The American Curl is different from any other breed, with its innocent look and devilish curled-backed ears.DescriptionAmerican Curls are semi-foreign, semi-longhaired and shorthaired cats. The head is a modified wedge with rounded contours. The firm ears are held erect, set on the corners of the head, curving in a gentle curl back from the face, toward the center of the back of the head. The walnut-shaped eyes are large and expressive. This is a medium-sized cat, and may take two to three years to mature. The body should not be cobby or coarse, nor should it have fine or slender boning or musculature, but should be semi-foreign in type; the legs should be medium-long, the hind legs slightly longer than the forelegs. The coat is either semi-long or short (not bushy). American Curls may be registered and shown in any color and any pattern.
This breed has been hand built from the beginning. It started with a mutation in the domestic cat population in 1981. the female?s ears were not straight, like other cats? ears, but were curled back. She was found in a neighbors yard and was adopted by a family who were smitten with here and curled ears. Named Shulasmith, she later presented her new family with kittens which were distributed for careful breeding, with several goals in mind: retention of the curly ears, achieving an individual type, and enlarging their gene pool. The American Curl was first exhibited in 1983 and given championship recognition in 1987 by the International Cat Association. Cat breeders have never seen anything like this before, and the American Curl took the world of cat fanciers by storm.In a liter bearing American Curl kittens, with four to eight kittens in average litter, fifty percent of these may be Curls. When Curl kittens are four to seven days old, their ears start to become firm and curl backwards on the head. At about six weeks the kittens enter into a transitional stage and the ear gradually unfurls. At four to six months of age, the curl of the ear sets permanently even though the unfurling process may not be completed.The cartilage in the base of the ears is quite firm, even stiff to the touch. Once seen and felt, this trademark cannot be mistaken for anything else. The curls ears and expressive eyes make this breed a unique cat; a delight to look at and a pleasure to own.
American Curls are very healthy, hearty cats. They are intelligent and playful, yet gentle, very much a ?people cat?, and very affectionate, like to rub their owners chin and sit on their owners shoulders. They even like rough play and seem to truly enjoy the company of young children. The may be quiet, almost pensive in attitude, and not overly active, but remain extremely curious about their surroundings. They require very little grooming since their coat rarely mats. They can be easily trained, even to walk on a leash, or to fetch and retrieve. They retain their whimsical attitude throughout their life, retaining their playful activities well into maturity, giving them a reputation for never growing up.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland