Owl-faced long-haired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty

Owl-faced longhaired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty
Owl-faced longhaired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty. Photo: Irina Lyzhnikova (Ukraine)
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This owl-faced long-haired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty. The face is very attractive. I believe that the coat is a torbie-and-white. This is a tabby coat combined with a tortoiseshell coat. The tabby markings on the forehead are amazing and reminiscent of the wild fishing cat. Whether the Scottish fold is long or short haired they do tend to resemble owls and I wonder if this is a major reason why they are popular despite this slightly uncomfortable background information which is that the genetic mutation causing the folded ears can create severe health problems unless the breeder takes particular care.

You may know that Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. The folding of the ears is caused by a dominant mutated gene which means that not all kittens in a Scottish Fold litter will have folded ears. A crimp in the ear flap develops between the ages of 13 and 23 days if the ears are going to be folded. You will see non-standard Scottish Fold cats and kittens for adoption. Unfortunately they look just like standard domestic cats because the distinguishing feature doesn’t exist.

The problem really is that the gene that causes the folded ears can have an impact on other parts of the body which obviously is highly undesirable. It can cause abnormalities such as gnarling of the feet in the words of Gloria Stephens, the author of the book Legacy of the Cat and a show judge. This is an arthritis-like condition characterised by cartilage growth around the joints which causes difficulty in walking.

If these health problems are going to develop in a kitten the tail will often become stiff and inflexible, being hard to the touch and it may make a snapping sound when it is handled. So behind the beauty there is, potentially, a bit of ugliness but it can be avoided with careful selective breeding. However, the Germans would say that this breed should not exist. People who adopt the cat tend to brush these difficulties under the carpet.

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