American Curl Cat Breed:
Active: American Curls are moderately active. While they are playful and friendly (and remain that way into old age) they also enjoy curling up with a companion and cuddling the day away.
Size: The American Curl is medium in size, weighing between 5 – 10 pounds.
Characteristics: While you may be first struck by the American Curl’s curled-back, fascinating ears, there is much more to the American Curl that makes them a special cat breed. They have sweet, walnut-shaped eyes. Interestingly, American Curls are born with straight ears and between 3-5 days later, they begin to curl back. Curls reach full maturity between 2 and 3 years of age. There is an acceptable range of curls, between 90 to 180 degrees. The curl should not be so extreme that it touches the back of the ear or head. Ears become permanently “set” around 16 weeks of age. They have rectangular, muscular bodies and seem to constantly carry a sweet and endearing expression.
Temperament: If you think the American Curl’s ears make them special, their personalities will astonish you. They are very sweet and affectionate. They wake in the morning joyful and playful. They love to be with their companions and want to spend every waking minute in your adoring presence. Curls are happy to perch on your lap for some quiet affection. They love children and are happy to spend time playing and being silly as well. Accompanying their playfulness is their intelligence They can play fetch and learn tricks, and they can even open doorknobs!
Care: Whether your American Curl is longhaired or shorthaired, they are relatively easy to care for. Brushing 1 – 2 times per week will keep their coat looking beautiful. Bathing is not often needed, making Curls all the easier to care for. Trim their nails weekly and brush their teeth often to prevent periodontal disease. Clean ears if you notice a bad smell or they appear dirty. The American Curl is the low-maintenance best friend everyone deserves.
Coat: American Curl cats have silky, gorgeous coats. It can be both long or short and can come in a variety of colors. The coat has only a little undercoat and does not shed much at all.
Origin: The American Curl cat is one of the newer cat breeds today. Often, new cat breeds have trouble gaining acceptance among cat fanciers and associations. The American Curl did not have trouble gaining acceptance and was quickly loved by all who came in contact with the breed. The breed is a result of a spontaneous genetic mutation. The American Curl gets its name from its signature curled-back ears that give it a very unique and intriguing appearance. In June of 1981, Joe and Grace Ruga of Lakewood, California found a stray black kitten.
This black kitten had a silky coat and very unique ears. She was named Shulamith, meaning “black but comely” from the Old Testament, for her appearance. Shulamith gave birth to a litter of kittens and two had her unique, curled-back ears. Rula gifted her sister-in-law Esther Brimlow with two of Shulamith’s kittens. While making a delivery to Esther Brimlow, Nancy Kiester (a former breeder of Australian Shepherds) was immediately intrigued by the kittens with curled back ears and sweet personalities and she took two kittens for her own. Kiester read an article about Scottish Folds (another breed with unique ears) and realized her kittens may be members of a unique breed.
She showed her kittens to Jean Grimm, who was a cat judge and Scottish Fold breeder. Selective breeding of the American Curl began in 1983 with the intention of creating a show breed. Soon after, in 1986, the American Curl was granted championship status by TICA. In 1991, the breed was accepted by the CFA for provisional status. The breed was quickly accepted by all major associations for championship status, much faster than many new breeds.