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|Cat (Felis catus)|
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The American Curl has audiences in awe worldwide. Distinguished by truly unique ears that curl back in a graceful arc offering an alert, perky, happily-surprised expression, people break out into a big smile when viewing their first Curl. Designed exclusively by Mother Nature, the ears can be likened to those of a Lynx with long tufts fanning outward accentuating the swept-back look, while complementing the Curl's overall sophistication, stylish elegance, and dynamic presence.
In 1983, an American Curl was exhibited at a cat show for the first time, and in 1987, the longhaired American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl became the first breed admitted to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Championship Class with both longhair and shorthair divisions.
The American Curl is a medium sized cat (5-10 lbs), and does not reach maturity until 2–3 years of age. They are strong and healthy, remarkably free of the genetic defects that affect many purebred cats.
American Curl kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to curl within ten days. After four months, their ears will not curl any longer, and should be hard and stiff to the touch. A pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but showcats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. A greater angle is preferable, but cats will be disqualified if their ears touch the back of their skulls.
Both longhaired and shorthaired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies. They require little grooming, but enjoy spending time with their owners.
The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world in the United States, Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.
The Curl personality is truly unique. If not sleeping up high somewhere in a large salad bowl, figuring out with great determination just how to get into the shower with you, or assuming their spot right in front of a favorite TV show, they are patting at your glasses while you try to read the paper.
Needless to say, Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soulmates adjusting remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything.
When introduced into a new home, Curl's seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. Not overly talkative, the Curl's curiosity and intelligence is expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.
The Curls are so-named because their ears curled backwards, appearing almost inside out. These cats do not seem to suffer as a result of their curled ears.
When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days they start to curl back staying in a tight rosebud position, unfurling gradually until permanently set at around 16 weeks.
This is the time breeders determine the kitten's ear quality as either pet or show in addition to the kitten's overall conformation. The degree of ear curl can vary greatly, ranging from almost straight (pet quality) to a show quality ear with an arc of 90-180 degrees resembling a graceful shell-like curvature.
Although the distinctive feature of the American Curl is their uniquely curled ears, the medium-sized rectangular body, silky flat-lying coat, and expressive walnut-shaped eyes are equally indicative of the breed. They are available in both long and shorthair color and pattern varieties, and since there is minimal undercoat, the Curl sheds little and requires hardly any grooming.
American Curls come in all colours and patterns. Because it is their unique curled ears that set them apart, any colour, eye colour or coat length is acceptable for showing.
- All, including the Colorpoint (8)