One look at the Scottish Fold, and it’s pretty easy to see where he got the second half of his name. Yup, he’s named after his folded ears, and yes, he hails from Scotland. But, what other fun facts can we dig up about this family-friendly kitty? Stick around. Let’s find out.
Scottish Folds Can be traced back to one female cat.
10. Members of the Scottish Fold breed today can all trace their heritage back to Susie, a white female cat with unusual folded ears, who lived as a barn mouser in Scotland.
Susie might have lived her life in obscurity, but in 1961 a shepherd named William Ross and his wife Mary noticed her. When Susie had kittens with a local tom, realizing Susie’s ‘lop’ ears’ uniqueness, Mr. Ross acquired one of them, a female he named Snooks. Snooks had kittens, and one, a male, was bred to a British Shorthair. Thus began developing what was first known as “lop-eared cats,” later as Scottish Folds, a nod to their country of origin and their defining characteristic.
9. Scottish Folds were first imported into the United States in 1971 by Dr. Neil Todd to research genetic mutation. One of the cats found his way to Salle Wolfe Peters in Pennsylvania, who is thought to be chiefly responsible for developing the breed in the United States.
By the mid-1970s, they had been recognized by most cat associations in North America. Today, cat lovers who want to own a Scottish Fold might have to be put on a waiting list and pay several hundred dollars for a kitten.
8. The Scottish Fold’s folded ears are produced by a dominant gene that affects the ears’ cartilage, causing the ears to fold forward and downward, giving the head a rounded appearance.
Since the gene is dominant, all Scottish Fold cats must have at least one folded ear parent to have folded ears themselves. When a Fold is bred to a straight-eared cat, approximately 50 percent of the kittens will have folded ears, although the number of Folds in any given litter can vary greatly. Breeding Fold to Fold increases the number of Fold kittens and greatly increases the chances of skeletal deformities.
Scottish Folds are born with Straight Ears.
7. All Scottish Folds are born with straight ears. At around three weeks, the ears begin to fold if they are going to. Since it’s not readily apparent how many Folds one has, breeders must play a waiting game until the ears develop their final folds. Even then, it’s difficult to tell if the folds will be the tight folds preferred in the show ring or the looser, pet-quality folds.
6. There is little a Scottish Fold likes better than to be with his people, participating in whatever they are doing. He is a sweet cat who enjoys attention. The last thing he wants is to be left alone for hours on end, so he’s not the best choice unless someone is home during the day or you can give him the company of another cat.
He will expect you to play with him when you get home from work or school or at least sit down so he can get in a little lap time or curl up next to you while you watch some YouTube.
5. The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat, with males typically reaching 9–13 lb, and females 6–9 lb. The Fold’s entire body structure, especially the head and face, is generally rounded, and his eyes are large and round. His nose will be short with a gentle curve, and the cat’s body well-rounded with a padded look and medium-to-short legs. His head is domed at the top, and the neck very short. The broadly-spaced eyes give the Scottish Fold a “sweet expression.”
They are Furry Posers
4. Scottish Folds are known for sitting, standing, or lying in various cute—and comical—positions. The Scottish Fold is known for sleeping on his back with paws in the air. He is also known for sitting with his legs stretched out and his paws on his belly. This is called the “Buddha Position.”
3. Scottish Folds typically have soft voices and display a complex repertoire of meows, purrs, and chirps not found in better-known breeds. And although you might assume that his ears are less mobile than those of other cats, such is not the case
2. One of the most famous cats on the Internet is a Scottish fold who lives in Japan called Maru, whose videos have been watched more than 300 million times on Youtube.
1. Ironically, they are not recognized as a breed in their country of origin over concerns that the folded ear might lead to ear infections or deafness and a related cartilage problem. According to BBC News in April 2017, the British Veterinary Association warned that breeding of Scottish Folds should stop in response to the growing popularity of the breed after celebrity owners such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran posted photos of their cute Folds on Instagram. What do you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).