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The American Curl Shorthair is a unique-looking cat from California, USA, known for its distinctive swept-back ears. The first curly eared cat of this type appeared in 1981. This cat's offspring had the same genetic mutation causing the ears to fold back, leading to breeders selectively breeding them.
The American Curl Shorthair can be found in various countries worldwide but remains a relatively rare breed outside the USA. These adorable kitties are also known for their adventurous and kitten-like nature and are given the nickname the "Peterpan cat." What's more, their cuddliness and laid-back disposition make them a very enjoyable and easy to manage pet.
Meet the American Curl Shorthair
The American Curl Shorthair is a small to medium-sized cat weighing between 5 to 10 pounds, with females typically being smaller. They have rectangular bodies, round faces, large walnut-shaped eyes, and ears that form a permanent swept-back positioning.
The American Curl Shorthair's iconic ear curl is due to a dominant gene mutation that does not cause any pain to the cat. However, their ear cartilage is not flexible and can easily damage if not handled with care. Every American Curl Shorthair owner should be aware that these kitties' ears are prone to ear infections, so you'll need to clean them regularly and carefully.
American Curl kittens are typically born with straight ears, which gradually curl from a few days old to around four months. By this point, the ears will feel stiff at the base and more flexible at the tips. Moreover, American Curls' ears do not all look the same. Some cats will have just slightly curled ears, whereas others have up to a 180-degree fold. However, they never fold entirely back so that they touch the head.
The American Curl Shorthair has a short, flat-lying coat with almost no undercoat. Their fur can come in a range of solid colours such as black, brown and white, and various patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell, and Calcio. Likewise, their eyes can be any colour.
The temperament of an American Curl Shorthair
American Curls are most known for their kitten-like nature. They display high levels of playfulness and love to explore and seek out adventures and challenges. They are easily entertained and love to receive a new toy or even a new cardboard box. However, they may get bored of their toys quickly as they continually seek a new challenge. So, to avoid spending a fortune on cat toys, rotate their toys regularly.
Part of their playful nature means they love to climb and jump high. Therefore, your American Curl will undoubtedly find a way to reach the highest shelves in your home and the tops of the doors! Unlike other breeds, the American Curls playfulness does not subside when they reach full maturity. Instead, it continues well into adulthood.
There is more to these cats than their love for playing, though. They are equally affectionate and loving towards their owners. They love to spend their downtime cuddling up with their owners and will welcome you home with a head rub and soft meow. American Curls can be pretty vocal, but they are not particularly loud as they tend to use chirps and trills rather than meows.
10 reasons to add an American Curl Shorthair to your family
- They are unique - Most American Curl lovers fall for this breed because of their iconic ears and the adorable expression they give.
- They are low maintenance - American Curls are very easygoing and, although social, they do not have high needs. This makes them a breeze to live with and an enjoyable companion.
- They come in all colours - This breed is not restricted to specific colours or patterns and can come in almost any style or tone.
- They live long lives - As a naturally occurring breed, American Curl Short Hairs do not have any genetic health conditions. As a result, most live between 15 to 20 years.
- They will always be kitten-like - While most cats mellow out as they get older, American Curls continue to act like kittens. Thus, they will give you a lifetime of entertainment and laughs with their crazy antics.
- They tire quickly - However, despite their love for playing, they don't have super high energy levels and tire quickly. Thus, 5-minute interactive play sessions are usually enough to satisfy these felines.
- They adapt to any home - These kitties are so laid back that they will find happiness in any environment, whether a small apartment or a spacious house. They are also equally happy to be indoor-only kitties or access the outdoors.
- They love to be with other animals - Shorthaired American Curls enjoy playing with other pets and are very friendly towards the animals they meet.
- They are loyal yet independent - These cuddly kitties are never cold or aloof but are happy to spend time alone when needed.
- They have sweet voices - You will always hear when your American Curl is around, but they don't whine or meow loudly to get your attention. Instead, they will greet you with a coo and quietly chirp at you when they are hungry.
Best homes for an American Curl Shorthair
The American Curl Shorthair is a naturally friendly and gentle feline that gets on with everyone and adapts well to new environments. Although they love being with their humans, they do not need you there 24/7. Their easygoing nature makes them suitable for working professionals, retirees, and first-time cat owners.
American Curls enjoy the company of other animals as well as people. In fact, they do better with a feline (or canine) friend than on their own. They do not show signs of distress if they are left alone during the day, but having a furry friend to play with while you're at work will make a massive difference to their wellbeing.