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June 7, 2013 at 3:09 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Scottish Fold

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


Cat of the Week: The Scottish Fold



Fun Facts About Scottish Fold Cats


  • Scottish Folds are a young breed in the world of cats having only been discovered 1961 – the result of a random genetic mutation.
  • Born on a Scottish sheep farm to an ordinary-eared barn cat mother, it wasn’t long before the first known folded ear kittens – a boy and a girl - caught the eye of a cat lover. While unfortunately, the male shortly ran away never to be seen again, the female, a white cat named Susie stuck around and had her own litter of folded-ear kittens – one of which would become the foundation of the Scottish Fold breed.  William Ross, a neighbor who had been fascinated by Susie, convinced the farmer to sell him one of her white kittens.  He and his wife had a feeling they wouldn’t be the only ones in love with these cat’s adorable floppy ears and as it turns out, they were right. The female they adopted, a cat they named Snooks, was the talk of the Cat Shows where she was presented as a “Lop Eared Cat” (named after the floppy eared rabbits) and through a careful breeding program she became mother to more cute folded ear cats just like her.
  • By 1970, these unique cats had changed their name to “Scottish Fold” and moved across seas to America.  Just three years later, in 1973 they were accepted by the CFA, and just five years after that, they were granted “Champion” status (meaning they could take titles outside their breed.)
  • Research has determined that the ear folding occurs because the cartilage is thinner than the typical cat’s. This is different from the genetics resulting in the other odd-eared cat star, the American Curl.
  • Technically, while only folded ear variety is accepted for showing, the CFA recognizes two types of Scottish Folds – folded ear and straight ear. This is due to the risk associated with breeding two folded ear cats together. Prevention of potential skull deformities mean there can be only one folded ear parent in each breeding pair. It also means demand for these folded ear cats is very difficult to meet!
  • Scottish Folds are accepted in every color and pattern except pointed colorations and come in both short and long-haired varieties.
  • The long-haired variety is sometimes called a Highlander or Highlander Fold.
  • Japanese internet sensation, Maru is a male straight-variety Scottish Fold.


How to Spot a Scottish Fold


Folded Ears. While it’s true that not all Scottish Folds actually have folded ears and that not all folded-ear cats are actually Scottish Folds, the ears remain the key defining feature of the breed. With three degrees of folding – single fold, double fold, and the coveted triple fold – these cat’s ears are small, rounded, and should be set, according to breed standards, in a “cap-like fashion.” The  ears of  the ideal Scottish Fold is said to give them an owl-like appearance.

Large, Wide-Set Round Eyes. Though they come in a wide array of colors and patterns, and their ears are clearly this breed’s hallmark, there is actually more to the Scottish Fold setting them apart.  Adding to their owl-ish looks are their large, round, widely-set eyes which vary in color depending on the particular cat’s coat.

Rounded Shape. From their body and head, to their eyes, ears, and muzzle, the word used over and over to describe these cats is “rounded” - an impression that’s enhanced by the thick coat of both long and shorthair Scottish Fold varieties.


What to Expect From a Scottish Fold


A Cat That Thinks It’s a Person. Yeah. Weird one, right? But one of the things these cats are best known for are the strange positions they take on. These cats are known to sit up like humans (known as a “Buddha stance” among cat folk), to stand for extended periods on just their back two legs, and to sleep laying on their backs. 

 A Quiet Cat. If you live in an apartment, have cranky roommates, or just personally don’t like a lot of noise, this may be the cat you’ve been looking for. Scottish Folds let their adorable owl-like faces do the talking. They’re one of the least vocal cat breeds you’ll find and when they do speak, they tend to have very small, quiet voices.

A Laid-Back Cat. While Scottish Folds do have a definite playful streak, they’re the sort of cat that would really prefer it if you brought the entertainment to them. They’re not like the high-strung Cornish Rex or Bengal. You’re more likely to find them lounging than running and jumping around the house. And if you wanted to relocate them? They wouldn’t protest. Scottish Folds are known for their docile, easy-going nature.


More Scottish Folds!!!



VetStreet: Scottish/Highlander Fold

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: Scottish Fold

The Cat Fanciers Association: Scottish Fold Breed Profile


YouTube: Many Too Small Boxes and Maru

YouTube: Scottish Fold Cat – Namiko Just Sitting Around

YouTube: Cute Scottish Fold Kitten Standing On 2 Feets

YouTube: Dulso Falls Asleep


JF Schmitz@flickr



Sergey Scherbatyuk@flickr

Robert Glaser@flickr

Mathieu Goulet@flickr


Steve Jurvetson@flickr

Choo Tang@flickr

Takashi Hososhima@flickr



Arthur Ivanov@flickr


Oksana Sorochan@flickr

Barb Crawford@flickr

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