Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed

The Scottish Fold is a sweet-natured breed that looks like a soft, stuffed toy. The shorthair variety has a thick, lush, curly coat like a teddy bear, while the longhair variety has an even more ruffled look that gives the appearance of a woolly sheep. Frequently called dogs in disguise, the affectionate Scottish Fold is dedicated to their family and can be trained to walk on a leash to join family outings. These strong cats have the presence and physique of the bobcat with the personality of the domestic cat. Their signature feature is their folded ears which give them a look that looks like an owl. It is a natural genetic mutation, but their ears work just as well as any other cat’s. Aside from this distinct trait, the Scottish Fold is a mellow, charming cat breed.

Scottish Folds are bright, curious, and are very devoted to their family. Many of them enjoy being held, but you will frequently find them following their human companion around the house and never leaving their side. But remember, when holding them in your arm, their tail should be handled carefully. Their tails are known to develop stiffness which can lead to pain if mishandled. Calm, kind, intelligent and very well-adjusted, Scottish Fold cat is also very loving and warm. And while they can get very attached to their family, they will not be too clingy that may exasperate their human companion. Like many other cat breeds, they enjoy playing, and they are incredibly responsive to training.

This cat breed is a good eater and not as active as other cat breeds. Therefore, they require to be engaged regularly to be active. So, take advantage of their love for human attention and interaction by keeping them busy in interactive play to keep them fit and healthy.  An adaptable breed, Scottish Folds, are generally relaxed and comfortable in a variety of environments. They can handle well a room full of children and pets just as they would a single-person apartment. If they are appropriately introduced, they can adjust to new environments and people very well. Scottish Folds prefer the company of their families, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs than being left alone for long periods of time. This cat breed gets along great with both children and other pets.

Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

20-25 cm
4-6 kg
Life Span:
12-14 years
Sweet, Charming, Gentle, Affectionate, Friendly, Intelligent, Laidback
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
  • Shedding: Low 2/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
  • Activity Level: Medium 6/10
  • Playfulness: Medium 6/10
  • 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: Medium 6/10
  • Independence: Medium 6/10


In 1961, the cat breed was discovered unintentionally by William Ross, who is a Scottish farmer. He saw a white cat named Suzie, with uncommon folded ears, in his neighbour’s farm near Coupar Angus, Tayside Region of Scotland. Suzie’s ancestry was indeterminate, but her mother was identified as a straight, white-haired cat. William Ross was so fascinated with the cat that he bought a kitten from Suzie’s next litter. This kitten had possessed its mother’s physical traits. He then started a breeding program with his cat, Snooks, and began attending various cat shows.

William Ross named the cat breed “lop-eared” after a variety of rabbit. In 1966, he registered the new cat breed with the GCCF or the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, where the cat breed was later renamed to Scottish Fold. Unfortunately, in the early 1970s, the GCCF stopped recognizing the cat breed due to concerns over ear disorders. 

In the same year, the Scottish Fold cat came to American. The three of Snook’s kittens were transported to Dr. Neil Todd at the Carnivore Genetics Research Center in Massachusetts. He was researching spontaneous mutations. And while his research with the Scottish Folds did not gather favourable results, Dr. Todd did find good homes for these cats. One female cat, named Hester, was given to Salle Wolfe Peters. She is a well-known Manx breeder in Pennsylvania. Salle was later credited with establishing this cat breed in the United States.

The Scottish Fold was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1973 and was bestowed the championship status in 1978. The American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, American Cat Fanciers Association, and United Feline Organization named the cat breed the Highland Fold. In 1990, The International Cat Association accepted the Scottish Fold into the New Breed program and recognized the breed for championship competition in February 1994.

Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

The Scottish Folds have developed a look all their own over the last two decades. The Scottish Fold does not necessarily look like the American Shorthair’s solid, robust “working cat” body and their squared-off muzzle. They don’t also look like the British Shorthair’s huge, compact body, flat planed top-head, and short legs. With Scottish Fold, they are a medium-sized cat with a rounded, well-padded body and with a short, thick, and hardy coat. They have large, round, broadly spaced eyes, a short nose with a gentle curve, and well-rounded whisker pads.

Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. And when they are about three to four weeks, their ears fold. But from time to time, it doesn’t. It is typically around eleven to twelve weeks that the cat breeder can check the cat's quality. Currently, only folded ear cats of this cat breed are allowed in the show ring. And because of this, every cat breeder wants to breed and produce show cats. The straight ear offspring of Scottish Folds, nonetheless, are priceless to the breeding program. Due to the scarcity of the Scottish Fold, and because not every kitten born has folded ears, it is challenging for the supply to sustain the demand.

