The American Curl is a
of cat with unusual
ears. The ears curl back from the face in a smooth arc toward the center of the
back of the skull; they are otherwise perfectly normal cats. The breed is the
result of a spontaneous
mutation which occurred in a cat in Lakewood, California in 1981. The first
cat, a black female domestic cat, was found and taken in by the Ruga family who
named her Shulamith. All American Curls descend from her, the foundation female.
In 1983, the first
American Curl was exhibited at a
and in 1987, the longhair American Curl was given championship status by The
International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl set a precedent
in the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) by being the first breed to be admitted to
the Championship Class as one breed with two coat lengths. The American Curl is
a medium size cat (7-11 lbs) with no health handicaps associated with the curled
ears. They are strong, healthy cats remarkably free of genetic defects that
affect many purebred cats, and will not reach maturity until 2-3 years of age.
The The American Curl may have either curled ears or straight ears. If the cat's
ears are curled, it will not be apparent until two or three days after the
birth, and will take their final form after four months. The curled ears should
be hard and stiff to the touch. The longhairs have a plush, silky coat, and the
shorthairs have a thick, non-wooly coat, and is also silky. The American Curl
may have three degrees of curl - first degree, second degree, or third degree.
The third degree is the preferred one. Luxurious tufts of fur sprout from the
bottom of the ears. The straight ear American Curl has all of the loving
personality of the curled ear American Curl but may not be shown. The American
Curl comes in two coat lengths - either long haired or short haired. The
American Curl comes in all colors.
The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world
United States to Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and
many other countries.
The character "Ray" from the
strip Achewood is an American Curl.