Bold and Beautiful SCOTTISH FOLD
The Scottish Fold is a breed of domestic cat with a natural dominant-gene mutation that affects cartilage throughout the body, causing the ears to ‘fold’ bending forward and down towards the front of the head, which gives the cat who is often described as an ‘owl-like’ appearance. Let’s find out more about this unique breed of cat.
The first recorded appearance of the spontaneous mutation of Scottish Fold was happened in Scotland in 1961. Many breeds were used to develop the Scottish Fold originally; allowable outcrosses today are limited to the American Shorthair or British Shorthair. This has resulted in a cat breed who is heavier than it would appear, and continues with the soft well-rounded look.
Origin of the name
Originally called lopeared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit, Scottish Fold became the breed’s name in 1966. Depending on registries, longhaired Scottish Folds are varyingly known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold and Coupari. Folded ears and big, round eyes give Scottish Fold an owl like appearance—but all in soft, innocent and knowing look.
A family pet
Pet parents will tell you this breed of cat is very loyal, curious, and intelligent. Generally not shy, this breed is the cat who will be hiding but out and about, accompanying you in all your daily hores. She has an adorable prairie dog pose, often sitting up on her backend to get a better view of what’s going on around her. Scottish Fold is attributed with a nicely rounded head and well-padded body. With proper care given to introduction Scottish Fold will get along with children and other family pets. She is very laid back, and requires regular play time.
The folded ear gene of Scottish Fold is incompletely dominant, meaning kittens can be born with both folded and straight ears.Quite a variety of colours are accepted in Scottish Fold, all colours and patterns found in both tradition and pointed groups of cats. Scottish Fold can also be found in both long-haired and short-haired versions. All Folds are born with straight, unfolded ears, and those with the Fold gene will begin to show the fold usually within about 21 days. The kittens who do not develop folded ears are known as Straights. The original cats only had one fold in their ears, but due to selective breeding, breeders have increased the fold to a double or triple crease that causes the ear to lie totally flat against the head.Scottish Fold’s distinctive folded ears are produced by an incompletely dominant gene that affects the cartilage of the ears, causing the ears to fold forward and downward, giving a cap-like appearance to the head. Smaller, tightly folded ears set in a cap-like fashion are preferred to a loose fold and larger ear. The large, round eyes and rounded head, cheeks, and whisker pads add to the overall rounded appearance. Despite the folded ears, Folds still use their aural appendages to express themselves—the ears swivel to listen, lie back in anger and prick up when the treat bag rustles.
Whatever your preferences, you can find the right Scottish Fold to suit you. Coat of this cat breed varies by hair type, short-haired versions requiring only a good weekly brushing but long-haired versions needing more attention to avoid matting.Eye colour is predominately of copper, but all other colours are acceptable. Kittens are all born looking the same as most other litters but after a few weeks of growing about 50 percent of a litter will have ears that start to fold forward and sit closely to their skull.There is a possible abnormality in the breed resulting in joint fusion, limited mobility and arthritic type discomfort. Scottish Fold for this reason is carefully bred by experienced breeder; often using those straight-eared kittens to keep this genetic anomaly from appearing. Responsible breeders work extra hard to produce happy healthy kittens who live long and healthy lives.
(Joyce Pierce is based in California where she runs cattery Mirage of The Wild Cats. She is a Scottish Fold breeder. Her interest includes painting cats that she does while not showing them).