The Scottish Fold cat has ears that are folded forward and downward. This is the distinctive characteristic and what makes these cats so endearing to owners and breeders. Some say they look like owls and some think they look impish, but with their broadly spaced round eyes they have an innocent, sweet expression.
The original Scottish Fold cat was found in a barn in Scotland in 1961 by a shepherd, William Ross. The cat was a barn cat named Susie. Ross and his wife Mary received a female kitten from Susie’s next litter that they named Snooks. Every Scottish Fold cat today can be traced to Snooks.
In spite of their mischievous look, Scottish Fold cats, whether they have straight ears or folded ears, are docile and friendly cats. They have an inquisitive nature and intelligent expression which make them fun and interesting pets. They adapt well with children and can live in almost any situation. They are quiet cats with very soft voices. Their gentle disposition and intelligence make them very entertaining and amusing. They follow their owners with curiosity and sometimes sit up like an otter or sleep flat on their backs.
Unlike many other cat breeds, Scottish Folds come in a wide variety of colours and colour combinations. Tabby, bi-coloured, solid and parti are some of the colours; however, they are not found in pointed colours such as Himalayan or Siamese. They come in longhaired and shorthaired versions. The longhaired Scottish Fold has fluffy ruff on the males as well as a huge fluffy tail and leg britches.
Scottish Fold cats are healthy and hardy and live up to 15 years. In the early years of developing this breed, it was discovered that a degenerative joint disease developed in cats bred from two folded-eared cats. This is why ethical breeders only breed straight-eared Scottish Folds to folded eared cats. These offspring rarely develop the joint disease.
The kittens are not born with folded ears. The fold begins to show in about 21 days. Kittens whose ears do not fold at that time are called Straights. Susie only had one fold, but because of selected breeding, cats with two and three folds are bred. The triple crease causes the ear to lie flat on the head. Even though the ears are not prominent, they are still used by the cat to express anger, interest and attention to sound.
Scottish Fold cats enjoy the company of people and want attention. They will not be happy to live in a home where the inhabitants are away all day. One solution for this is a cat from the Humane Society of Shelter to be a companion for your Scottish Fold. Another possibility is two Folds.