Munchkin Cat Health Conditions Which You Should Be Aware Of: What may look like a mix between a cat and a Daschund, is called a Munchkin cat. Although you may think this is the case, it is far from it, this, once rare breed that was discounted by many pet authorities has now become one of the cutest pets to live in many households amongst families.
A smart breed, and yet a very cute one, the Munchkin cat is one of the few cats that one unique trait that no other feline has and that is their short stubby legs and the ability to stand up straight on their hind legs. Although they are short cats, their personality makes up for it. These are some of the most fun-loving cuddly pets to have in any home.
Let their size, not fool you, these are active cats and love to run around the house or back garden chasing after things and also love to jump on things in and around the house. They are small to medium-sized and can live up to 15 years of age, as long as you look after them properly.
With a high intelligence level, they are great at adapting to new environments, and those who do not have as much space in a large home and live in an apartment, find this breed to be the perfect addition, as they, don’t take up much space. In addition, they are easy to train and are one of the best cats to keep for first-time owners.
The only thing that you should be aware of, is that they have a predisposition for a few health problems, which we will discuss below, as well as ways you can combat them.
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According to the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), these cats can suffer from a type of limb deformity. Not all of them do, but some of them can. Also known as chondrodysplasia or achondroplasia, it is a genetic deformity that involves limb bones failing to grow normally. This can lead to something; many people can relate to – osteoarthritis. Read more here
Although if they do have this issue, breeders are encouraged not to use them, as it could spread to their newborns. This is why, many vets discourage pet owners from letting these cats jump from heights, as they could risk suffering from joint diseases which could be a painful infliction upon them.
In this case, many cats may need to see a vet where they can be radiographed and x-rays are usually taken to check for signs. Until that happens, it is discouraged to let them roam freely and climb on things.
A condition that can affect their lymphocytes, which are cells in their bodies that maintain their immune system, can be affected if they suffer from this condition. The two different types of Lymphocytes, namely B cells and T cells, accounts for over 30% of cancers in felines. The result is cancer known as “hypercalcemia” and has also to do with the leukemia virus.
There are different forms of this namely:
Solitary Form: this can lead to depressions, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes and as a result, weight loss.
Kidney or Renal Form: this causes an increased thirst in them, vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia.
Mediastinal: Similar to the one above which can also lead to weight loss, breathing with their mouth open, anorexia, and in some cases coughing.
Alimentary: which can cause blood in their feces, anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, black stool, and lethargy.
To try and combat the above issues, it is important to watch what foods you give them. A healthy diet is fundamental from the start of bringing a kitten home. Giving them natural foods, which are often prepared at home, and include raw, unadulterated fish, cooked (not raw) eggs, cooked chicken, rice, cooked beef, vegetables, and fruits, alongside wet food which is infused with CBD Oil, and are available from well-established and reputable brands such as this one: https://www.holistapet.com/cat-breeds/munchkin/ and lots of fresh clean water, is recommended.
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUDT)
Another common ailment they can suffer from is FLUDT. Which causes them to have an infection in their urinary tract and hinders their ability to urinate normally. They could also be irritable and show signs of loss of appetite. To combat this, stick to a healthy diet, lots of water, a calm and not stressful environment, and lots of rest and regular visits to the vet.
A form of gastrointestinal disorder in cats is known as ‘Pancreatitis’, and because this is not a very obvious health problem, for the most part, it goes unnoticed, till it’s too late. A highly specialized diagnostic test is required to detect it in felines.
This issue leads to similar symptoms as the other health conditions and includes a complete loss of appetite or low food intake, dehydration, weight loss, diarrhea, and lethargy, so if you find your cat is sluggish all of a sudden, from being active previously, it may be time to take him or her to the vet to get a check-up done.
Hyperthyroidism in Felines
Although not a rare occurrence in some cats, just like humans, our pets can suffer from Hyperthyroidism, whether it is a cat or a dog. It usually affects them during their middle-ages. And leads to enlarged glands caused by a tumour known as ‘adenoma’.
Sometimes food can be a large contributor to this, because a lot of the pet food we give out to furry friends nowadays, contains loads of hormones and chemicals that are harmful. If you give them cheap quality and unhealthy foods, they risk getting this and can lead to damaged organs. This is a very serious thing and can lead to many unfavorable conditions in the kitten.
As you can see it is very important to look after these guys if you want them to fulfill their life spans of between 12 to 15 years, and happily, without any issues.