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American Curl
Recognized by the CFA - AACE - TICA - ACFA - CAA

The American Curl not to be confused with Scottish Fold, having ears folded forward due to a mutation.
American Curl
Photo: Wilkipedia


Characteristics "American Curl"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "American Curl" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.


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Activity level

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Friendliness to other pets

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Friendliness to children

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Grooming requirements

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Need for attention

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Affection towards its owners

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4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


The American Curl was born in june 1981 en Lakewood, California ((UNITED STATES)UU.), when Joe Ruga saw two kittens in his garden on the way home from work and told his wife Grace not to feed them, to prevent them from being installed. Grace Ruga did the opposite, since he brought them food. It also, gave each one a name: the long-haired black female was named Shulamith, while his sister, white and black with semi-long hair, it was called Panda. An interesting feature of both females was that their ears were curved backwards.. However, at first the Ruga did not pay much attention to this feature.

Panda disappeared after a few weeks, and only Shulamith stayed with his adoptive family. A few months later, in December of 1981, gave birth to her first litter of four kittens, two of whom had the same curved ears as their mother. intrigued, Joe and Grace Ruga began to investigate and realized that these cats were not of any known breed. This was the beginning of American Curl, and all current representatives of the breed are direct descendants of Shulamith.

The Rugas were quick to consult Jean Grimm, judge of the Cat Fan Association (CFA) and breeder of Scottish Fold, who confirmed that this mutation was indeed new, but noted that it would be a long way to get recognition for a new breed.

In 1983, Shulamith was featured at a CFA feline show in Palm Springs, California, and the interest was immediate. A first standard was drawn up and many breeders decided to participate in the breed creation program by crossing kittens born from Shulamith..

At the same time, contacted two renowned feline geneticists, the Dra. Solveig Pflueger and Dr.. Roy Robinson, to study the genetic mutation responsible for the ears curled back American Curl. They quickly concluded that the mutation was a dominant gene, that is to say, that only one gene is required for the trait to occur.

The doctor. Robinson, settled in London, continued this study and analyzed 383 kittens of 81 litters before publishing a report in the Journal of Heredity in December of 1989, whose conclusion was to be paramount for the recognition of this new race: none of the cats studied had a defect, so the mutation was healthy for the animal.

However, the breeding program had started before the publication of this article, and the American Curl had already begun to attract professional and domestic cat fanciers, with unusual rapidity for such a new and still developing breed. The CFA allowed the registration of copies of American Curl already in 1986, and in 1988 the International Cat Association (TICA) became the first major organization to definitively recognize the breed, allowing its representatives to participate in feline exhibitions organized under its auspices.

In 1993, the CFA also definitively recognized the American Curl. It was even further, by recognizing two varieties in their own right: the American curl longhair and the American curl shorthair. Recognition of the latter is largely due to Shulamith, who gave birth to the first short-haired individual in her third litter, which showed that it was indeed the same race.

In 2003, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FiFé) also recognized the American Curl and its two varieties. However, some major organizations have not yet taken the step, in particular the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Although the American Curl is now all over the world, it is in North America where it is still most popular. In particular, is in the middle of the pack in number of annual CFA registrations.

In France, with an average of about 60 specimens registered each year in the Official Book of Feline Origins (LOOF) between 2013 and 2019, the American curl longhair represents less than 0,2% of the feline population. The short-haired variety is even rarer., with only 11 specimens registered in the same period.

Physical characteristics

American Curl
Pointocurl Fiorentina, American curl presented at cat show. Nickolas Titkov from Moscow, Russian Federation, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The American Curl it is a medium-sized cat with a rectangular and moderately muscular body. The legs are straight and proportionate to the rest of the body, and tail it is as long as the body.

The head it is slightly longer than it is wide, well proportioned and without sharp transitions. The eyes are almond-shaped and moderately large, are well spaced and set slightly obliquely. They can have several colors, without any correlation with fur.

The term “Curl” (“curly” in Spanish), does not refer to fur, but at ears, which are the specificity of the breed. They are wide and open at the base, while the tip is rounded and curves back at an angle of between 90 and 180 degrees. At least the first third of the ear is made up of firm cartilage, similar to that of the human ear. On the other hand, the rest of its surface is smooth and flexible.

It is important to note that ears of the American Curl are curved back, not “routes”: the line of curvature should be smooth like a circle, not steep like an oval.

However, the kitties American Curl are born with straight ears, then the cartilage begins to harden and they begin to take their typical shape. Its final shape occurs around the 4 months of age, and the breeder then determines the classification of the kitten:

  • first grade: slight curvature. The individual is destined to become a pet;
  • second grade: pronounced curvature, At right angles. The individual is destined for reproduction;
  • third degree: well marked curvature, in “Crescent moon”. The individual is destined for exhibitions.

  • The hair can be long or short, depending on the variety. In all cases, the texture is fine, silky smooth, and the undercoat is minimal or non-existent. It also, different standards accept all coat colors and patterns.

