American Curl Shorthair
The American Curl is a fairly newly created breed with excellent temperament and striking appearance. The unique hallmark of this cat is its funny curly ears, which give it happily amazed expression. It’s also notable for its easy-going character and makes a loving, loyal and playful pet for the households with other domestic animals.
Photo: © Sanna Vertanen (facebook.com)
The story of the modern American Curl began in 1981 when Joe and Grace Rugas found on the porch of their house a homeless pitch-black kitten with long, lustrous coat and peculiarly shaped ears that curled backwards in the form of an arc. The Rugas gave it the name Shulamith in honour of famous biblical character and the fiancée of the king Solomon.
Shulamith had romance with some stray cat and produced a litter of four kittens, and two of them possessed distinctly shaped ears of their mother. The couple took advice of a familiar geneticist and he explained that this particular feature became the result of a dominant gene.
The systematic development of the American Curl was initiated in 1983 and as soon as in 1986 its first specimens were registered by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). The International Cat Association granted complete recognition to this new breed in 1987 and the formal acceptance of the American Cat Fanciers Association followed in 1993. Thus it took only six ears for an ordinary non-pedigreed cat to evolve into a fashionable breed with multiple fanciers all over the world. Actually the American Curl is the first feline variety with two coat lengths acknowledged by CFA.
All existing American Curls are related to the original stray cat, Shulamith. The breeds’ member can be mated with other Curl or simply paired with an ordinary domestic cat with upright ears, which meets the requirements of the breed standard. This practice brings essential diversity to its gene pool. Kittens with erect ears, which were produced by the American Curl can be used in breeding or just put for adoption as family pets.
The amicable and lovable American Curl stands out for its people-oriented disposition. This breed is averagely active indoors and will vividly protect its territory from such unwelcomed guests as flies and other insects. It likes to be in the centre of its master’s attention and usually becomes a gentle but unobtrusive companion animal. It will usually follow its owner all over the house silently asking for caress or its favourite treats.
This cat is well-known for its quiet and steadfast character, which makes it a perfect match for multiple-animal households. It can be easily introduced to the household with other pre-existing pets as it seems to respect the right of other living creature to be suspicious of a newcomer. The American Curl’s playfulness makes it an excellent buddy for older children, which have been showed how to properly handle this cat.
The American Curl deserved the nickname «Peter Pan» of the cat world. It’s very typical for a matured specimen of this breed acts as if it is still an exuberant and frisky kitten. This cat is always eager to play and will be glad to participate in some games, which engage its inquisitive mind. Be mindful that once the breeds’ curiosity arouse then a closed door won’t be an enough hindrance to stop it from getting what it wants. The American Curl is well-suited for all families who want to have a charming cat with an outstanding personality and incredibly infectious zest for life.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· ears infection
The American Curl needs an average amount of care. Weekly brushing will be sufficient to maintain the coat of the shorthaired variety naturally healthy and tidy.
The nails of this cat should be clipped every couple of weeks. It’s essential to pay proper attention to dental hygiene of the Curl preferably on a daily basis.
The ears of this breed are prone to infection and irritation so its owner should periodically examine them for such worrying signs as redness or bad smell. Needless to say that they should be kept spotlessly clean at all times.