Skookum cats are a LaPerm Munchkin cat mix. Small, light with shortened legs they are surprisingly active and confident for their build. They love their owners fiercely and make loyal companions, provided you escape some of the more likely health problems associated with their unusual shape. Today I’ll help you to understand what it means to be a dwarf cat breed, and balance up the pros and cons of this unique kitty.
- What is a Skookum cat?
- Appearance, size and weight
- Curly coats and colors
- Skookum cat behavior
- Health issues and ethical conundrums
This new and rare breed of cat are recognized as an experimental breed by some registries, but breeders are working hard to make them a household name. But is this necessarily a good thing?
What Is A Skookum Cat?
Skookum cats are combination of Munchkin cats and LaPerm cats. Munchkins are known for their short legs. LaPerms are known for their curly coats. The aim when these two breeds are combined, is to create a short-legged and curly-coated cat. They inherit the sweet personalities of both parent breeds. They are also intelligent, calm and affectionate cats.
Why Are They Called Skookum Cats?
The word “rex” is often used to show that a cat breed has curly hair. For example, the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, and Selkirk Rex are all breeds with crinkly hair. While the curly-haired Skookum does not follow suit, it does have an interesting name.
The name “Skookum” has Native American origins, coming from a Chinook Jargon word meaning “mighty” or “powerful.” That’s a pretty big moniker for such a small cat to live up to!
One of the traits of this new breed is its distinct tail. It is long, and plumed with a rounded tip Large, pointed ears perch on their wedge-shaped heads, and the Skookum has medium-to-large, almond-shaped eyes.
Because of their short legs, Skookum cats have stocky bodies that stay low to the ground. Their front legs are always shorter than their back legs. We will look at what this unnatural body stature means for them health wise later on in this article.
Skookum Cat Size
Skookums are small cats. Females usually weigh 3-5 pounds. Males are slightly larger, about 5-7 pounds. Because of their short legs, you will want to make sure your Skookum gets enough exercise so that it can stay mobile.
Skookum Cat Coats
A Skookum’s curled coat is one of its most special features, with males being a tighter curl than females. The cats even have curled whiskers. Their beautiful fur can be any color or pattern that Munchkins or LaPerms come in, including colorpoint, solid, and bicolor.
Like the LaPerm, Skookum coats do not require much grooming. Their hair is more coarse than most cats, making it less tangly and easier to brush. To keep the Skookum coat healthy, brush it one or two times a week.
It is helpful to get your long haired cat used to grooming from a young age, so that they happily accept this activity. Start with short sessions with a soft brush.
Skookum Cat Personality
These little cats have a lot of energy and like to play the fool. They are known to speed around the house, chasing after toys and treats. They love to play and even like the company of children, dogs, and other cats. Their legs do not stop them from jumping high to explore every corner of the house. However, this may be problematic as there are concerns that they are not as structurally sound as your average moggy.
They are also highly intelligent, with the ability to open doors and scoop treats out of hard-to-reach places. But along with the LaPerm’s silly antics comes an affectionate nature. These cats love to cuddle up with just about anyone.
If you’re looking for a cat that can get along with most pets and people and will cuddle you as often as it will beg to play, a Skookum cat could be the choice for you.
These cats are energetic, so you should have no problem getting your Skookum to stay active. However, this cute exaggerated shape and size have some serious potential health implications.
Health Problems and Special Care
Dwarfism in cats and exaggerated breeding have health implications. Because Skookums are bred to be short-legged, kittens may be born with limb deformities. Just like the similarly diminutive Lambkin Cat, their little legs are a result of a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia.
Breeders of Munchkin cats are keen to assure kitten buyers that they do not suffer as a result of their achondroplasia, however veterinarians are not so sure with many condeming the breeding of munchkin cats or their mixes.
Skookum kittens are unpredictable. A Munchkin and a LaPerm do not always create the short-legged, curly-haired cat. And even when two Skookums are bred, the kittens do not always match the desired traits.
Depending on demand, they may be quite expensive. You can expect to pay around $2,000 to take your Skookum home. If you are willing to pay the price, pet Skookum cats are great for those who love active yet affectionate breeds. When socialized from a young age, these cats are great with pets and children, making them an ideal companion for the family.
A Question Of Ethics
When picking a new pet health should be one of the most important considerations. Not everyone agrees on whether it’s okay to breed animals with congenital problems, but personally I think it’s a practice not to be encouraged.
Only you can decide whether you are happy to risk your cat’s future health in order to get the look you want, or whether you will go with another similarly well tempered breed until we have the results of the study on the longevity and health of Munchkin cats. Some other lovely, fun breeds of cat you might like to consider include: