The Munchkin is a relatively new breed of cat characterized by its very short legs, which are caused by a genetic mutation. The name "munchkin" derives from writer L. Frank Baum's diminutive inhabitants of Munchkin Country, originating in the 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The Munchkin is generally described as a sweet-natured, playful, people-oriented, outgoing and intelligent cat which responds well to being handled Sources state that the shortness of their legs does not interfere with their running and leaping abilities! The Munchkin has similar characteristics to normal domestic cats, due to their frequent use as outcrosses. It is a small to medium-sized cat with a moderate body type and medium-plush coat. Male Munchkins typically weigh between 6 and 9 pounds (3–4 kg) and are usually larger than female Munchkins, which typically weigh between 4 and 8 pounds. The hind legs can be slightly longer than the front which creates a slight rise from the shoulder to the rump.