American Curl Kittens
American Curl History
The American Curl is a popular breed of cat that has been around since the early 80's. Unlike many other breeds whose history is still debated, the story behind the recognition of this cat is both clear and unique. It is said that during the summer of 1981 a lady named Grace Ruga found two stray cats near her home in California. One was male and one was female but unfortunately the male ran away and never returned. Being a cat lover herself, Grace kept the female and fell in love with her distinctive curled ears. The female who Grace named Shulamith later gave birth to a litter of which two had the same lovable ears. A breeder called Nancy Kiester homed the two 'curled eared kittens' of Shulamith and also fell in love with their unique appearance. It was Nancy who realised that the kittens could in fact be a new breed and she took them to a show during 1983 to find out. Everyone at the show was intrigued by their unusual ears and the American Curl breed was named.
By 1986 both the Cat Fanciers' Federation (CFF) and The International Cat Association (TICA) gave full recognition to the American Curl as a breed, all well known associations now accept the breed as having championship status including the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association). Although popular, American Curls are still an uncommon breed compared to favourites such as Persians and Burmese, but they can be found in a number of countries such as North America, United Kingdom and Japan, amongst others.
American Curl Appearance
When American Curls are first born their ears look like those of any other kitten. It is within the first 7 days of their lives that their ears begin to fold over but it often isn't until they are up to 4 months old that you can tell properly how curled theirs ears will be. For this reason, Curls are not sold until the age of 4 � months, so owners and potential buyers know exactly how the ears will look. This is important for cats that are going to be shown because they will be disqualified if ears curl too much, touching the back of the neck.
For showing purposes, ears must have between a 90 and 180 degree curl and should have rounded tips. Their eyes come in a variety of shades and colours but unlike many other breeds, the colour of a Curls' eyes is not affected by the colour of their coat. Curls' can be either longhaired or shorthaired; if longhaired they do require a reasonable amount of grooming to prevent knots and matting.
It is thought that the gene that curls the ears must be dominant because it is almost always inherited by the offspring. If two American Curls' are mated, all kittens will inherit the ear style and if a Curl is mated with a domestic, 50% inherit the gene. The other 50% are still known as Curls but they are 'Straight Eared Curls'; these are also much sought after pets. Many American Curls do not reach full maturity until the age of 2 or 3 years.
American Curl Character and Temperament
American Curls are curious and playful, always wanting to be involved in what you're doing, without pestering you. They love humans and are particularly gentle around children and other household pets. Curls' are known for rubbing their faces against yours, nibbling your cheeks softly to show their affection towards you. They are an extremely affectionate breed and like to know people are around. They are also a very playful breed, even during adulthood they are more like kittens, always ready for a game! It is common for them to learn skills such as fetch as well.
Some of the American Curls' important characteristics are shown below: