Scottish Fold vs Scottish Fold Munchkins – Differences and Similarities

What I want to discuss in this article is two of the cutest breeds: Scottish Fold and Scottish Fold Munchkins. I’ll go through some history, particularities for both breeds, and the health issues they might have.

We all know it only takes a few scrolls to find a new cat on your feed. Black cats, white cats, all kinds of shapes and breeds. We all like seeing cute, small cats. In fact, we’ve liked cats ever since Ancient Egypt. That’s why humans have taken an extra step to make cats cuter and started modifying them genetically. That’s how we ended up with impossibly cute species, like Munchkin cats or Scottish Folds. But the question is to what extent will that hurt the animal?

Scottish Fold


If you own a Scottish Fold, you might have read about its history before. Or maybe you haven’t. But I’ll keep it short.

The Scottish Fold has first made an appearance in 1961. A shepherd named William Ross saw Susie at a farm in Scotland. He then asked the owners if he could have one of the kittens of her litter. That’s how he proceeded to breed from the original. What’s unique about this particular breed is its folded ears. This has given her many names, as it resembles an owl or a teddy bear.

The Scottish Folds come in two types: folded ear and normal, straight ear. What causes the folded ear is the result of a genetic mutation due to an incomplete dominant gene.

What you should know about Scottish Fold:

  • They sit in adorable positions. They’re extremely photogenic and has owned the heart of many cat lovers, including famous superstars Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.
  • Sometimes they sleep like people, on their backs.
  • They are great with any member of your family. This is a very loving breed, and they get along great with children or even other pets. They also are great for one-member families, and they will focus all their love on you.
  • Greater risk for joint problems even since their early months, unlike average cats. Due to the incomplete dominant gene, they could experience pain and stiffness in their ankles, knees and even tail.
  • You shouldn’t breed two Scottish Folds. You will not get a healthy Scottish Fold, but a litter with hearing problems. The hearing problems are due to the folded ears issue.
  • They’re typically lazy animals. While they might have a surge of energy, they’re generally quiet and enjoy sleep as much as everybody else.

Scottish Fold Munchkin

You may be wondering already what are the differences between the Scottish Folds and Scottish Fold Munchkins?

The Scottish Fold Munchkin is a cross between a Scottish Fold and a Munchkin cat. Munchkin cats are known for their short legs[1]. So naturally, people wanted to combine the cute ears with the short legs. This mix has been accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) as an experimental breed and they are also known as Scottish Kilts.

You’ve surely thought of getting one yourself after seeing how cute they are. And besides their obvious cuteness, they’re also great pets, as well. The Scottish Kilts have big personalities and high energy. They enjoy running, stalking, playing and chasing. And are feisty, adventurous and curious. But they’re also loving! Just like Scottish Folds, they enjoy attention and being surrounded by their owners. They are great with kids, and they get along with everybody. And they make great additions to your Instagram!

So here are some things you might not know:

– These cats are very rare and quite possibly the most difficult kitten to breed. The waiting list for such a specimen might take up to a year. You also must make sure it’s an authorized breeder. Scottish Folds, in general, are very difficult to breed and to have a healthy cat, you shouldn’t breed a Scottish Fold with another. So the stakes are even higher when it comes to Scottish Kilts.

– Despite being an experimental breed, they are not as unhealthy as one might think. Of course, it has the same health issues as the Scottish Fold (related to its frail bone structure and predisposition to arthritis). But if you understand the basics and know how to take care of them, they will survive as long as you care for them.

– The short legs come from a genetic mutation that produces short legs. Just like the case with the folded ears. However, this does not interfere with their ability to climb, jump and enjoy themselves.

What are the risks?

Since both breeds (Scottish Fold and Munchkin) are more at risk than the average cat, it’s normal they are more prone to health issues. The biggest issue Munchkin Scottish Folds have is related to their legs/ joints.

It’s possible they might have mobility issues even from a young age. That could lead to pain when walking or jumping. They could also develop arthritis from a young age because of how they have been bred. Although arthritis affects old cats, because of their cartilage problems when young, they could get it much sooner than average cats.

Also, due to the Scottish Fold part, there are some cats with a flatter face. That could sometimes lead to issues with eye discharge. Though this does not usually cause discomfort or increase the risk of infection, you have to pay more attention to its eyes.

Some cats also show joint problems as early as four to six months old. The chance of having problems is higher if the kitten comes from a parent with folded ears and one with straight ears.

In the worst case scenario, the joints including the cat’s tail, ankles and knees will have problems. While this causes pain to your cat, there are options to ease your cat’s pain. While there is no cure, it can be treated, and it’s not life-threatening.

Besides these joint issues, they are generally healthy cats. They do not require much assistance, and with a healthy diet, you shouldn’t have to worried about their general health.

But how will this affect the breeds in the future?

Just like the case with dogs, inbreeding can lead to serious health problems. The pursuit of a prettier breed might lead to life-threatening diseases and deformities like cancer, kidney disease or joint problems.

Before you go…

If you want to get a cat, you have to ask yourselves some questions. Is the whole aesthetics worth the pain your cat might have? And if you have one already, don’t joke around with its health. Take the cat to the vet regularly, and give it a healthy diet. Other than that, you’re free to post as many cute pictures of your cat as you want!

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