The American Curl is an exceptional breed of cat characterised by their backward bent, crescent-shaped ears. These extraordinary ears originate from a spontaneous mutation in a cat from the southern United States in the early eighties. Generally they are very playful and active cats, who come in an enormous variety of coat colours and patterns. Also, American Curls have varying degrees of ear curvature. This handsome cat never goes unnoticed!
Key facts about the American Curl
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Intelligent
Type of coat :Naked Short Long
Origins and history
As their name suggests, the American Curl originated in the United States. At the beginning of the eighties a spontaneous mutation caused ear curvature in a non-pedigree domestic cat in California. Incidentally, this wandering cat was collected by a couple. When she had her first litter, her owners realised that at least two of her kittens had ears similar to those of their mother. Presented in an exhibition in Palm Springs, they were so successful that in 1985, the breed was officially registered. Today, this breed is appreciated around the globe for its completely extraordinary appearance!
Physical characteristics of the American Curl
Female : Between 12 and 14 in
Male : Between 12 and 16 in
This breed takes 2 to 3 years to reach full size.
Female : Between 4 and 7 lb
Male : Between 7 and 11 lb
Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, chocolate, lilac / lilac, cinnamon / cinnamon, fawn / fawn, red, white
This breed can come in any colour.
Type of coat
Long or short
Blue, aquamarine, green, yellow, odd eyes
The American Curl’s most identifying feature is the curvature of their ears. While some have perfectly straight ears, others have moderately curled ears and finally, in some, the curl is so pronounced that the tip of their ear touches the back of their skull. Competition showcats must have arcs of 90 to 180 degrees.
This new breed stems from non-pedigree domesticated cats. Their genetic heritage is highly diversified, and thus they can be both short-haired and long-haired. All coat and eyes colours are also possible. In general, American Curls are medium-sized, muscular cats with a broad tail.
Good to know
American Curls are born with normal ears. They begin to curl after 4-7 days, and continue to curl for approximately 16 weeks (sometimes longer).
The American Curl is usually considered sociable and affectionate.
They need daily play sessions to meet their exercise needs. These can be both interactive or autonomous.
Like most cats, they like to relax in high places, or near their owners.
Their impressive cognitive abilities and their boundless energy means they adapt quickly to new conditions and situations.
Fearful / wary of strangers
American Curls are generally interested in new people and situations.
While American Curls can adapt to independent life, most are very sociable.
Behaviour of the American Curl
Usually they aren’t a very chatty breed, but there are always exceptions to the rule!
Need for exercise / Sporty
They are an active and energetic breed who need a lot of exercise.
Tendency to run away
Due to their active and curious nature, this breed has a reputation of explorer. You will have to keep an eye on them!
Greedy / Gluttony
It is important to use interactive bowls to feed this breed. These will manage their food consumption and keep them stimulated both physically and mentally.
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American Curl and cats
In general, they get on well with other cats. However, multiple factors can affect the relationship between two cats, such as the way in which they were introduced to one another, and the quality of their living space.
American Curl and dogs
American Curls can get along with dogs, however it is important to introduce them to each other gradually. Their living space should comprise multiple high places for the cat to escape to, as this will help their cohabitation. Their level of socialisation as a kitten greatly influences their long term sociability with dogs.
American Curl and children
Due to their playful and energetic nature, American Curls suit families with children. It is important to supervise the first few interactions between the child and the cat, to ensure a respectful relationship between the two parties.
American Curl and the elderly
Due to their active nature, they are only really suitable for elderly people who are willing to regularly play with them.
On average, an American Curl kitten costs between £600 and £900. This price may vary depending on their breeder, lineage, age at purchase and even their sex.
It costs on average £25 / month to keep an American Curl in good health.
A weekly brush and ear clean is usually sufficient.
As they have quite a light undercoat, both the long and short coated varieties of the American Curl lose only a limited amount of hair.
Nutrition of the American Curl
Due to their energetic nature, it is very important to offer them a high quality diet that matches their activity levels and lifestyle.
Health of the American Curl
On average, their life expectancy is 13 to 15 years. However some American Curls can live much longer.
Strong / robust
Due to their light undercoat, they are considered only moderately adaptable to heat changes and extreme temperatures. However, they are generally considered a robust breed.
Tendency to put on weight
Numerous factors increase the risk of feline obesity, such as age, environment, diet and activity levels. As long as the American Curls’ activity needs are met and their diet is managed appropriately, they don’t gain a lot of weight.
There are no particular diseases that the American Curl is susceptible to. This is likely caused by the genetic diversity within the breed. The gene that causes the curvature of the ears does not appear to affect any other anatomical or physiological aspects of the cats. As their hearing is not impaired by this mutation, it is not considered detrimental to their health. Nevertheless, an annual medical checkup is recommended, as they can suffer from the same diseases as all other domestic cats.
Cross breeding is authorised between both long haired and short haired American Curls.
On average, they have litters of 5 kittens.
Good names for an American Curl: Bubble, Hero, Nancy, Rudy