The American Curl
This breed originated in California in 1981. The original American Curl was a stray cat, who gave birth to a litter of kittens some of which had curled ears. This mamma cat and the kittens became the original breeding stock for this breed. These kittens are actually born with straight ears that begin to curl after about 48 hours. Around 4 months of age the ears stop curling and become stiff at the base of the ear and flexible at the tips. As per the Cat Fanciers Association, a pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but show cats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. Even though the American Curl is a new and uncommon breed, they can be found in small numbers in countries across the world.
The American Curl is a lively cat and enjoys daily exercise. They tend to keep their kitten-like personality through their life time. They like high perches and cat trees in their home. They may not be considered a “lap-cat”, but they are very interested in people and like hang out with their owners (they may even enjoy perching on their shoulders).
Both pure-bred and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Since American Curls can be be bred to either other Curls or out crossed to domestic cats, they have a large pool of genetic diversity making this breed of cat overall generally healthy.
- The one health concern with American Curls are in regards to their ears. Some lines may have problems with narrow ear canals, which can lead to ear infections and wax buildup and may require frequent cleaning.