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munchkins and similar new breeds

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
does any one feel the way I do? That nobody should be breeding cats with deformed bones,limbs or any other part? Shame on people ! Cats are very healthy in general and that's because we haven't messed with them that much besides different coats. But if we let breeders change them in fundamental ways,they will become like some dog breeds with health problems associated with what breed they are. Cats are beautiful and perfect the way they are! Do not support these breeders! If no one buys their kittens,they will stop what they're doing.
post #2 of 63
I would agree on certain issues. If people would do thier homework on such breeds as the munchkins they would find out that it is something that happens naturally. The cats are in no way deformed or do they have any specific problems. Thier leg structure is the same as any cat only shorter. Any back problems associated with them are linked to a specific cat and should not be continued. Any breeder who lets these specific malformations or genetic problems continue should be shut down. The only thing that harms a cat is something health related or something that hampers thier ability to function normally.
post #3 of 63
Hi everyone! I haven't posted before, I've been kinda lurking around from time to time... until now..

As a Munchkin breeder, I find your statement extremely unfair. Not only have you stamped a blanket statement on alot of breeders, but you have done it without regard to the right information.

While I can agree with you in part, I think ANY irresponsible breeder should be shut down, it is wholly unfair to include a breed that you don't know much about. Just so you know, Munchkins started as a natural occurence, no one bred them to be the way they are, they just happenned. I, along with my wife, breed Munchkins to keep the munchkins the way they started. Unfortunatly, it is blanket statements such as yours that make it harder for people to get the real story.

You are also incorrect when you say that "Cats are very healthy in general and that's because we haven't messed with them that much besides different coats", cats are healthy because people take care of them and love them, and they know how to take care of themselves... for the most part. As for "messing with them" it might interest you to know that many of the current breeds have been selectively bred to get the breeds we have today, for temperment or boning and structure not only to get the coat type. All this has been done by responsible breeders, the key word there being responsible. Should irresponsible breeders be put out of business, yes they should, but slamming all breeders of cats you are lacking information on is not the way to go about it. If you are unclear about a specific breed, all you need do is ask. Any breeder worth their salt will be more than happy to tell you the history.

post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
I am sorry that I insulted some of you.it was unintentional. I read some background on your breed now. I still just don't think it's right to deliberately encourage the dwarved limbs on a cat whose naturally born that way by breeding it. It seems to me the only reason some one would do it is because they think it's cute.
post #5 of 63
One could say the same for Persians, who, by the way, cannot jump nearly as high as a munchkin, or the exotic shorthairs, who have the the same facial structure as the persians. Munchkins are not, in any way, inhibited by this natural mutation.

Munchkins are cute, yes, but that is simply not the big point to be made with this breed, You see, Munchkins are known for their kittenish tendencies all through their life as well as their charming personalities. That is part of the breed.

I could fully understand your feelings if it was a detrement to the cat(s), however, if bred properly, it is not. Can there be problems with Munchkins due to breeding, of course there can, but no more so than with any other breed.

Clearly I am not going to change your mind, and I did not intend to, but what I do want you to understand is the fact that people are quick to condemn breeders because they see a short legged Munchkin (yes, there are long legged munchkins), and think how awfull it is that "we" did that to them, and never consider that there are breeds out there that look all cute and cuddly, but could possibly have more problems than Munchkins ever will due to improper breeding.

If you don't think it's right, that's okay , it is after all, your opinion, but remember, there are much more serious causes within the feline world you could champion than that of the Munchkin.

post #6 of 63

I believe you are mistaking munchkins for "Twisty Cats".

In 1998, owners of Karma Farms in Marshall, Texas came under severe criticism for having purposely bred a litter of deformed cats with short, slinky front legs (because part of a vital bone is missing) and six-toed back legs that allow the cat to stand like a kangaroo. The first "Twisty Kat" was bred by accident but the owner thought it was so cute, she continued to breed more. She said that it prevents them from jumping up on counters and scratching furniture. She denied selling them. These people so enraged several animal rights groups to the point they received death threats.

Munchkins are a totally different breed that are healthy and beautiful (I happen to be owned by one). All the munchkin breeders I know do their homework WAY before starting a breeding program and are very responsible, including Ken and Sandie.

post #7 of 63
From someone who has had munchkins for five years and is studying to be a cat show judge, your email disturbed me because I feel you did not do "your homework" before you posted. Munchkins, Sphynx, Rexes, etc (all the "exotic" breeds) were not created by anyone but nature. They are recessive genes and they are natural occurrences. The munchkin is not at all "Dwarfed" anymore than a Welsh Corgi or Dachshund. And the munchkin is much stronger than the Dachshund. It is funny, no-one ever comments on the short legged dogs! Is this so much more natural? Our munchkins can jump on counters, climb, run faster than most cats and get into or over things (and under) more than any long legged cat. I have both - and I have a Rex and I had two Sphynx - all created by nature, all with loving perfect personalities and all deserving of life. There are far more breeds of dogs - and new ones constantly "in the making" - they are not natural like the new cat breeds - dogs are put together to breed in and out of things in the breed. Our exotic breeds of cats just happened and we isolated the gene and we strive to perfect the breed. And yet everyone looks to the dog world with a smile and frowns on the cat world! I really don't understand it.
post #8 of 63
Ok, here I come. As an allbreed judge for an association I must admit that many years ago I also thought it was a genetic problem but found out to be that it was not. My association has recently accepted these sweet babies and I too was disturbed that you can make a comment like that but did not comment about the dogs. Why? Because they've been around longer. I do agree that a breeder should not be breeding unless they can afford to keep their babies healthy. Believe me that can be a job in itself. I actually made the comment this weekend while judging a munchkin to the audiance not to be fooled but these guys can jump like a long legged cat. I have to admit that I know both Ken, Sandie and Rene and have to say that their cats are very healthy and never would they jeopardize a cat for anything. Please, unless you truly research the breed, ask questions and not commit them.

post #9 of 63
Thread Starter 
Dear everyone, just to let you know,I have been a professional groomer for 11 years.Just because I didn't mention dogs,believe me,I have opinions about them! This is a cat site,I love cats alot and you all have helped me get more education. Just because a species has a naturally -ocurring mutation doesn't mean it's a good thing. I hope for your kitties though,it will remain a good thing. Look at all the mutations that ocurr in people and other animals,they are natural,but are they in that beings best interest? Your cats sound very healthy though and I'm sure you will make sure they stay that way. As for dogs,Corgis and daschunds are dwarves and that is a fact. And people created the dog breeds. And I hate the way some cats have been bred to where they can hardly breathe and they always look mad. Poor kitties. Now I'm sure alot more of you want to yell at me for my opinions-go ahead-but be good to the animals.
post #10 of 63
I had no intentions of yelling or any such things. I just happen to have had a problem with the Munchkins being the title as a helpless creature. If I thought for one minute my cats health or well being was in jeopardy I would not think twice. The point I was trying to make is that the Munchkins do not have ANY disability whats so ever. Every inch of them is as normal as it should be. My munchkins do everything my domestics do and sometimes a little more. All of my cats including the Munchkins have no health problems. I have seen a few breeders continue lines with a back problem that stems back to a domestic many years ago. Believe me, I think they ought to be put in jail. I too have a problem with smashed in faces, I have seen how it limits breathing. I do have a problem with breeding cats knowing they will have heart,lung,liver problems. I just really hate to see the Munchkin put down, because honestly there is nothing that limits them in any way. Even if all these posts have not changed your mind, I appreciate you taking the time to look into the breed.
post #11 of 63
I'm sorry if you think we were yelling at you, please believe me we were not. I'm glad you are interested the in welfare of the animals but you have to admit that Munchkins have gotten a bad rap and we are just stating what we know. We all love our babies very much and that I know all of us on this board take very good care of our babies. Please stick around, we're not bad.