A shorthaired Scottish Fold has a thick, luxurious coat with a soft texture. The longhaired Scottish Fold, on the other hand, has medium to long fur with britches, a plumed tail, toe tufts, and tufts of fur on their ears. They may also have a ruff around their neck. The Scottish Fold comes in several colours and patterns, which includes tabby, tabby and white, solid, bicolour, and parti-colour. Their eye colour depends on their coat colour.


Scottish Folds are resilient cats, similar to their barnyard ancestors. Their character matches their sweet and adorable expression. This cat has a tiny voice and is not very vocal. This cat breed enjoys human companionship and shows this in their own quiet way.

Scottish Folds adapt to virtually any home situation and environment. They are as comfortable in an area full of noisy children and dogs as they are in a single person’s house. These affectionate and mellow cats do not panic in hotel rooms or at shows. They are well-adjusted to other pets and animals such as other cats, dogs, bird and rabbits exceptionally. So, you can travel with your Scottish Folds with ease and won’t have any problem bringing them for a weekend trip. The Scottish Fold is a simple and undemanding cat. All it takes is a clean environment, proper nutrition and generous amounts of love and attention are their only requirements.

Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

When a Scottish Fold is suitably socialized and trained during their kittenhood, they will thrive on being a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion. These warm and approachable cats are very sociable and loving cats that get intensely devoted to their human companion. The Scottish Fold is recognized as a clever cat and a cat breed that quickly learns new commands and tricks. They are also very good at using their kitty paws to open cabinets and cupboards to check out what's inside. These cats are also quite skilled at using their paws to play with water from a running tap and can be seen watching it drip for hours.

Scottish Folds are good at problem-solving and enjoy playing with a food-oriented puzzle and interactive games. So, imagine sharing a home with a Scottish Fold; it will always be very entertaining. Challenge their brilliant minds and keep them busy by teaching them tricks and games. Give them a lot of puzzle toys that will reward them with treats or kibbles when they learn how to operate them. Scottish Folds are bright and enjoy the love and attention of being clicker-trained and taught tricks.

Coat & Care

Shorthaired Scottish Folds need little coat care and maintenance to keep their coat in great condition. Weekly brushing is sufficient, and a bath is only necessary when they get dirty or muddy. Prepare your Scottish Fold for their grooming routine from an early age so they can get used to it. Start by using a soft brush that doesn’t hurt or pull their coat or their skin. After every grooming session, be consistent in rewarding them for behaving well and letting you brush or comb their coat. Once they get used to their regular coat care routine, you move to a more effective brush or comb appropriate for their age.

While daily brushing is still best, weekly brushing is already enough to prevent periodontal disease and other teeth and gums diseases. For their nails, trim them twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, you can wipe its corners using a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any eye discharge. Just make sure to use a different part of the damp cloth for each eye to prevent the risk of any eye infection.

Because their ears are uniquely folded, it is vital that you check the ears weekly. If their ears appear dirty, you can wipe it using a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a vet-approved ear cleaner. It is recommended that you ask for your vet’s advice on how you can effectively clean your Scottish Fold’s ear. If their ear is emanating a foul odour, it is best to contact your vet as soon as possible for treatment. Lastly, make sure that their litter boxes are always clean as they are particular about bathroom hygiene. If it is left dirty, they tend to use other places in the house.

Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Scottish Folds are generally a healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between twelve to fourteen years with proper care, exercise, and a high-quality diet. However, there are still health problems that may affect the Scottish Folds, which include the following:

  • Degenerative joint disease – it causes pain or pain mobility on their tail, ankle or knee joints.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – is a form of heart disease.

The Scottish Fold’s ears do not make them more vulnerable to ear infections than any other cat breed. However, they do have a form of progressive joint disease caused by the same factor that causes their ears to fold. This can show up mainly in their ankles, tail, and feet. It can rise over time, but it is best to be mindful when playing with their tail. Scottish Folds should be taken to their vet immediately to check them for arthritis if any stiffness is observed or if they seem to be in pain when their tail is mishandled.

Lastly, it is vital to keep an eye on your Scottish Fold’s waistline to ensure that they never carry too much weight that could seriously impact their general health and well-being.

Children & Other Pets

The friendly and outgoing Scottish Fold loves playing. That’s why they are an excellent choice for families with children. They will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and adores the attention they get from children who treat them well. However, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents and won’t hurt the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail. Remember, it can cause serious damage when their tail is mishandled.

Scottish Folds are pleased to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. But as always, it is best to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to ensure that they learn to get along well together. 

Scottish Fold Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws