What is achondroplasia?
Achondroplasia (ACH) is a form of osteochondrodysplasia, which is a general term for the abnormal development (dysplasia) of the bones (osteo) and cartilage (chondro). This hereditary disorder is characterised by short legs with a normal body and head and is what gives the Munchkin cat its unique appearance.
Achondroplasia is a form of dwarfism and is caused by a mutation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene. This gene is autosomal dominant, which means the cat only needs to inherit the gene from one parent to be short-legged and it is lethal in its homozygous form, which occurs when kittens have two copies of the gene, one from each parent.