With its unique ears that curl back in an arc, the American Curl cat has a perky, alert, and happily-surprised expression. A naturally occurring breed, the cat's distinctive ears can be likened to those of a Lynx with long tufts fanning outward accentuating the swept-back look.
The American Curl breed is very faithful, people-oriented, and affectionate and adjusts quickly to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything. When introduced into a new home, Curls seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block.
The Curl is not overly talkative, but its intelligence and curiosity are expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.
Physical Characteristics of the American Curl Cat
When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days they start to curl back staying in a tight rosebud position, unfurling gradually until permanently 'set' at around 16 weeks. The degree of ear curl can range from almost straight to an arc of 90-180 degrees, resembling a shell.
Although known for their uniquely curled ears, the American Curl cat's silky flat-lying coat, medium-sized rectangular body, and walnut-shaped eyes are equally indicative of the breed. They are available in both long and shorthair color and pattern varieties, and since there is minimal undercoat, the Curl sheds little and requires hardly any grooming.
American Curl History
"Shulamith" is the original American Curl to which all bona fide pedigrees trace their origin. Curls were first bred from this stray female in 1981, making them a relatively new breed. The ear-curling gene is autosomal dominant, which means that any cat with even one copy of the gene will show the trait.