American Curl
Pet Animals Cat Breeds

American Curl Cat: No.1 Full Information For You…

The American Curl cat breed is distinguished by its distinct ears that curve from the face towards the center of the back of the skull, a feature resulting from a spontaneous mutation that originated in Lakewood, California. American Curls have become one of the most easily identifiable cat breeds today. Despite their coats showcasing a range of colors and patterns, and their fur varying in length, it is the unique backward-curving ears that truly distinguish them from other cat breeds.

The captivating trait of the backward-curved ears has evolved into a sought-after characteristic among breeders, tracing its roots back to a natural genetic mutation discovered in the United States during the 1980s. However, it’s not just their distinctive ears that make these felines extraordinary. Affectionately referred to as “Peter Pan cats,” they maintain a playful and inquisitive nature into adulthood. They enjoy activities such as climbing and closely observing their owners.

Beyond their distinctive physical traits, American Curls are known for their affectionate demeanor. They effortlessly bond with children and other pets, making them an ideal choice for families seeking a loving and playful feline companion.

American Curl Size

The American Curl is a cat of medium size, weighing between 2.3 to 4.5 kg, and it attains maturity between the ages of 2 to 3 years. Female American Curls typically range in weight from 2.3 to 3.6 kg, while males weigh in at 3.2 to 4.5 kg. #CurlyEaredCat

American Curl colors

The color palette includes chocolate, brown, sable, cinnamon, lavender, silver, fawn, blue, gray, black, ebony, cream, beige, tan, lilac, red, orange, and white.

American Curl Cat Breed Characteristics

Adaptability: 5 PointsEnergy Level: 3 Points
Shedding Level: 3 PointsAffection Level: 5 Points
Grooming: 2 PointsSocial Needs: 3 Points
Child Friendly: 4 PointsHealth Issues: 1 Point
Stranger Friendly: 3 PointsDog Friendly: 5 Points
Intelligence: 3 Points

History Of the American Curl

In June 1981, the inaugural American Curls made an unexpected appearance on Rugas’ doorstep in Lakewood, California. Shulamith, a black female, gave birth to a solitary kitten with distinctive curly ears, marking her as the forebearer of all American Curls seen today.

The American Curl made its debut at cat shows in 1986, and in 1992, the long-haired variety achieved championship status from The International Cat Association (TICA). In a groundbreaking move in 1999, the American Curl became the first breed to enter the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) championship class, featuring both longhair and shorthair divisions.

American Curl kittens are born with straight ears, which gradually curl within forty-eight hours. By the fourth month, their ears should no longer curl, displaying a stiff base and flexible tips upon touch.

In terms of ear aesthetics, a pet-quality American Curl may exhibit nearly straight ears, while a Showcat’s ears should gracefully bend between 90 and 180 degrees, with 90 degrees being the preferred angle. Cats risk disqualification if their ears touch the back of their skull.

Both the long-haired and short-haired varieties of American Curls boast soft, silky coats that lie smoothly against their bodies. These charming felines require minimal grooming and derive great joy from spending quality time with their owners.

American Curl Personality

Renowned for its amiable and gentle nature, the American Curl is recognized for its affectionate disposition towards people. Unlike some cats, they have a fondness for children and actively seek their companionship.

In keeping with its domestic shorthair lineage, the American Curl is moderately active, curious, and intelligent. While it may shadow you to observe your activities, it doesn’t display the chattiness or assertiveness seen in some breeds. If the need arises, it communicates its needs or desires with quiet and polite requests for attention, food, or anything else.

Upon your return from work, expect a warm welcome from the American Curl, often marked by a nod and possibly affectionate gestures towards any house guests.

Referred to as the “Peter Pan” of the feline realm, American Curls defy age stereotypes, exhibiting as much exuberance in their playfulness as their younger counterparts. Both male and female curls are equally lively.

With a penchant for play, American Curls can even be taught to fetch. Their cleverness extends to opening doorknobs, emphasizing the need for caution regarding accessible cabinets. When ready for a respite, these curls delight in sitting on your lap. Known for their alertness and adaptability, they make an ideal addition to any home or family that showers them with love.

Temperament

While the American Curl boasts a remarkable variety of color and coat combinations, one consistent trait defines the breed – its vibrant personality. This feline breed is synonymous with a youthful and joyous disposition. Maturing only between 2 to 3 years of age, American Curls retain their playful kitten-like energy well into adulthood, remaining lively and active even into their teen years.

“American Curl cats exhibit intelligence and activity throughout their lives,” notes Alison Gerken, DVM, of Florida Veterinary Behavior Services. To cater to their spirited nature, pet parents should anticipate providing ample mental stimulation and environmental enrichment. This includes engaging in multiple daily play sessions, grooming, and petting activities, providing cat perches and trees, and offering an array of toys and food puzzles.

While not particularly vocal, the Curl may express hunger or welcome you home with a meow or chirp. Nevertheless, their preferred mode of affection is often conveyed through head bumps and physical attention.

Renowned for their friendly and sociable demeanor, American Curls are highly adaptable. They readily welcome attention from children and harmoniously coexist with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. Their affable nature extends to accommodating new housemates with ease.

Prospective American Curl pet parents can anticipate a smooth adjustment to a new home, as these cats integrate seamlessly into their new families, assures Gerken. Despite their active nature, they are true people-lovers, relishing the opportunity to curl up on a welcoming lap. Not easily perturbed by strangers, American Curls serve as gracious hosts, making visitors feel warmly welcomed.

Health

Both purebred and mixed-breed cats exhibit a range of health issues, some of which may have genetic roots. In the case of American Curls, overall, they are known for good health; however, certain lines may encounter issues related to narrow ear canals, potentially resulting in ear infections due to the accumulation of wax.

