Dwarf cats are adorable, there’s no question about that. With the littlest of legs and the biggest of purrsonalities, they’re the perfect pets for homes that are short on space. We’re kidding about that, obviously, but we aren’t kidding that dwarf cats never grow up.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a perma-kitten or trying to get your hands on a kittenish creature that’s guaranteed to attract attention, you might be onto something.
Dwarf cats have been taking the internet by storm for quite some time, with Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub putting smiles on people’s faces with a little help of a genetic mutation.
Depending on what your sources are, you might not be aware that dwarf cats aren’t a breed. Dwarf cat, munchkin cat, and perma-kitten are terms used to describe cats of different breeds that suffer from a condition known as dwarfism which occurs due to a genetic mutation.
Dwarf cats are cute, but they’re oftentimes a consequence of reckless breeding for the sake of creating cats with stubby legs and smooshy faces. These little kitties are often born with neurological problems, pulmonary problems, mobility problems, and severely limiting physical defects.
Grumpy Cat, for example, ended up with disproportionately short front legs which caused her to have an unsteady gait. Lil Bub was even worse with osteoporosis; short, stubby legs that prevented the poor thing from leaping; and no teeth, which caused the permanently protruding tongue everyone adored.
Both cats were born with “accidental” dwarfism, but we do need to mention that there are breeders out there that don’t care for cats’ health and breed genetically mutated cats for the sake of profit.
Munchie, the protagonist of the story we’re bringing you today was born with a genetic mutation, too. The story starts with Munchie roaming the streets of Wolverhampton, England when he was spotted by a good Samaritan.
Now, Munchie looked like a regular kitten – with a ginger and white coat, muddy blue eyes, and perked-up ears, he was a cutie. Needless to say, the good Samaritan didn’t want to depart from the kitten and decided to stop by the vet clinic nearby to check whether they’d be able to help.
When the two arrived at the office, they were met by a woman named Emilie Tomlinson who was more than happy to help. Emilie was smitten by the kitten from the get-go.
When she finished the checkup, she determined that the kitten was three to four weeks of age and that he was healthy – for the most part. He was suffering from bilateral corneal edema which, according to Emilie, didn’t affect the kitten’s sight.
He was going to need treatment, but Emilie wasn’t worried considering he was a happy and healthy kitten. Emilie didn’t think twice before deciding to adopt the kitten.
Munchie didn’t have anywhere to go and she was more than happy to help. When Emilie took Munchie home, the two became BFFs right away. Munchie was the cutest cat ever.
Whether the two were snuggling on the sofa, treating themselves to a delicious dinner, or playing with toys, they were always having fun.
We’d go as far as to argue that Emilie was Munchie’s love at first sight. The kitten was adamant about following her everywhere she went, headbutting her hand, and hopping on top of her.
Within the following few weeks, Emilie noticed something was wrong with Munchie because he wasn’t growing whatsoever.
Soon, Munchie’s health deteriorated and she had to take him to the hospital. Munchie spent four nights at the hospital where he was diagnosed with a rare condition called hypoparathyroidism, which pretty much meant he had abnormally low blood calcium levels.
He was admitted for ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests, and intravenous fluid therapy. He showed a 0.52 calcium level which was so surprising that the vet decided to redo the test. He couldn’t believe that Munchie was alive with such low calcium.
He started treatment right away and Emilie was told he’d need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements for the rest of his life. He was lucky to have been diagnosed considering the fact that the vet didn’t even test for hyperparathyroidism – it was a lucky catch.
Munchie was better after the treatment. He was eating better and putting on weight, but he wasn’t growing. Emilie was told that Munchie wasn’t going to grow due to a combination of dwarfism and hyperparathyroidism. Munchie was a perma-kitten, and Emilie was okay with that.
Not to mention that Emilie’s other pets accepted and adored Munchie regardless of what he looked like. Bella the doggo accepted the little newcomer right away, and Aslan the ginger cat needed some time to get used to Munchie.
With time, Munchie grew a little bit – at seven months old, he weighed as much as an average kitten, around 3.7 pounds. We do need to mention that Munchie became an internet sensation, too, when Emilie decided to start posting about the curious ginger cat that couldn’t get bigger than a kitten.
Munchie’s adventures attracted quite a following on Instagram, and he became somewhat of a celebrity with a couple of commercials, covers, and brand deals. Munchie might have been a tiny, tiny guy, but there’s no question that he was meant to do big things.
We’re saddened to say that Munchie passed away sooner than Emilie expected. Munchie’s health deteriorated overnight and the doctors weren’t able to do anything.
Emilie wrote, “We spent a long time with him hugging him, kissing him, talking to him and he nestled into my neck purring away… We were there until the end.” We’re sending lots of love to Emilie and the rest of Munchie’s family!