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January 30, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

The American Curl

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

American Curl Stats

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Cat of the Week: The American Curl

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American Curl Cats

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Fun Facts About American Curl Cats

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  • Compared with previous Feline 101 breeds that date back to Medieval times, the American Curl is a baby in this world only appearing as a result of a spontaneous mutation in 1981.
  • American Curls also set records for their quick acceptance as breed among cat fanciers -  just a few years after their initial discovery. In comparison, the Maine Coon was not recognized as a breed for over a hundred years after!
  • The American Curl line can actually be traced back to two stray cats, Shulamith and Panda adopted by the Ruga family of Lakewood, California. Shulamith, a long haired black cat, went onto have a litter of kittens herself, all of which inherited their mother's unique ears.
  • American Curl kittens are actually born with straight ears that begin curling back and within 3-5 days of birth and continue to change for several months after. For this reason, breeders recommend waiting until your American Curl is about 4 months old if you're planning to show them.
  • Unlike their funny ear contemporaries, the Scottish Folds, whose inward-folding ears are the result of a cartilage defect and can cause health problems, American Curl ears are not tied to any health issues. In fact, the breed is one of healthiest among purebred cats!
  • The cartilage of American Curl ears is often compared to the cartilage in human ears - firmer and stronger than most cats.
  • The American Curl has been called the "Peter Pan" of felines for their tendency to remain playfully kitten-like their whole lives.

American Curl Cats

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How to Spot an American Curl

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Ears That Curl Backwards. In order to establish a healthy breeding pool (in-breeding causes health defects!) the American Curl was being mixed with a variety of cats outside the breed up until 2010. As a result, outside of their distinctive ears, American Curls vary widely, so spotting their funny curled lobes will be your best bet. Breed standards call for an angle between 90 and 180 degrees backward, with the more extreme angles being most desirable among cat fanciers.

Ear "Furnishings." How exactly can you tell if a cat's ears have been furnished? You're looking for the ear hairs. Long hairs that reach out the ears almost like whiskers are called ear furnishings.

A Medium Sized Cat. American Curls come in both longhair and shorthair varieties and in every color and patterning fur and eyes, but what does remain constant - besides their ears - is their moderate, sturdy build. American Curls are not too small or too big. Their facial features are soft, not extreme. The cat is generally sturdy in build and exceptionally healthy.American Curl Kittens

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What To Expect From an American Curl

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A Life-Long Kitten. As mentioned above, American Curls were nicknamed "Peter Pan" cats for their life-long, playful, kitten-like nature. Like little children, they are intensely curious and soak up new information like a sponge - did I mention American Curls are also extremely intelligent? If you're looking for an active cat to keep your family laughing with their antics, the American Curl might just be the perfect cat for you!

A Quiet Cat. American Curls are one of the most quiet cat breeds. They let their actions speak for them in most cases, and when they do vocalize they tend to have a tiny, quiet, trilling meow.

A Dog-Like Cat. Like last week's Feline 101 breed, the Siamese, the American Curl is an intelligent, playful, and loyal cat that tends to enjoy games like fetch with their families. Be sure to provide them with plenty of toys - little mice to play hunter cat with and little balls to throw. Tip: I have yet to meet a cat that doesn't enjoy a tin foil ballAmerican Curl Cats

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More American Curls!

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American Curl Cat

American Curl Cat

American Curl Cat

SOURCES

VetStreet: American Curl

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: American Curl

The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.: American Curl Breed Profile

Animal Planet: Cats 101: American Curl

PHOTO CREDITS

mpgully@flickr

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Catherine T@flickr

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tanakawho@flickr

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Canada Listed

Kuala Lumpur City

Samosa Gem's American Curl Kittens

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2 Comments

  • Wow - I had no idea the breed was so young! It's pretty awesome that they can trace it back to those two cats in particular. I don't know that I'll ever own a cat, but I have to admit that these are pretty adorable :)

  • Don't you just love their little mouse ears? :)

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