Scottish Fold kittens for sale: Folded ears. Medium-sized cat. Owl-like look. Children friendly pet. Rounded body. Playful, affectionate, self-grooming, highly intelligent, and soft-spoken. Pet friendly. Not clingy. CFA, TICA.
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The Charming Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is a breed of cat with a genetic mutation that causes the ear cartilage to contain a fold, which presses on the ears, bending them forward and down towards the front of the head, giving the cat what is often described as an adorable “owl-like” appearance. Many cats of this breed are also born without the fold-gene, making the folded-ear cats rare, precious, and qualified to show.
Originally called lop-eared or just “lops” after the lop-eared rabbit, the Scottish Fold became the breed's official name in 1966. Depending on registries, longhaired Scottish Folds are varyingly known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, and Longhair Fold.
The original Scottish Fold was a white long-haired barn cat named Susie, who was found at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1961. Susie's ears had an unusual fold in the middle, making her resemble an owl. When Susie had a litter of kittens, two of them developed folded ears, and William Ross, a neighboring farmer and cat-fancier, acquired one of these kittens. Ross registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in Great Britain in 1966, and started to breed Scottish Fold kittens with the help of geneticist Pat Turner.
The breeding program produced 76 kittens in the first three years—42 with folded ears and 34 with straight ears. The conclusion from this outcome was that the ear mutation is due to a simple dominant gene. Susie's only reproducing offspring was a female Fold named Snooks who was also white; a second kitten was neutered shortly after birth. Three months after Snooks's birth, Susie was, sadly, killed by a car. All Scottish Fold cats today share a common ancestry with Susie and Snooks.
Folds were first introduced to the United States in 1970 when three of Snook's kittens were sent to a Dr. Neil Todd in Massachusetts, who was researching spontaneous mutations. He eventually abandoned his research, but located good homes for his Folds. One of his cats found its way to Salle Wolfe Peters in Pennsylvania, who is chiefly responsible for developing the breed in the United States, using other Folds that were later imported to the U.S.A.
The Scottish Fold was accepted by the CFA ( Cat Fanciers Association ) for registration in 1973, and in 1978, it was awarded Championship status. In an amazingly short period of time, the Fold has earned acceptance in all the major cat associations, and a place in the U.S. cat fanciers’ top ten most popular breeds.
The long-haired version of the breed was not officially recognized until the mid-1980s, although long-haired kittens had been cropping up in Scottish Fold litters since the genesis of the breed. Susie herself apparently carried the long-hair gene. The use of Persians in early crosses also helped to establish the long-hair gene.
All Folds are born with straight, unfolded ears; those with the fold gene will begin to show the fold between nineteen and twenty-two days of age. The kittens that do not develop folded ears are known as Straights. The original cats had only one fold in their ears, but through selective breeding, breeders have increased the fold to a double or triple crease that causes the ear to lie totally flat against the head.
“The breed's distinctive folded ears are produced by an incompletely dominant gene that affects the cartilage of the ears, causing the ears to fold forward and downward, giving a cap-like appearance to the head. Smaller, tightly folded ears set in a cap-like fashion are preferred to a loose fold and larger ear. The large, round eyes and rounded head, cheeks, and whisker pads add to the overall rounded appearance. Despite the folded ears, Folds still use their aural appendages to express themselves—the ears swivel to listen, lay back in anger and prick up when the treat bag rustles.” (J. Anne Helgren, “Choosing a Scottish Fold.”)
The Scottish Fold is a sturdy medium-sized cat, with males typically reaching eight to eleven pounds, and females, six to nine pounds. The Scottish Fold's entire body structure, especially the head and face, is generally rounded. The nose is short with a gentle curve, the head is domed at the top, and the neck is very short. The broadly-spaced eyes (as well as the folded ears, when present) give the Scottish Fold its sweet expression. Scottish Folds may have nearly any coat color or combination of colors (including white), except pointed colors: for example: cream, bi-color, etc.
