Known for their fluffy, curled-back ears, American Curls have become one of the most easily recognizable cat breeds on the market today. While American Curls can be found in a wide array of colors and patterns, and they can have long or short hair, it’s their distinctive ears that set them apart from other cat breeds due to the diversity of their coats and patterns. It is today a desirable trait among breeders to have a dog with backwards-curled ears. But originally, they were the result of a genetic mutation that was originally identified in the 1980s in the United States that was the result of a natural (and harmless) mutation.
In spite of their curled ears, these cats are not just special because of their curled ears. Cats like these are sometimes called “Peter Pan cats” because they have kitten-like natures into adulthood, and they are well known for playing, investigating, climbing, and keeping a close eye and ear on their owners at all times. In addition to their affectionate nature, they are easily accepted by children as well as other pets, making them an ideal family pet.
Other Quick Facts
Any color or pattern can be applied to the American Curl.
During 1981, an unknown mutation took place in the American Curl that resulted in its unusual ears.
Despite the fact that some kittens have curled ears, there are still others that remain normal.
The American curl breed gets its name from the shape of their ears that gives them their name. Due to this backward curl on the ear, it gives the appearance that the ears are inside out (which, in a sense, they are because they are internally curled). The amount of curl on the ears of kittens varies from kitten to kitten, and there’s no discernible way to determine what kind of kittens a given adult will have; the ears can range from being almost straight up to having almost a 180 degree curl on them.
A study by the Cat Fanciers’ Association found that kittens born with American curls have straight ears at birth. The ears of the baby will bend backward after they have been born, curling and uncurling in varying degrees throughout the next few months or so before setting in their final position after around four days of age. In most cats, the bottom two-thirds of their ears are made of cartilage (similar to our ears) whereas most of the cat breeds have softer flesh in the middle of their ears. A good deal of care should be taken when handling the American curl’s ears, as the top third remains soft and pliable and the hard cartilage below needs to be protected from damage.
American curls are available in an array of colors and patterns that are truly stunning. There has been an abundance of American curls in every color known to man, in rarer hues like fawn and lilac as well as in every possible marking pattern, ranging from tortoiseshell to colorpoint. Depending on whether the curly coat has short or long hair, both variations will lie close to the body with no undercoat at all, with both varieties lying close to the body with little undercoat.
A typical American curl has an oblong body with an oval head, and its eyes are round and have a round shape. The ears are slightly turned outward so that they would meet at the base of the skull if you drew imaginary lines back from the points of the ears at the base of the skull if you were to draw imaginary lines back from the points of the ears.
|PERSONALITY||Playful, friendly, affectionate, inquisitive, and easy going|
|WEIGHT||Males weigh between 7 and 10 pounds, while females weigh less than 8 pounds.|
|LENGTH||18 to 20 inches|
|SIZE||small to medium|
|COAT LENGTH||Short haired or long haired|
|EYE COLOR||Any possible feline color, including amber, aqua, blue, copper, green, gold, hazel, odd-eyed, orange, yellow|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||Typically 10 to 18 years|
|GOOD WITH||children seniors cats families|
|COAT LENGTH||long short|
|COLORS||chocolate / brown / sable,cinnamon, lavender / silver, fawn, blue / gray, black / ebony, cream / beige / tan, lilac, red / orange, white|
|PATTERNS||bi-color, solid, calico / tri-color, color point, tabby|
|OTHER TRAITS||easy to groom,friendly toward humans, friendly toward other pets, friendly toward strangers, good for first-time pet owners, good lap cat|
|PRISE||$1000 - $2000 USD|
Aside from their whimsical ears, American Curls have other qualities that make them attractive pets in addition to their whimsical looks. It is important to point out that people cats are rarely aloof, are affectionate, and do not bother their families for attention. In addition, they enjoy perching on the laps of their loved ones and love to pat and nuzzle them as well. In terms of playing fetch, American Curls are likely to be easy to teach and are generally not easily bored with the game. It is often the case that they do very well with children. Although American Curls do not have the same level of activity as the Abyssinians or Siamese, they are plenty active and playful nonetheless. A typical cat also displays a great deal of curiosity, and will be right there to investigate anything that changes in the home he or she lives in.
