Vets are currently slamming a recurring trend and demand for short-legged sausage cats.
Celebs including Paris Hilton have helped to raise their own social profile by posting snaps of them on social media.
“Munchkin” cats can cost up to $500 but have a defective gene which causes their legs grow only to around 3ins, leaving them unable to run or jump properly.
Andrew Prentis, who is of Hyde Park Veterinary Centre in Central London, stated: “Why would you want to breed a cat that effectively doesn’t have any legs?
“If you want to see a short-legged cat, go and watch a cartoon. Leave the cat alone.”
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, which is the leading body for registering cats in Britain, has refused to recognize the breed.
Director Rosemary Fisher stated: “It is distressing to see kittens and puppies bred simply for the cuteness factor.
“Some Munchkins, for example, suffer from lordosis, a condition in which spinal muscles grow too short, causing the spine to arch inwards.”
The animals are named after the munchkins from The Wizard of Oz and they originated from a mutation in a litter born in Louisiana in 1983.
However, if two Munchkins breed together their kittens are unlikely to survive because of a “lethal” mutant gene.
The shortest cat in the world is a nine-year-old sausage hailing from Napa, California, named Lillieput – who is just 13.3cm (5.25in) tall.