Cat Breeders Directory

Cat Quote: "There is something about the presence of a cat... that seems to take the bite out of being alone." ~ Louis J. Camuti

American Curl

Sponsored Listing:

Luxury Pet Beds

American Curl Cat - Breed Profile

American Curl Breed Profile and Pictures submitted by Caroline Scott of Procurl Harem American Curls - New York

Breed Description and Pictures Submitted by: Caroline Scott - Procurl Harem American Curls

History - Boasting head adornments that could have easily been fashioned by a legendary hat designer, along with their opulently plumed tails reminiscent of a luxurious ostrich-feather boa, the American Curl has audiences in awe world-wide. Distinguished by truly unique ears that curl back in a graceful arc offering an alert, happily-surprised expression, makes people break out into a big smile when viewing their first Curl. Designed exclusively by Mother Nature, the ears can be likened to those of a Lynx with long tufts fanning outward accentuating the swept-back look, while complementing the Curl's overall sophistication, stylish elegance, and dynamic presence. HISTORY

On a typical hot June day in 1981, a stray longhaired black female cat with funny ears mooched a meal from a family in Lakewood, California, and moved in. The Rugas never suspected that from that simple encounter, and the birth of some kittens 6 month later, would grow a worldwide debate about the genetics behind those unusual curled ears. When selective breeding began in 1983, fanciers bred the American Curl with an eye towards developing a show breed. In analyzing data on 81 litters (383 kittens), renowned feline geneticist Roy Robinson of London, England, confirmed that the ear-curling gene is autosomal dominant, which means that any cat with even one copy of the gene will show the trait. Breeders wondered whether other genes would modify the expression of the curl gene and thus the appearance of the curl itself, or even bring with it unwanted abnormalities. In the December 1989 Journal of Heredity, Robinson reported finding no defects in any of the crosses he analyzed. Apparently the curl gene codes for a slight overpopulation of cartilage along the inner lining of the ear. This was truly an anticipated sigh of relief to the growing number of Curl enthusiasts as this information provided the pathway for a new and healthy breed--and one with an outstanding temperament. To pass the probationary muster that CFA required of moving toward that first step to Championship status, the curly candidates "walked across the conference table, sat in each of the directors' laps, kissed them, and that was it."

The American Curl was first accepted for CFA registration in 1986, achieving Provisional status in 1991, and quickly advanced to Championship in 1993. "Shulamith", as she was named, was that stray black cat and is the original American Curl to which all bonafied pedigrees trace their origin. Since the Curl originated as a domestic cat, and to preserve it's unique identity, the standard was formulated around Shulamith's physical characteristics while paying special attention to preserve that especially-affectionate, happy-go-lucky disposition as well.

Colors and Coats Types Available - Curls come in every color from gorgeous blue-eyed colorpoints, calicos, tabbies, bi colors, solids in either shorthair, found mostly on the west coast, and longhair (as the original American Curl) on the east coast. Longhairs are very silky to the touch and a medium body length coat, with plumed tails and fanned out ear tufts.

Grooming and Care - Since the lustrous silky Curl coat has very little if any undercoat, shedding is minimal and grooming simple. Just a few strokes once a week with a natural-bristle brush or metal grooming comb is ample. Naturally more frequent brushing adds to the quality bonding play time with prompting head butts assuring you that more is never enough hands-on attention. Curls don't require baths but as mentioned previously, most of them do enjoy water sports. So if this is the case, using a tearless baby shampoo or the family favorite is adequate. After a quick lather and thorough rinse, squeeze out excess water with a towel, then put Curlie into a carrier holding a blow dryer about a foot from the carrier door on medium heat until mostly dry. Then using a medium metal grooming comb, gently work through the tail and body coat. Now air drying is all that is needed since the coat is designed to lie flat. Show baths, on the other hand, require a thorough 5-step procedure the night before a show.

Some Curls may have a darker ear wax that requires a simple home maintenance cleaning. This can be done by first dipping a Q-Tip into a non-oily ear cleaning solution (available from your vet), then starting at the canal opening, gently work in an upward direction away from the opening up the ear furrows. Each ear generally gets about 2 swabs. Avoid pulling on the cartilage as this may cause the ear to uncurl over time or even break. Also, no liquids should be put directly into the ears, please, as some canals can be narrow and Curlie would be uncomfortable trying to shake it out. Calling the breeder first is recommended if liquids are suggested by your vet. Since Curls are so trusting and will let you position them anyway you want, nail-clipping is a breeze.