In spite of the truly dizzying array of color and coat combinations for the breed, there is one aspect about them that seems to remain consistent, and that is their personalities. There is no doubt that the American curl is one of the most loving, youthful breeds. In spite of the fact that curlies don’t reach full maturity until they are 2 to 3 years old, they are extremely spry and active well into their teens and are capable of retaining their kitten energy well into adulthood.
According to Alison Gerken, DVM at Florida Veterinary Behavior Service, “American Curl cats tend to be intelligent and active, even as they age,” she says. Considering the fact that American curls enjoy playing, pet owners should expect to provide a high level of mental stimulation and environmental enrichment to their American curls through multiple daily play sessions, grooming sessions, petting sessions, cat trees and perches, as well as a variety of toys and food puzzles.”
Despite not being renowned as a very vocal cat, the curl will coo and chirrup when he is hungry or when you first arrive home, but most of the time he will be happy to convey his affection through head bumps and physical attention when he is comfortable.
The breed is friendly, affable, and very adaptable. In addition to getting along well with children, the breed gets along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. In addition, this breed adapts well to new housemates with cheerfulness. When they are left alone for longer periods of time, they are able to cope quite well without their company, but prefer to be in the company of their people.
A potential pet parent of an American curl will be able to expect the pet to easily adapt to his or her new home and integrate smoothly with the new family,” says Gerken.
Despite the fact that American curls are active cats, they are definitely people-lovers. If you have the opportunity to snuggle up with them and enjoy a good lap, American curls will be happy to do so. It is not unusual for them to act in an almost friendly way towards strangers, despite the fact that they are not particularly skittish around strangers.
With their adorable appearance and delightful personality, American Curls are a fantastic breed of cat that can quickly win the hearts of people with their charming appearance. Curls are usually not aloof, and it is generally the case that they enjoy being around their family members. Children, dogs, and other cats get along quite well with them and they are known to be quite sociable.
When Curls aren’t playing games, you might find them perched atop their cat tower or perhaps curled up on someone’s lap while they wait for the next game to start. Despite not being particularly cuddly, these cats still enjoy having company and can sometimes be just as happy to sit next to you or nearby if you want them to.
As a result of their playful and energetic personalities, the American Curl breed is one of the most popular breeds in the world. When chores are being completed around the house, these cats are always the first ones to join in on the fun, and they are always the first in line to investigate anything they may find interesting. The felines don’t be picky about which games they want to play when it comes to their interests-even fetch is something they enjoy playing.
Peter Pan syndrome is said to be associated with American Curls. Therefore, they never lose sight of their youthful nature for almost their entire lives, which is a testament to their longevity. As they grow older, Curls still display playful behavior, and they do not run out of energy easily, even at an older age.
There is a considerable difference in weight between males and females of these small to medium sized cats, with the males weighing more than the females. Long or short, the hair on these creatures is fine, soft, and silky, and can be long or short. They have a very long coat that can be found in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including the typical cat coat colors and patterns. They also have a variety of colors to choose from when it comes to the walnut-shaped eyes they have.
There is no doubt that the curled-back ears of this breed are one of its most prominent characteristics.
In fact, all of the kittens that are born with American Curl tails have straight ears at birth. A kitten which has the gene that causes their ears to bend backward will begin to do so within a week of being born. Within the first few months of their lives, their ears will often move back and forth until they reach the age of four months. The ears of these animals have now become “set” and will not change any further at this point in time.
