THE SCOTTISH FOLD CAT

The Scottish Fold cat

The Scottish Fold is a domestic cat that originated from Scotland. This cat breed has a natural gene mutation which causes its ears to fold back. The very first Scottish Fold cat was a barn cat named Susie and was born in Scotland, in 1961.

Brief History

The Scottish Fold domestic cat came about when Susie, a barn cat, had kittens and two of them had folded ears like Susie. William Ross, a farmer became a cat parent to one of them and registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1966. Ross started a breeding program with the help of a geneticist, Pat Turner. This resulted in 76 kittens, 42 of which were born with folded ears. To this day, all Scottish Fold cats share a common ancestry with Susie.

Physical Features

The Scottish Fold kitten is born with straight ears which will fold at around 21 day. This gives them an “owl-like” look. Those that do not develop an ear fold are named “Straights.” Fun fact: the first Scottish Folds originally only had one ear fold! Today they have a double or triple crease due to selective breeding. This causes the ear to lie close to the head. This breed has a large round head, with large, round eyes. Their whisker pads are round, and their cheeks are full. This adds to the notorious facial roundness of the Scottish Fold. While their ears are folded, they’re still able to swivel, lie back, and perk up to listen.

The Fold’s nose is short, and has a slight curve. They typically have a medium-sized, round build body with medium-to-short sized legs. Their heads are dome-shaped and they typically have short necks. Folds’ eyes are broadly spaced which adds to their sweet expression. The Scottish Fold has many different short-haired and long-haired coloring options. Short-haired Folds have dense and fluffy fur, with long-haired Folds have thinner, more majestic fur. Long-haired Folds are also called the Highland Fold.

Average Height:

10 to 12 inches

Average Weight:

8 to 13 pounds

Life Expectancy:

10 to 15 years

Temperament

The Scottish Fold is a sweet and calm cat breed. This cat breed does well with people, gentle dogs, other cats, and animals. This cat breed enjoys standing on their hind legs to peer at the world. The Scottish Fold is a relaxed and gentle cat breed that enjoys human companionship. The Scottish Fold tends to prefer a quiet environment that is environmentally stimulating — so make sure you provide plenty of cat toys.

The Scottish Fold cat

Special Needs

Scottish Folds are  a wonderfully easy cat breed to live with, but they do need mental stimulation and will get bored when alone for long periods of time. This cat breed gets bored when alone for long periods of time. Consider getting them a friend if you’re out at work all day! Exercising your Scottish Fold may be more challenging, yet cat parents can do so by purchasing certain cats toys to promote exercise.  

Possible Health Concerns

The Scottish Fold is a healthy and moderately active cat breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease. This occurs when the polycystic kidney has numerous cysts within the functioning part of the kidney resulting in enlarged kidneys. Consult with your veterinarian if your cat vomits frequently, has a decreased appetite, and increased thirst or urination.
  • Osteochondrodysplasia: (OCD) This is a developmental abnormality that affects bone and cartilage in the Scottish Fold cat breeds. All folded breeds are affected by OCD. OCD is the reason the ear folds in this cat breed. It can also affect the limbs, and cause distortion with extreme pain and arthritis. OCD has been seen as early as 8 weeks in kittens, and continues throughout a cat’s life. Symptoms are chronic pain and lameness. Consult with your veterinarian.

Exercise

The Scottish Fold cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people.

Nutrition

Wet food is often recommended by veterinarians because cats don’t drink a lot of water and tend to get dehydrated without realizing it. Consult with your veterinarian for the best dietary advice for your Scottish Fold!

Grooming

The Scottish Fold cat

The Scottish Fold needs daily grooming to remove shedding hair. This coat is easy to groom, because it is short and dense. Curry brushes help with grooming, and will remove dead hair and debris from your cat’s coat. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a buildup of wax and dirt, bacteria can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about safe and gentle ear cleaning techniques. Nail trimming is necessary every few weeks. Eyes should also be cleaned gently every morning with cotton wool or a soft wipe. Each eye should be cleaned with different wipes or cotton balls to avoid eye infection contamination in both eyes.

Scottish Folds are affectionate cats and make wonderful, loving companions. These cats are docile, and adapt easily to new environments. It’s the Scottish Fold’s easygoing temperament that makes them so popular with cat owners.