American Curl is a breed of cats that are different from others by their wrapped outside ears. Such ears with cuffs show eternal joy and a bit wary look. Features of breeding and care for the American Curl are also defined by their unique structure of the ear.
It is lucid from the title of the breed that its homeland is the United States. American Curl History begins in 1981 in Lakewood, California. The local residents of Ruga family found a black kitten with unusual ears. It turned out to be a girl – it was called Shulamith. Two kittens with the same wrapped ears were born six months later in her first litter of 4 kittens.
Since 1983, professional breeders have been engaging in the selection of a unique gene. Even a well-known English felinologist-geneticist Roy Robinson was interested in the breed. He studied 383 kittens and 81 litter and confirmed that the gene of swirling ears was unique. The breed was similar to the Siberian breed cats.
Description of the American Curl breed
American Curl is the first breed, which the CFA organization recognized as long-haired and short-haired cats. However, the breed standard includes a detailed description of the structure of the body and especially the ears:
- The head – form of modified wedge, muzzle length is approximately 1.2 times greater than its width, solid chin, parallel to the upper lip and nose; smooth march from the nose to its bridge and forehead.
- Ears – should look aesthetically pleasing, wide at the base and moderately large, open. Arranged equally on the top and sides of the head. The minimum degree of twisting is 90 degrees; the tip should not twist more than 1/3 of the ear. The surface of the bent portion is smooth, rounded ends are flexible, preferably with small brushes.
- Eyes – the form of a walnut, oval, rounded at the top and bottom, moderately large, wide, located at a slight angle between the base of the ears and the tip of the nose. Color is clean and bright, may not match the fur color, but the spotted cats must have blue eyes.
- Body – rectangular shape, the length is 1.2 times more than the height of the shoulders.
- Paws – medium length, proportionate to the body, rounded on the balls.
- Tail – a flexible, wide at the base and tapering to the end, equal to body length.
- Fur – soft, silky, lying along the body; It may be short on the body and tail and may be with semi-long bushy tail with plume. Minimum undercoat.
American Curl cats are average-sized and weigh 2.5-5 kg. They reach maturity at 2-3 years old.
American Curl Kitten is born with straight ears. They begin to curl during the first two months (usually on the 3-5 day) and finally formed in the 4th months. Ear cartilages are hardened after this period.
Grown American Curl cat may be with straight ears, but it is considered a deviation from the standard. It is the main differentiated feature of the breed in the participation in exhibitions and competitions. That is why the angle of ears twisting should be from 90 to 180 degrees. The more, the better, but the ends of ears must not touch the head.
American Curl cats can have a completely different color: tortie, tabby, bicolor, colourpoint, and either Siamese cats or monochromatic.
Character of American Curl cat
American Curl is a curious, eccentric and loving friend. Every day for the cat is a new joy, new challenges and adventures. They are very attached to people and constantly demanding your attention and participation in their affairs. These cats always want to be close to the owner: to sleep in his bed, or sit on their hands or to warm his neck.
American Curl cats adore children. Even grown cats often remain being playful like little kittens. They also get along well with other animals.
These cats are good-tempered and intelligent. They will behave cautiously and carefully, even respectfully on the foreign territory.
It’s not too talkative cat with a soft voice. However they will glad their owner with a pleasure by a gentle mewing.
Care and Health
The study of the genetics of the American Curl has shown that this species has not inherited any special defects and dispositions to diseases. The only mutation that occurred with these cats is their twisted ears.
However, just remember other cats with the mutation ears – Scottish Fold. The dysplasia of the hind limbs and tail is found in homozygous representatives of this breed. So the question remains unanswered about the risk of cartilage defects and bone abnormalities in homozygous Curls, although owners’ feedbacks are that nothing like this has not been noticed.
In any case, you need to frequently clean the Curl’s ears. At the same time this should be done carefully in order not to damage the hard cartilage not pulling or stretching their ears.
It is enough to comb shorthair cats once a week, long-haired – twice. A distinctive feature of the American Curl is rapidly growing claws. That is why it is better to trim a couple of claws’ millimeters each week. Clean cat teeth every 2-3 weeks.
Such procedures Curl should be taught from childhood that is not difficult to do with these docile cats. Their life expectancy is 10-12 years in average.
Experienced breeders advise to feed the American Curl with qualitative forage with vitamins. Do not feed the cat with human food, especially fatty food. Also, it is not recommended to give milk.