American Curl Longhair Cat Breed

These affectionate cats are best-known for their remarkable ears that curl out and back in a very elegant arc that gives them a distinct alert look. It also gives them a happy, cheerful appearance that brings happiness to everyone as well. American Curls are a medium-sized ball of happiness with a beautiful face and body.

American Curls have a very glamorous look, accentuated by their gracefully arched ears. These make them gain followers and fans worldwide. They boast a perky and alert expression that is adored not only by cat fanciers around the world but cat lovers as well. Considered designed exclusively by Mother Nature, their ears curl naturally like that of a Lynx, with their long tufts fanning outward, emphasizing their swept-back appearance. These traits add to the American Curl’s overall sophistication, dynamic and elegant presence.

What cat owners love about American Curls is that they shower their families with affection by patting their human companion’s face, giving soft head bumps and nuzzles. They are intelligent and inquisitive. So, expect your cat to follow you around because they love to part of everything you do. They take a significant amount of time exploring their surroundings or playing games.

American Curls enjoy spending quality time with their human companion and their families. Because of their curious nature, they love participating in everything that is happening in the household. Spend time and talk to your American Curl; they would love that! Don’t worry; they are not noisy felines. They would only “talk” when you engaged them to. They make gentle “cooing” sound to get your attention, or they would simply pat you for attention. While they appear to be very calm and relaxed, American Curls are very playful and best known as the “Peter Pan” of the cat world as they keep their kitten-like playfulness until they grow into adulthood.

Make sure to exercise your American Curl daily. Invest in cat trees and indoor perches as they enjoy climbing and jumping. Due to their playfulness and intelligence, you can easily train them to play a game of fetch. You can teach them simple commands, and they love being rewarded for a good well done.

Loved by a lot of cat lovers worldwide, American Curls are becoming one of the top choices of families with children and other pets because they can quickly adapt to new environments. They can also be a great companion for the elderly due to their devoted and affectionate nature. 

American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

23-30 cm
2.3-4.5 kg
Life Span:
12-16+ years
Social, Playful, Intelligent, Curious, Loving
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United States of America
American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Everyday 10/10
  • Shedding: Medium 6/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
  • Activity Level: High 10/10
  • Playfulness: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: Low 2/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: Medium 6/10


Their story began on a hot sunny day in Lakewood, California, in June 1981. When Mr. Joe and Mrs. Grace Ruga found a stray black kitten with a long-haired smooth coat and a unique pair of ears on their doorstep, they were so endeared by its traits so they decided to take the kitten and name it Shulamith. Little did they know that Shulamith will be the foundation of all American Curls.

In December 1981, Shulamith had her first set of kittens which two of her four kittens had the same curly ears as hers. Because of this, it started a worldwide discussion on the genetics of rare ears. Cat fanciers began developing in 1983 selective breeding programs to keep their gene and develop a cat breed based on this gene. In the same year, the unique American Curls were presented to the cat fancy to showcase them as a new addition to the feline world.

A renowned English feline geneticist named Roy Robinson worked with breeders and helped him analyse data from 383 kittens from 81 litters. Mr. Robinson established that this ear-curling gene was unique and it was an autosomal dominant gene. It means that any cat with even only a copy of this unique gene will display this unique trait. In 1989, in an article published in the December 1989 issue of the Journal of Heredity, he stated that he had discovered no defects in any of the cats he crosses and analyzed. This made the foundation of a new and healthy cat breed.

While American Curls are fully accepted in the United States, these cats are rarely seen in the United Kingdom. Currently, they are not recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and cannot be showcased in any GCCF shows. They fear that the ear curling gene may have further health problems for the breed.

American Curls can be seen in many other countries such as Russia, Spain, France and Japan. They can also be seen showcased at The International Cat Association, and the Federation Internationale Feline cat shows. Currently, there are only a number of American Curl breeders in the UK which makes this cat breed relatively rare. 

American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

You will know an American Curl when you see one. They have very distinctive shaped ears, and their presence will genuinely put a smile not only on your face but on your heart as well. While their ear-curling trait is their unique trait, American Curl kittens are all born with straight ears. It starts to curl back into a rosebud position when they are three to five days old. It will gradually unfold until it reaches its final shape when they are about sixteen weeks. The degree of the curl differs, ranging from almost straight to an arc of 90 to 180 degrees.

American Curls come in two coat lengths: shorthair and longhair. They also come in an array of colours. The Longhaired American Curls have a silky, flat-flying coat with minimal undercoat. That’s why it is very unlikely for their coats to mat or tangle. They also have a pretty plumed tail to match their long coat.

