American Curl

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Is the American Curl right for you?

The basics:
The unique, backwards curl of the American Curl’s ears lends this cat an alert, surprised, and happy expression that lovers of this breed adore. This exuberance is matched in the Curl’s unique and playful personality. Affectionate, attentive, and energetic, this cat loves to be part of a family. Sometimes called the Peter Pan of the cat world, the Curl’s kitten-like personality remains joyful and exuberant throughout its life. Perhaps it’s the Curl’s youthful glee and playful spirit that draws it towards children, as the Curl is known to not just tolerate, but seek out younger members of the household for companionship.

The American Curl is a fairly recent breed of cat that developed naturally from a spontaneous genetic mutation. The first Curl showed up in California in 1981: a longhaired black stray with funny ears. A family took her in, and named her “Shulamith”. When Shulamith had a litter of kittens, two out of four of them inherited her unique look.

Interestingly, American Curl kittens are born with straight ears. Over the next 3 to 5 days, the ear begins to curl back tightly like a rosebud. The curl begins to loosen gradually, to greater or lesser degrees depending on the cat, until it becomes permanent at 16 weeks. Some ears sweep back in a gentle arc, and some remained more tightly curled, like the curves of a shell.

Appearance / health:
The American Curl is a small to medium sized cat with distinctive curled ears. On average, the Curl weighs 5 – 10lbs, and may take 2 – 3 years to reach full maturity. This cat has a rectangular but elegant build with a rounded head and a substantial muzzle. The eyes are round and expressive, and may come in a variety of colors. The distinctive ears curl back towards the head, and the degree of the curl varies from cat to cat. Show quality cats will have a backwards arc of between 90 to 180 degrees.

There are two coat types: a longhair type with a semi-long, silky and flat-lying coat, and a shorthair type with a short, soft, silky, and flat-lying coat. The American Curl can come in any coat color and pattern.

Special care should be taken touching the Curl's ears, and frequent cleaning may be necessary to prevent infection.

Behavior / temperament:
The American Curl is a people-oriented, affectionate, and playful cat. They have a relatively high energy level, and retain a kitten-like love of play all through their lives. American Curl’s are particularly known to be good with children, but because of this, young children should be well supervised so as not to play too rough. They are intelligent, and curious, and will likely involve themselves in anything you try to do. They American Curl likes to show its affection with head-butts and nuzzles, and you may feel the gentle pat-pat-pat of their furry paw when they’re trying to get your attention. They are curious and intelligent, and will try to investigate every nook and cranny of your home. They get along well with other pets in the home, including dogs. Because of their highly social nature and need for interaction, the American Curl is not a cat that will be happy being left alone for long periods of time.


ears, unique curly ears, good fun, silky coat, playful cat


shower, long haired curls, different personalities, short haired variety

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