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American CurlAmerican Curl

Country of origin: United States
Breed standards: CFA

The American Curl is a breed of cat characterized by its unusual ears, which curl back from the face toward the center of the back of the skull. The breed originated in Lakewood, California as the result of a spontaneous mutation. In June, 1981, two stray kittens were found and taken in by the Ruga family. The kittens were both longhaired, one black and the other black and white. The family named them Shulamith and Panda respectively, but Panda disappeared several weeks later, making Shulamith the foundation female of the American Curl breed.

In 1983, an American Curl was exhibited at a cat show for the first time, and in 1987, the longhaired American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl became the first breed admitted to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Championship Class with both longhair and shorthair divisions [1].

Both longhaired and shorthaired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies. They require little grooming, but enjoy spending time with their owners.
The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world in the United States, Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.

Characteristics and Temperment

When Curls are born, their ears are straight, but within two to ten days after birth, their ears begin to curl back. During the first 4 months, the kitten's ears will gradually curl and uncurl in varying degrees until they are set permanently at 4 months of age. At this age, breeders can determine the kitten's quality (pet, breeder, show). Along with the kitten's overall conformation to the breed standard, degree of curl to the ear is a key factor in determining quality as follows: first degree (pet), second degree (breeder), and third degree (show) being the most desirable curl to the ear, emulating the graceful curve of a full crescent. Ear furnishings (hair tufts) fanning outward from the ear accentuate and further enhance the curled ear.

The ideal American Curl is a medium sized, alert animal with an elegant appearance and a sweet, open expression complimented by their remarkable ears. Both longhair and shorthair Curls have soft, silky coats, but the longhair Curl has the distinction of sporting a beautiful plumed tail. Because both coat lengths have minimal undercoat resulting in non-matting hair, grooming an American Curl is easy -- an occasional bath and combing is all that is needed. Care should be taken when handling the ears to avoid breaking the cartilage - do not force the ear into unnatural positions.

The Curl's temperament is one of curiosity and companionship. Being very people-oriented, they like to assist in all household projects and delight in "bumping heads" with their owners or new human acquaintances. Curls are even tempered and intelligent, yet they retain their kitten-type behavior throughout their adult life. Not overly talkative, the Curls will tell you when they need something or desire attention. American Curls easily adapt to almost any home situation and adjust to other animals remarkably well. Simply stated, they are extremely affectionate and absolutely ear-resistible!

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