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American Curl

The Californian cat with unusual ears

By: Kelly Caldwell

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American CurlIf you’re looking for a quiet, show-stopping cat then look no further than the American Curl! Developing out of a genetic mutation, these highly popular felines are one of the youngest cat breeds around, only being recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1986.

History of The American Curl

The history of the American Curl all starts with one stray cat: Shulamith. This black-haired beauty showed up on the doorstep of a Californian home in 1981 looking for a nice meal. She boasted a genetic mutation that caused her ears to curl back, away from her face and when she gave birth several months later, her kittens developed the distinct ear-curl as well. The ancestry of all American Curls today can be traced back to the mysterious Shulamith.

Appearance and Markings

While their curled ears are their most defining feature, American Curls are actually born with straight ears which don’t curl into their final shape until they are 3-4 weeks old. In fact, some American Curls never develop this unique trait and have straight ears their entire lives.

The American Curl can be either short-haired or long-haired and is a medium-sized breed, weighing in at 5-10 pounds. They have a beautiful long tail that many compare to a plume and their coats can be any colour or pattern, making each one unique. Their coats are very smooth and silky and are relatively easy to care for as long as you take the time to brush them (especially for those with a longer coat as they can develop mats).

Behaviour and Temperament

American Curls are quiet but love to play. They tend to maintain the same amount of energy as they age, meaning a senior American curl can have just as much energy as a kitten. They are an extremely smart and curious breed, which can sometimes get them into trouble. If you are thinking of getting an American Curl, make sure to put locks on your lower cupboards as they have been known to open cupboard doors, drawers, and even turn doorknobs. American Curls are also great with children and have even been known to seek them out for play. However, when it’s time to snuggle, an American Curl will turn into an affectionate, loving, lap-cat.

 

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