The Minskin is a relatively new breed of feline that has drawn lots of attention in the cat world. It has a unique look and an interesting pedigree (or history, at least) and is finding a home amongst families searching for something extraordinary.
It takes specific characteristics of four breeds of cat – themselves unusual and rare – and blends them into a lovable, adorable, playful cat that loves families, kids, and other pets.
Despite being so young in existence, Minskins have particular traits and interesting things to note. Thanks to their peculiar looks and hairless bodies, there are considerations you should bear in mind when thinking about adopting one.
In this article, I’ll show you 13 interesting facts worth knowing about the Minskin. I’ll talk about their short history (excuse the pun), some unique aspects of this breed, and a few aspects of care for one of the most friendly cats around.
13 Things to Know About Minskins
These precious purrers have some quirky and, at times, complex traits to keep in mind. So if you’re on the hunt for Minskin kittens for sale in your area, here are 13 things to know before enjoying these cuties for yourself.
1. What Is a Minskin Cat? Some Vital Statistics
Let’s start with a basic description. The name, Minskin, comes from the words “miniature” and “skin.” The reasons for these words as descriptors are not hard to fathom!
Minskin cats are small. A full-grown Minskin cat weighs a maximum of four pounds (1.8 kg). As a result, they almost seem to remain as kittens their entire life – at least in appearance.
They are also really short-legged cats, with the front legs slightly shorter than the hind legs. Because of their cute stumpy legs, they appear to look stocky in a sense. The technical term used is cobby-bodied.
The Minskin are also large-eyed breeds with round heads, not to mention their unusually large ears. Some say this makes it resemble an alien. It also doesn’t help that they appear hairless, though it is not. Its belly is sometimes hairless, but otherwise, a Minskin cat with hair that’s light and thin is almost always the case.
It has very short hair, and the softness and smoothness of its hair make it hard to see it at first. The Minskin’s hair points have thicker and more visible hair, though. Hair points refer to the face, legs, and tail.
Minskins come in a variety of colors, from tabby white with various color points, solids, tortoise shells, and more. You can even find some Rex-coated Minskins if you look hard enough.
2. The Minskin Cat Breed Was Custom Made
It is said that if there ever was a “designed” cat, it’s the Minskin. The breed’s creation is credited to Paul Sorley of Boston in the USA, who desired a cat with hair only in certain areas of its body, like ear tips.
He set about creating a short and small cat breed, and thus the Munchkin Sphynx mix was born. He also added elements of the Devon Rex and Burmese breeds too. Sorley declared success in 2000, and The International Cat Association currently recognizes the Minskin as a new breed.
3. The Minskin Is a Rare Breed
Not only is the Minskin a relatively rare breed, but its originating species are also quite rare. That makes the Minskin double-rare, I guess?
By 2005, Paul Sorley and others had only 50 recognized Minskins in existence. Although that number has grown, the Minskin is still considered a rare and exotic cat.
4. There Are Four Parent Breeds
As mentioned, there were four parent breeds involved in creating the Minskin. Here’s some basic info on them:
The Munchkin is known for its short legs, which were caused by a genetic mutation. It is also known as a sausage cat due to its seemingly elongated body.
Munchkins usually sit on their hind legs for a better view. It’s also worth noting that not all cats born of munchkins will indeed have short legs – it depends on whether a specific gene is carried through.
It’s also worth noting these kitties are often bred with other species, making cute subspecies, such as the Siamese Munchkin mix.
The Sphynx, despite its name, is not actually an Egyptian cat. Rather, it’s a Canadian breed, and like the Minskin has a barely visible, delicate layer of downy hair (so it’s not naked). They have uniquely high metabolisms and, due to this, have a reputation for eating a lot.
This British breed is also relatively small and short-haired, though it does carry a gene that makes it a curly-haired cat. They are strangely intuitive and are one of few cat breeds that can be taught tricks like dogs. That includes walking on a leash and playing fetch.
These lovely American cats are affectionately described as “bricks wrapped in silk” because they are usually heavier than they appear. They also chat with you at every opportunity, making a low rumble sound instead of meowing. Burmese is a type of Siamese cat in that they were bred from at least one part Siamese.
5. The Minskin Hairless Cat Is Not Suited to the Outdoors
Like other hairless or extremely short-haired cats, Minskins are vulnerable to certain outdoor dangers, making them better indoor lap cats. The chief amongst these is the sun. Minskins can get sunburnt very easily, and they’re not very well protected from cold, either.
So unless it’s a perfectly warm day and you have a well-shaded area to play, this kitty will have to be very careful when playing outside. An extra precaution you should take is using cat sunscreen when they do go outside.
6. There Is Some Controversy Around Minskin Breeders Making of the Cat
While TICA (The International Cat Association) recognizes the breed as legitimate, the Cat Fanciers Association does not. The issue seems to boil down to an argument over whether the specific breeding of dwarf cats, in general, is ethical.
Needless to say, the cat community is divided on the issue.
7. Minskin Kittens Are Active and Easy to Train
You might want to prepare for lots of active engagement if adopting a Minskin. They love to climb, jump and run around and will find a way onto or into most things in your home.
But Minskins are also easy to train, provided you start early. They are very intelligent cats and will make up their own adventures if you don’t provide enough toys like a cat tree for them to focus on.
8. Minskins Are Easy but Have Important Caring Needs
The Minskin isn’t a very hairy cat.
You won’t have as many issues with this side of things as shedding isn’t really an issue. Plus, these relatively hypoallergenic cats are a bonus for those with allergy issues.
Although the cat is easy to care for in this regard, it doesn’t mean this aspect can be largely ignored. The relatively hairless nature of the cat makes it prone to other ailments like yeast infections.
A weekly bath is commonly recommended for Minskins, similar to other hairless or near-hairless cats. This helps to avoid irritations and skin conditions. Use a good vet formula antifungal shampoo. Think of it as extra bonding time with your kitty.
9. Minskins Are Friendly
Minskins love people. They are known for being great with families and even children. They also happen to get along well with other pets.
Their athletic energy will also provide endless hours of fun. Watch them chase feather wands around, play with anything dangling loosely, and try to catch that red pointer light you shine on the floor.
Minskins also seem to love a good lap to curl up in. That’s a good thing, as Minskins tend to be quite warm.
Reports suggest that Minskins require lots of human companionship, as they seem most comfortable with close connections. This is not a cat to leave alone for long periods.
10. Minskins Prefer Stable Homes
Minskins do not like moving homes. They are generally uncomfortable with any instability or change. If you move around a lot, a Minskin may not be the best breed for you.
But this same reason makes them great for people with established homes. Senior citizens come to mind, as they tend to live in more sedate surroundings (although a new Minskin might change that). If, as mentioned, you enjoy a good lap cat and a quiet afternoon or evening with a book, a Minskin might be worth considering.
11. Minskins Live a Fairly Long Life
Although the general perception is that dwarf animals live shorter than average lives, this is not always the case. The Minskin lives an average of 12-14 years, which is not particularly short for a cat.
Remember that the breed has only been recognized for about 20 years, so we are still only seeing the first or second generation of Minskins.
12. Minskin Health Issues
The breed is still too young for experts to determine whether Misnkins have breed-specific health issues. As far as current records show, the cat generally has good health with no particular problems. Research and monitoring continue in this regard.
With regards to any special care and diet, the Minskin does not require any specific food or supplements. A normal balanced cat food diet will suffice for a healthy kitty.
13. Minskins Inherit Specific Health Problems From Parent Breeds
There are some problems that the Minskin breed can inherit from its parent breeds. We have mentioned that the Minskin was bred from four different cat breeds. Those individual breeds have traits that can be passed down as vulnerabilities for your Minskin.
Munchkin cats have been known to suffer from spinal problems or veterinary lordosis. Although it’s not unique to the breed or size of the cat, it can be a hereditary issue. There are no specifically-focused reports on whether this condition is more prevalent in Minskins than other cats.
Cuts and Infections
As the Minskin has so little hair, it has less protection from everyday cuts and bruises. It is also susceptible to yeast infections.
Sunburn and Skin Cancer
The Sphynx is prone to sunburn and skin cancer, and the fairly hairless nature of the Minskin skin will leave it open to the same dangers.
The Sphynx and Devon Rex cats are both known to develop heart problems. It is unknown whether this will carry to the Minskin breed in any notable way.
Final Thoughts on Minskin Cats
Minskins are indeed unique and will definitely be a talking point whenever encountered. They are even more special for their ability to socialize well with people and families.
It’s difficult to resist their playful attitude, high intelligence, and warm, cuddly demeanor. As a new breed, they have found a surprisingly willing audience, no doubt due to all these characteristics. Now it’s time for you to decide if getting a Minskin is a good idea for you or if you should consider other dwarf breeds, like the Genetta cat.