Meet The Tiny-Legged Cats Taking The World By Storm
With their short little legs and delightfully squishy faces, munchkin cats are all the rage on social media and beyond.
Seriously, check out these lil guys.
Hello to you, too, Yoda.
So, what's the story behind these fluffy friends? Genetics, mostly: The munchkin cat originated as a naturally occurring genetic mutation and they've been showing up since the 1940s.
"I have had a few of these munchkin cats as patients over the years," veterinarian Dr. Rob Proietto of Proietto Veterinary Services in New York City told The Dodo. "They are what are called chondrodysplastic dwarfs, which means that their bones and cartilage do not grow to the normal size that other cat breeds do."
Today, the munchkin cat is an officially recognized breed, and many of them are purposely bred. While selectively breeding animals doesn't always turn out well, Dr. Proietto said that munchkin cats don't seem to be more or less prone to medical issues than non-dwarf cats - they've been compared to corgis and dachshunds, dog breeds with similarly stubby limbs.
So while they may have a little trouble jumping onto the counter, munchkins are still cats in every sense of the word.
However, stubbiness is only skin-deep, and Dr. Proietto stressed that if you're looking to add a munchkin - or regular - cat to your family, check out local shelters and rescues first.
"Let's remember that there are thousands and thousands of amazing cats at your local shelters or rescues that will be amazing family members," he said.
If you'd like to adopt a cat in your area, check out Adopt-a-Pet.com.