American Curls are instantly recognizable by their ears, which are curiously formed as if fashioned by a hat designer. Their plumed tails resemble that of ostrich feather boas, capturing cat lovers and enthusiasts worldwide. Rounding out the characteristics are gentle, almond-shaped eyes, a silky, flat coat and a rectangular-shaped physique.
Cat fanciers give American Curls the title of “Peter Pan” as they never seem to act their age, even when well into adulthood. Joyous, youthful and infinitely curious, these cats are kids at heart and they’re not afraid to show it!
History of American Curl
In 1981, a stray black female feline sporting funny curled ears came across the home of Grace and Joe Ruga in Lakewood, California and took up residence. She was named Shulamith after a biblical reference, and was formally the first American Curl to come in existence.
The breed garnered the attention of fanciers, experts, enthusiasts and breeders. After careful studies and lengthy research, Roy Robinson, a cat geneticist came to the conclusion that the mutation was completely natural. Any cat that had the dominant curled ear gene will exhibit naturally curled ears.
Size of the American Curl
American Curls are of the mid-sized variety, marked by a slender yet well-proportioned build. They can weigh anywhere between 2.5 to 5 kilos and have a lifespan of up to 15 years.
Personality of the American Curl
Curls aren’t very talkative but they voice out pleasant coos and trills whenever their curiosity and intelligence are piqued. They are quite independent of their owners but they can occasionally perch on your shoulder or show affection by patting or nuzzling your face.
They lend a very positive aura to any home, and for this reason they are on the top of the list when it comes to therapy pets. Curls love to relax and be themselves in high places if they’re not following their owner around the house. Curls can be trained to walk outside with a leash, and aren’t afraid of strangers or guests. Being child-like, they love to perform in front of a group of people and being showered with attention.
American Curl Kittens
Curl kittens are born with straight ears. In about 3 to 5 days, the ears start to curl, ending in a delicate rosebud shape that gradually unfurls in about 16 weeks.
Kittens should be brought to new homes only after they’re 4 months old. The degree of curl can vary from one cat to another- show quality ears can have an arc of somewhere around 90 to 180 degrees, similar to that of sea shells. It’s worthy to note that their curls won’t have an effect on their hearing whatsoever.
Choose breeders who can provide a guarantee of a clean bill of health. Visit the breeder’s home and check up on the parent cat’s temperament and their living environment. A healthy kitten should be alert, attentive and sociable.
American Curl Health
Curls are generally healthy with a few common exceptions. They aren’t predisposed to anything and do not have any genetic defects; with complete vaccination your cat can live a long time.
Owners must meet Curls’ basic requirements including regular exercise, a good diet and plenty of toys to capture their attention for good health and overall well-being.
Care of the American Curl
Curls can adapt to reasonable environments and living spaces, whether it be an apartment, a small house or a flat. Your pet will start exploring every nook and cranny as soon as you put it down. Take the time to eliminate potential hazards and dangers to your cat, including wires, precious heirlooms and such.
Your cat may suffer from loneliness if left alone for long periods of time. Set aside some quality time for a one-on-one, and make sure there’s plenty of creature comforts such as a scratching post, a cat tree and some interactive toys to keep your cat busy while you’re away from home.
Litter Box Training
American Curls are easily trained, especially if they have used litter boxes in their breeder’s home. They are sticklers when it comes to cleanliness, so it’s best to scoop out waste as soon as they’re done. Replace the litter completely each day and place the box in a quiet, accessible part of the house.
American Curl Nutrition
Most Curl breeders recommend a mix of quality canned and dry food that make up a well-balance diet. Keep in mind that cats are carnivores and it does them well to eat food that are like fresh meat- full of protein, with less carbs and fat. Your breeder should provide you a feeding schedule that you should follow in order to avoid an upset stomach.
Coat Color and Grooming
Curls come in all colors and varieties. They are both in the short and long hair department, and exhibit all kinds of patterns. Their furs are silky and have minimal undercoat, which means you won’t need to groom as much. Do regular combing once per week using a metal comb for shorthairs, and twice a week for longhaired Curls.
American Curl Grooming
Start grooming at an early age so your Curl will become more accepting as time comes. Their nails grow quite quickly, so it’s best to trim them off once a week using a pet trimmer. Brush your pet’s teeth once every 2 or 3 days using a special brush and vet-approved toothpaste.
Clean your cat’s ears when they look dirty, but make sure you don’t bend or fold them out of position.
Children and Other Pets
American Curls are popular with children, pets and their owners because they are inherently likeable. Their affectionate, outgoing and sociable nature puts them at the top of the must-have list. Moreover, their dog-like temperament paves the way for quick friendships even with the canine variety.
Curls are gracious in that they are considerate of other pets and kids. Introduce your cat slowly and in a controlled environment. Make sure that each pet has his or her own feeding bowl, litter box and private sanctuary.