The Scottish Fold is a domestic cat breed that has a natural dominant gene mutation that affects cartilage throughout the body, causing the ears to “fold,” bending forward and down towards the front of the head, giving the cat a “owl-like” appearance.
The Scottish Fold is best known for this distinctive folded forward and down ears, as well as its large rounded eyes, which give it a sweet, wide-eyed expression. They are gentle and affectionate felines Scottish Folds come in both longhaired and shorthaired varieties, as well as a wide range of colors and pattern combinations. The longhaired variety is also known as a “Highland Fold.”
Susie, a white folded-ear cat discovered in Scotland in 1961, is the ancestor of all Scottish Folds today. Despite the fact that the breed was developed in Scotland and England, and the first cats were registered in GCCF, the breed has yet to be accepted in its home country. The first Scottish Fold cats, dubbed “Lop-eared cats” at the time, arrived in the United States in 1971.
Scottish Fold became the name of the breed in 1966, after being known as lop-eared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit.
Longhaired Scottish Folds are variously known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold, and Coupari, depending on registries.
In the early 1970s, they were accepted for registration in several US associations, and by the late 1970s, they had achieved championship status in the majority of North American registries.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, longhaired Scottish Folds followed suit.
Many Scottish Folds have an odd habit of sitting or lying in unusual positions: on their backs, sitting up in a “Buddha” position, flattening themselves out like little bearskin rugs.
Their small, folded ears are unusually expressive, even more so than the “normal” ears of a cat.
They have soft, chirpy voices that they rarely use. Buyers of these magnificent cats should be aware that some Scottish Folds are prone to cartilige hardening problems.
Scottish Folds are taught to accept handling of their tails while judges look for one of the more obvious signs of hardening – stiffening of the tail. Because this condition does not usually manifest itself in young kittens, be sure to discuss this with the breeder and what guarantees the breeder will make against this condition in the future. To avoid this problem, reputable breeders will only breed fold-ear to straight-ear. Be wary of breeders who are breeding fold-ear to fold-ear. Scottish Folds may still outcross with British Shorthairs and American Shorthairs.
It’s worth noting that not all Scottish Fold kittens have folded ears.
Scottish Fold kittens have straight ears from birth. A breeder will not know which kittens will have folded ears and which will not until the kitten is about three weeks old. There are also folding degrees, which are usually described as a single, double, or triple fold.
A single fold is typically a “loose” fold and is not suitable for display. A triple fold that is tight to the head is the most desirable fold. Owners of tightly folded Scottish Folds should inspect the insides of their cats’ ears on a regular basis, as they can become dirty over time. Straight-eared Scottish Folds, on the other hand, are sought after in breeding programs and make excellent pets.