The Breed History
This breed traces its origins to Lakeland California to a random autosomal dominant mutation in a black longhaired cat in 1981. The litter from this foundation cat Shulamith contained some curled ear kittens. One kitten was longhaired, the other shorthaired according to some sources, others report that they were both longhaired and that the shorthairs were introduced during subsequent outcrossing. The CFA first recognized this breed in 1986, provisional status was granted in 1991, and accepted for championship status in 1993. The TICA registry accepted the breed in 1985. The single litter origin of the American Curl breed has required that some outcrosses occur to maintain breed vigor. The outcrosses have been to domestic cats without pedigree and in CFA, books closed Jan 2010.
Weight: females: 5-8 lb (2.5-3.5 kg), males 7-11 lb (3-5 kg)
Coat: A flat, silky coat with both long and shorthair types accepted. The tail is plumed in the longhair variety; all colors, patterns and color combinations are recognized. Minimal undercoat is present. In shorthairs, a striped pattern of legs, face and tail is described. Ears are well furnished inside.
Eyes: Moderately large, all colors are accepted; they are walnut shaped with a mascara line. In colorpoint cats the eyes are blue.
Points of Conformation: Moderate in all proportions, the ears which are the distinguishing breed feature have rounded tips curling smoothly back 90 to 180 degrees at the tip only and point towards the midline. They are graded as first degree if they are mildly turned (pet quality), second degree if they are moderately turned (breeding quality) and third degree if they are significantly curled (show quality-full crescent). Only the distal portion of the pinna should curl-the base cartilage should be firm-more like a human ear than a normal cat ear cartilage in texture. The repeated physical uncurling of the ear tip is not advised since the cartilage may be compromised .Use caution during physical examination so as not to tug on the ear. The head is a modified wedge shape, nose is straight and moderate in length with a slight break, and the overall build is semi-foreign. Tail length equals body length and tapers from a wide base. The body is well muscled and the legs are moderate in length. Paws are moderately small and round. Note that kittens are born with straight ears and they start curling at about 4-7 days of age. The curl does not set fully until about 16 weeks of age or even much later. There is still considerable regional variation in type due to continued outcrossing to domestic cats.
Grooming: The American Curl cat has low grooming needs, and is a low shedding cat.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Even tempered, they like close human contact, friendly, curious, quiet though playful, get along with other pets, good with children, adaptable; somewhat of a "dog personality" since they like to follow the family around. The Curls keep a kitten-like playful attitude until late in life. Not particularly vocal.
Normal Breed Variations
Slow maturing (2-3 years)
None reported in the literature
Curl: This is an autosomal dominant mutation (Cu).1 It does not appear to affect cartilage in joints and so is not considered a deleterious mutation. Curls may be mated with curls. Degree of offspring curling does not seem to correlate closely with parents but curl X curl mating will usually produce offspring with some degree of curling in all kittens.
None reported in the literature-reported to be hardy due to domestic shorthair vigor.
None commercially available
- Breed name synonyms: Curl - Registries: CFA, ACFA (separate Longhair and Shorthair standards), TICA (separate Longhair and Shorthair standards), CFF, FIFe (Shorthair and Longhair separate), CCA
- Breed resources: American Curl Cat Club (ACCC) [CFF]:
100 Westmont Rd. Syracuse, NY 13219
United Society of American Curls:
11691 Kagel Canyon, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342-7422
Cat Club American Curl:
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