American curls prefer quiet places to snooze alone when they are not cozying up to their humans during nap time. In the past, curly hairs have been known to slumber in salad bowls, boxes, and milk crates, particularly in lofty positions, such as those left on top of water bottles. In spite of this, you may want to provide him with his very own cat bed, hammock, and other comfortable spaces that are just for him.
There is a high degree of adaptability in American curl cats, Gerken says, and it is great to have them in your household if you are a senior, a first-time cat owner, or if you have children. As a matter of fact, according to the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), the American curl cat is one of the few breeds that seems to be drawn to children and enjoys playing with them a lot. However, Gerken says that children of very young ages should be supervised by a parent or guardian and taught how to interact with pets. It is important to make sure they are aware that American curls have delicate ears and not to play with them!
Grooming and Care
The brushing of a shorthaired Curl is recommended on a weekly basis, but the brushing of a longhaired Curl is recommended on multiple occasions per week. Having your cat’s coat brushed regularly can keep it clean and healthy, and it will also mean that less cat hair is left on your furniture and clothes at the end of the day.
It is not uncommon for cats to wear down their nails naturally, but it is still likely that they will need their nails trimmed about once a month if they are to remain healthy. You should also make sure that you brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week, although it is recommended that you do this even more often. It is recommended that you brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week in order to keep their breath fresh, and most importantly, it can prevent your cat from developing periodontal disease if he brush his teeth regularly.
You should check your American Curl’s ears on a weekly basis for any signs of redness or an unpleasant smell, both of which can be indications of infection.
A feline-safe cleaning solution and a cotton ball can be used to clean your cat’s ears whenever necessary with a feline-safe cleaning solution. In addition, a soft, damp cloth can also be used as an alternative. Whenever you are cleaning your cat’s inner ear, do not use a cotton swab, as this could cause pain and injury to your cat. The pet parents should always handle the ears of their pets gently in order to prevent the cartilage from being broken.
The majority of cats are hesitant to practice grooming routines at first, which is understandable. Try to introduce grooming items to your feline at the earliest possible time, even on the very day that you bring it home, to help him feel more comfortable with these healthy habits. The best way to help your four-legged friend become accustomed to these necessary habits is to remain persistent, optimistic, and rewarding him with treats after every grooming session that you perform.
Keeping your cat healthy requires that they eat a diet that is appropriate to their age and that is nutritious. A Curl should also get enough exercise every day to ensure that he stays healthy and happy. In contrast to some cat breeds who are prone to gaining weight as well as maintaining a healthy weight, American Curls do quite well at maintaining a healthy weight, provided they are given the opportunity to exercise.
It is imperative that your cat receives mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation in order to maintain optimum health. Despite the fact that American Curls are intelligent cats, they are also very playful cats, who enjoy training their brains. Teaching your cat tricks and playing puzzle-type games are great ways to provide your cat with some mental exercise.
Gerken recommends brushing your American curl twice every week, regardless of whether it is a long-haired or a short-haired dog, so as to prevent any shedding and matting that may occur. Year-round, this breed is one of the most consistent shedders there is.
Apart from the brushing, one must take special care to clean the American curl’s ears frequently to prevent ear infections (the folded-back ears of an American curl make it harder for him to clean them on his own, according to Gerken).
The owners of American curls should be on the lookout for debris accumulation in the dog’s ears and signs of an ear infection, such as redness in the canals of the ears, malodor in the ear, shaking of the head, or pawing at the ears,” Gerken advises. According to Gerken, American curls, like all cats, require regular nail clipping and tooth brushing on a daily basis, ideally every time they brush their teeth.
It is important for all pet parents to take care of their cats’ mental health in addition to their physical health.
As American curls are intelligent cats, they are often taught tricks by their pet parents because they are such smart animals. In addition to being a great way to show-off to visitors to your home, training cats is also a great way to stimulate their brains and keep them healthy.”
Cats of mixed breeds and pedigreed breeds are both likely to suffer from health problems that may be inherited from their parents from a genetic perspective. There are many different kinds of American Curls, but some of them have problems with narrow ear canals, resulting in ear infections due to the buildup of wax.