These stunning cats are medium-sized feline with a rounded head, a large muzzle, and noticeable whisker pads. They boast an alert, perky and sophisticated look with an open and sweet expression. 


American Curls are energetic, affectionate and curious cat companions. They are known to be exceptionally people-oriented, and they will gently pat you to get attention to prove that. They can be frequently seen always around their human companion, whether they are relaxing or sleeping.

These affectionate cats are very people-oriented. They are loyal and loving companions. They adjust remarkably quick with new situations to children and other pets. American Curls are often described to have a very dog-like demeanour as their attentiveness to their human companion is outstanding. They are not very vocal compared to other cat breeds. But they can be heard making soft trill-like cooing sounds to express themselves. And because these playful cats retain their kitten-like personality throughout adulthood, they are coined as the “Peter Pan” in the feline world.

What’s wonderful about this cat breed is that they know how to show respect to the early dwellers when introduced to new surroundings. They are calm, curious, intelligent and attentive feline companions. Moreover, they are very devoted to their families as they would follow family members around the house as they “assist” whatever you are doing. When they are tired and wants to take a nap, American Curls will find the nearest lap to snuggle to and spend more time with their human companion. 

American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Because they are naturally curious and smart, they will be happy to jump at any chance to learn new tricks as they love interacting with their human companion. You can train your American Curl with basic commands and play a game of fetch.

Use their favourite toys and a reward system to encourage your American Curl to be attentive at every training session. Make sure to be consistent when you train your cat. They are active cats; that’s why they need mental stimulation regularly to be fully contented and happy.

Like other cats breed, when they are properly socialized and trained at an early age, they will blossom into a well-mannered and well-rounded feline companion perfect for your family. 

Coat & Care

While American Curls have a long, silky coat, they have a little undercoat. That’s why their coats rarely mat or tangles. Weekly brushing or combing is sufficient to keep their long coats healthy and beautiful. Try running the comb or brush backwards through their coat, as it will help remove any dead hair that has accumulated. These beautiful cats shed all year round. Bathing is not necessary unless they are dirty or muddy.

Train your American Curl kittens by using a very soft brush initially to get them used to regular grooming. By using a soft brush, it will not pull their long, fine hair or hurt their very young skin. Remember about the reward system? Always encourage their good behaviour by giving them small treats and kibbles when they behave during every grooming session. Once they get used to being groomed, you can upgrade your tools and routine to a more appropriate brush for their coat needs.

Weekly brushing is enough to keep your American Curl’s teeth healthy and away from any tooth and gum diseases. You can keep their nails clean by trimming them twice a month or when needed. To keep their eyes clean and away from any infection, you can wipe the corners of their eyes using a clean, soft, moist cloth to remove any discharge. Just make sure to use a different part of the moist cloth for each eye to prevent the risk of spreading any eye infection.

Check your cat’s ears weekly for dirt or any kind of buildup. You can clean them using a fresh cotton ball or soft moistened cloth and a vet-approved ear cleaner. Get your vet’s advice on how to properly clean your cat’s ears to avoid hurting them that may lead to bleeding and infection. If it has a foul odour, immediately contact your vet for care and treatment.

Finally, make sure to regularly check their litter boxes if they are unsoiled as this cat breed is very specific about their bathroom hygiene. If it is left dirty, debris and dirt might tangle to their long coat. Furthermore, they may tend to use other areas in the house to do their business. 

American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Fortunately, American Curls have no known genetic health conditions. This is due to their vast gene pools from their domestic outcross background.

Many American Curls can live from their mid-teens to their senior years. But, one of the main apprehensions of cat owners is the delicate nature of their unique ears. While it is still early to say that there are any health-related problems solely for this breed, they still keep a watchful eye for what they fear it may have.

Like other breeds, American Curls need annual vaccination boosters to fight common ailments of enteritis and flu, as well as for Feline Leukemia, if your cat is allowed to wander outside. 

Children & Other Pets

These intelligent cats are extremely friendly and playful. Because of this, many families with children and other pets choose to bring home an American Curl with them. As a reminder, keep an eye on your children when interacting with an American Curl or any other cat breeds. This is to prevent any accidents or any skin scratching incident that may happen because of mishandling.

Living with other pets such as other cats and cat-friendly dogs is bliss with this cat breed. Because of their easy-to-adapt and easy-going nature, American Curls can live harmoniously with other pets in the same household. But remember that not all cat breeds are the same; always introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to get along well together. 

American Curl Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws