Federation Internationale Feline World Cat Federation
Late in the 20th century, an American cat breeder named Terri Harris decided to cross Selkirk Rex cats with Munchkins to get a short-legged cat with a curly rex coat. This could be done because the genes affecting the coat and legs were dominant and would be passed on to all kittens. However, the genetics involved are complex, and it wasn’t easy to get kittens that had just the right look. Some had the Selkirk Rex’s tousled fur, but their legs were normal in length; others had short Munchkin legs, but their fur was straight. A few short-legged kittens were born with rex coats. They were healthy and looked like little sheep, with tightly curled fur of various lengths, so of course they were called Lambkins.
Since then, dozens of Lambkins have appeared, enough for the new breed to be recognized by the Dwarf Cat Association and the New Zealand Cat Registry. Today, Lambkin cats are also one of the International Cat Association’s preliminary new breeds. It’s a slow road to acceptance in the world of cat fanciers because some people feel that it is cruel to breed dwarf cats. Breeders disagree, but the shaggy little Lambkin cat is gradually winning over the world, one cat lover at a time.
Lambkins resemble short-legged lambs, but they have a long tail and their large, brilliant eyes are set in a perfectly proportioned feline face. These cats are compact, muscular, and heavy-boned. Their wavy coat comes in two lengths and may have any color or pattern.
Wedge is rounded.
Cheekbones are high.
Chin is firm.
Eyes are big, wide-set.
Body size is small to medium. Sturdy and full, without being massive.
Legs are short, well-developed muscles, thick bones.
Hind legs longer than forelegs.
Tail is long, furry, tapering to a rounded tip.
Fur can be medium or long and curly. All colors and patterns.
Weight — 2-4 kg.
Lambkin cats have inherited the tolerant, mellow temperament of the Selkirk Rex. They are easygoing and get along well with guests and with resident pets, including dogs. It’s a good thing that Lambkins are extroverted, because everybody will want to touch their beautiful fur. These calm little cats enjoy being around humans, including children (who may need a reminder not to tug hard on those curls).
Lambkins are fleecy little lap cats that have a lot of love to give and don’t ask for much in return. This makes them excellent companions. In a family or group setting, your Lambkin will likely get along with everyone instead of bonding with one or two individuals. Lambkins are too laid-back to be demanding – that is, unless they are ignored for a long time. Then they won’t hesitate to come up and nudge you.
A Lambkin doesn’t mind your being away during the work day. It may come to greet you and look for interaction when you return home. However, if you are frequently away, it might be a good idea to have other pets around so your affectionate furball won’t get lonely.
Lambkins are less energetic than other rex breeds, which makes these cats much less stressful to live with. They take life as it comes, but they also have a playful side. You’ll be surprised at their agility and hustle.
Lambkin cats run around in leaps and bounds, like a ferret. They are built close to the ground and can take corners at high speed. Their hind legs are very strong. A Lambkin can easily jump up to high places, including counters, as it explores every inch of its world.
These fleecy clowns are also intelligent. You will have to lock up anything you don’t want Kitty to get into. Lambkin cats can figure out how doors and drawers work. However, all your Lambkin wants to do is to make you happy. Give it plenty of attention and interact with Kitty frequently, and it will stay out of trouble and do whatever you wish.
When your Lambkin is very young, it may have straight hair or even no fur at all until it grows its adult coat. Once that’s in, the coat should have regular brushing and combing. Claws and teeth also require some attention.
Lifespan — 12-16 years.
Good with children.
Regular brushing required.
It doesn’t hurt to screen your Lambkin for orthopedic problems because of its short legs. Pedigreed cat breeds tend to have more hereditary illnesses associated with them, so a young Lambkin should be screened for a few health problems even though its parent breeds are generally healthy. Lambkins also need the routine vaccinations required for all domestic cats.