You may have noticed an adorable short-legged cat with curved-back ears while scrolling the internet. What is this breed, you ask? Say hello to the Kinkalow cat breed: a crossbreed of the American Curl and Munchkin cat.
This feline breed is newer than most and one many folks may not have heard of before. However, their adorable appearance and sweet temperament make them a top pick for a family pet.
The Kinkalow is a rare breed that combines two beloved feline traits to form a crossbreed with a personality of their own. Read on to learn about the Kinkalow history, appearance, care, and more.
Kinkalows are a crossbreed of the American Curl and the Munchkin cat. This cat was first bred in the United States in the 1990s as a way to combine the short body of the Munchkin with the crescent-shaped ears of the American Curl.
American breeder Terri Harris started breeding Munchkin cats in 1993 and soon after began creating other cross breeds, like the Kinkalow. (It should be noted that Harris said she regrets producing mini versions of other pedigree cats due to the high risk of genetic problems and further health issues for the cat.)
How did the Kinkalow get their name? One of the original kittens was named Munckinlane Kinkalow Louie, and it is said that the breed originated from this name. This cat has kinked ears and low legs; hence, the Kinkalow was born.
Today, the Kinkalow is known for their Daschund-like appearance, curled-back ears, and lovable personality. While this breed is not recognized by any major cat association, these furballs have gained a following in the cat community thanks to their unique physique.
Appearance & Size
The first thing you’ll notice about the Kinkalow is their height, which averages seven to eight inches. This sausage cat carries a dwarf gene given to them by their parent Munchkin breed. This natural mutation causes only the cat’s legs to be dwarfed, with the rest of the body being a standard build.
Kinkalows have long, muscular bodies with athletic builds. They weigh three to seven pounds on average. Alongside their long body, the breed has a long, sleek tail.
Kinkalow’s heads are tiger-shaped with lovable rounded eyes. Their ears may sport a curled-back look thanks to their American Curl heritage. The ears are evenly placed on the head; when alert, the tips should point to the skull’s center. Usually, these cats are born with straight ears. As they develop, the ears will curl to varying degrees, with crescent-shaped ears being the most prized.
Their soft coat is available in short or long hair. The Kinkalow comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including white, orange, black, cream, gray, tabby, and calico.
Personality & Temperament
We love the Kinkalow for their affectionate and playful temperament. These kitties are quiet but social. Your Kinkalow will be eager to please and is known to be intelligent. Kinkalows may retain their kitten-like playfulness well into their older years.
While not an incredibly vocal breed, the Kinkalow will express their needs when necessary. You may hear your Kinkalow cry when hungry, lonely, or needing attention.
Overall, the Kinkalow is a loving and playful cat that would make a great addition to any home with children and other pets, thanks to their gentle nature.
Shedding & Hypoallergenic
While these cats require little grooming, they are still shedders and should not be considered allergen-friendly. Consider a different breed if you are looking for a more hypoallergenic cat. The hairless Sphynx or low-shedding cats like the Russian Blue and Siamese are good hypoallergenic breed options to consider.
This crossbreed requires very little grooming. Depending on coat length, you may need to brush your cat weekly to detangle and clean the undercoat. Regularly clean your cat’s teeth and trim their claws.
Check your cat’s ears for signs of debris, mites, or infection. Always use a gentle hand when cleaning your Kinkalow’s ears. This cat has delicate ear cartilage, and forcing the ear to bend a certain way can permanently damage the ear. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
The Kinkalow is an active cat that will require daily play, if not multiple times a day. Give your Kinkalow plenty of toys, including interactive ones that will mentally stimulate this intelligent breed. This cat would do well with a few other furry friends to use as an additional energy outlet.
The Kinkalow is known for being curious and intelligent, and—despite their short legs—this kitty can jump surprisingly high. Make sure to cat-proof your home to keep your cat out of danger.
Clean your feline’s litterbox on a daily basis, if not twice a day. Provide your cat with clean, fresh water every day. Consider a cat fountain to increase your cat’s water intake.
You don’t need to worry about feeding your Kinkalow a specific diet. As with all cats, the Kinkalow is a carnivore and will thrive all a high-quality, meat-based diet appropriate for the animal’s size and age. The breed is not prone to overeating, but it’s always important to monitor how much your cat is eating, as any dietary changes may signal health problems.
Try to pick high-quality cat food. Look for labels that list named animal proteins as the first few ingredients. Avoid those that use corn, wheat, and other fillers. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need meat-heavy diets regardless of breed. Animal protein is one of the most essential components of a healthy feline diet. Owners can pick between fresh, human-grade meals, dry kibble, freeze-dried food, or high-quality canned food.
The Kinkalow will quickly pick up on how to use the litter box and other simple tasks. This breed is known for their intelligence, making this cat an excellent candidate for special training. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement to teach your cat new tricks or how to walk on a leash.
Health & Lifespan
The Kinkalow’s short legs are a result of a mutated gene that affects the production of cartilage. Studies show dwarfism in cats is different than in dog breeds. While dwarf dogs like Corgis, Dachshunds, and Basset Hounds commonly experience joint problems, at least one study shows dwarfism has no detrimental effects on the cat’s longevity.
Still, since this cat is a relatively new breed, it should be noted that it may suffer from inflammatory and joint problems as they age. It is essential to ensure the Kinkalow remains at a healthy weight. Extra weight can add pressure on the spine, causing potential joint problems like degenerative joint disease.
This cat also has sensitive ears that are prone to infection. You may notice your Kinkalow has more earwax buildup than the average cat and requires regular cleaning.
With quality food, exercise, and love, expect your Kinkalow to live 12 to 15 years.
The Kinkalow is a rare cat breed and will cost more than the average feline, especially if you purchase from an experienced breeder who can ensure your cat’s health. Expect to pay $1,400 to $2,000 from a reputable breeder. Costs will vary based on the location of the breeder, the cat’s pedigree, and supply vs. demand.
It is unlikely that you will find this breed at a shelter or rescue as this breed is still exceedingly rare.
As Family Pets
Known for their playful personality and endless supply of energy, the Kinkalow is suited for any feline-loving home, including those with small children and other pets. This cat needs an outlet for their energy and is gentle enough to be trusted to interact with kids who want to play with their new kitty. As with all cats, teach your child how to handle and respect your cat, as even the most well-behaved pet can have bad days.
The Kinkalow will give even the most active pets a run for their money. Don’t be surprised to see your Kinkalow playing with your dog and wearing out the other family cats. This kitty has a high prey drive, so constantly monitor your cat when introducing them to smaller animals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do All Kinkalows Have Short Bodies And Curved Ears?
No, not all Kinkalows are born with short legs and curled ears. Depending on the parent’s genetic makeup, they can have just one of these traits or none.
How Big Is A Kinkalow?
Structurally, expect a Kinkalow to look like a standard cat with short, stubby legs. A Kinkalow will range from three to seven pounds.
The Kinkalow is an adaptable cat that fits in with most lifestyles. This cat would be a great candidate for apartment living since they are a relatively quiet cat, but they will also thrive in a large household with plenty of room to run and roughhouse. While this breed is still extremely rare, if you bring a Kinkalow into your life, you’ll have a playful, kitten-like companion for years to come.