Scottish Fold

This Amusingly Chubby Cat Looks Like an Owl

Scottish Fold

Antonia Cirjak - Last Updated on December 18th, 2021

Things you Should Know about the Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds defy the typical regal cat persona most imagine when thinking about cats. They tend to sit on their backside with extended legs and paws, looking like a furry Buddha.

Yet, the list of amusing and slightly odd attributes does not stop there.

The folded ear feature the cat is known for is the effect of a genetic mutation. Some of the kittens grow up with straight ears, and those cats do not qualify for breed shows. 

Scottish Fold

Appearance Matters. What does a Scottish Fold look like?

The typical shorthair Scottish Fold is of medium size and can be quite corpulent in build. The entirety of their physical structure is round. 

This is most prominent when looking at its domed head shape and round face. The neck is also almost comically short, along with the nose.

There is the Scottish Fold longhair and shorthair variety when it comes to the coat type and length. However, both coat lengths have double-layered, thick fur.

When these features are combined with the folded ears, there’s not much you can do to not fall in love with this mesmerizing breed.

Are the Kittens Born With Folded Ears?

Scottish Fold kittens do not have folded ears when they are born.  

Their ears stand upright like with any other domestic cat. However, when the kitten is between 19 and 22 days old, the dominant gene that causes the folded ear set will influence the ear shape. Some kittens develop with straight ears and are popularly called Straights. 

The earliest cats only had one ear fold. But, clever use of breeding practices and genetics resulted in two or sometimes even three folds that create that flattened look.

What colors do the Scottish Fold cats come in?

These adorable pudgy cats come in all sorts of color combinations and patterns. Here are some of the more popular ones that you’ll likely come across:

  • White
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Orange
  • Blue
  • Silver tabby
  • Ginger tabby
  • Calico
  • Blue cream

Another interesting thing about these unusual cats is their eye color. It typically follows the coat’s color and pattern in both longhair and shorthair varieties.

What is the difference between the Scottish Fold and British Shorthair cats?

The main difference between these two cats is that they are completely different breeds. Aside from that distinction, the British Shorthair cat has an upright ear set. 

Another breed that is also often confused with the original Fold is the Scottish Fold Munchkin. This is actually a crossbreed between a Munchkin and a Fold. It has a distinguishable ear set and extremely short legs.

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It's all Personal. The Scottish Fold Temperament

Both varieties of this breed are easy-going cats. They are very friendly with people and are able to adjust to different pets living in the same household. 

The Scottish fold personality is that of a very clingy fuzzball that wants all your attention as long as it’s possible. This is a great choice for those looking for an affectionate cat breed attached strongly to its owner.

Another very interesting thing about this cat’s personality is the broad specter of vocalizations. This isn't typical for most other cat breeds. However, the breed isn’t necessarily loud, rather talkative in an amusing way.

Do Scottish Fold cats make good pets?

Scottish Fold is a great choice for a pet breed. Friendly, affectionate, not very demanding in terms of behavior is what this cat is all about.

Since they are cats, after all, they sometimes behave as typical cats would, independent and aloof. But these are rare moments that you’ll probably learn to appreciate. 

Scottish Fold

Caring for your Scottish Fold 

Properly caring for your Fold means frequent grooming because their fur, whether short or long, is very dense. This means that they will have more hair to shed regularly.

However, the brushing is easy and will remove all the potential dirt accumulated during the day.

Besides keeping the coat clean and free of debris, it’s important to restrict the amount of hair that your cat can ingest and create hairballs. This is less of a problem during the colder months of the year, so your grooming schedule can be less frequent.

Do Scottish folds shed a lot?

Like most cats, Folds tend to shed during the entire year, with specific periods when they shed more intensely. 

However, the amount of shed isn’t that different from any other domestic cat breed, even though it might seem that way due to their coat’s density.

Get your shorthair Scottish Fold on a once-a-week brushing schedule to control the amount of hair in your home. You’ll want to increase the brushing frequency to a few times a week during the warmer months.

If your cat has a longer coat, you will need to do it at least a few times a week and sometimes even daily. But the brushing will be enjoyable to your Scottish Fold, and it’s a chance to bond, so you’ll likely look forward to these sessions.

Are Scottish Fold kittens hypoallergenic?

These cats are not considered hypoallergenic by any means.

If you have persistent and intense allergies, Scottish Folds might not be a great choice. As we mentioned, their coat is very dense and will cause reactions in those that are very sensitive to cat dander.

Nonetheless, if your allergies aren’t chronic and you have only mild symptoms, this breed just might work for you. But only if you’re willing to put in the necessary work to maintain the fur.

Scottish Fold

The Health and Happiness of your Scottish Fold 

The Scottish Fold lifespan is great. These cats typically live for up to 15 years, sometimes even longer.

The breed is generally healthy but may suffer from several conditions, one of which is specific to the Scottish Fold. 

One of the conditions is polycystic kidney disease. It is caused by a defect in a gene called PKD1. The disease can be avoided by omitting the affected individuals from further breeding.
The other condition is osteochondrodysplasia (OCD) and it affects all cat breeds that have folds. OCD can cause serious issues, affect mobility, cause intense pain, and bone changes. 

Not all Folds will have issues with this condition, but all folds are susceptible to it. Be on the lookout for early symptoms such as lameness or limb pain.

Feline History. Where does the Scottish Fold come from?

This breed was discovered accidentally on a Scottish farm in 1961. A kitten with folded ears under the name of Susie was the first of its kind. A shepherd William Ross, who found Susie, took care of her and later her litter, which also had folded ears.  

During 1966 in Great Britain, the Scottish Fold became a registered breed and was later developed to have two and even three folds.

These cats came to the US in 1970 and three years later were registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association. In 1978 the Association awarded the Folds with a Championship status. This cemented the intense fascination people had and continue to have for this Scottish cat.

Questions people often ask about Scottish Fold kittens

  • +Are Scottish Folds friendly?

  • +Can a Scottish Fold cat go outside?

  • +Can Scottish Fold cats be left alone?

  • +How Expensive is a Scottish Fold?

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