About the American Curl Cat
The American curl cat gets its name from its ears, which curl backward, creating a unique shell-like shape. Just in case you're wondering whether this breed shares any genetics with the Scottish fold, the answer is no. Both breeds are distinct, with different characteristics.
Far more sociable than the average cat, these friendly felines like to greet their families at the door and follow them around the house. They like children and they have a tendency to get along well with other pets.
American curl cats come in every color and pattern imaginable, in both long and shorthair varieties. They have very little undercoat, and their topcoats tend to feel very soft and silky.
In addition to their signature ear shape, the American curl cat is known for having a long, luxurious tail.
As you might imagine, American curl cats with very curly ears are often reserved as show cats. Breeders tend to offer cats that have a less pronounced curve to their ear structure as pets.
These cats do not have any special nutritional needs. We recommend feeding your American curl cat a high-quality, meat-based diet. Even though these kitties are extraordinarily sweet and friendly, they are still obligate carnivores!
Just like all other cats, the American curl does a pretty good job of grooming itself. Treat them to a light brushing a few times per week, regular nail trims, and ear cleaning when necessary.
American curl cats are playful and appreciate interactive games with their families. These cats like to play fetch and will quickly learn how to carry small balls, toys, and pieces of crumpled up paper.
The American curl may have a unique appearance, but the breed has another common trait that links them to other felines: They love to climb and they need to scratch. Your American curl cat will appreciate a multilevel cat tree, a window perch, and a selection of toys to play with.
Since these cats want to be wherever their families are, you may have to initiate play to prevent them from having too much couch time. Don't worry – it'll be just as much fun for you as it is for them!
As you might imagine, these American curl cats have some special needs when it comes to caring for their ears. The lower portion of the ear cartilage is very stiff and stable, but the upper portion of the ear is thin and fragile. You'll need to use a light touch when clearing away any wax. A gentle ear cleaning solution can help.
In addition, pet parents should watch for signs of ear infection.
American curl cats are generally healthy and have a lifespan that extends to an average of approximately 15 years.
All American curl cats can trace their heritage back to a stray, long-haired black female cat that ultimately found a home with a Lakewood, California family in 1981. They named the cat Shulamith and when she gave birth to a litter of kittens six months later, they had unique curled ears like their mother's.
Selective breeding began two years later, in 1983. It was discovered that the ear curling gene that gives these cats their distinct appearance is autosomal dominant, meaning any cat with even a single copy of the gene will have the curled ear trait.
During initial development of the American curl cat breed, feline geneticist Roy Robinson analyzed all crosses and found no defects. This breed has been an important one ever since then, thanks to its good health, its unique appearance, and its outstanding, friendly personality.
Did You Know?
American curl kittens are born with straight ears. The ears begin to curl back at about 3 to 5 days of age. They remain curled for several weeks and they don't completely unfurl into their final shape until the kitten reaches about 16 weeks of age.
American curls are nicknamed the "Peter Pan of cats" thanks to their tendency to retain kittenish behaviors throughout their lives.
American curl cats form strong bonds with their families, often going to great lengths to be in the middle of everything. These cats are unusual in that they're simply not content to find a quiet place away from all the action! If you're looking for a cat that enjoys your companionship, this may be the breed for you.
The Breed Standard
Legs & Paws
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a American Curl cat cost?
American Curl cats cost between $1,000 - $2,000.
How big do American Curl cats get?
American Curl cats tend to be small in size. A fully grown American Curl cat might weigh between 5-10 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 8"-10" inches tall.
How long do American Curl cats live?
The Average lifespan for American Curl is 11-15 years.