With its curved ears, the American Curl attracts a lot of attention because they give it an unusual appearance. In the profile, you get information about the origin, the character, and the attitude of the special cat breed.
History and Origin of the American Curl
The first American Curl cat was born through a natural mutation in 1981. Husband and wife Joe and Grace Ruga found a long-haired, black stray cat with oddly curved ears in their driveway in California. They took in the homeless cat and named it Sulamith. A short time later, the cat gave birth to four kittens, two of which also had twisted ears. At the request of the owners, a geneticist found out that a mutation is a reason for the unusual shape of the ears.
In 1983, the Rugs presented one of their cats at an exhibition and began selectively breeding it. They named the new breed “American” after their country of origin and “Curl” after the rounded ears. After that, they built up a broader breeding base by crossing different breeds. TICA recognized the breed in 1987 and it gained worldwide fame. In 2003, the Fédération Internationale Féline also recognized the breed and published a breed standard. Apart from the curl ears, the standard makes almost no further specifications.
Essence and Character
Since the American Curl originates from various pedigree cats and other breeds are still regularly used in breeding today, there are different types of temperaments. In general, the Curls are friendly and undemanding cats that are not particularly demanding. The affable and gentle cats get along well with their own kind and other pets. The playful and humorous cats also get along well with children. The breed is shy towards strangers and keeps its distance. The clingy cat appreciates the stroking of its familiar people. Due to its affable and gentle nature, the curly-eared cat is an ideal family cat.
The Appearance of the American Curl
The appearance of the American Curl is just as varied as its character. There are both short-haired and long-haired representatives of the breed in all possible coat colors. Depending on which cat breeds appear in the kitten family tree, they have an individual appearance. A feature that all Curls have in common is their characteristic backward-curved ears. The ears are broad at the base and have a rounded tip with a tuft of hair. The curvature of the auricle varies and can be up to 180 degrees in extreme cases. The ability to hear and the mobility of the ears is allegedly not restricted by this.
Attitude and care
Outdoor cat or indoor cat
Because of their even-tempered and calm nature, the American Curl is a popular indoor cat. The frugal cat adapts to all circumstances and does not have a strong urge for freedom. At the same time, her curious and bold nature ensures that she feels comfortable outdoors. Depending on whether your environment allows it, the breed is therefore also suitable as an outdoor cat. As a purely indoor cat, she needs appropriate alternative employment and cuddling hours with her owner. Ideally, the house cats can let off steam on a secure balcony or terrace when the weather is nice. They particularly like to sit on a lookout point and observe the surroundings.
The willing to learn and intelligent cat is happy about any kind of activity. Some representatives of the breed can even be taught little tricks or how to fetch toys. They remain playful into old age and love to fool around with their owner. Playing with a toy fishing rod, toy mice, or balls together with your human ensures sufficient movement and fun. Climbing in particular makes the adventurous cat very happy, which is why a stable scratching post is a good purchase for every curl owner. It is best not to keep the sociable cat alone and offer her a fellow cat to play and cuddle with.
Grooming and feeding
The grooming of curl cats is primarily dependent on the length of their fur. While the short-haired members of the breed only need an occasional brushing, the long-haired ones need a little more support. However, since they also have a little undercoat, the fur does not tend to become matted and is considered relatively easy to care for. When a cat’s sensitive ears bend forward, it can cause injury. So make sure that the ears are always protected. Feeding depends on the individual cat – each cat has individual tastes and prefers a different food. In any case, sufficient water should always be available. A drinking fountain could encourage your velvet paws to drink.
Acquisition of an American Curl
To buy an American Curl, you should look for a reputable breeder nearby. Since the breed is not particularly well known in Germany, you will have a hard time with it. There is no breeding association and you have to contact private individuals. You can always find particularly cheap kittens on the Internet, but you should be careful. Before you buy a kitten, do your research and look at the parents and siblings. You can get a purebred and healthy kitten from a reputable breeder for around €800. The price depends on the degree of curvature of the ears. The more elegantly the ears are bent, the more expensive the cat will be. Only cats with ears of the third degree, that is, an elegant curve like a crescent moon, may be officially used for breeding and show.