The American Curl Cat 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. An American Curl's ears should be handled carefully because rough handling may damage the cartilage in the ear. The breed originated in Lakewood, California, as the result of a spontaneous mutation.
American Curl Cat Personality
Curls have qualities other than the whimsical ears to make them attractive pets. They are people cats that do not show any of the stereotypical aloofness, and are affectionate without harassing people for attention the way some breeds can. They delight in perching on shoulders and love to pat and nuzzle their peoples' faces. Curls are a 'fetching' breed, easily taught to play fetch, and never lose their love of play. They are also noted for their affinity with children.
While not as active as the Abyssinian, American Curls are playful and energetic. They also display the typical cat curiosity and want to be right there to investigate any changes in their environment.
American Curl Cat Breed Traits
At birth, Curl kittens look like any other kitten, but between one and seven days the ears get firmer and start to plump up and curve back. Since the degree of curl can change dramatically over a short period, kittens should not be purchased until they are between four and four and one-half months, when the curl of the ear settles down into the form it will carry throughout the cat's life. Curl cats take two to three years to reach maturity.
The degree of ear curl can vary from 90 to 180 degrees, or from first degree to the show-favored third degree curl. The ears should not curl back to touch the back of the head, however; this is cause for disqualification, as is any ear lacking firm cartilage from the base to at least one-third of its height.