The Scottish Fold is a sweet-natured breed that looks like a soft, stuffed toy. The shorthair variety has a thick, lush coat that is like a teddy-bear, while the longhair variety has an even more ruffled look, giving the appearance of a woolly sheep.
Their signature feature is their folded ears, caused by a natural genetic mutation giving them their iconic owl-like look. 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. 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. Calm, kind, intelligent and very well-adjusted, the Scottish Fold cat is also very loving and warm.
A lot of Scottish Folds enjoy being held, but you will frequently find them following their human companion around the house, never leaving their side. While they can get very attached to their family, they are not too clingy.
This cat breed is a good eater and not as active as other cat breeds, so they require regular engagement. Take advantage of their love for human attention and interaction by keeping them busy in interactive play. When prompted, they thoroughly enjoy playing and are incredibly responsive to training.
An adaptable breed, Scottish Folds, are generally relaxed and comfortable in a variety of environments. They can handle a room full of children and pets just as well as 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.
- 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 the 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 like mites, infections, and hearing problems.
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 Organisation 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.
The Scottish Folds have developed a truly unique look over the last two decades. The Scottish Fold doesn’t have the American Shorthair’s solid, robust “working cat” body and their squared-off muzzle. They don’t have the British Shorthair’s huge, compact body, flat planed top-head, and short legs.
Instead, the Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat with a rounded, well-padded body and 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 old, 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. However, 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. Thus, the straight ear offspring of Scottish Folds are priceless to the breeding program.
A short haired Scottish Fold has a thick, luxurious coat with a soft texture. They come 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 expressions. This cat has a tiny voice and is not very vocal. They enjoy human companionship and show 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 thus, you can travel with your Scottish Folds with ease.They are also well-adjusted to other pets and animals such as other cats, dogs, birds and rabbits exceptionally.
These warm and approachable cats are very sociable and loving cats that get intensely devoted to their human companion. In addition, 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 to make them happy.
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 bright and enjoy the love and attention of being clicker-trained and taught tricks.
They are good at problem-solving and enjoy playing with food-oriented puzzles and interactive games. Thus, sharing a home with a Scottish Fold is always 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 when they learn how to operate them.
When a Scottish Fold is suitably socialised and trained during their kittenhood, they will thrive on being a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion.
Short Haired Scottish Folds need minimal coat care and maintenance to keep their fur 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 get used to it. Start by using a soft brush that doesn’t hurt or pull their coat or 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 can move to a more appropriate brush or comb for their age.
Weekly tooth brushing is enough to prevent periodontal disease and other teeth and gums diseases, though if you can do it more regularly, that is best. For their nails, trim them twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, wipe the corners using a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any discharge. Just make sure to use a different part of the damp cloth for each eye to prevent spreading infection.
Because their ears are uniquely folded, it is vital that you check the ears weekly at a minimum. 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 cats have a form of progressive joint disease caused by the same gene that causes their ears to fold. This can show up mainly in their ankles, tail, and feet. It can increase over time, but it is best to be mindful when playing. Many develop arthritis in their tails, which can be very painful. Scottish Folds should be taken to their vet immediately if any stiffness is observed or if they seem to be in pain.
Because of this genetic mutation, there is a lot of controversy around how ethical it is to breed Scottish Fold cats. If you do decide to buy one, ensure you buy from a registered, reputable breeder who has experience with this unique breed and follows ethical practices. This includes running DNA health checks on all their cats to determine genetic conditions.
What’s more, because their folded ear shape makes it difficult to see into their ears and clean them, they tend to be more at risk of ear mites and infections.
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, learn tricks easily and adore the attention they get from children who treat them well. However, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents like pulling their fur or twisting their tail.
Scottish Folds are also 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.