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American Curl

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Photo of Oscurl Wilde, an American Curl cat owned by Roger Chari of New York

American Curl Cat

Photo Credit: © Chris Hondros/Getty Images

American Curl Breed Brief:

The most unique attribute of the American Curl cat is its distinctly curled ears. At first glance, one might confuse a Scottish Fold for an American Curl, but if you look carefully, you will see distinct differences, both in the direction of the ears and in the general body conformation.

Curls are medium sized, well balanced, moderately muscled, but slender rather than massive in build.

The American Curl comes in a huge variety of colors, as most colors and patterns are allowed.

Extra Fact: The American Curl was the first breed admitted by CFA to Championship category as one breed with two coat lengths.

A Serendipitous "Accident"

As a result of a serendipitous genetic accident, the first American Curl kittens were born to "Shulasmith," a longhaired black stray with unusual ears, who "adopted" Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, CA in 1981. A geneticist consulted by the Rugas proclaimed this curled ear trait as a dominant gene, with no consequent genetic defects.

A breeding program was established in 1983, and the American Curl soon developed a following. For breeding purposes, Curls are bred only to other Curls or domestic cats which closely align to the breed standard.

Miraculously Curling Ears

Like the Scottish Folds, Curls are born with straight ears. Curls' ears begin to curl very tightly at three to five days, until at about six weeks they start gradually unfurling. At twelve to sixteen weeks, their ears have more-or-less reached their permanent state of "curl."

Curls have sweet dispositions; intelligent and curious, they are extremely attuned to their human families.

Curls are great pets for families and people who love kittens, as they keep their kitten-like behavior through their adult lives. They adapt readily to children and other pets, and keep their kitten-like personalities well into adulthood.

Photo Credit

Oscurl Wilde, an American Curl cat owned by Roger Chari of New York, photo taken at a cat show in New York City.
Photo Credit: © Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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