Best Suitable Environment - Great for families with existing pets and singles like. They are buddies in the truest sense and love people. They are very human and dog-like many people say. They are affectionate and KNOW their persons' feelings and love to sleep under the covers and greet you every day.

Personality Traits - CHARACTERISTICS UNIQUE TO THE BREED Although fearless and courageous lap cats, when introduced into a new home, Curl's seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. They are never aggressive and always polite. Being astute they're easily engrossed in assisting their owners in whatever project is at hand like helping to fix dinner rather than watching. They can be taught to beg, fetch, sit, and are easy to leash train for those occasional excursions. Favorite toys are Q-Tips, Kitty Caviar (shredded dried Bonita fish) and anything that makes a crinkling sound. Not overly talkative, the Curl's curiosity and intelligence is expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds when they want to comment or would like an opinion on something that's momentarily confounding to them. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines. So it isn't surprising to see a twelve-year old Curl frolicking and jumping effortlessly for a favorite toy along with the twelve-week olds.

Curls certainly know the words "No", "Down", and "Come". They know their names, learn quickly, and they even come to a whistle responding immediately and with exuberance. In the mornings, they love to be held stroked and snuggled. Some owners even take Curlie to work where they make their rounds greeting each employee. Frequently they will jump in someone's lap and just lay there while everyone tries to work. Curls follow you around the house, not getting in the way, just wanting to be in the same room. They have "hug me" written all over their face. When they play, they play with all their heart and sole vigorously incorporating leaps, bounds and stunning acrobatics. Many say their antics are much better than any TV show. he Curl personality as well as their ears is truly unique. If not sleeping up high somewhere in a large salad bowl, or figuring out with great determination just how to get into the shower with you, or assuming their spot right in front of a favorite TV show, they are patting at your glasses while you try to read the paper. Needless to say, Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soul-mates adjusting remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations.

People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything. One story relating the Curl's inherent spirituality is that a new Curl owner who enjoyed taking her male Curl for leash-walks on Sundays over to the nearby dog run because "all the dogs love him he just soaks up all the attention", was approached by a mature gentleman who introduced himself as a painter. He told her of his avid fascination and admiration of her Curl's inner light, and asked if he could have the pleasure of trying to capture this essence on canvas. At the first sitting when the carrier door opened, the fearless subject leapt out and bounded about all over the studio showing off as if he knew how enamored the artist was of him. Weeks later the owner was presented with a beautiful masterpiece perfectly portraying the innate Curl spirit. It is this trait that people most associate when describing the Curl personality.

When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days they start to curl back staying in a tight "rosebud" position, unfurling gradually until permanently "set" at around 16 weeks. This is the time breeders determine the kitten's ear quality as either pet or show in addition to the kitten's overall confirmation. The degree of curl can vary greatly, ranging from almost straight (pet quality) to a show quality ear with an arc of 90-180 degrees resembling a graceful shell-like curvature. In keeping with the all-over balanced look of the cat, ear size should be in proportion to the head. As a note of interest, a kitten's ears at 4 months can be larger in proportion to the head since the head grows into the ears by adulthood. Thedesired arc of the curl when viewed from the rear depicts the imaginary lines that follow the curve of the ear through the tips so that they intersect at the base of the skull. Ear furnishings fanning outward accentuate and further enhance the Curl's alluring beauty. Unlike other feline ears which are soft and supple, a Curl's cartilage is firm, similar to the the human. They should be firm from the ear's base to at least 2/3 of the height, with the tips being flexible and rounded. The desired ear size calls for moderately large with a wide and open base. From the start, the ideal American Curl has been described as a well-balanced cat indicating that the ideal ear height is one that is in balance and proportion to the overall size of the head and body, as well as maintaining a graceful, smooth arc. With all these possible variables factored in, it's not hard to see why very few ears can achieve all these criteria. With the score used to evaluate all breeds based on 100 possible points distributed over the various features of the cat, the Curl has a full 30 points allotted to the ears alone. Interestingly, it is virtually impossible to predict what ear degree curl kittens will have based on the parent's degree of curl, as a sire or dam does not have to have a show ears to produce!

American Curl Cat Breeders

Hit Counter 01/03/2010
Page Views Last Updated

American Curl Description

2006 - 2010 Club Purr, LLC| Home | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Contact