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The LaPerm Longhair is a curly-coated cat with a cute appearance and personality. The LaPerm naturally emerged from a spontaneous mutation in barn cats in Oregon, USA. Since the first occurrence of the LaPerm in 1982, they have achieved recognition from several pedigree organisations, including The International Cat Association (TICA) and Cat Fanciers Association (CFA).
The LaPerm Longhair is unique from the other curly-haired rex cats as their woolly coats result from a dominant gene. Moreover, LaPerms are often outcrossed to non-pedigreed domestic cats to maintain healthy genetic diversity. Nowadays, you can find these fluffy felines in many countries outside the USA, but they are relatively uncommon, nonetheless.
Meet the LaPerm Longhair
The LaPerm Longhair is a small to medium cat, weighing five to eight pounds at maturity, which is usually two to three years old. They have an athletic yet elegant build, and their thick, woolly coats typically make them appear bigger than they are. LaPerms have slightly rounded heads with expressive eyes that can be any colour.
Interestingly, LaPerms are usually born bald or short haired, and they gradually develop their long coat as they grow. By the time they reach maturity, they will sport a combination of soft waves, curls, and ringlets, resembling a shaggy perm that feels soft to the touch. However, some LaPerms do not develop ringlets and maintain a straight coat instead.
Most longhaired LaPerms will have looser curls around the body, tighter ringlets around the neck and ears and a curly plumed tail. Their fur can be any colour or pattern, but tabbies, calicos and tortoiseshells are common. Furthermore, they often have curled whiskers.
The longhaired LaPerm’s curly coat is not too difficult to care for, but you do need to brush or comb it multiple times a week to prevent tangling or matting. After brushing, you can spray a little water to set the curls. You should not need to bathe them, but if you do, towel-dry them instead of using a hairdryer, which will create frizziness.
The temperament of a LaPerm Longhair
The LaPerm Longhair is an affectionate and playful kitty. They have an inquisitive nature and a clownish sense of humour. They are pretty smart and can figure out things like opening doors, which can sometimes cause mischief. They love to be up high and always look for something to climb, so don’t be surprised if they clamber up onto your shoulder!
LaPerms are super affectionate and like being in the same space as their owners but do not display neediness. So whether you’re cooking, on your laptop, or watching a movie, your LaPerm will likely be with you. They do not meow a great deal, but they have deep purrs that promote comfort and relaxation.
Provided they receive sufficient socialisation as kittens, LaPerms grow to be very friendly and at ease around strangers. Likewise, they do not feel fearful in the presence of children, so they make good family pets. Furthermore, as they descend from barn cats, these felines have a strong prey drive and love to hunt.
10 reasons to add a LaPerm Longhair to your family
- They have unique, sheep-like coats - Curly haired cats are not a common sighting. Thus, LaPerms are distinctive, different, and incredibly cute.
- They feel super soft - Their curly fur is super soft like a teddy bear, rather than coarse, which makes them the ideal snuggle buddies.
- They are easy going - These affectionate kitties are not needy by any means. They love receiving attention but are also happy to play on their own.
- They are ideal for a variety of homes - Because of their low needs and adaptable nature, they can find happiness with all types of families and home environments, including apartments and with first-time cat owners.
- They have soothing purrs - Any LaPerm owner will agree, there is something exceptional about this kitty’s loud, deep purr.
- They have a fantastic sense of humour - Playful LaPerms love to clown around and show off, bringing your hours of laughs.
- They are not as tricky to groom as you think - It’s easy to take one look at a LaPerm longhair and assume they have high grooming requirements. However, they only need to be brushed or combed a few times a week, typically don’t need baths, and don’t shed much either.
- They are fab company - LaPerms will stay close to their owners for most of the day. So if you work from home, they make an excellent companion who will lay on your desk, keeping you company as you work.
- They are generally healthy - As they are a naturally occurring breed, LaPerms do not have any known inherited health problems.
- They are rare and eye-catching - LaPerms are not cats you often come across, but they always catch your eye when you do. Being so exclusive, your guests will always be in awe of your curly haired feline.
Best homes for a LaPerm Longhair
LaPerm Longhairs will also be around as they prefer to be with their owners than off doing their own thing. Because they love to play and hunt, they will need plenty of toys, cat trees and high platforms to keep them happy. They are also content spending most or all their time indoors, making them a good choice for those living in apartments.
Their easygoing nature also means they get along well with children and other pets. In fact, as they love to play, they welcome any playmate, whether it’s a tiny human, feline, or canine. Moreover, as they don’t particularly like to be alone, it’s best to have a furry friend for them to grow up around if you work long hours.