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American Curl

This Endearing Cat Looks Perpetually Surprised

American Curl

Antonia Cirjak - Last Updated on February 4th, 2021

Things you Should Know about the American Curl 

The American Curl is a cat breed that most will recognize by its distinctive. They curl back away from the face and point towards the back of the head. 

These cats can be either long-haired or short-haired. It is a breed that originated quite recently, in Lakewood, California. It happened due to a completely natural spontaneous feline mutation.

The breed is known for having an expression of surprise thanks to the swept-back look. Their affectionate temperament further enhances this. 

People often confuse them with another breed, the Scottish Fold, however, their ears curl in the opposite direction.

Appearance Matters. What does an American Curl look like?

American Curls are medium-sized cats with a rounded head, distinct whisker pads, and a broad muzzle. Their facial expression is elegant, yet continuously alert, and their behavior is sweet and friendly. 

American Curl shorthair and longhair versions both have soft and silky coats. However, only the longhair variety has a gorgeous plumed tail.

These cats are all born with straight ears. They start to curl back three to five days after birth. They slowly unfold, reaching their final shape and position after almost four months.  

However, the degree of curl can vary from cat to cat. Some are almost straight, while others have a striking arc. After these sixteen weeks have passed, their ears won’t curl anymore and will become stiff. 

There is a difference between most American Curls that are pets and those that are show-cats. Pets can have almost straight ears, but show-cats must have a curl in a specific arc between 90 and 180 degrees. Sometimes an even greater angle is favored.

These cats have a huge color and pattern variety. Both versions have silky, soft coats with almost no undercoat. This means that the American Curl doesn’t require much grooming to keep the coat in great condition.

Most of the time, you won’t be able to purchase American Curl kittens until they are four months old. This is because the degree of the ear curl can change drastically during this period. 

Once the ear has achieved its final form, the cats can go into their new homes.

What colors do the American Curl cats come in?

You will find these cats in a wide array of different patterns and colors. 

American Curls can have basically every recognized color. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Lilac
  • Chocolate
  • Chinchilla Silver
  • Black Smoke  

Also, they have been seen in every marking pattern, such as color point or tortoiseshell. 

Since their coats can be either long or short-haired, you can expect a ton of variety when it comes to looks with these cats.

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It's all Personal. The American Curl Temperament

The American Curl personality is quite joyous. They love to play, even when they become noticeably older. They like playing fetch, but you will most often find them in high places. 

They love humans, so you can expect them to follow you around and generally be where you are.

The American Curl is an excellent choice for large families with older children. If you have smaller children, be careful that they do not rough-handle the cat. The Curl will also get along quite well with other cats and dogs.

These cats don’t like to be left alone for long periods. If you decide to get one, be careful, and plan your schedule well. These cats can develop separation anxiety, and that is something to avoid.

You should mostly keep them indoors, so they are protected from other animals, cars, and diseases.

Caring for your American Curl 

The American Curl can either have a long or a short coat, but they are easy to care for in any case. You should comb a Curl weekly, which should be more than enough to keep them looking stunning.

Shorthairs shed more than the longhairs, and they do so throughout the entire year. The longhairs will shed more during warmer months, so you may want to brush and comb them more often. You will rarely need to bathe them.

Since they do shed, they are not a hypoallergenic breed.

The Health and Happiness of your American Curl 

A large number of non-pedigreed domestic cats played a role in the creation of the American Curl, which makes it quite a healthy breed of cats.

There are standard issues, such as heart and kidney issues, but most cats have problems with those once they get older.

It should be mentioned that by the age of 10, many of these cats develop arthritis somewhere in their body. Cats can hide their pain very well, so you should regularly visit the vet to find any issues your cat might be suffering from.

Their ear cartilage is quite delicate, so any cleaning should be done very gently. Always consult your veterinarian and never force their ears into different positions.

The typical American Curl lifespan is 9 to 15 years.

How do I Find Good American Curl Breeders?

Finding a good breeder for your future pet is extremely important. It can mean the difference between having the best possible pet experience ever and having a pet that could become a huge chore.

Take a look at our list of the best American Curl breeders to see which one suits you best.

If you’re looking to get one of these kittens as your pet, you will definitely want to get the best breeder possible. Expect to pay around $1,000 for one of these kittens.

Feline History. Where does the American Curl come from?

The American Curl was created in Lakewood, California, in 1981. In June of that year, two stray cats appeared on the doorstep of Joe and Grace Ruga.  

They looked like normal cats, but they had ears that curled backward on their heads. They took both of the cats in, but one disappeared after some time.

They named the remaining cat Shulamith, it was a black longhair, and it became the basis for the new breed. This is the cat to which every American Curl running around today can trace their lineage.

It took no time at all to establish the new breed. It was submitted to the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1983, and it was accepted for registration in 1986. It was granted provisional status in 1991, and finally Champion status in 1993.

American Curls were normally outcrossed with any kind of non-pedigreed domestic cat. This is the main reason why these cats are so diverse, especially when it comes to color variations. 

However, since 2010 these studbooks have been closed, and all American Curls since then have been the result of Curl-Curl breedings.

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