American Curl Longhair

Personality:

  • Quiet, intelligent, and eager to please.
  • Playful into adulthood.

History:

Occurred as a spontaneous mutation in Southern California in 1981 when an adopted stray named Shulamith gave birth to a litter of kittens in which two of the four had ears that curled away from their faces.  Selective breeding and showing began in 1983 with allowable outcrosses only allowed to non-pedigreed cats.  Accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1986 and accepted for championship status by CFA in 1993.

Body Type:

  • A medium-sized, well-balanced cat with a semi-foreign body and intermediate boning.
  • Head is a medium-sized, modified wedge with moderately large ears that curve back in a smooth arc.
  • Eyes are moderately large and can be of any color.

Coat:

  • Coat is semi-long and silky with a minimum of undercoat.
  • Tail is plumed.
  • Any and all colors and patterns, including pointed.

Health and Wellness:

  • This breed has not been in existence long enough to report evidence of genetic defects.
  • Since Curls are allowed to outcross to non-pedigreed cats, the opportunity for problems caused by breeding within limited gene pools is reduced.
  • Ear infections.

What you should know:

  • Kittens are born with straight ears that curl between hours after birth and seven days of age.  Not every kitten born will develop curled ears.  At six to 16 weeks the kitten’s ears enter a period of transition where the degree of curl fluctuates.
  • Because the cartilage in the ears is hard, handling them roughly can cause damage.
  • Kitten buyers should be aware that the ears of kittens purchased younger than four months of age may change in regard to degree of curl.  By four months of age, the ears stabilize.
  • Because the ears are not pliable, Curls cannot manipulate their ears around to clean them.  Therefore, ears must be cleaned on a regular basis with cotton swabs.