Both the folded-ear and straight-eared Folds share the same temperament. They are typically good-natured and placid, and adjust to other animals within a household extremely well. They tend to become very attached to their human caregivers and are by nature quite affectionate. Folds are very loyal and tend to bond with one person in the household more than others. While they will usually allow others to cuddle and pet them, their primary attachment becomes clear rather quickly as they single out their chosen human.
Folds receive high marks forbeing playful, affectionate, self-grooming, and are generally highly intelligent, soft-spoken, and easily adaptable to new living situations. They seem to feel as comfortable in a room full of noisy children and dogs as they are in a single person’s dwelling. They don’t usually panic at shows or in strange hotel rooms, and they adjust to other animals extremely well.
Scottish Folds typically have soft voices, yet are able to display a complex repertoire of meows, purrs, chirps, and whistles not found in many other breeds. Folds are known for sleeping on their backs, and also for sitting with their legs stretched out and their paws on their bellies. This unusual posturing is called the "Buddha Position.”
Scottish Folds thrive on attention, but it must be on their own terms. Despite their devotion, they are not clingy, demanding, “in-your-face” cats. They enjoy a good game of fetch now and then, and retain their impish playful nature long into adulthood.
Over the last two decades, the Scottish Fold has developed a look all its own. Even though permitted outcrosses include American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs, the Scottish Fold does not possess the American Shorthair’s hard, powerful “working cat” body and squared-off muzzle. Nor does it have the British Shorthair’s massive, compact body, short legs, and flat-planed head. The Scottish Fold, instead, is a mid-sized, strong cat with a rounded, well-padded body and a short, dense, resilient coat. Think of the breed as having a "British sense of decorum along with an American sense of self-confidence," (The International Scottish Fold Association). Due to the rarity of the Fold within the breed, it is very hard for the supply to keep up with the demand, as only cats with the fold may be shown in competitions.
The Scottish Fold is an undemanding cat. A clean environment, proper nutrition, and generous doses of love and attention are their only requirements in order to thrive. The unique “owl-like” look that has captured the hearts of so many cat fanciers and judges will continue to do so for many years to come.
Stephanie Smith, the owner of Holyfold Scottish Folds, kindly agreed to contribute additional information and insights into the nature of this breed, which she loves so much. She has been breeding Scottish Folds for fourteen years now, and has been a significant contributor to the establishment and development of the breed.
Stephanie agreed right away that the Scottish Fold is a very people-oriented cat who loves children (children friendly pet), dogs, other feline companions—just about everyone! She added that because they are such social beings, these cats do not like to be left alone for significant periods of time, and are definitely happiest when in your presence.
I asked her about the Buddha Position which is mentioned above in this article, and she laughingly expanded upon the brief description above. She said that when Scottish Folds lie on their backs with paws across their bellies, they look like “all they are missing is a remote control in one hand, and a beer in the other!” She also described their tendency to stand up on their hind legs like prairie dogs, slowly surveying the scene from this loftier position.
When I asked her about any unusual behaviors or antics amongst these cats, she mentioned that some of her own beloveds have learned to push the buttons on the knobs on her sinks, letting fresh water flow freely on command. Some have also learned to open doors—obviously, the Scottish Fold is a great problem-solver! Also of interest is the fact that in lieu of drinking water directly from their bowls, they tend to scoop it up and drink it from their paws.
Stephanie herself is a great expert on the somewhat complex process of selecting breeding cats for the best possible Scottish Fold outcome, so I will just briefly summarize what she said, you can contact her for more detailed information. While one might think it logical, fold to fold breeding is actually very undesirable, as it can lead to possible bone issues, like arthritis, in the offspring. Straight to fold breeding is the method of choice in order to produce the healthiest, strongest cats. Straights, therefore, are integral to the breeding process, and make the same kind of delightful pets that folds do, even though they cannot be shown. The British Shorthair is re-introduced into the breeding process occasionally, in order to keep the gene pool as robust as possible.
With Thanks To:
Barron’s Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds