This week we’re taking a look at a cat breed known as the Scottish Fold. Haven’t heard of it? Well, I didn’t either until I decided, out of curiosity, to look up various cat breeds (I tend to do that a lot).
The first thing most notice about this breed of cat is their oddly folded ears. This is caused by an incompletely dominant gene that affects the cartilage of the ears. Originally, there was only one fold in the ear, but breeders of the Scottish Fold have managed to increase it to two or even three folds. How did that fold happen? Well, like many traits that lead to the creation of a new breed, it came about by a natural genetic mutation. Susie, a barn cat in Scotland, was discovered to have a fold in her ears that made her resemble an owl. A neighbor of the person who owned her saw her and acquired one of her kittens when he discovered a couple of them also had folded ears. This neighbor was William Ross, a cat fancier, and with the help of a geneticist named Pat Turner, he became the founder of the breed. Susie’s kitten, Snooks, later had kittens and a male with the same folded ears was then bred to a British Shorthair, and thus has the breed continued.
Kittens of the Scottish Fold are not born with folded ears. If the kittens are born with the dominant gene, their ears will fold down at around 3 weeks old. However, not all Scottish Folds end up with the gene for folded ears. Many are born with straight ears and these, ironically, are called Straights.
It is not only their folded ears that wins people’s hearts, though that may be the start of it, it is also their friendly and laid-back disposition. Scottish Folds are very social creatures and love their people. They do not like being left alone for long periods of time so, if one intends to have a Scottish Fold but can’t be home most of the day they should consider adopting or purchasing another cat or even a cat-friendly dog. Nothing, however, beats the attention of a Scottish Fold’s person.
Scottish Folds are moderately active cats that don’t require long play sessions. They are very intelligent, though, and enjoy puzzle toys that challenge them.
The Scottish Fold comes in both a short and long hair variety. They can also be almost any color or combination of colors, including white. The short-haired Scottish Folds require only a weekly brushing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils while their long-haired counterparts may require bi-weekly brushing in order to prevent tangles.
Another cute but, perhaps, odd trait is their tendency to pose in funny positions such as flat on the floor or on their back with their front legs pulled up but their back legs stretched out, or in the Buddha position, which is sitting with their back legs stretched out and their paws on their belly. Adorable, right?
Who wouldn’t want a Scottish Fold? That’s a rhetorical question. Everyone wants one 😛
No, but in all seriousness, if you’re looking to purchase or adopt a Scottish Fold, please do your research. These cats could, potentially, be for anyone, but as they don’t like being left alone for long periods, please either only get them if you have another cat or a cat-friendly dog, or two, to spend time with them or else only get them if you plan to be home often to spend time with them yourself. They love their people and may become depressed if they’re left alone too long.
Fun Fact: Taylor Swift owns 2 Scottish Folds, Olivia and Meredith.
Do you or have you owned a Scottish Fold? Please tell us about him/her in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your experiences with the breed.
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