Cloaked in a High-Fashion Movie Star’s Perm
Jon Crimes - Last Updated on January 25th, 2021
What you Need to Know about the LaPerm
A kitten with a spontaneous mutation was born on an Oregan farm in the 1980s. This cat became known as the LaPerm.
LaPerm cats are active felines with outgoing personalities. They also have an attractive, strong physique and a coat that dazzles wherever they go. The cat’s coat can be long or shorthaired.
The LaPerm has a desire to get involved with whatever you are doing and has a very inquisitive nature.
Generally a quiet cat, LaPerm cats enjoy giving and receiving hugs and kisses. They also love to ride on a shoulder to keep an eye on everything that is going on.
Appearance Matters. What does a LaPerm look like?
Although a cousin of the Rex breed of cats, the LaPerm is genetically distinct from these other breeds. This is a medium-sized cat with rather long legs and is muscular active.
LaPerm males weigh 8 to 10 pounds; females, 6 to 8 pounds.
Cats with curly hair?
It has a dominant gene that creates a lovely curly coat, which has been described as a full-body perm. It's as if a talented hairdresser has been hard at work with your cat to make it enthrallingly curly.
The coat varies according to the season and the maturity of the cat. Essentially though, it is wavy or curly all over. The neck ruff is where these curls are most prominent.
Their ears can also have some unique hair features. Silky hair can be found on the back of the ears with long curly hair inside. They also have ear tip ‘tufts’ and distinctive ‘ear muffs’.
The longhaired version is graced with a curly plumed tail. Smaller bottle brush tails are common with the shorthairs. Curly, long whiskers can be seen on both, and their coat can have a natural parting on the spine. This is jokingly described as “the parting of the waves”.
The coat itself is described as having a unique textured feel. Because they have no thick undercoat, their fur feels loose and 'springy' when patted.
Note that LaPerm kittens may lose their coat as they begin to mature. They go through a gawky adolescent phase and then develop their lovely curls later on.
LaPerm cat colors
The LaPerm can come in many different coat colors and patterns, but the most common include:
Eye colors can range from gold to aqua. Eyes of different colors 'odd eyes' are also accepted for formal exhibition.
With large cupped ears, decorated by curls and ringlets at the base, they have a look that can be quite deceptive. Large, almond-shaped eyes complete the innocent appearance, which hides their love for mischief.
It's all Personal. The LaPerm Personality
The LaPerm will love to settle down on your lap! When that’s not an option, this inquisitive cat is exploring its surroundings and making sure that it’s a part of everything that is going on.
LaPerms are very intelligent and clever cats. They think about how to use their paws to reach out and get exactly what they want. This might include an irresistible cat toy, Christmas tree decorations, or your attention.
They are also likely to raise a paw up in a human-like 'high-five' sign or reach out and brush your face with that same paw.
These are very playful cats. Excellent strategizers, plan step-by-step to grab hold of a special object that has been placed just out of its reach!
These cats know how to use their innocent-looking eyes and unique appearance to get your attention.
The LaPerm is affectionate with pretty much everyone they meet. This includes the children with whom they play, pets with whom they live, and strangers with whom they flirt.
Caring for your LaPerm
Maintenance of the LaPerm coat is a breeze and generally a pleasure for both the owner and the cat. LaPerm's with shorthair only needs grooming every couple of weeks. More frequent brushing will be required for a Longhaired LaPerm.
With no undercoat, the fur doesn't mat easily. The curl holds much of the loose fur to the body, rather than dropping it to the floor, on the furniture, or on your clothes.
Hair shedding, although not excessive, can be reduced even further with light combing. Bathing can help to keep the cat’s coat looking pristine but always towel dry. Coat frizz can be avoided by keeping your cat away from the hairdryer.
When the coat is completely dry, a quick spritz of the fur with water mist can help to highlight its lovely curls.
Are LaPerm hypoallergenic cats?
This breed is reputed to be more 'hypoallergenic' than many other breeds. If you’re sensitive to cat dander, then this cat might be a good choice. However, to be sure, try and spend some time with this breed before taking one home.
Also, build in some other activities into your cat grooming routine. Check their ears for dirt and wipe with a soft, damp cloth when necessary. Wipe away any natural discharge from their eyes and keep on top of any long sharp claws with regular nail clipping.
The Health and Happiness of your LaPerm
Although no genetic diseases are associated with the LaPerm, all cats can have the potential to inherit diseases.
A common problem with many cats is obesity. They rarely know when they're 'full'. It will be your responsibility to monitor their weight and feed them appropriately. Also, ensure they get the required exercise or playtime.
LaPerms typically weigh between 5 and 10 pounds, and keeping them at an ideal weight will be one of the best ways to protect them against diseases.
What is the LaPerm cat lifespan?
A healthy and well-looked after LaPerm can expect to live between 10 and 15 years.
Feline History. Where does the LaPerm come from?
Born in 1982, the first LaPerm was the 'odd' cat in an otherwise normal group of kittens.
The breed founders were Linda and Richard Koehl. They were initially alarmed by the kitten's appearance. This worry subsided when it matured into a lovely cat with a unique, soft, and curly coat.
This convinced Linda to name the breed 'LaPerm'. She then pursued official recognition.
The International Cat Association approved the LaPerm for championship status in 2003. The breed gained championship recognition with the CFA in May of 2008. Today, the LaPerm is recognized by cat associations all over the world.