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Home > Cats > Kinkalow Cat: Breed Info, Temperament & Traits (With Pictures)

Kinkalow Cat: Breed Info, Temperament & Traits (With Pictures)


Short in stature but big in personality, the Kinkalow is not a well-known cat breed but the secret about their many charms may get out soon! These active, adorable cats are a cross between the Munchkin and American Curl cats. The resulting hybrid combines the short legs and unique kinked ears of the parent breeds into a surprisingly energetic and hardy cat.

Breed Overview


7 – 8 inches


3 – 7 pounds


12 – 15 years


Any color or pattern, including white, calico, tabby, gray, orange, black

Suitable for:

Individuals, families, or seniors looking for a playful, social, affectionate cat


Curious, playful, energetic, social, good with other pets

Kinkalows make fantastic pets for nearly any household. If you think yours might be one of them, read on to learn everything you need to know about this rare and unusual cat breed.

Kinkalow Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Kinkalow Kittens

Kinkalows are a newer, still relatively rare cat breed. Because of this, the price of a kitten won’t be cheap.

You may see higher or lower prices, depending on how many breeders are in your area. Even if you don’t have many options, try to research your chosen breeder as thoroughly as possible and make sure they prioritize the health of their animals.

Many cat owners prefer to adopt rather than shop, but if you have your heart set on a Kinkalow, you may be out of luck. These cats are so uncommon you’re unlikely to find one at a shelter or rescue organization. If you do, it will probably be an adult cat rather than a kitten.

Munchkin VS. American Curl
Image Credit: Left – Munchkin (MDavidova, Shutterstock); Right – American Curl (Linn Currie, Shutterstock)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Kinkalow

Kinkalows may be small but their personalities sure aren’t! These cats are typically outgoing, social, curious, and love interacting with their owners. They are also smart, to the point where they can get themselves into trouble without a good outlet for their mental strengths.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Friendly, playful, and affectionate, Kinkalows generally make lovely family pets. They enjoy a good romp through the house with energetic younger kids or a soothing snuggle on the couch with grownups or teenagers. Their social nature means they should enjoy being part of a busy, active family life, complete with kid’s playdates and neighborhood game nights.

Unlike some cat breeds, Kinkalows crave regular time with their humans. They may not enjoy living in a home where they spend long hours on their own while everyone is at work or school.

Younger kids and toddlers should always be supervised around pets until they learn how to handle them appropriately. This is especially vital for a breed like the Kinkalow, whose body type puts them more at risk of injury (details on this later.)

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Friendly and easy-going Kinkalows tend to fit right into a household with other pets. This is especially true if they are raised around other animals from kittenhood. Of course, you should always introduce new pets to each other slowly and supervise them to ensure everyone is getting along.

Kinkalows have many “dog-like” tendencies and may enjoy the company of a canine friend. Again, be aware that the Kinkalow could be more easily injured if the dog and cat enjoy wrestling or other rowdy activities.

Generally, you should keep any birds or small exotic pets separate from a cat, even one as small as the Kinkalow. Predator stress can cause health issues for the exotics.


Things to Know When Owning a Kinkalow:

Before you start the (likely) long search for a reputable breeder, here are some things you should know when owning a Kinkalow.

Food & Diet Requirements

Healthy Kinkalows typically don’t have any special diet requirements. Your vet can help you pick an appropriate food that is nutritionally balanced. If you prefer to feed a homemade rather than commercial cat food, you’ll also need your vet’s help to craft the recipe and include all essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Carrying too much weight puts unnecessary stress on the Kinkalow’s joints and spine, possibly leading to pain and injury. Don’t overfeed your cat, no matter how much they may beg for extra treats! Every cat’s metabolism is different but your vet can help you calculate how many calories your Kinkalow requires per day as a starting point.

Exercise 🐈

Kinkalows have a lot of energy! To help them stay fit and avoid boredom, make sure they have plenty of toys, scratching posts, and even cat trees to climb. Try to schedule regular times to actively interact and play with your cat.

Playing with your cat daily helps ensure they get their exercise and also allows you to strengthen your bond with your Kinkalow.

To help satisfy their curiosity and need for mental stimulation, consider offering your Kinkalow puzzle toys or play objects that allow them to use their natural hunting and stalking instincts.

Training 🧶

Not only are Kinkalows intelligent cats, but they’re also more eager to please their owners than some other breeds. These traits make them fairly responsive to training. Many cat owners stop the training process once their kitties learn to use a litter box.

However, if you want to teach your Kinkalow other commands or tricks you’ll likely have some success. Cats tend to respond best to positive reinforcement training methods, especially if the reinforcement comes in the form of tasty treats!

Grooming ✂️

The Kinkalow is not a short-coated breed but typically has medium-long hair. They shed regularly and are not considered hypoallergenic pets. Regular brushing helps control the shedding and keeps the Kinkalow’s coat looking shiny and healthy.

Besides brushing, Kinkalows should have their nails trimmed regularly and receive some sort of dental care, whether it’s teeth brushing, dental treats, or oral health water additives.

Pay extra attention to your Kinkalow’s ears if they inherit the unique American Curl ear shape. The kink or curl may be cute but it leaves the ear canal more exposed to getting dirty. Check for wax or dirt buildups regularly and clean the ears as needed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Joint disease
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal injuries

As a cross between two breeds, the Kinkalow is prone to health conditions inherited from either parent. Both Munchkins and American Curls possess physical traits–short legs and curled ears–that are the result of a natural genetic mutation. While the mutation may be natural, continuing to deliberately breed cats who possess it is not without controversy.

American Curl cats are generally healthy with no known inherited conditions to pass on to the Kinkalow. Short-legged Kinkalows are more susceptible to Munchkin health concerns related to their anatomy.

Kinkalows may be more prone to joint disease and arthritis because of their short legs.

Similar to long and short dogs like the Dachshund, Kinkalows may be more prone to spinal problems or injuries.

In terms of minor conditions, the Kinkalow’s curled ears could make them more likely to get ear infections.


Male vs Female

Male and female Kinkalows are similar in temperament, energy level, and behavior. Males are usually a bit taller and heavier than females. If left unneutered, male Kinkalows will develop unpleasant habits like urine spraying and a distinct, musky odor once they reach sexual maturity.

Unspayed females will go into heat about twice per year. During this time, they may be moody, vocal, and will need to be kept away from males to avoid accidental pregnancy.

Both male and female Kinkalows make excellent pets and the choice of genders usually comes down to which you prefer or what kittens are available.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Kinkalow

1. The Kinkalow breed hasn’t existed for very long.

An American breeder first crossed the Munchkin and American Curl in the mid-1990s as an experiment to see what she would produce.

2. The origin of their name is a bit uncertain.

One of the first hybrid kittens developed by the breeder had the term “Kinkalow” as part of his registered name. It is thought that the word refers to the physical appearance of the cats, curled or “kinked” ears and short legs keeping them low to the ground. However, it’s not known for sure if this is the true origin.

3. Kinkalows are still in the “experimental” stage.

Because Kinkalows are such a new breed, they aren’t fully recognized by the major purebred cat associations. The International Cat Association has only given Kinkalows Experimental Breed Status, meaning they are still in development.


Final Thoughts

If you have your heart set on a Kinkalow, make sure you are realistic about how much money you can spend before you commit to a purchase. Paying for the cat itself is just the first in a lifetime of potential expenses you’ll be dealing with. Responsible pet ownership sometimes requires some difficult choices. If you’ve done your research and made your budget, you can be prepared for a lifetime of affection and entertainment from your new Kinkalow.

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Featured Image Credit: Anciens Huang, Shutterstock

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