While Scotland’s Scottish Folds are seriously impossible to resist—but across the Atlantic, the U.S. has the perfectly unique American Curl.
Both cat breeds have the most unique ears you might have ever seen, which spring from genetic mutations—except the Scottish Folds have forward-flopping ears, whereas the Curl’s flip backward.
Many may consider the them to be an odd selection, but be rest assured… The oddness of American curls is what makes them so popular.
This is an instantly recognizable breed of cat and a glance at this curly cutie makes you know immediately which breed it is.
Their backward-curled ears will either make you curious or make you gush. But the truth is these cats are more than their ears.
This is an excellent breed for families because of their personalities. Trust us when we say that they are a fairly easy pet cat to keep even though their unusual appearance almost makes them look like a lynx.
American Curl Cat Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: USA
- Size: Medium
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 12-15 Years
- Height: Male:18-20 Inches (45 – 50 Cm), Female: 18-20 Inches (45 – 50 Cm)
- Weight: Males: 3 – 4.5 Kg (7-10 Lbs) And Females: 2.25 – 3.5 Kg (5-8 Lbs)
- Coat Appearance: Two Kinds Of Coats, Long Or Short
- Coat Colors: White, Blue, Black, Red, Cream, Chocolate, Lilac, Silver, Golden, Butter Cream
- Temperament: Affectionate, Calm, Cheerful, Easygoing, Playful, People-Oriented, Faithful, Interactive
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: Yes
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Average
- Shedding: Minimal
- Suitable For Apartments: Yes
- Good For First Time Owners: Yes
- Health Issues: Healthy Breed
- Litter Size: 3- 6 Kittens
- Average Price: $700 To $2,000
American Curl History
It is a fairly recent discovery in Lakewood, California- originating from a black, long-silky haired female stray kitten with curled ears in 1981.
This kitten was befriended by a couple – John and Grace Ruga when they found the stray dog on their doorstep one day.
The couple named her after the princess “Shulamith” from the Old Testament book the Song of Solomon which means “black but comely” and she became the structural prototype of the later American Curl breed.
Afterward, Shulamith gave birth to a litter of four kittens and two of them displayed the same trait as their mother, and so did her descendants, which grabbed the interest of a cat fancier named Nancy Kiester.
In 1983, Kiester exhibited these unique cats at a cat show in Palm Springs, California, and was received positively.
With the help of Jean Grimm (a Scottish Fold Breeder and a CFA judge), this breed was formally recognized as “The American Curl” in 1987 by the International Cat Association (TICA) and by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1993.
According to Feline geneticists, the curled ear trait of the American Curl is caused by a spontaneous mutation which involves a dominant ear-curling gene.
This means any cat with just 1 copy of the gene will inherit the curled ears. Despite the fact that no health risks are connected with this mutation, some cat associations consider it to be a fault and do not accept it as an official breed.
American Curl Appearance And Coat Color
This cat breed may be found in the following prominent colors.
- Butter Cream
The breed standard for American curls adopted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) lists a total of 69 different possible coat color combinations!
- Solid color
These cats have two kinds of coats, long or short. Originally they had long coats only, but short-haired American Curls emerged later on. They are the only breed which is recognized in both its short-haired and long-haired forms.
Long-haired And Short-haired American Curls
Long-haired American Curls have little more thick sets of whiskers protruding from each curled ear than their short-haired counterparts. Both varieties of coats are very soft and silky.
The only difference is longhair American Curl has (as you’ve guessed it) a longer silky, soft coat, with a fuller tail.
They have a minimal undercoat, and their coat varieties come in many shapes and patterns. One of the striking things about American Curls is no two cats are similar.
They are low shedding cats. However, expect this cat to shed moderately year-round and they are not hypoallergenic.
Taking proper care of the cat with regular grooming, proper nutrition and keeping the shedding limited to a small area (a pet bed), will make it more manageable and minimize shedding.
American Curl Weight And Lifespan
Males: 3 – 4.5 kg (7-10 lbs) and Females: 2.25 – 3.5 Kg (5-8 lbs)
The fiction of feline immortality states that cats have 9 lives. Nevertheless, the world record for the longest living cat lived for over 20 years.