Common Health Problems

In general, American Curls enjoy good health and are not predisposed to particular genetic disorders. However, as with any cat, there is always a chance that your feline companion may develop some form of disease or condition over its lifetime.

The distinctive shape of American Curl’s ears may result in some individuals being born with narrowed ear canals. These constricted canals have the potential to trap wax, possibly leading to ear infections.

white american curl kitten pictures

Conversely, chronic ear infections can lead to inflammation of the ear canals. It is essential to inspect your Curl’s ears on a weekly basis to proactively prevent or detect any issues with the ears or inner ear. If you harbor concerns about the well-being of your Curl’s ears, reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

American Curl kitten Care

The American Curl’s coat can be either short or long, and both lengths are low-maintenance. The long-haired variation, having a minimal undercoat, is less prone to matting or tangling. A weekly combing suffices to keep both long-haired and short-haired Curls looking well-groomed.

For short-haired Curls, try combing backward through the coat to eliminate accumulated dead hair. Short hair tends to shed year-round, shedding more than long hair. During warmer months, when shedding may increase for long hair, consider brushing or combing more frequently. Baths are seldom necessary.

To prevent periodontal disease, maintain dental hygiene by brushing teeth daily or, at a minimum, weekly. Trim nails every two weeks.

For eye hygiene, wipe the eye corners with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge, using separate areas for each eye to prevent potential infection spread.

Check ears weekly; if they appear dirty, clean them with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs to prevent inner ear damage. Handle ears with care to avoid cartilage breakage.

Ensure the American Curl’s litter box is impeccably clean, as cats are particularly discerning about bathroom cleanliness.

Consider keeping the American Curl as an indoor-only cat to safeguard against diseases transmitted by other cats, dog or coyote attacks, and outdoor hazards like car accidents. Outdoor Curls also face the risk of theft due to their cuteness.

Diet and Nutrition

Similar to all feline counterparts, the American Curl may face risks of obesity or heart disease without adequate exercise and a diet rich in quality, high-protein content.

The daily food intake of your Curl is primarily influenced by its age and activity level. If uncertain about the appropriate feeding amount for your cat, seek guidance from your veterinarian. It’s essential to provide treats to your Curl in moderation.

As a basic guideline, adult cats typically consume two meals a day, while kittens benefit from three or four smaller meals throughout the day. Ensuring constant access to clean water is crucial for the well-being of all pet cats.

Coat Color And Grooming

The American Curl stands apart with its uniquely shaped ears, yet even without this distinctive feature, it exudes charm with a sweet expression and a silky coat that can be either short or long, displaying a spectrum of colors, including exotic shades like chocolate tortoiseshell smoke, silver patched tabby, and lilac lynx point. The long-haired variant further enhances its appeal with a beautiful tail.

The ears, however, steal the spotlight as the most captivating feature. From birth, kittens exhibit a bounce-back quality within two to 10 days. By the age of around 4 months, the ears go through a fascinating process of curling, uncurling, and curling again until they settle into their permanent shape.

A kitten destined for the show ring will boast crescent-shaped ears with a curl spanning at least a 90-degree arc, not exceeding 180 degrees. The moderately large ear tips are rounded and flexible, often adorned with tufts of fur. When Curls are attentive, their ears roll forward, with the tips pointing toward the center of the base of the skull.

Living Needs

When not engaged in affectionate moments with their human companions, the American Curl appreciates finding a tranquil spot for solitary naps. Curls have been observed taking repose over salad bowls, boxes, and milk crates, particularly if placed in elevated positions. While they may claim such spots, it’s advisable to provide them with dedicated cat beds, hammocks, and other comfortable spaces exclusively for their use.

Renowned for their exceptional adaptability, American Curls are well-suited for various households. According to Gerken, they make wonderful companions for seniors, first-time cat owners, and families with children. Interestingly, the American Curl is among the few cat breeds known to actively seek out children, relishing play sessions with them, as noted by the CFA.

Nevertheless, Gerken advises supervision for very young children, teaching them how to interact with pets responsibly. It’s crucial to ensure they are aware not to play with the delicate ears of the American Curl.

Adopt or Buy an American Curl (Rescue or Shelter)

American Curl Price

American Curl cats cost between $1,000 – $2,000.

Fun Facts About American Curl Cat || American Curl Facts

  • As of 2022, the American Curl is the only breed recognized by the CFA in the Longhair and Shorthair classes.
  • For show cats, ears are the strictest criterion. Cats with ears that are too far apart or not enough are ineligible. Likewise, there are cats who do not have enough hard cartilage at the base of the ears, or ears that have too much variation in the curl from one ear to the other.
  • Even in curl-curl breeding, it’s impossible to tell how much a litter’s ears will curl. Kittens in the same pot have fairly deep curls or ears that stand straight up.

More Cat Breeds For Further Research

American Curl Cat Breed Review

American Curl Cat FAQs

Are American Curl cats pricey?

Similar to any purebred cat, an American Curl typically comes with a higher price tag compared to a mixed breed cat from a local shelter or rescue. Show-quality American Curls can command prices upwards of $1,000, though purebreds that slightly deviate from the breed’s standards may be available at a lower cost.

Do American Curl cats enjoy being held?

The American Curl is an exceptionally affectionate breed, relishing moments of quality time spent cuddling and interacting with their human companions. However, individual preferences vary, and some cats may be more receptive to being held than others. Early and gentle handling, especially during kittenhood, can contribute to fostering a positive association with being held. It’s essential to respect a cat’s cues and never persist in holding one that exhibits clear signs of wanting to be released, such as movement, resistance, or biting.

Are American Curl cats hypoallergenic?

While they do not shed excessively, it’s important to note that the American Curl is not classified as a hypoallergenic cat breed.

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