What is a Scottish Straight cat?

A Scottish straight cat is a Scottish Fold without the flat ears. So, what is the purpose of a Scottish Fold without folded ears? I think that that is a reasonable question because the distinguishing characteristic of the Scottish Fold is obviously the way the ears fold onto the cranium. Without that owl-lke characteristic you are, it seems to me, left with a standard looking cat that could be a random bred cat. This undermines the concept of adopting a purebred cat. I know cat breeders don’t want to hear that but, thinking aloud, it seems to be the long and the short of it.

Scottish Straight red bicolor kitten

Scottish Straight red bicolor kitten. Photo (and breeder): Елена Тюкачева.

You will see Scottish Straight cats for sale on Facebook, which, incidentally, is against their policies but that is another matter. Breeders of Scottish Fold cats will have Scottish Straight cats for sale and this is forced upon them. The do not do this by choice. It is a natural consequence of the process of breeding this particular cat. I’ll explain why as briefly as I can.

The gene that causes the folded ears is linked to certain physical abnormalities. It is a single dominant gene that causes these cartilage problems when it is present in “double strength” by which I mean in the homozygous condition. This happens when one Scottish Fold is mated with another Scottish Fold. Under this form of mating all the kittens have folded ears but they are also liable to suffer from two serious defects (1) a thickened tail caused by the fusing of the tail vertebrae and (2) thickened legs with cartilage growing around the paws making walking difficult.

Because of this genetic link to these abnormalities breeders can only mate Scottish Fold cats with non-folded cats. The kittens from this mating have “single strength” genes controlling this condition (heterozygous) and they are then free of these abnormalities. They also free of the folded ears, at least half of the litter is and these are the Scottish Straight cats that are for sale by Scottish Fold breeders.

Socttish Straight blue

Photo and breeder: Natalya Lisovinova (Ukraine)

But perhaps the point is this: except for the folded ears, the Scottish Fold is a pretty normal, standard looking domestic cat and therefore without these abnormal ears they look like normal cats were no distinguishing features. And as people buy purebred cats for their distinguishing features it seems to undermine the purpose of adopting these cats.

It would be more sense to adopt a rescue cat from a rescue centre. There are many handsome, indeed beautiful, rescue cats and rescue centres and when you do that you potentially save a life. When you adopt i.e. purchase a purebred cat from a breeder you potentially end the life of a rescue cat at a shelter. So there is always that background issue to consider and which must be in the equation when deciding what sort of cat to adopt.

However, there is some dispute, it seems to me, about the creation of homozygous Scottish Fold cats, at least according to Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat. She writes: “Some breeders have different opinions as to inherited genetic problems connected with this breed. While some claim a Scottish Fold may be bred to another Scottish Fold with no trouble, others claim that serious defects may show up when the cat reaches the age of five years or older.”

That statement puts the cat among the pigeons! Some people enquire as to whether Scottish Straight cats are healthy. They should be for the reasons stated above by which I mean there should be no inherited health problems which plague the folded-eared cat.

As to the personality of Scottish Straight cats, this should be exactly the same as the folded-eared cats. Gloria Stephens said that they are hardy cats with a sweet disposition matched by their sweet exprression. She also writes that they have “tiny voices and are not exceptionally vocal. They adore human companionship and have a gentle way about them that endears them to their human companions.”

As to the difference between a Scottish Straight and a British Shorthair, they are different breeds of cat completely. Although they may look similar. They should not look that similar in my view because the British SH has quite a distinctive appearance with a shortened muzzle and a squarer face.

Below are some more articles about the Scottish Fold:

Scottish Fold and boy

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

This is a really nice photograph of a boy and his lilac point Scottish Fold kitten. Pictures of cats can ...
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A cat with a hat rather than ears and odd eyes

Cat with a hat rather than ears and odd-eye colour

This is a purebred cat that looks as if they are wearing a hat and that they do not have ...
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Cute Scottish Fold kitten

Pictures of cats: cutest Scottish Fold kitten

She looks like a brown tabby-and-white. Super cute owl-like face. Ears flat to the head. Big 'M' tabby mark on ...
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Owl-faced longhaired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty

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

This owl-faced long-haired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty. The face is very attractive. I believe that the coat is ...
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Big chunky male Scottish Fold made in Russia

Big chunky Scottish Fold from Russia

This is an amazing, big, chunky Scottish Fold from Russia. The Russian breeders do some amazing things with cats. I ...
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Olivia Benson, the feline partner (with others) of Taylor Swift

Sweet Scottish Fold is increasingly popular but caveat emptor

Recently, the Scottish Fold has become more popular because of an increased interest in this sweet looking cat, particularly from ...
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Japanese robotic cat manga

Japanese like Scottish Fold cats and keep them inside

There appear to be two outstanding aspects of cat ownership in Japan; they overwhelmingly like the Scottish Fold cat breed ...
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Scottish Fold

Why are Scottish Folds in pain?

The question in the title presupposes that all Scottish Fold cats suffer from chronic pain but my research indicates that ...
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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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