Weight: 7-10 lb
Physique: Small torso, slim long legs
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Best Suited For: Families with children or without. Good with other cats and dogs.
Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, inquisitive, gregarious
Comparable Breeds: Somali, Japanese Bobtail
Height: 6-7 inches
On a farm in Dalles, Oregon, a short-haired brown tabby barn cat gave birth to six kittens in 1982. One was bald and had a blue tabby pattern on her skin. Eight weeks later, the cat’s owners Richard and Linda Koehl were shocked to see that it had grown a silky, wavy coat. Over the next ten years, more kittens like baby “Curly” and other barn cats began to appear. When the Koehls finally delved into the genetics, they discovered that the stunning abnormality was caused by a spontaneous mutation in a dominant gene.
This small colony served as the foundation for the controlled breeding effort that resulted in the development of the LaPerm cat. In 1996, the TICA and CFA recognized the breed under the name “LaPerm,” which is French meaning wavy or rippling. After being marketed to the UK in 2002, LaPerm got GCCF recognition in 2004. Despite being rare and very young, the breed has gained enormous global recognition.
The sociable, gregarious, and inquisitive temperament of the graceful and athletic LaPerm makes it an excellent lap cat.
Qualities of breeding
The graceful and active LaPerm cat is sociable, interested, and friendly, and it makes a wonderful lap cat. Although they make fantastic home pets, they seem to favor a single owner. The breed has a propensity to literally reach out for human interaction by rubbing up against you and purring happily to get your attention. Both dogs and other cats get along well with them.
A small to medium-sized cat, the LaPerm has long neck and legs. Rounded features soften the wedge-shaped head, which broadens a little at the muzzle. Flared ears and almond-shaped eyes offer one a cute yet slightly peculiar appearance. The breed’s distinctive coat may include long curls or gentle waves. The base, throat, and area just behind the ears will have the curliest curls.
Longer haired variations frequently have a ruff and a plumed tail. When the LaPerm has short hair, his coat breaks in the middle and his tail resembles a “bottle brush.” Kittens either don’t have hair when they are born or lose it in two weeks. Over the next four months, their curly coat will grow. Throughout its lifetime, the cat’s coat undergoes several modifications, including recurrent “molting”. The light, springy fur of the LaPerm is slightly lifted from the body and has a textured, not smooth, feel to it.
Thanks to its barn cat lineage, the LaPerm can be found in any imaginable combination of color, pattern, and texture.
It is always best to comb through a LaPerm’s coat before bathing the animal to lessen the chance of tangling. To avoid straightening out the breed’s characteristic curls, avoid blow drying the coat. While between baths, remove any dead hair with a metal comb with rolling teeth. The LaPerm is not difficult to keep still, and three to five brushings each week are enough to keep the coat in outstanding shape. In fact, many LaPerms ask to be brushed.