post #12 of 63
FYI, concerning the Rexed breeds the LaPerm gene for curly hair is dominant, not recessive. I believe one of the other Rexed breeds is dominant as well, although the breed name escapes me at the moment. As a breeder of LaPerms I just wanted to clarify that.
I agree 100% that cats (and dogs) with breed related health problems should not be bred, but that would eliminate a lot of popular breeds and is not likely to happen. Pete
post #13 of 63
Thread Starter 
Hi Sandie,
thanks a million for helping me learn about your breed! And I agree,people who knowingly breed less than optimal animals should be put in jail! You sound like a really neat person who loves animals
post #14 of 63
Thank you for the compliment. I do love cats and pretty much all animals. Munchkins happen to be my favorite cat, but I love them all the same. I have 10 cats, 4 munchkins, 1 non standard munchkin and 5 domestic cats. Then there's Babe, our wonder dog. Rene is the president of a non profit rescue here in which I volunteer. I think everyone who replied to your post are with her organization. We are all animal lovers and would not support anything harmful to any animal.
On a little different note but along the same path. It needs to be pointed out that people should not buy from pet stores. Generally puppies and Kittens sold in these stores either come from puppy or kitten mills. I also advise anyone looking for a pure breed cat or puppy to insist on going to the house. This way they can see first hand if these animals were taken care of properly. I strongly agree with your statment that people should not support or fuel these kinds of people.
post #15 of 63
I must say, I have just learned a lot about the Munchkin breed by reading these posts! I was never really partial to them and was talking to someone about my ill feelings one day when they pointed out that I own a Dachshund and did I find anything disturbing about that? Needless to say, I chewed on my foot for a while.

I would like to point something out to those who have stated that these are the first breeds that are being "messed" with.

Several of our very popular breeds have been dramtically changed from their original states. I am not making a comment (good OR bad) about any of these breeds, just reminding everyone that very few breeds have retained their original form and shape. The fancies are certainly not above "messing" with the breeds. Selective breeding will always influence body type, we just hope it is for the betterment of the breed and not to appease some strange asthetic trend going around at the time. And that's all I have to say about that! :tounge2:
post #16 of 63
Actually, if you think about it, all breeds (dogs and cats) came from one type and have been changed (bred) over the years to reinforce certain characteristics. There is no way the English Bulldog would have evolved as the majority cannot reproduce without outside assistance and give birth by c-section as their heads are too large to pass. The Persian would never have evolved as well, along with several others. I have mixed emotions about certain types of breeding but I am a firm believer that weak or unhealthy breeds should not reproduce.
post #17 of 63
I fully agree with that statement. I can't say that I don't know people who breed some of these guys. I really don't think there's anything wrong with fudging with genes to get what you want, as long as you are not hurting or giving the animal a handicap.
Just because I am a munchkin breeder, I would like to talk about this particular breed. I am speaking from my breedings though. The munchkins are great because really they are a domestic cat with the short legs. You can cross a munchkin to a domestic and it's the same as if you had used another non standard or standard munchkin. I use non standard and standard munchkins just for the purpose of showing them. You can not have a pedigree cat without a registered background. I have heard of people crossing them with different breeds like siamese or breeding them to get polydactyl munchkins. I strongly disagree with these practices. I also disagee with trying to make them smaller than they were meant to be. I also disagree in trying to breed with ANY other known breed. I really hope to educate more people and get them to see one in action. If people could only watch them run,jump,play and be cats, they would see they are not disabled in any way.
post #18 of 63
That is a very true statement - for instance, look at the Siamese - what a difference between today and the apple heads of yesterday!
post #19 of 63
I think that to be a good breeder you need to have a lot of knowledge about the breed's genetics.

I also don't like breeding for extremes that harm the cats (like cats that suffer from sinus and eye problems etc). It must be remembered though that many inherited medical problems are not even visible. You could breed baby-doll faced Persians (with "natural" faces) and your apparently healthy cats could all be carriers of PKD. That's why an excellent knowledge of the breed's genetics and a perfect knowledge of your breeding stock's pedigrees is needed IMO.