Their life expectancy may actually be considered better than most breeds which signify that the mutation is not a genetic defect.
The average life expectancy is a minimum of 12 years, but their life expectancy can match the world record. Obviously, this is all dependent on factors such as possible pre-existing health conditions, proper care, diet, and exercise.
American Curl Personality
They are stable and calm temperament. easygoing, playful, people-oriented, faithful, interactive and highly affectionate.
These cats retain their kitten-like attitude well into adulthood.
They are remarkably adaptable to new situations and not easily stressed.
Sometimes these awesome cats are inclined to naughtiness, rarely territorial and are respectful of other animals. What else do you need?
More and more people are getting this exciting breed every day. They can now also be found all across North America, Europe, and Japan.
A Popular illustration that depicts the personality differences between the Scottish Fold and American Curl summarizes the temperament of American Curls
“While you make dinner, a Scottish Fold will be seated on the couch and wait – the American Curl will help you in making the dinner!”
Who Gets Along With American curls?
- First-time cat owners
- Family with kids
- Singles with other pets
- Apartment dwellers, seniors
Feeding The Curls
They need basic cat nutrition to have a healthy life. They require more protein to have better energy. Carry in mind, the food must be with a lesser amount of carbohydrates. For better nutritional balance fruits and vegetables must be included in the daily diet.
Here is our list of the best Cat Foods for your Cat:
1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Adult Canned Wet Cat Food
2. Sheba Perfect PORTIONS Cuts in Gravy Entrée Wet Cat Food
3. Iams Proactive Health Original Adult Dry Cat Food
4. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Green Pea & Duck
5. Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Collection Wet Cat Food
Names For Your Kittens
To keep up with this unique breed, what better way to augment the uniqueness than with unique names?
Suncurl Cattery breeder Paula Van Derven suggests utilizing the word “curl” in the cats’ names.
Here are some of her interesting examples:
- Curlton Heston
- Helen Curly Brown
- Minnie Curl
- Lucy McCurly
- Eddie Van Curlen
- Alexis Curlby
- Annie Akcurl
Other breeders have used amusing names such as:
- Apocurlypse Meow
- Ear Jordan
- Pepsi Curla
- Winchester Curlthedral
- Lauren Bacurll
- Christofurr Curlumbus
- Curlamity Jane
- Axcurl Rose
What Are The Health Problems That Affect The American Curl Cat?
When compared with other pedigreed cats, American Curls are physically robust and they are considered extremely healthy.
This is also due to the fact that it has benefited from all the recent advancements of genetics and how meticulous genetic planning can build healthy breeds.
It has a more restricted and unpolluted gene pool than many other cats as cross-breeding with non-pedigree domestic cats was allowed for thirty years.
The cat associations which recognized American curls believe that the kittens are typically resilient and less prone to shot reactions and common kitten diseases.
Cats with this imperfect gene can develop osteochondrodysplasia, a heterogeneous condition that causes inheritable disorders characterized by abnormal development of cartilage and bone.
But You Have To Still Treat Their Ears With Extreme Care
These cats are not with any documented inheritable disorders, but you must still be cautious when handling them or petting them so that accidentally you won’t injure their ear cartilage.
Don’t try to pull or bend the ears further back, as it might hurt the cat.
Some Curls are born with tapered ear canals, so take care of the wax build-ups and you’ll have to cautiously clean them to avoid infections.
Much like the other cats, the American Curl cat is quite particular about its hygiene. You’ll have to keep the litter box clean and spotless at all times.
Take care of their dental hygiene to prevent any periodontal disease. You can do it on a weekly basis but it’ll depend on your cat.
American Curl Price And Breeders
The curly cuties price can vary depending on whether the kitten is just a loveable family pet or a show worthy cat.
The prices range broadly between $700 to $2,000 US.
It may be possible to find an American Curl kitten through a rescue agency for those who cannot afford the price from reputed breeders. However, it probably will not have any papers and there is no guarantee the cat will be purebred.