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American Curl Cat 

The Peter Pan of the Feline

american curl cat

The American Curl cat can make people do a double take. The Curl describes the ears, which curl back giving a very different look to the head. A stylish cat that is people orientated to the point of following to not miss anything, this is not your typical feline. It's entirely different seeing them on picture than seeing them live. You'll be unexpectedly delighted with their dynamic personality.

These cats are available in both short hair and long hair. Personally I like the long hair version. You can't help but smile looking at their feather boa-like tail swishing around when they tranced around the house. A medium sized cat that is fairly quiet with expressive eyes they have a low grooming requirement with no undercoat. 

Some owners reported that these cats have a dog-like personality. I couldn't agree more. They'll follow you around, they're faithful, tolerant of other pets, and very respectful towards other cats of the household.

Playful well into adulthood, the American Curl cat start life with normal ears that curl backwards at a few days old. They will sometimes change slightly until they ‘set’ at about 16 days which is when most breeders do their pet/show cut. Of course this is a cat that is more than just ears!

black and white


Breed History

The Curls today are all descendants of Shulamith, a black, long haired stray kitten adopted by Grace and Joe Ruga in Lakeland, California back in 1981.

Fortunately The unusual ears are due to a gene that is “autosomal dominant” – meaning a cat needs only one copy of the gene to show the unusual ears. It means if you breed any curled eared cat to any other cat, you're bound to get at least one curled eared kitten. This allows for a healthy breed with selection for temperament and health as well as the ears.


Another advantage is a large gene pool whenever appropriate out cross were to be bred into this breed. Having a large gene pool will deviate American Curl cat from forming serious congenital diseases.


Breed Standard

From the standard of perfection 30 points are dedicated to the ears that define the breed. The body counts for 25 points, head for 20 points while coat and color is 15 points and eyes are 10 points. They should be elegant cats that are balanced and moderately muscled with a slender build. Males are 7-10 pounds with queens slightly smaller. They are alert, active and good tempered.

A wide variety of colors in solid, smoke, tabby and lynx point are available. To insure a solid genetic base the American curl allows outcrosses to domestic longhair or shorthairs. The stud book will eventually be closed which then allows only curl to curl breeding.

This is a genetically healthy breed because of the open book. This is a new and developing breed with ears that are judged on the degree of curl. The tighter the curl the better. The curl to curl breeding produces all curled ear kittens. Breeding a curl to a regular eared cat produces 50-50 curled that sometimes are more dominant.

The active nature of the American Curl and unusual loyalty to their chosen people is sometimes as unique as their appearance. The ears do require occasional cleaning particularly for show. They can be sensitive about picking up on stress levels so remain calm.

Keep in mind that this breed is less than 20 years old, beginning with a stray in California that displayed the unusual ears as well as the ability to pass them on genetically. As they gain popularity the health and temperament needed for pets is kept in mind by breeders. Selection is needed to insure that the ears are simply part of the package, not the whole package.

If you are looking for a gentle, unusual looking cat that is people orientated the American Curl cat might be just the cat that fits your needs! 

Click here for our American Curl Breeders List!



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