    Last, the sexual dimorphism it is well marked, being the male larger than the female.

    Size and weight

  • Male size: Of 22 to 28 cm.
  • female size: 20-26 cm.
  • Male weight: 3,2-4,5 kg
  • female weight: 2,3-3,6 kg

  • Varieties of "American Curl"

    The American Curl it comes in two varieties: the American curl longhair (ACL) and the American curl shorthair (ACS).

    Both varieties are officially recognized by the American Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), as well as for the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé) and International Cat Association (TICA).

    Character and skills

    American Curl
    American Curl

    The American Curl is known for his great sociability and affection for his family. He likes to follow his master around the house and snuggle up next to him. However, they are not very affectionate: they appreciate being caressed, but they are just as happy when they are around their family.

    It is a breed of cat recommended for use with children: He gets along very well with them and often seeks their company., either to play or just to have a moment of tenderness. However, you have to be careful with younger children to make sure they know how to behave around a cat: despite his affable nature, to the American Curl does not like to have his tail or whiskers pulled, and can respond with a scratch.

    Their sociability extends to other animals, and accepts the presence of other cats and / or dogs accustomed to cats without difficulty. On the other hand, coexistence with small rodents is not recommended, reptiles or birds: the american curl is still a feline, and his hunting instinct can resurface at any time.

    On the other hand, the other side of its sociable nature is that it is a breed of cat that does not like to be alone. Homeowners who are away often find things spilled and / or shit out of the litter box: it's his way of letting you know he's not happy to be left alone. The presence of other pets is an interesting solution to partially solve this problem: if you have a playmate at home, being left alone all day while their owners are away is much less likely to be a problem.

    On the other hand, the American Curl is moderately active, but he is a very playful cat. Although they reach maturity around 2-3 years of age, they retain their kitten behavior until old age. Some call them the “Peter pan from cats”. Thus, it is common to see a American Curl chasing a ball or playing with an object thrown by its owner.

    You don't necessarily need an outside space, It is a breed of cat adapted to life in a flat. However, it is important to note that many American Curl They have learned to handle a door knob and do not hesitate to open doors and cabinets.

    Whether they are confined indoors or have access to the outdoors, they like to be able to observe their territory from above: That is why it is quite common to find this excellent climber perched on top of a closet or on a curtain rod., or even on a tree or even on the roof, if you can go abroad. A tall tree for cats, where can i play, sleep and observe what happens around you, it is undoubtedly one of the best gifts that its owner can give it.

    Last, the American Curl it's not very noisy, but he likes to show his affection by butting his head, a common habit among his older cousins, the Lions. As these displays of affection can occur at any time of the day or night, the master who allows his cat free access to his bedroom should expect to be woken from time to time by his little companion, who comes to rub against him to show his affection, before falling asleep next to him.


    American curl
    American curl – tanakawho, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    The American Curl it is a very robust cat breed. Thanks to its stray cat origins and a breeding program that has favored crosses with other perfectly healthy domestic cats, does not present any genetic problem.

    However, some lines have a narrow ear canal, which is not a problem in itself, but it poses a higher risk of infection if the cat's ears are not maintained regularly enough.

    Obesity is another risk, and a responsible owner must ensure that the cat is sufficiently active and not overweight.

    Life expectancy

    12 to 14 years


    The maintenance of American Curl is simple, since brushing once a week is enough to keep the coat healthy and shiny and avoid possible knots.

    The American Curl molts very little in general, although the long-haired variety can shed a bit more when temperatures rise. Therefore, in summer it may be useful to increase the number of brushing sessions to two per week to remove dead hair.

    The brushing session should be complemented by a quick check of the teeth, eyes and ears to make sure they are clean.

    You should also check from time to time that its claws are not too long, which may be especially the case if you don't have a scratching post available. If they are, just cut them with a nail clipper.


    The American Curl is not picky and can be fed commercial cat food, either kibble or cat food, without any problem. However, the food must be of good quality and adapted to their age and activity level, to provide you with the necessary nutrients and vitamins.

    Like most cat breeds, are capable of self-regulation, so it is better to leave food at their disposal. You must also have access to fresh water at all times.

    However, it is important to regularly check that your cat is not overweight: if so, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian to establish a feeding program that best suits his lifestyle and needs.

    For sale "American Curl"

    If you want to buy a American Curl, you should find a trusted breeder in your area. As the breed is not far outside its country of origin, you will have a hard time finding one. If there is no breeder association, you will have to resort to private breeders.

    On the Internet you can always find kittens at a great price, But you have to be careful. Before buying a kitten, inform yourself well and also look at parents and siblings. You can get a healthy, purebred kitten from a reputable breeder for about 800 EUR. The price depends on the curvature of the ears. The more elegant the curved ears are, the more expensive the cat will be. Only cats with third degree ears, that is to say, a graceful curve like a crescent, can be officially used for breeding and exhibition.

    Videos "American Curl"

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