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American Curl Cat

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American Curl Cat

American Curl Cat | Breed History | Breed Description

The American Curl is a breed of cat with unusual ears. The ears curl back from the face in a smooth arc toward the center of the back of the skull; they are otherwise perfectly normal cats. The breed is the result of a spontaneous mutation which occurred in a cat in Lakewood, California in 1981.

The first cat, a black female domestic cat, was found and taken in by the Ruga family who named her Shulamith. All American Curls descend from her, the foundation female. In 1983, the first American Curl was exhibited at a cat show, and in 1987, the longhair American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl set a precedent in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) by being the first breed to be admitted to the Championship Class as one breed with two coat lengths. The American Curl is a medium size cat (7-11 lbs) with no health handicaps associated with the curled ears. They are strong, healthy cats remarkably free of genetic defects that affect many purebred cats, and will not reach maturity until 2-3 years of age.

  

The American Curl may have either curled ears or straight ears. If the cat’s ears are curled, it will not be apparent until two or three days after the birth, and will take their final form after four months. The curled ears should be hard and stiff to the touch. The longhairs have a plush, silky coat, and the shorthairs have a thick, non-wooly coat, and is also silky.

The American Curl may have three degrees of curl – first degree, second degree, or third degree. The third degree is the preferred one. Luxurious tufts of fur sprout from the bottom of the ears. The straight ear American Curl has all of the loving personality of the curled ear American Curl but may not be shown. The American Curl comes in two coat lengths – either long haired or short haired. The American Curl comes in all colors.

The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world from the United States to Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries. The character “Ray” from the comic strip Achewood is an American Curl. The American Curl is a breed of cat characterized by its unusual ears, which curl back from the face toward the center of the back of the skull. The breed originated in Lakewood, California as the result of a spontaneous mutation. In June, 1981, two stray kittens were found and taken in by the Ruga family. The kittens were both longhaired, one black and the other black and white. The family named them Shulamith and Panda respectively, but Panda disappeared several weeks later, making Shulamith the foundation female of the American Curl breed.

In 1983, an American Curl was exhibited at a cat show for the first time, and in 1987, the longhaired American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl became the first breed admitted to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) Championship Class with both longhair and shorthair divisions.

The American Curl is a medium sized cat (5-10 lbs), and does not reach maturity until 2-3 years of age. They are strong and healthy, remarkably free of the genetic defects that affect many purebred cats. American Curl kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to curl within ten days. After four months, their ears will not curl any longer, and should be hard and stiff to the touch. A pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but showcats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. A greater angle is preferable, but cats will be disqualified if their ears touch the back of their skulls.

Both longhaired and shorthaired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies. They require little grooming, but enjoy spending time with their owners. The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world in the United States, Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.