American Curl Characteristics
An American Curl is considered by many to be a friendly, affectionate, and active cat that has an attachment to its owners that can be described as somewhat like a dog’s attachment to its owner. There is nothing they like more than gently poking and prodding their favorite family members around the house with their paws or following them from room to room as they go about their daily routine. It is also worth mentioning that they are extremely intelligent cats. Some children have been known to be able to figure out how to flick on and off light switches, and others have been able to open and close doors and cupboards on their own.
During their entire life, kittens typically remain playful throughout all stages of their development. They love to play with toys, climb furniture and cat trees, and investigate any new items brought into the home as well as play fetch with their owners. Having said that, at the end of the playtime, your American Curl is more likely to cuddle up on your lap, give you a few affectionate head bumps, and spend some time in peaceful companionship with you.
It is important to note, however, that American Curls are not comfortable to be left alone for long periods of time-so you may need to consider whether or not your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate several hours each day of attention and playtime for them.
As a fully grown kitten, these friendly felines aren’t that large, even though they tend to be a bit muscular given their smaller-to-medium size. By the time they are one or two years old, they have generally reached maturity. The American Curl makes a lot of quiet trills rather than loud meows, which is one of the reasons why they aren’t very talkative cats. In addition to being a sociable cat, most American Curls have no problem becoming best friends with children, as well as other pets at home, especially if they are offered the chance to play and have fun.
At their shoulder point, they are a semi-foreign rectangle with their length being one and one half times their height. Typically, they are of medium size, however, they can also be seen in a variety of sizes. It appears that the body of this person is moderately strong and toned.
Modified wedge with rounded edges without flat planes, moderately longer than wide and smooth transition from one point to another. In addition to a straight and moderately long nose, there is a slight rise from the bottom of the eyes to the forehead along with a gentle curve flowing from the top of the head to the neck. Size medium when compared with the size of the body. Generally, the muzzle is round with a gentle transition; there is no pronounced break in the whiskers. There should be a firm chin, aligned with the nose and upper lip.
The curvature of the ear is 90 degrees. From the base of the ear to about a third of its height, there is firm cartilage. From both the front and the rear, there is a broad, open base that curves back in a smooth arc in a smooth curve. Round and flexible tips are the characteristics of the tips. The size is moderate. On top and on the sides of the head, they should be erect and set equally.
Shaped like a walnut, the top is oval and the bottom is round. A slight angle should be created between the base of the ear and the tip of the nose, one eye width apart. Moderately large. Clear, brilliant, color no relation to coat color.
Legs & Paws
A medium length with a straight set when viewed from the front or back, in proportion to the body. I would describe the boning as medium, not too fine or too heavy. Paws medium and rounded.
It is flexible, wide at the base, and tapering towards the end; it has the same length as the body.
Colors and patterns of all colored and patterned cats, including chinchilla, van, colored, ticked tabby, shaded, smoke, chinchilla, and multicolored cats.
Coat: Long Hair
Texture fine, silky, laying flat. Undercoat minimal. A semi-long coat with a medium length. There is a full and plump tail.
Coat: Short Hair
There is a silky soft texture, which lays flat on the table; a resilient feel without being dense or plush. An undercoat that is minimal is recommended. The coat is short. There is no difference in the length of the tail coat and the body coat.
Exercise is an important part of the American Curl’s daily routine. Their favorite place in the house is a cat tree with perches on which they are able to jump and climb. A dog can maintain its weight fairly well if it is provided with the necessary amount of exercise space. It is also important for them to play interactively with one another. Curls have a tendency to like being next to people even though they are not considered lap cats.
The Basics of American Curl Grooming
To maintain a healthy and shiny coat on a shorthaired American Curl, it is important to groom him once a week. For a longhaired Curl to stay mat-free and tangle-free, it should be combed twice per week to remove mats and tangles from its hair.
