Scottish Fold Cats: Sweet Natured And Laid Back

Photo: Tom Thai

Scottish Fold Cats are instantly recognizable.

They are the cats with the folded ears.

Just the same as any other cats, the personalities of this breed vary from individual to individual.

However there are various personality traits that fanciers and breeders report as being common.

They are known to be very quiet cats with soft voices, not prone to yowling or meowing, ideal perhaps, for those who prefer a cat to be seen rather than heard.

Scottish Fold cats are generally laid back and easy going, not apt to have bouts of mad activity, but they will play happily with you if they are in the mood to do so.

These cats are said to be intelligent and confident.

They are quite comfortable living with larger families, and tolerate children and other pets very well.

They do tend to adopt one member of the family as their 'human' however, and can become devoted to them.

scottish fold cat
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Scottish Folds are not lap cats, they are affectionate and do enjoy being petted, but prefer to curl up somewhere near you, rather than on you.

Most often Scottish Fold cats are described as being very sweet natured.

With their distinct ears Foldies, as they are often called, are one of the most instantly recognizable cats.

They frequently get described as being owl like in appearance. Their large round eyes and short necks help to give that impression.

Scottish Fold cats are found with all coat colors and patterns, very nearly all of which are acceptable for showing.

Longhair examples are also found and they are often referred to as Highland folds or Coupari.

Brief History Of The Scottish Fold Breed

In 1961 an unusual white cat with folded ears was found on a farm in Coupar Angus, near Dundee Scotland.

Someone gave this cat the name Susie.

William Ross, a neighboring farmer, and his wife Mary had an interest in cats and so were given one of Susie's kittens, a white female which also displayed folded ears, they named the kitten Snooks.

William and Mary bred Snooks with a red tabby male, the litter contained one male, Snowball, who was eventually bred with a British shorthair which resulted in five kittens with fold ears.

All Scottish Fold cats to this day are descended from Susie the farm cat.

White Scottish Fold Cat.
Image wikipedia c.c.

At first these cats were known as Lops, or Lop Eared Cats, they did not become known as Scottish Fold cats until 1966.

There was considerable interest in these folded ear cats and plans were made for developing the breed.

However, the Cat Fancy in the United Kingdom became concerned about the possibility of increased Ear Mite Problems due to the folded ears and possible genetic bone and joint difficulties.

In 1971 the GCCF banned registrations, and the breed was also not acceptable for showing in Europe.

Luckily examples of Scottish Folds were shipped to the U.S.A. where further research and development of the breed was carried out.

It was found that the concern about ear mites was largely unfounded and the risk of genetic problems reduced by careful breeding.

There had been reports of folded eared cats before Susie was discovered.

The most notable being the Chinese Sumxu described as a droop eared, or lop eared cat. This creature was said to have been bred both as a pet and as food. The last report of a sighting of a Sumxu was in 1938.

There seems to be some doubt as to whether this creature was a cat at all.

Scottish Fold Cats – Health Issue

Scottish Folds are, all in all, tough and healthy cats. There is a health issue, linked to the folded ear gene, that you should be aware of however.

If two cats both with folded ears are bred together, there is a high chance that the resulting kittens will suffer with severe bone and joint problems.

For this reason any reputable breeder of Scottish folds will only breed folded ear to straight ear.

This greatly reduces the chances of offspring developing joint disease.

Before you obtain a Scottish Fold you will want to check out the breeder.

Do they only breed folded ear cats to straight ear cats? Will they supply you with a written health guarantee?

Examine the cat. If the tail is inflexible and the legs are stiff, it is likely the cat has the problem.

Scottish Fold Kittens

All Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. Only about 50% will go on to develop folded ears, the rest will retain their straight (or pricked) ears. It takes around three weeks before the ears will fold if they are going to.

After about twelve weeks a breeder will be able to determine whether the kitten is of show, breeding or pet standard.

Because of the careful breeding program, to reduce the chance of genetic defect, Scottish Fold kittens are sometimes in limited supply and therefore can be quite pricey.

Pet standard kittens are more affordable and every bit as sweet.

To Summarize . . .

  • Very quiet cats with soft voices.
  • Generally a laid back and easy going cat.
  • Described as being a very sweet natured breed.
  • Found with all coat colors and patterns.
  • Scottish Fold cats are generally healthy and hardy. However there is a health issue linked to the folded ear gene.

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