By the way, I am not a breeder myself and my babies are all mixed-breeds, but I find the whole breeding world simply fascinating. Perhaps someday, when I have the time and the money, I will go into this myself

I'm so glad to see that this thread is informative and friendly. I have seen this issue reduced to flaming very quickly on other boards. Thanks everyone!
post #20 of 63
The Munchkins are a topic of heated debate in many circles but I feel much of the emotion is fueled by ignorance rather than fact and the flames are fanned by the emotions and personalities of the people involved. There is a lot of misconceptions about the breed and the breed as a whole suffered some major setbacks due in part to a select few breeders of questionable ethics. It will be a long road back for the breed but with the dedication of the breeders and the education of the rest hopefully they will have their shot at championship status in the USA. I agree totally with not mixing breeds like the Munchkin with other breeds to get a short legged version of another breed. Correct me if I am wrong, but even breeding short legged Munchkins to short legged Munchkins is no guarantee of the offspring being short legged; is that correct? Also, is it also true that the gene is dominant so if the cat is not short legged it does not carry the gene for short legs? Pete
post #21 of 63
Yes Pete, It is true that the gene is domiant and only the short legged or standard munchkins can produce short legged kittens. There is no guarantee that you will always get a short legged kitten. It does not matter if you breed to a domestic,non standard munchkin or standard munchkin. My last litter, mom was a standard, dad was a non standard and I had 2 standard and 1 non standard.
This is true, a few breeder have given these guys a bad wrap. I am certain that once people see more of them and talk to those who are doing a responsible job with them that they will see how normal they really are.
We do have 2 assoiciations that accept the Munchkin for championship. One is UFO and there's not many being shown at this time. Then there's AACE who I am registered and show with. I have an altered Grand Champion Munchkin. I am still trying to find more breeders to show and get them out there.
post #22 of 63
I am familiar with both of those organizations and have been invited to show my LaPerms in both as well, but until the LaPerm is recognized in one of the major organizations I feel no need to show in either of these at this time. That is not to take away from either of them but when I am the only breeder in a region I need to maximize my exposure. Once one of the majors (CFA, TICA, ACFA) recognize the LaPerm for championship then I might be more inclined to show in the other organizations as well. Getting a new breed off the ground is hard work as I am sure you are aware and time, money and effort need to be utilized in the most efficient manner. Pete
post #23 of 63

I'm interested to know why your waiting until one of the "major" associations accepts your breed? As far as the Munchkins are concerned, I know that everytime i've been to a TICA show, there have been less munchkins showing in NBC, than in AACE. To me, If i'm going to show my Munchkins, I'd like at least more competition than i'm seeing in TICA. Don't get me wrong, Sandie and I have shown in TICA, and done pretty well with the one Munchkin we did show, but these days the cost of showing in TICA and some of their policies, make it prohibitive for us to show there. Although I haven't paid attention to LaPerms are even allowed to show in NBC at any of the big association shows?

I really think that there is an advantage in showing with an association Like AACE. For one, there aren't any political issues there that I've seen in a couple of the "big" ones. There also is just as many cats being shown, generally, sometimes more. I happen to be at the year end show in Hartford and was quite surprised that the number of cats entered was about as many as one of the shows AACE had midseason (thanks again Rene!). Also, Ive yet to see a judge, judge BOTH days at a two day show... Oh and the biggie... the people are great to be with, and we have a great time... all the time.
You're right, getting a new breed off the ground IS hard, and there have been people working with the Munchkin far longer than I, but since the LaPerm isn't even to NBC status yet with TICA at least, (according to their website), you could be talking years until they are accepted. Showing them in UFO, or AACE would give you the exposure that LaPerm owners may need, after all there are quite a few folks that show in AACE and TICA, word gets around. I just think that you should get your babies out there, get some exposure, and perhaps the big ones will pay attention.

