Lambkin Cat

The Lambkin is a curly-haired Munchkin dwarf breed that was created in the ’90s by crossing Selkirk Rex with Munchkin. Both of these breeds contribute a dominant gene to their offspring, with Selkirk Rex passing on genes for curly hair, and the Munchkin providing the genetic makeup for short legs as a result of hypochondroplasia. This is a genetic form of dwarfism where the growth of the limbs is stunted, but the rest of the body grows at a normal rate.

The result is one of the rarest cat breeds: a white dwarf cat that looks akin to a baby lamb, which is what earns this breed its memorable name. While the breed is also known by the name Nanus Rex, here at Catpointers we think Lambkin is a much better name for this curly rascal!

Appearance

The parents of Lambkins (Munchkin and Selkirk Rex) can be encountered in a wide range of colors and patterns, as well as long and short-haired variants. As a result, Lambkin kitties are equally diverse! The only things consistent among all Lambkins are the curly coat, short and stocky legs, curved & fluffy tail which ends in a rounded tip, and the large round eyes.

Lambkins and related dwarf cats have a recognizable waddle as they walk, which is due to their short legs.

Coat

Rex breeds all have a curly undercoat, but they lack the topcoat. In the case of the Lambkin, this results in a pretty unique kind of fur that looks like wool and is super soft to the touch, much like the coat of a young lamb!

Personality

Lambkins and other Munchkin cats are very affectionate and could be described as having calm and patient personalities. They love playing games with their owners, and will definitely appreciate being challenged to a game of hide-and-seek every so often.

Since Lambkins are social creatures that love being around people and other animals, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of affection and stimulation. It’s also a good idea to buy some puzzles and toys to keep them occupied while you are away from home.

Grooming

Dwarf cats like the Lambkin usually need your help in the grooming department, since they often have difficulties keeping themselves in great shape. You are therefore advised to create a solid routine in order to help keep the plush coat healthy.

To prevent the curly hairs from matting, we recommend brushing your Lambkin at least a few times a week. But be careful, as brushing with too much force can easily break the delicate curls of a Lambkin! For this reason, we suggest using a soft brush with pins.

Other children & Pets

Their easy-going character makes Lambkins a perfect choice for families with children and the elderly. You can expect this kitty to get along well with everyone in the family, because they are very tolerant of newcomers and warm towards any who will treat them with respect.

They need a lot of attention

Of course, the other side of the medallion is that cats with calm personalities are often somewhat needy, and that is certainly the case with Lambkins. This breed doesn’t do well when left to its own devices. In fact, they might just follow you around the house if you let them!

Hereditary Diseases & Other Considerations

While dwarf cats are infinitely cute, they also have genetic vulnerabilities that owners should stay mindful of. Munchkin cross-breeds are thought to enjoy a lower quality of life compared to “normal” cat breeds, which is definitely somethign to consider. It is suspected that their tiny legs make it more difficult to perform various normal activities. Here are a few more things you’ll likely want to know:

  • Arthritis – The weight of an animal is distributed on the joints, and this distribution is altered in cats with smaller legs. As a consequence, these breeds are more prone to developing joint problems later in life, making it increasingly difficult to move around, jump to higher areas, and do simple things like visit a litter box. Not much can be done to prevent arthritis.
  • Spinal problems – It remains unclear whether dwarfism is linked to an increased occurrence of problems with the vertebrea.
  • Pectus Excavatum – Dwarf kittens are known to suffer from this genetic disease which will result in a malformed chest. Needless to say, this disease is associated with serious health risks.

Sources:

  • http://felinegenetics.missouri.edu/feline-research-projects/dwarfism
  • https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-breeds/lambkin

FAQ

Where can I buy a lambkin cat?

Finding one won’t be easy as they are considered one of, if not, the rarest cats in the world. If you’re lucky enough to find someone selling them, be absolutely sure it is a reputable breeder you’re buying from. This kitty can be born with serious health issues as a consequence of their dwarfism.

Are lambkin cats hypoallergenic?

No, they do shed hair and will trigger allergies if you are sensitive.

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