THE AMERICAN CURL CAT

The American Curl is a sweet cat that has an interesting appearance and jovial attitude. This cat is active and will gladly participate in collective activities. Due to their dedication to their owners, the American Curl is a great therapy cat.

Brief History

The American Curl has a colorful history. Their origin is traced back to a single stray kitten that walked into the Lakewood California home of Joe and Grace Ruga in the early 1980s. She had long black fur and little ears that curled backwards. The Rugas noticed that the cat was very calm and timid.

She delivered 4 kittens soon afterwards from an unknown father. Two of the kittens had the same curled ears. Neighbors took note and the Rugas took their cat and her kittens to cat shows in the state. This led to widespread interest in the cat and the American Curl was born. A geneticist indicated that the curled ears were caused by a dominant gene.

In 1983, cat fanciers began to selectively breed the American Curl. In 1986, the new breed was registered by the Cat Fanciers Association. The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 1987. All American Curl cats in the world are descended from the first cat.

Physical Features

The most noticeable feature of the American Curl is their curled ears. While they are born with straight ears, they curl in the first 2 to 10 days after they are born. By the time a kitten is 4 months old, the ears will have permanently curled. They maintain this shape for the rest of their lives. Interestingly, American Curls can move their ears back and forth. When they are alert, the ears face forward. At other times, they face sideways.

The American Curl has a sweet appearance and a stocky, muscular body. Their coats are silky and long. They can have a variety of colors such as brown, white, black, grey and roan. They can also have patterns. Examples of these are tortoiseshell, tiger stripes, patches and smoky patterns.

Average Height:

8 to 12 inches

Average Weight:

5 to 10 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12 to 16 years

Temperament

The American Curl is a sweet cat. They readily greets you with a cheek rub and also takes well to guests and will extend a welcome to them too. They enjoy the company of children and is very sweet towards them. The American Curl is amicable and can live comfortably with dogs that are friendly towards cats. This cat is curious and intelligent and will follow you around the home so as to see what you are up to. The American Curl will also help out whenever required. They are known for being able to jump extremely long distances. As such, they are sometimes described to be flying. This causes the breed to be fondly known as Peter Pan.

Seeing as she is very intelligent, the American Curl can open doorknobs and drawers. After a day of high activity, the American Curl will relax into your lap for a nap.

Special Needs

The American Curl is an active cat that requires specialized training so as to harness its energy in the right way. The American Curl can be taught how to walk on a leash. They can also be taught how to fetch or play catch. Since they like spending time outdoors climbing around, extra care should be taken to ensure they do not get injured or lose their way.  

Possible Health Concerns

If maintained properly, the American Curl is a healthy cat breed. They are stronger than most other cat breeds and are not susceptible to many illness or adverse conditions. The only real problem they are prone to is wax buildup in their narrow ear canals. Consult with your vet for treatment.

Exercise

The American Curls require ample exercise perhaps two sessions of exercise each lasting 30 minutes. The cat is also versatile and can handle exercise activities of various types. They enjoy playing with children and active session of exercise by play is ideal for the cat. They can also go on a jog around the block with you. You can train the American Curl to walk on a leash.

Nutrition

American Curls expend a lot of energy on a daily basis so their food should promote energy retention and growth. It should have equal portions of protein and carbohydrates. A bowl of cool, clean water is also an important part of their daily nutrition. American Curl cats are not fussy eaters and will consume wet or dry food with equal enthusiasm.

Grooming

A notable feature of the American Curl is their beautiful, long coats which should be brushed once every week. This is so as to eliminate any dead hair and prevent matting. Their teeth and nails should also be clipped regularly.

The American Curl can fit comfortably in apartments as well as larger houses. They are a loving, affectionate breed and will gladly rub against you or your guests. They are a