post #24 of 63
As I stated in my previous post cost is the major factor in limiting the associations in which I show. The time frame for TICA recognition is less for us and is a priority for the LaPerm as a group. Yes, TICA is the most expensive for me to show as well. As for not being NBC yet, I am sitting here looking at ribbons my cats have won for Best New Breed or Color in TICA, so something is amiss.
I have had other invitations to join the AACE, but so far I have been hesitant; something just didn't hit me right about the application. I think they wanted my social security number for something and personally that hit me wrong. The only people legally allowed to require that information is the IRS or an employer so I passed on trying to have the LaPerm recognized in AACE. Also, I am in Florida and I only saw one show close enough for me to consider travelling for and I am usually willing to travel quite far. If you want we can continue this conversation privately. My email address is Hattkatts@cs.com. Pete
post #25 of 63
I guess I could add my own 2 cents now. I agree mostly with what Ken has said about TICA. I really just think it has to do with personal prefrence and your breed. I decided I liked AACE much better and so I stuck with them. It is expensive and very difficult to show in more than one association. We drive to NJ for weekends all the time because there are only about 3 shows a year in CT. We are driving to FL in September for an AACE show as well. TICA is very large and well known. I know a lot of people who show with them and some who show both AACE and TICA. I only do CFF's household pet shows. As for the ss #, on the forms it sais you don't have to use it. It is our membership # and is easy to remember. I will have to ask why they decided to ask for the social. I only know 2 people working on the LaPerm breed. They are both TICA people as well. I beleive TICA is supposed to accept the munchkin next year. I was talking to the person who has been trying to get them accepted and she's pretty confident. She asked me to bring my newest baby to a show in July. I havn't decided yet. If Tampa is anywhere near you, you should stop in as a spectator in Sept.
post #26 of 63
Hi Sandie,
Yes it can be very expensive to show which is why many do not, I believe. We have to show in more than one organization or we would only be attending a few shows a year, a similar situation to yours. I would be interested in exploring the possibility of showing in AACE, so if you have an application or a URL I can go to to download one I will give it serious consideration. Everything I have heard about AACE has been favorable, it's the SS# that is a sticking point for me.

post #27 of 63
Well, with thier website..I will be one of many to tell you it's not the best. Just to go see the site it is www.aaceinc.org.
If you want an application you can call the office Mon,Wed,Fri. She is usually there from 12to3. There is also an info e mail address on the site. I am sure you can request a form. I could also get one and send it to you. I am not sure what the form said when you were first approached. On the forms now they ask for a SS# or any 9 digit #. I really hope to see them grow. I will be the first to admit that I truley enjoy spending the weekend with these people. There's no fighting and everyone is willing to talk to spectators. I am not sure of thier stand on the LaPerms, but I know they still need a Breed Club president for the Norwegians.
post #28 of 63

Nothing amiss really, I was just going by what was listed on the TICA website, they don't list Laperms, so I was basing my statement on that... oops. As for the SS thing, I guess I don't get to coaught up in the worry, being in the military im so used to having to use it, it's almost like a phone number now.. ya know, but I do understand your concerns. You are allowed to use whatever 9 digit number you like, though, I think just using a ss would e easier to remember. And I know you wouldn't have to worry, the integrity of the officers and staff of AACE is beyong reproach. As Sandie said, there is a show in Tampa at the end of Sept, and I would lke to see you there as well....

post #29 of 63
Ken and Sandie,
Okay, okay, you win. LOL I have requested an application via email after going to their site. Tampa isn't too far, about a 4 hour drive. We'll see. I have tentative plans to show at the next CFA show in Florida and I had planned on entering 12 LaPerms; I think that show is in September as well but I'll have to check.

post #30 of 63
Sorry, didn't meant to bombard you..LOL. Like I said, even if you came as a spectator to meet all of us. The AACE show is the 29th and 30th. I believe when he set up the show he tried to work around CFA'a show. We are all looking forward to going. Rene is actually bringing a few LaPerms for sale (not hers). Heck Rene is even brining a Sphynx because we don't have many in AACE. I think I am just concentrating on my Munchkin is FL. I may try and bring a HHP, but we will see what my $ situation is.
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