The Scottish Fold Cat In its early years, this unique breed of Folded eared cats was met with scorn at its native British Islands but has since rapidly progressed to become one of the top ten most popular breeds in the world.
Today, the distinctly round face with forward Folded ears charms cat lovers everywhere.
The Scottish Fold breed originated from Susie, a cat that lived on a farm in Perthsire, Scotland during the early 1960s. Susie was a white mixed breed cat with one exceptional feature – her ears were Folded.
William Ross, a local shepherd with an interest in purebred cats, noticed Susie and obtained one of her kittens, another ear Folded cat. Shortly after that Susie died, leaving behind only one more Folded kitten – a neutered Male. Ross contacted Pat Turner, a London breeder with an interest in feline genetics, and so a breeding program for Folded eared cats was established.
At first, British cat fancy associations rejected the breed on the grounds that the Folded ears gene was compromising the health of these cats. In the early 1970s a breeding program was established in the United States and by the end of that decade, the Scottish Fold gained championship status at the cat shows.
The most prominent feature of any Scottish Fold cat is of course the ears, which must Fold forward and downward. The ears are usually small and tightly Folded, giving the cat’s head a unique round silhouette. The head shape itself is also round, with prominent cheeks, a short nose and well rounded large eyes.
Scottish Folds are medium sized cats and can be either shorthaired or longhaired. All colors and patterns are acceptable except for pointed patterns that suggest hybridization with Siamese or Himalayan cats.
These cats are considered to be sweet tempered and intelligent. These docile cats are not very vocal and form deep attachments with their loved humans.
The gene responsible for the Folded ear mutation is a dominant gene. This means that if the gene is passed from one of the parents, it is enough to produce a Folded kitten. If both parents contribute the Folded gene, the kitten is likely to suffer from congenital osteodystrophy, a genetic condition that causes deformities of the bones (especially fused tail vertebrae and thickened legs). That is why responsible breeders never breed one Scottish Fold to another – all Scottish Folds must be constantly outbreed to prevent the birth of sick kittens.
Healthy Scottish Folds appear not to have any special health or grooming problems. These cats are not particularly prone to ear infections or ear mites, as was suspected some years ago.
(Cats 101: scottish fold video)
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