What is an American Curl?
What did you do to get their ears like that?
Absolutely nothing! There is a difference in the cartilage of this breed’s ear, that causes the ear to curl back, starting within a few hours to a few days after birth. The base of the ear to at least 1/3 of it’s height will feel firm to the touch. The ear tips will be soft and flexible like any straight eared cat’s ears.
I have never seen this breed before - is it new?
The foundation cat from which the American Curl breed arose, Shulamith, was actually a stray cat discovered in 1981, and taken in by a kind and loving couple, Joe and Grace Ruga. In the years since the breeds discovery, it has been established that this relatively new and very unique breed is vigorous and healthy, with no known health problems.
What is the breed created from - is it related to the Scottish Fold?
This is not a man made breed, and is not a hybrid (a cross between two registered breeds of cat). The American Curl is an example of a spontaneous mutation, like the Scottish Fold. But that is the only similarity! There are different genes responsible for the folded ear vs. the curled ear, and no relationship between the two breeds. The American Curl foundation female, Shulamith, was a domestic solid black longhair (a.k.a. mixed breed) stray who was taken in by the Ruga's, where she became a much beloved member of their family.
What colors do they come in?
In honor of the apparent mixed breed heritage of Shulamith (solid black) who threw colorpoint kittens in her first litter, all colors are allowed. They also come in short hair, known as the American Curl Shorthair.
What is their personality?
Inquisitive without being intrusive, strongly affectionate without being clinging, talkative on occasion - usually a questioning chirp or a comment! I describe them as being a "medium" energy level cat. They are at a mid-point between the more placid or active breeds. They are both lap cats at times, loving to sleep on the bed (or your pillow if you will allow) as well as self entertainers. They adapt well to new situations...quickly sizing up "what is what". Many love to fetch paper balls or pompoms, sponge balls and seem to have a fascination with water. It’s not unusual to have a Curl audience while you are in the bath, and "L'eau de Faucet" is a treasured drink. Their intelligence is unsurpassed by any other breed.
Do they have any problems hearing?
No, they don’t. Just try the "can opener" test - you won’t find any problems with their hearing (smile).
Are there any problems with their ears being curly like that?
American Curls need ear checks as part of their grooming routine. Once a week you should check to see if there is any accumulated ear wax, and if there is, as per your vets instructions and demonstration, the outer area of the ear should be gently swabbed with q-tips that have been wetted with an ear cleanser (such as Nolvasan Otic). It is important not to swab deeply into the ear as you may only push wax against the ear drum, causing pain and an eventual ear infection.
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