The first time you see an American Curl, you may think that the cat has a deformity. After all, cats don’t usually have ears that curve back toward the back of their heads. The American Curl has varying degrees of curl to the ears, from ears that barely tip back to ears that curve so far back that they form a crescent shape. Only cats with ears that form a crescent curve are suitable for showing, but all American Curls make delightful pets.
This breed was developed in the early nineteen eighties from one stray cat that a California cat lover adopted. Surprisingly enough, all kittens are born with ears that look completely normal. When the kittens are about ten days old, their ears begin to curl. The kittens are about four months old before the ears develop their final position.
The American Curl is known for being a quiet, sweet natured breed and makes an ideal apartment pet. This cat is often a bit on the inactive side and is content to soak up sun on a windowsill for a large portion of the day. While the Curl does not dislike other cats or people, this breed is content to amuse itself and will not pine for other cats to keep it company. The ability to entertain himself makes this breed a perfect choice for people who work long hours but still want to come home to a loving pet.
Along with most other cat breeds recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association, the American Curl is classified as a part of the Championship Class. This breed is on the small side and weighs in at between seven and eleven pounds. The American Curl comes in a wide range of colors, and come in tortiseshell, smoke, shaded, point, bi-color, and tabby patterns. This breed’s tail is as long as its body and gracefully tapers at the tip. The cat’s head should be rounded and eyes are more oval shaped than those of many cat breeds. The Curl’s legs are somewhat bowed and his body is not as muscular and stocky as many other breeds. You can find longhair or shorthair Curls, although the dominant longhair is much more prevalent. Two shorthairs will still often produce one or two longhair kittens.
The American Curl is an extremely healthy cat breed, due to the care with which the breed was developed. The originators of this breed were careful to out cross the original litters of the Curl with straight eared cats that had similar body types to create a large, healthy gene pool of cats that carried the Curl gene before they tried to breed any Curls to each other.
While shorthair Curls need very little grooming, you should be prepared to brush your longhair Curl once a week to prevent the coat from matting. Since the undercoat is very sparse, you should not need to worry about more frequent grooming.
If you want to own a cat who has a unique appearance and a quiet, unassuming disposition, then you may want to take a close look at the good natured American Curl.