American Curls only require regular nail trimming, which is usually done on a weekly basis, as the only other type of grooming. In order to maintain good overall health and a fresh breath, brush the teeth frequently with a veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste. It is important to start trimming your kitten’s nails and brushing their teeth early on so that they become accustomed to these activities.
Make sure to check your ears on a regular basis to see if they seem infected or if they have a bad smell or redness. If your ears look dirty, then you should clean them only if they are dirty. Please refer to your veterinarian for a recommendation regarding the type of cleanser to use. Please do not fold your ears into other positions or force them into other positions, as this can damage the cartilage of the ear.
Choosing an American Curl Breeder
If you want your American Curl to live a long and happy life, then do your homework before you bring him home so he is happy and healthy when you spend time with him. Visit the websites of the Cat Fanciers Association, Cats Center Stage, the Fanciers Breeder Referral List, and the International Cat Association in order to find out more about the history, personality, and look of the American Curl, as well as to find a breeder of this breed.
If you wanted to buy a new car or an expensive appliance, you would probably take at least the same amount of time researching what you were looking for in a kitten. In the long run, you will be able to save money if you do this.
In order to maintain a good reputation in this field, breeders are expected to adhere to a code of ethics that prohibits them from selling their animals to pet stores and wholesalers while outlining their responsibility to both their cats and their customers. In order to ensure that genetic health problems are excluded to the extent that is possible, you should choose a breeder who has performed the health certifications necessary as well as one who knows how to raise kittens in the home. Having been isolated for some time can make kittens fearful and skittish, which can make them difficult to socialize later in life when they are older.
A big question is how can you tell if a breeder is reputable or not if they have a website, because there are a lot of them? Cats are always available in the shop, there are multiple litters on the premises, you can choose any kitten you want, and you can pay online with a credit card. These are red flags. Those things may seem convenient, but they are almost never associated with breeders who have a good reputation in the industry.
Don’t forget that the old adage of “let the buyer beware” applies whether you’re planning on purchasing your feline friend from a breeder, a pet store, or any other source. You would be hard pressed to distinguish between reputable breeders and unsanitary catteries if you do not have any experience with them. If you want to make sure you don’t end up with a sick kitten, you need to do some research on the breed (so you know what to expect), check out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and ask the right questions. If you follow these tips, then you will be less likely to end up in a disastrous situation. In addition, it is important not to forget to ask your veterinarian for referrals to reputable breeders, breed rescue organizations, and other sources that can provide you with healthy kittens at an affordable price.
Be patient. For the right kitten to become available, you may have to wait up to six months or even longer, depending on what you are looking for. It is not uncommon for breeders to hold on to their kittens until they are 12 to 16 weeks old before releasing them into their new homes.
Taking into consideration the lifestyle you live, it might be a better choice for you to purchase an adult American Curl rather than a kitten. Having a kitten around can be a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work, and if they are not watched until they reach adulthood, they can be quite destructive. When you choose an adult, you are certain of the type of personality and health you will be receiving from them. In the event that a kitten is not what you are looking for, ask breeders if they can help you purchase a retired show or breeding cat, or if they know of an adult cat who needs a home instead of a kitten.
Adopting a Cat from American Curl Rescue or a Shelter
It is a rare breed of dog to find an American Curl. If you are looking for a dog to adopt, you are unlikely to find one in a shelter or through a rescue group, but if you look for one, it doesn’t hurt to try. Pedigreed cats can end up in shelters due to a variety of reasons such as losing their homes due to an owner’s death, divorce, or a change in economic circumstances.
It is very important that you know how to find the right cat from a rescue group or shelter so that you can adopt it.
