Charming picture of a boy holding a lilac point Scottish Fold kitten

The cat and the photograph (I believe) were both created by the same person who runs the Belle ScottishFold breeding cattery. I do not know where they are based because they don’t tell us. I have a feeling that they are based in Russia. It’s a very charming photograph which I think is worth publishing on my website and I hope the woman who took the photograph approves. The technical question that I have does not concern the photography which has been done well but the ears of this young Scottish Fold cat. I believe that the ears don’t fold all the way down to the head because this cat is young (but read on please). All Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears and not all the kittens in a litter will have folded ears.

Scottish Fold and boy
Scottish Fold and boy. Photo: Belle Scottish Fold.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Between the ages of 13 and 23 days old a crimp develops in the ear flaps. The sign that that they will become folded ears when they become adults. I expected the ears to fold more than you see in the photograph when the cat is older, but in a follow-up photograph some months or perhaps a year later, this cat’s ears have not folded more. In fact, it looks as though they have folded less. I’ve got to conclude, therefore, that although this is a charming photograph and a charming cat and boy, the cat probably does not fully meet the breed standard with respect to the ears. All the best Scottish Fold cats have ears that are completely flat to the head. Hardly a big issue but I’m just ‘chewing the cud’ on this photograph.

Technical stuff

The “mode of inheritance” of these folded ears is an autosomal dominant gene. Half the litter will have folded ears and half won’t. The ones that don’t are called Scottish Fold Straights. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory tells us that the alleles are N = normal ears and SF = fold mutation.

Cats with N/N genotype will have straight ears. Cats with N/SF genotype we have folded ears and may develop health issues relating to cartilage and bone. They transmit the fold variant to 50% of their offspring and those offspring will have folded ears too. Cats with the SF/SF genotype we have folded ears and may have severe joint, cartilage and bone issues. They transmit the fold variant to all their offspring and their offspring will also have folded ears. You can obtain a DNA test from UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at a price of $40 on one test per animal. Breeders need to do tests in order to ensure that they don’t produce cats which are severely ill with these defects linked to this genetic mutation.


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