Breeds

Kinkalow Cat Breed Profile: Care, Traits, Facts & More

Are you looking to have your very own sausage cat? The Kinkalow cat blends the Munchkin's short build with the American Curl's crescent-shaped ears. Before making the leap, learn everything there is to know about the rare Kinkalow cat breed.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: March 21, 2024 | 7 min read

A white kitten american curl sits on a musical instrument

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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.

Breed Overview
    • weight iconWeight3-7 Pounds
    • height iconHeight7-8 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan12-15 Years
    • color iconColorsVarious colors and patterns
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Exercise
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Kitten Costs

Breed History

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 having a Daschund-like appearance, curled-back ears, and a 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.

Grooming

This crossbreed requires very little grooming. Depending on coat length, you may need to brush your cat weekly to detangle and clean the undercoat. You should also regularly brush 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 it. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Care

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 like tunnels or this floppy fish toy 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. You may want to install cat steps on the wall or other climbing structures to give your kitty a safe place to climb and perch.

Clean your kitty’s litter box 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.

Nutrition

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 with 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. You may also want to consider an indoor-only cat food formula, as well as food spiced for your kitty’s specific life stage.

Training

The Kinkalow will quickly learn how to use the litter box and other simple tasks. This breed is known for their intelligence, making them 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. It’s also wise to learn how to effectively discipline your cat, and deter bad behavior.

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. However, you must keep up with vaccinations and preventative veterinary care visits. With a breed as rare as this, you may also want to consider pet insurance. Insurance can help cover the cost of care in an emergency or illness so you can focus on your sweet pet’s recovery.

Kinkalow Price

The Kinkalow is a rare cat breed that 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. Some kittens can cost $3,000 or more. 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 a Kinkalow 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

Small black and white kitten kinkalow moves forward
Avoid letting your Kinkalow play with small animals unless it has been socialized to do so.

There are plenty of questions about the curious Kinkalow breed. I’ve covered a few below, but if I missed yours, let me know in the comments.

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 but with shorter, stubbier legs. It will weigh between three and seven pounds.

Wondering About Other Rare Cat Breeds?

If you are considering a Kinkalow, you may also want to learn more about other rare cat breeds. The exotic Bengal is a hybrid between a wild Asian Leopard cat and a domestic feline. A second hybrid breed to consider is the Savannah cat, a mix of the serval and a domestic kitty. The Ojos Azules is another rare kitty, best known for their bright blue eyes. Or consider the sweet Birman, another rare breed with enchanting blue eyes. Of course, there are always plenty of kitties of mixed breeds that make wonderful four-legged companions.

A human's hand petting an adorable orange cat who wearing fashion fabric collar and kneading owner body back by front paw.

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