1. Use the Web
With sites such as Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com, you can find an American Curl in your area within minutes if you use them. You can be very specific in your requests on the website (for example, if you are looking for American Curls who are housetrained) or very general (for example, you can search through all American Curl dogs on Petfinder across the nation). There are many animal rescue groups in your area that you can find by visiting AnimalShelter.org. Depending on your local newspaper, there may be a section that is devoted to “pets looking for new homes.”.
In addition to social media, you can also use it to find a cat. In order for your entire community to be able to guide you to a specific breed that suits your needs, post a message on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed.
2. Reach Out to Local Experts
Talk to pet professionals in your area about the possibility of owning an American Curl if you are interested in one. A vet, a cat sitter, and a groomer are all service providers that are included in this category. It is common for people to ask their trusted friends and family for recommendations when they are faced with the decision of giving up their beloved cats.
3. Talk to Breed Rescue
By networking with other cat lovers, you may be able to find a cat that may be just the right companion for you and your family. American Curls are loved by most people who have ever owned one, and probably by all those who have owned one. This is the reason why breed clubs are dedicated to taking care of homeless cats and that’s why they have rescue organizations. You can begin your search for a breeder by looking at the Fanciers Breeder Referral List. There are also other American Curl rescues that you can find in your area by searching online.
4. Key Questions to Ask
I have shown you what you need to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with the staff or volunteers of a shelter or rescue group before you take a cat home with you. These include:
What is his energy level?
How is he around other animals?
How does he respond to shelter workers, visitors and children?
What is his personality like?
How old is he?
Is he litterbox trained?
Has he ever bitten or scratched anyone that they know of?
Are there any known health issues?
Whenever you acquire your American Curl, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that you have a good contract with the seller, shelter, or rescue group which spells out all the responsibilities on both sides of the transaction. Be sure you understand your rights and recourses as well as those of the person from whom you purchase the cat if your state has pet lemon laws.
As soon as your American Curl has been adopted, you should take it to a veterinarian to make sure the kitten or adult is healthy. You can work with your veterinarian to establish a preventive program that will be able to help you stay healthy and free from many of the health issues that can arise in the future.
It was a spontaneous genetic mutation among domestic cats that caused the American Curl to be created in June 1981. Despite their popularity, they were not recognized by any of the largest cat registry associations in North America until 1986, when they became popular.
A couple in Lakewood, California, were welcomed to their home by two cats with ears curled backwards in June of 1981. As a result, one of the cats, a friendly longhaired female, passed away shortly afterward, but the other cat, who proved to be a loyal member of the family, remained a member and was named Shulamith. While initially little attention was given to Shulamith’s unique curled ears, her new family was more taken by her loyalty and trustworthiness as opposed to her unique curled ears. After visiting local book stores and libraries, they discovered that none of the books listed Shulamith’s supposed breed, and they assumed that he was one of many cats with curly ears.
A litter of four kittens was born to Shulamith in December 1981, and two of them had the same curled-back ears as Shulamith’s. It soon became apparent that the father, a local longhaired tom cat, did not have curly ears or, as it would soon become apparent, had not been born with such a gene. In spite of the fact that the couple did not have a clear understanding of cat genetics at the time, they eventually discovered that the gene that controls the curled ears is a dominant gene, which means that at least one parent needs the gene to pass it on to the offspring. Additionally, if a cat does not possess the dominant gene for curled ears, he or she will not be able to possess the dominant gene for them; a dominant gene will always appear in the appearance of a cat.
The local tom cats continued to breed with Shulamith, allowing the local Curl population to increase as a result. A variety of colors and patterns, including the pointed pattern, were seen in early litters in addition to both long and short hairs. Friends and family of the couple were given kittens by the couple as gifts.
In the end, Nancy Kiester ended up acquiring two of these kittens, who were put up for adoption due to their unique ears and gentle temperament. The inquiring mind of Kiester was prompted to speculate that these kittens might actually be a completely new breed of cat after reading an article on the Scottish Fold, another breed with distinctive ears. In order to promote the American Curl, it was proved that they were and from that point on they became recognized and promoted.