- A stray longhaired black female cat with funny-shaped ears won over Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, California in 1981. They adopted this cat and named her Shulamith. Six months later, this cat gave birth to kittens with unusually curled ears.
- Shulamith represents the foundation female for the entire American Curl breed, which originated as a result of spontaneous mutation.
- Selective breeding of American Curls began in earnest in 1983. After studying 81 litters (383 kittens), British feline geneticist Roy Robinson reported that ear-curling gene is autosomal dominant (a term that means that any cat with even one copy of the gene will display this ear-curling trait).
- The American Curl was first exhibited at a Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) show in Palm Springs, California in late 1983.
- The CFA first approved the American Curl for registration in 1986 and granted this breed championship status in 1993.
- Despite its sophisticated, elegant look, the American Curl is down-to-earth. This breed has a reputation for being loyal, affectionate and adaptable to new household situations. It is cuddly but never clingy.
- The American Curl welcomes the company of other pets, including dogs plus people of all ages, including children.
- This breed defies the popular myth that cats hate water because it will try to join you in the shower.
- Put the spotlight on this cat. If you don’t pay enough attention, your American Curl is likely to strike an adorable pose right in front of the television set.
- This breed is definitely an early riser and has been known to deliver wakeup calls through nose kisses, head bumping and hair licking of their owners.
- Capable of learning how to fetch and other games, this breed is not as energetic or active as say, Abyssinians or Siamese.
- The look is hard to miss – especially if you look at its ears that curl back from the face toward the back of the head. All kittens born in this breed start off with straight ears. Within a couple weeks, the ears start to curl back in a rosebud position.
- This medium-built domestic breed looks like a small Lynx and sports a silky coat and large, walnut-shaped eyes. Their plumed tails resemble ostrich-feather boas.
- This breed comes in shorthaired and longhaired versions.
- This breed takes up to three years to reach full physical maturity.
- Even the longhaired version needs minimal grooming - once-a-weekly brushing should suffice. You can also use a steel comb weekly to lift out loose hairs and prevent matting.
Please consult with your veterinarian about the type of diet and amount to feed your cat during their different life stages. Different breeds may have a greater risk of obesity based upon their diet, metabloism, activity and age. Thus, your veterinarian is your best source of information on this topic.
- The American Curl is affectionately nicknamed the “feline flying nun” as well as the “Peter Pan of felines” for its kitten-like attitude that remains throughout adulthood.
- Although American-born, this rare breed is sought by cat fans living all over the world, especially in Russia, Japan, France and Spain.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet