Scottish Fold's originated in Scotland in the early 1960s from a cat called Susie. Susie's ears had a fold in the middle of her ear which made her appear like an owl. When Susie had kittens, two of them possessed the similar folded ears trait. Fascinated by the appearance of these 'owl' looking cats, a neighbouring farmer couple by the name of William and Mary Ross purchased one of the kittens and had them bred through the assistance of geneticist Pat Turner. The breed was registered in 1966 in Great Britain with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Initially, Scottish Fold's originally bred suffered from a number of genetic abnormalities such as ear infections, deafness, mites, deformed limbs and tails. To eradicate these issues, they were mated with British and American short hair cats.
With the genetic problems resolved, the Scottish Fold finally acquired registration status with the Cat Fanciers Association in 1974.
Why the folded ears?
The 'folded' ears trait is associated with an incomplete dominant gene. Since Scottish Fold's are usually crossed with a British or American short hair, this means that not all kittens may end up having folded ears in a litter.
These cats usually live around 12-14 years.
These cats are popular because of their downward sloping ears which make them resemble an 'owl' or 'bear'. What is interesting is that all kittens are born with a straight normal ear, but if they posses the gene that 'folds' them this will start to show at 21 days. Their large round eyes are broadly spaced apart which gives them a sweet expression.
Their coat can come in an array of colours and is usually short haired. The cats are average in size when compared to other cat breeds where males usually weigh from 4-6kg and females 2.5-4kg.
These cats can be extremely affectionate and can become quite attached to one member of the household. They are not usually very loud animals. They generally get along very well with other children and pets.
They are not highly vocal animals, but when they choose to speak it comes out in random sounding purrs and meows which is quite unique with this breed.
Scottish Fold's are quite playful as well, getting up to all sorts of mischief! If you do not believe us, check out this gorgeous Scottish Fold, Maru, making waves in social media.
Most Scottish Fold's have short length fur and require relatively low maintenance. It is preferable to brush them daily as they shed their fur continuously.
Scottish Fold's like to sleep on their back and sometimes sit upright in the 'buddha' position.
Scottish Fold's can suffer from polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
PKD is associated with a genetic fault in kidney development which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys. This ultimately leads to renal failure for cats. We encourage all our clients to ensure that they purchase their Scottish Fold from a reputable breeder. Although PKD can occur sporadically, meaning that even though your Scottish Fold's parents may not have the gene, your particular feline may end up having it. Vets can check for the PKD genetic mutation through DNA testing.
Cardiomyoparthy is the most common heart disease in cats and is the likely cause of heart failure. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the muscular wall of the heart to increase in thickness. As a result, the volume of blood within the heart is reduced and the muscle is not able to relax properly between contractions.
Is the breed right for you?
Scottish Fold's are sweet and lovable cats. This breed is highly sociable so be prepared to shower them with plenty of attention! They prefer a lively vibrant household and are not fond being left to their own devices all day long. If you are not usually at home most of the time, Scottish Fold's are probably not an ideal pet for you.