A domestic cat breed known as the Scottish Fold has a naturally occurring dominant gene mutation that affects cartilage throughout the body and causes the ears to “fold,” bending forward and downward toward the front of the head, giving the cat what is frequently referred to as a “owl-like” appearance. Scottish Fold was the name given to the breed in 1966 after it had previously been known as lop-eared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit. Scottish Folds with long hair may go by the names Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold, or Coupari, depending on the registry.
Susie, a white barn cat, was the first Scottish Fold and was discovered in 1961 in Perthshire, Scotland, close to Coupar Angus. Susie looked like an owl because of the peculiar fold in the middle of her ears. Two of Susie’s kittens were born with folded ears, and one was purchased by William Ross, a local farmer and cat enthusiast. Ross began breeding Scottish Fold kittens in 1966 after registering the breed in the UK with the assistance of geneticist Pat Turner. In the first three years, the breeding program produced 76 kittens, 42 of which had folded ears and 34 of which had straight ears. This led to the conclusion that the ear mutation is caused by a straightforward dominant gene.
A medium- to large-sized cat, the Scottish Fold can be any color, including calico. Typically, females weigh 6.0–8.8 lb and males range from 8.8–13.2 lb. The Fold’s entire body is generally rounded, with large, rounded eyes and a rounded head and face. The cat has a well-rounded body, a short to medium nose with a gentle curve, and medium-to-short legs. The neck is extremely short, and the top of the head is rounded. The Scottish Fold cat has “sweet expression” due to its widely spaced eyes. The Scottish Fold is so named because its ears are folded. A Scottish Fold typically lives for 15 years.
These amiable and affectionate cats’ close-cropped ears, big eyes, and round faces have led to frequent comparisons to owls. Thanks to the well-known singer Taylor Swift, who frequently posts images of her two Scottish fold cats on her various social media accounts, the breed has recently gained popularity.
Scottish Fold Cat Breed Maintenance
Scottish folds should be fed similarly to domestic cats, with an emphasis on weight management because obesity puts additional strain on the skeleton and can result in conditions like diabetes. You can select wet, dry, or a combination of foods. The nutritional needs of your cat will change as it ages, so you should speak with your veterinarian for advice. A cat’s lifespan can be shortened by obesity, so be sure to keep an eye on your pet.
Due to their dense fur, Scottish folds may require weekly brushing to help prevent hairballs. Every two weeks, trim your cat’s nails, and give him a scratching post. By brushing your cat’s teeth at least once per week, you can maintain good dental health. Check ears of your Scottish fold cat once a week for any indications of irritation, mite infestation, or infection. Due to a slight reduction in airflow, these cats may be slightly more prone to ear infections because of the fold in their ears.
You should prioritize training as a major aspect of your life with the Scottish Fold cat. Additionally, training is a way for you and your furry friend to communicate. Remember the first and most fundamental training rule: if your Scottish Fold enjoys the outcome of a particular behavior, it will undoubtedly repeat it. Therefore, the key to training your Scottish Fold is positive reinforcement. Reward positive behavior and ignore negative behavior. Never use punishment because it will only make your cat fearful and stressed. Although the majority of Scottish Folds learn to use a litter box from their mother, you can teach them.
Scottish fold cat breeds are most at risk for osteochondrodysplasia, a genetic skeletal disorder that affects the growth of bones and cartilage. When inspecting a cat for potential adoption or purchase, keep an eye out for any movement issues in the legs or feet, such as a stiff tail or leg joints, which could indicate that the cat has osteochondrodysplasia. It’s likely that things will get worse over time. Scottish fold cats are most commonly affected by cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease (PKD), in addition to osteochondrodysplasia.
The Scottish Fold is a fairly arranged cat who will enjoy most family or single homes, but is ideal with older kids who can better understand a cat’s behavior and respect their territory. All Scottish Fold kittens have what appear to be straight ears at birth. A baby’s ears start to fold around three weeks old. Even though the Scottish Fold’s ears are shaped differently than those of other cats, they can still rotate and move in other ways.
Although Scottish folds are adorable and sociable cats, they all have a gene linked to uncomfortable skeletal abnormalities that could lead to pain or even paralysis in the future.
The Scottish fold cat’s charm and friendliness are beyond dispute. It is gentle, loving, and suitable for the majority of homes. The problem with this breed is that having those adorable folded ears comes at a “price” of potential pain and debilitation, either lifelong or as an elderly cat.