Here are 23 facts about the American Curl:
- The feature which distinguishes this cat from other cat breeds is that the ears curl backwards.
- The cat has a “devilish look” according to Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat;
- They can be longhaired or shorthaired;
- The body conformation is described as “semi-foreign”, which means slightly slender;
- The ideal American Curl cat has no extremes in their appearance except of course for their ears;
- The head is described in the classic cat fancy way as a “modified wedge”. This means wedge-shaped but modified by the fact that we are talking about the head of a cat;
- This cat should never be massive or heavy but graceful and elegant;
- The coat does not have much of an undercoat resulting in non-matting hair which is silky and lies flat to the body;
- This cat breed is easy to care for requiring little grooming.
- Although there is a long-haired variant, as mentioned, the hair is not that long and certainly much shorter than that of the Persian;
- In terms of coat colour, you will see this cat in all categories, all divisions and in all colours. This means that any colour or pattern that The International Cat Association (TICA) recognises as acceptable;
- Kittens are born with straight ears which begin to curl between 2-10 days-of-age;
- During the first 16 weeks of their life the ears begin to change and they may uncurl or curl more tightly.
- The curled-back ears are due to a dominant mutated gene;
- If both parents are heterozygous to the mutated gene the resulting litter could be all straight years, some curled or all curled ears;
- Breeders have categorised the degree of curl such that a “first-degree curl” is a slight curl at the very tips of the ears. These cats are pet quality;
- A second degree curl is an arc ranging from 45° to less than 90° and these cats are considered to be acceptable for breeding but not of show quality;
- ‘Third-degree curl’ describes as curl from 90° to 180° with the tips of the ears touching the back of the ear or the head. If the cat has the correct body confirmation these cats are of show quality;
- The first American Curl (not yet officially an American Curl) was discovered in Lakewood, California in June 1981 by Joe and Grace Ruga when the cat came up to their doorstep. They named the cat Shulamith which means “black but comely”;
- By September 1987, TICA had accepted the American Curl Longhair for Championship. They are now recognised for championship status by most cat organisations in North America;
- This cat breed is thought of as being intelligent, curious and craving human companionship;
- They have an even temperament and are not too talkative and they adapt to their home situation and other animals.
- You’ll see some hybrids of this cat such as the rare Elf cat which is a hairless cat with the same curled-back ears (see below)
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