutation on a dominant gene. This mutation is also associated with cartilage and bone development issues.
Scottish Folds have a medium-sized body, a round head, and a stocky body.
They are not that active. Instead, they’re placid and prefer to lie around or cuddle with their owners.
They’re also some of the cutest cats, and most people, including celebrities Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, own them because of their “cuteness.”
However, they are marred by pain, immobility, and other incurable diseases resulting from this mutation.
They have even been banned in some parts of the UK. And in Scotland, there are plans to restrict breeding cats for their looks, especially when they have health problems.
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Also known as the Sausage cat, the Munchkin is a relatively new cat breed that dates back to the 1980s, and The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized it in 1995.
But it may have been around for much longer with documentation about short-legged cats dating as back as the 1940s.
The parent to the Munchkin cats we have today is a short-legged cat named Blackberry who was found pregnant by a teacher, Sandra Hochenedel, in 1983.
This cat features short legs, straight ears, and a long body. It’s also believed to be the parent breed to all dwarf cats.
Like the folded ears in the Scottish Fold, the short legs are caused by a genetic mutation.
Scientists warn that the short legs would affect this cat’s mobility and overall health. That’s why most organizations were hesitant to accept it.
There are also some deformities and other health issues associated with this mutation.
The mutation that causes the short hind legs and front legs is the same that causes dwarfism in humans, and it’s known as achondroplasia.
It makes these cats more susceptible to osteoarthritis, severe spine curvature, and a hollow chest.
As you can see, the Scottish Kilts inherited the folding ears, stocky body, and owl-like appearance from the Scottish Folds and the short legs from the Munchkins.
To produce a Scottish Fold Munchkin, breeders had to cross a Scottish Fold with folded ears and a Munchkin cat with straight ears.
Scottish kilts didn’t only inherit the physical qualities of their parent breeds, but they also inherited the easy-going, calm, affectionate, and playful nature.
They are quite easy to form a strong bond with too. According to most cat owners, these cute little furballs don’t know sadness.
Unlike some cats that choose to be jovial at one point and dull at another moment, these cats are always willing to play and interact with their owners.
Living with a Scottish Fold Munchkin
Considering how light they are, they can make good cats for cuddling and carrying around.
They make good family pets, even for households with young kids or seniors, since they rarely get aggressive.
They are also suitable for multi-pet homes since they easily get along with other cats and dogs.
Scottish Kilts have lots of energy, and they’re super intelligent. So they’ll enjoy physical and mental stimulation toys and games.
You can even train them in the game of fetch, leash-walking, or any other activity that suits their energy levels.
Some owners even reported these cats could grab and hide watches and other small valuable stuff.
They might also get lonely and depressed if you leave them alone for too long, so make sure you’re willing to give them all the attention and companionship they need before bringing one home.
Health and Lifespan
A Scottish Fold Munchkin cat is in general pretty healthy, with a life span ranging from 10 to 15 years.
However, some of them may inherit some of the health issues associated with the parent breeds. Below are some of the most common ones;
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
This is where cysts develop on the cat’s kidneys. They often appear as soon as the cat is born and grow throughout the cat’s lifespan.
It eventually causes kidney failure, seizures, or even death. Scottish Kilts may inherit this disease from Scottish Folds.
This is a condition that interferes with bone and cartilage development.
It results in severe pain, joint disease, deformities, and abnormal bone development. It’s also passed from the Scottish Folds.
This condition often occurs in Munchkins, and short spinal muscles characterize it due to the short legs and long bodies.
Since they are more susceptible to PKD, Scottish Fold Munchkin Cats should only feed on wet food.
Dry food worsens PKD’s symptoms, and it contains too much carbs, which most cats aren’t equipped to digest.
Dry cat food may also lead to dehydration which isn’t good for your Scottish Fold Munchkin cat (or any cat in general).
With wet food or a combination of raw food and homemade cat food, you can achieve your cat’s nutrient needs.
Pay extra attention to raw food since it may contain harmful pathogenic bacteria.
Some ways to mitigate bacterial contamination are getting the meat from a trusted supplier and making sure it’s frozen or cooking it to eliminate most of the surface bacteria.
Make sure you contact a qualified vet before choosing what to feed or not to feed your cat, especially when they show PKD symptoms.
Grooming and Care
Scottish Kilts’ coats need to be brushed regularly to eliminate dander, dirt, oils, or any other debris that may be entangled in their fur.
You should also be very careful when cleaning the ears. Due to their folding nature, they tend to accumulate dirt quite fast, but they are also quite sensitive.
Nails should also be trimmed a few times every month, but a scratching post would also be helpful to keep the nails at an ideal height, and it also helps relieve stress in cats.
Like in all other cats, dental check-ups and teeth brushing are also mandatory.
The health aspect of these cats is also a deal-breaker to some aspiring owners, so make sure you can handle it before purchasing them.
Where can you get Scottish Kilts?
Scottish Fold Munchkin cats are quite rare. If you really want one, you’d have more luck if you visited a reputable breeder dealing with dwarf kittens.
It’s likely some of the short-leg kittens will be Scottish Kilts. You can also check local animal rescue centers.
Even though none is available at that moment, you can join a waiting list for when they’ll be available.
These cats can cost between $500 and $1500.
When you factor in the cost of wet food, medical care, toys, and other necessary items, maintaining them isn’t cheap.
But the cuteness and calm personality make this sweet kitty worth all the costs.
Due to the potential health issues, it’s also advisable to get pet insurance. Make sure the insurance cover caters to most of the illnesses associated with these cats.
Scottish Fold Munchkin Cat FAQs
The Scottish Fold Munchkin is a sweet kitty and is suitable for any home.
Their beauty and temperament are a perfect blend of the Scottish Fold and the Munchkin cat.
However, they need attention and special care due to the mutations and potential health issues.
Make sure you’re up for this level of care before getting one.
What do you think of the Scottish Fold Munchkin cat? Aren’t they cute?
- “Achondroplasia | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program.” n.d. Rarediseases.info.nih.gov. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8173/achondroplasia#:~:text=Achondroplasia%20is%20a%20disorder%20of.
- “GCCF Online > Home.” n.d. Www.gccfcats.org. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.gccfcats.org/.
- Morley, Nicole. 2017. “Vets Warn Trend for Sausage Cats Is Cruel.” Metro. January 31, 2017. https://metro.co.uk/2017/01/31/vets-warn-trend-for-sausage-cats-is-cruel-6416755/.
- News, Flanders. 2020. “Flanders Bans Scottish Folds.” Vrtnws.be. November 25, 2020. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2020/11/25/flanders-bans-scottish-folds/#:~:text=Flanders%20is%20banning%20Scottish%20fold.
- “Scottish Fold Breed Profile | Cat-World.” 2017. 2017. https://cat-world.com/scottish-fold-breed-profile/.
- “The Cutest Pets, according to Science.” 2021. MoneyBeach. February 21, 2021. https://www.moneybeach.co.uk/the-boardwalk/the-cutest-pets-according-to-science/.
- “Welcome to TICA – the International Cat Association, TICA Cats, TICA Pedigreed Cats, Pedigreed Cats, Pedigreed Cats Registry, Household Pet Cat Registry, Domestic Cat Registry, Savannah Cat, Bengal Cat, Persian Cat, Maine Coon Cat.” n.d. Tica.org. https://tica.org/.
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed. Learn more about Benhere
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