The Scottish Fold is a
of cat with a natural
mutation to its ears. The ear
contains a fold so the ears bend forward and down towards the front of their
The original Scottish Fold was a long-haired white-haired barn cat named
Susie, who was found at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland in
1961. Susie's ears had an unusual fold in their middle, making her resemble an
owl. When Susie had kittens, two of them were born with folded ears, and one of
the siblings was acquired by William Ross, a neighbouring farmer and
cat-fancier. Ross registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat
Fancy in Great Britain and started to breed Scottish Fold kittens with the help
of geneticist Pat Turner. The breeding program produced 76 kittens in the first three
years - 42 with folded ears and 34 with straight ears. The conclusion from this
was that the ear mutation is due to a simple dominant gene. If one parent
provides the gene for straight ears, and one parent provides the gene for folded
ears, the kittens will be Folds.
The breed was not accepted for showing in Great Britain and
Europe as it
was felt that they would be extremely prone to ear problems such as infection,
mites and deafness, but the folds were exported to America and the breed
continued to be established there using crosses with
British Shorthair and the
Scottish Folds can be either long or short-haired, and they may have any coat
colour combination except for Siamese-style points. Pointed Folds have been bred
but they are not eligible for showing. The original cats only had one fold in
their ears, but due to selective breeding they have increased the fold to a
double or triple crease that lies the ear totally flat against the head.
A longhaired Scottish Fold laying on his back.
Scottish Folds are a very relaxed, sweet, and loving breed. They enjoy
following their owners around the house, and don't like being left alone for
longer than a few hours. They are not very vocal, and have quiet voices.
Scottish Folds are known for laying on their backs. Some say they resemble an
Otter when they
lay or sit on their haunches.
A young "single fold" Scottish Fold.
There is one medical problem that has been found to be related to Scottish
Fold breeding. If both parents have folded ears, their kittens will be extremely
prone to developing a painful degenerative joint disease that fuses the tail,
ankles and knees. The disease is not fatal, but as it is easily avoidable,
reputable breeders will only breed fold to non-fold.