Mary Valley Cattery
A Brief History of the Kinkalow Breed
Cat breeder Terri Harris wondered what would happen if she took one of her Munchkins and bred it to an American Curl. The result was a cat with short legs, like the Munchkin, and ears that curled back like the American Curl. She and other lovers of dwarf breeds developed the Kinkalow throughout the 1990s, and it finally gained recognition as an experimental breed by The International Cat Association in 1997. Harris named one of the original kittens Kinkalow Louie, which is presumably where the name for the breed originated. It may also be assumed that the name refers to the “kink” in their ears and the fact that they are “low” to the ground.
The Kinkalow is currently an experimental combination breed, as it is not recognized by any national or international cat fancy associations, and it is still in a period of breeding in which its characteristics are being stabilized.
Physical Characteristics of a Kinkalow
The Kinkalow has a very unique appearance, it combines the kitten-like appearance of the Munchkin with the unique ears of the American Curl. These cats are short, only about 18 cm tall due to their dwarfed legs. Other than their legs, the cats have a medium build, with a longish, semi-exotic body. Their chests should be well-rounded and their stout legs set evenly apart. The front legs of a Kinkalow are often shorter than their back legs. Although they have firm muscles, Kinkalows should not appear bulky. Their tails are often longer than their bodies. The Kinkalow is known for its soft fur, which can be either short hair or long hair. Their coats come in a variety of shades and patterns, and in exotic combinations thereof.
The Kinkalow’s ears are another important part of their composition. The curled ears should be placed evenly apart on the head and curve backward to an angle between 90 and 180 degrees from the head. When alert, the tips of the ears should point to the skull’s center. Kinkalow kittens are born with straight ears, but they begin curling within a week of their birth. As the kittens grow, the ears change, settling into their final curl by about five months of age. These ears are made of a firm, stiff cartilage that can be very delicate.
Personality Description of a Kinkalow
While maintaining the small, kitten-like stature of their Munchkin roots, the Kinkalow also inherited the American Curl’s “Peter Pan” personality. This means that they are a sweet and playful breed, always ready to lounge in a lap or to play a game of fetch. They can retain their kittenish playfulness well into old age, and their low to the ground stature does not prevent a Kinkalow from keeping up with other playful pets. Indeed, you will often find these short cats perched in surprisingly high places: the top of a desk, for example, or a kitchen counter. Kinkalows make good companions for humans of all ages, as well as both experienced and first-time cat owners. They are not incredibly vocal cats, but they will voice their needs when they are hungry or need attention.
Caring for your Kinkalow
The Kinkalow is easy to feed. They have no special dietary restrictions and they are not particularly prone to overeating. Still, it is always important to monitor the amount of food given to a pet, keeping the amount of food appropriate to the animal’s size and age. The Kinkalow is a very active cat, and they love cat trees, mouse toys, and puzzle toys. A Kinkalow owner should expect to play with their pet at least a few times a day.
Kinkalows need very little grooming. Their coats need at least a weekly brushing, more often if it’s a longhaired cat, to keep the fur from tangling and to help clean out the undercoat. Regular upkeep is also necessary. All grooming activities ought to be introduced to kittens from a young age, so that they will be accustomed to the rituals by the time they are adults.