Monday, August 1, 2016

Cat Breeds: Scottish Fold

Random mutation has given us many different cat breeds, including the unique Scottish Fold. Back in 1961, William Ross found a white barn cat with long white hair in Scotland. He took her home and named her Susie. Susie was bred to several male cats, including Persians, America Shorthairs, Burmese, and even Exotic Shorthairs. Some of these kittens developed ears that folded down. These cute little guys would become the foundation for the Scottish Fold breed around the world.

Today, Scottish Folds are recognized by most associations around the world. Some registries, such as TICA, allow outcrosses with American Shorthairs or British Shorthairs to keep the gene pool strong, but some registries have banned such practices, meaning not all Scottish Folds can compete in all associations.

The Appearance of the Scottish Fold

This unique breed is medium in size with a soft, round body. Eyes should be round and are typically copper in color, but all eye colors are allowed. The coat is found in all colors and patterns and can either be short or long. Shorthair cats should be groomed once a week, but longhaired cats need a thorough brushing at least two or three times a week to stay happy and healthy.

The ears are, of course, the most distinctive trait of the Scottish Fold. All Scottish Folds are actually born with straight ears, but when the kittens are about three weeks old the ears start to fold forward and down. Usually only half of all kittens will carry the gene that causes folded ears, which means half will have straight ears. These kittens are called straight eared Scottish Folds and, while they are technically Scottish Folds, they are not eligible for competition and they are not usually used in breeding programs.

With the big round eyes and the folded ears that lie flat against the head, the Scottish Fold looks a bit like an owl. A cute, irresistible owl.

The Personality of the Scottish Fold

Intelligent and loyal, the Scottish Fold can learn just about anything, with or without your help. Expect your kitty to pull open cupboard doors and crawl about inside. You might even find him curled up inside a bowl or a pan. You will almost certainly find him sleeping in the sink at some point.

This cat isn't at all shy and loves a good game of fetch. He's good with other pets, including dogs, and loves children. Even younger children are well tolerated by this sociable breed. A friend is a good idea, but it doesn't have to be another Scottish Fold. Another breed of cat, or even a dog, will work just as well.

The Scottish Fold is an amusing cat. He might eat with his feet, sit up like a prairie dog, or even lounge like a human. If you want a funny breed to keep you company, the Scottish Fold just might be the right fit.

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