The American Curl is distinguished by its attractive, distinctively curled-back ears. Elegant, well-balanced, moderately muscled, and slender rather than massive in appearance. They are frequently well-proportioned and balanced, and their size can vary.
American Curls are attractive pets for reasons other than their whimsical ears. They are people cats who are rarely aloof and are affectionate without demanding attention from their owners. They enjoy perching on laps and nuzzling their family members. American Curls are frequently taught to play fetch and rarely lose their enthusiasm for the game. They frequently perform admirably with children. While not as active as Abyssinians or Siamese, American Curls are just as lively. They also exhibit typical cat curiosity, wanting to be right there to investigate any changes in their environment.
The American Curl evolved from a spontaneous genetic mutation in the domestic cat population in June 1981. They gained popularity in 1983 and were recognized by three of the largest North American cat registries by 1986.
Two cats with curled backwards ears arrived on the doorstep of a couple in Lakewood, California, in June 1981. One of the cats died soon after, but the other, a friendly longhaired female named Shulamith, remained a member of the family. Shulamith’s unique curled ears drew little attention at first; her new family was more taken with her devotion and sweet trusting temperament. They assumed Shulamith was one of many curly-eared cats, despite the fact that no mention of Shulamith’s supposed breed was found in local libraries or book stores.
Shulamith had a litter of four kittens in December 1981, two of whom had the same curled-back ears. The father, a local longhaired tom cat, lacked curly ears and, as it soon became clear, the gene for them. Although the couple did not understand cat genetics at the time, the gene governing curled ears is dominant, which means that only one parent needs to have the gene to pass it on to at least some of their offspring. Similarly, if a cat does not have curled ears, they do not have the gene for them; a dominant gene will always manifest itself in a cat’s physical appearance.
Shulamith’s litters were continued by the local tom cats, adding to the local Curl population. Early litters had both long and short hairs, as well as a variety of colors and patterns, including the pointed pattern. Friends and family received kittens from the couple.
Nancy Kiester, who fell in love with the kittens’ unique ears and gentle temperament, ended up adopting two of them. Kiester realized these kittens might be an entirely new breed after reading an article about the Scottish Fold, another cat breed with distinctive ears. It was proven that they were, and the American Curl was recognized and promoted as a result.
Semi-foreign rectangle; their length at the shoulder is one and a half times their height. They are usually medium in size, but can come in a variety of sizes. Their body appears to be of average strength and tone.
Wedge with no flat planes, slightly longer than wide, smooth transitions. Straight and moderately long nose; slight rise from bottom of eyes to forehead; gentle curve to top of head, flowing into neck without interruption. Medium in proportion to the body. The muzzle is rounded, with a gentle transition; there is no pronounced whisker break. Chin should be firm and in line with the nose and upper lip.
Ear curl with a 90-degree arc. Minimal undercoat is required. When viewed from the front and back, the shape is wide at the base and open, curving back in a smooth arc. Tips that are rounded and flexible. Size is medium to large. Erect, with equal emphasis on the top and sides of the head.
Shaped like a walnut, with an oval on top and a round bottom. Set at a slight angle between the base of the ear and the tip of the nose, one eye width apart. Large in size. Color is clear and brilliant, with no relation to the coat color.
PAWS & LEGS
Medium length in proportion to body, set straight when viewed from the front or back. Boning is medium, not fine or heavy. Medium and rounded paws
Flexible, wide at the base, tapering; body length.
All colors and patterns are welcome, including the pointed pattern, pointed with white, ticked tabby, shaded, smoke, chinchilla, van, and bicolor.
LONG HAIR COAT
Fine, silky texture that lays flat. From the ear base to one-third of the height, there is firm cartilage. Semi-long coat length Tail plumed and full.
SHORT HAIR COAT
Soft, silky, laying flat texture; resilient without a plush, dense feel. Minimal undercoat is required. Short coat length. Tail coat is the same length as the body coat.
While the characteristics listed here are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information on a specific pet, please contact the adoption organization.
Wondering about American Wirehair? Check it out on our next post!