You may not have heard of the Skookum cat breed.
This is because it is a new and relatively rare breed and for these reasons, many cat registries consider them an “experimental breed.”
Don’t worry, though, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about them!
In this post, we will cover the facts about the Skookum, like how it came to be, and it’s appearance, personality, health issues, and other points of interest.
Read on to learn all about them!
History of the Skookum Cat Breed
Of course, the Munchkin has been around since at least the 1940’s and perhaps even earlier since it’s short legs are a genetic oddity.
The LaPerm cat is also a relatively new breed, reaching back to 1982. The curly coat of this breed was first discovered in one of the offspring of an ordinary barn cat.
While both the Munchkin and LaPerm are working their way towards notoriety, the Skookum started in the 1990s when Roy Galusha began crossing Munchkins and LaPerms.
Soon, other breeders did the same.
Fast Facts About the Skookum
- Size: Males – 5 to 7 pounds, Females 3 to 5 pounds
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Traits: lively, intelligent, and curious
Appearance of the Skookum Cat Breed
Although the Skookum is the result of the Munchkin and LaPerm, its characteristics are distinctly it’s own.
- Of course, it has the short legs of its Munchkin genetics; however, their bodies are on the stocky side, and their front legs are always shorter than their back legs.
- The tail of this breed is long and plumed with a rounded tip.
- While the other end showcases large pointed ears that stand erect on their wedge-shaped head.
- Their eyes are delightfully almond-shaped and can vary in color and size; from medium to large.
Perhaps their most beautiful feature is the curly coat. The coat comes in a wide variety of lengths and colors including colorpoint, bicolor, and solids.
Interestingly enough, the fur on the males are usually sporting tighter curls.
Personality of the Skookum Cat Breed
Because the Skookum is a mixed breed, they can retain the temperament of either or both parents.
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- The Munchkin cat is known for its athletic abilities (despite those stubby legs).
- They love to play and are very accepting of children, dogs, and other animals.
- They enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of their home and have even been known to hoard their favorite toys or shiny objects they have “stolen.”
- The LaPerm cat has a sense of humor and a naughty side.
- They love to play and their quickness to learn can have them opening cabinet doors, tapping you on the shoulder, and swiping things that catch his fancy.
- However, despite his propensity for getting into things, this breed is a loving, gentle, and patient pet.
The Skookum is known for its gentle nature, yet is lively and playful.
Like its parental genetics, this cat does get along well with all sorts of people and animals, but it will have to be appropriately socialized as a kitten.
Since both of its lineages have exceptional temperaments, a well-bred Skookum should be a delightful pet.
Health Issues of the Skookum Cat Breed
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The primary health concerns of the Skookum cat breed are directly related to their short legs – the gene responsible for this mutation is a form of dwarfism.
According to Dr. Carol Margolis (a veterinarian and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine);
“As far as what we know, the inappropriate bone formation absolutely leads to abnormal loading, which predisposes them to osteoarthritis ,” Margolis goes on to add; “They can have spinal malformations, lordosis, and scoliosis … and they can be born with rib abnormalities.”
Another issue the Munchkin cat can exhibit is the inability to jump properly; however, vets are not sure if they can’t jump or won’t because it may be too painful for them to do so.
How to Care for a Skookum Cat
Although Skookum cats are relatively easy to care for, they will still need the basics, as any pet deserves.
- Regular visits to your veterinarian are recommended for vaccinations and check-ups to ensure your fur baby is not developing any joint or skeletal problems.
- You should also have your Skookum spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- Having your cat altered can also help prevent certain reproductive cancers .
- A nutritional diet based on a high-quality protein, low fillers, and natural ingredients will keep your Skookums’ coat, skin, and weight at optimal levels.
- If you want to feed your pet dry kibble, you may consider adding some wet food to their diet.
- Canned food provides your feline with added moisture and protein which is vital to a healthy lifestyle.
- Grooming your Skookum will require a weekly brushing; however, this task will be relatively simple as the coat of this cat is course and less likely to tangle or develop mats.
- When your Skookum is a kitten, a good practice is to clip its toenails every couple of weeks and start a daily teeth brushing routine.
You may also want to consider keeping your beloved fur baby as an indoor-only cat.
Outdoor animals run the risk of getting injured by unscrupulous people, encountering wild animals that can carry disease and vehicles that can cause injury or even death.
Lastly, your Skookum needs love, and plenty of playtimes.
Be sure to add scratching posts and other toys to your home so your Kitty will be motivated to play – a lazy cat tends to be a fat cat.
If you desire a Skookum cat, be aware that since it is a new and rare breed, kittens may be challenging to find and most likely very pricey.
- If your Skookum kitten is from another part of the country or world, shipping will be required which means you will have to drive or fly to the location.
- This can also be pricey, and if you cannot be there to accompany your kitten home on a flight, he or she will end up in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
- This is extremely stressful and often dangerous for a young animal.
Skookums are still being investigated for health issues; therefore, you don’t know what your kitten’s future may hold.
Many veterinarians are concerned that the genetic mutation that causes the short legs could also cause other bone and spinal issues.
Research out reputable breeders so you can be sure your kitten’s health (and the health of its parents) are optimal.
Only you can decide which cat breed is best for you. However, if you choose the Skookum is the one, go into the relationship with your eyes wide open.
Give your new cat the love, care, and relationship every pet deserves.