Scottish Fold is a feline breed that is made unique by the appearance of its ears. As the name suggests the ears of the cat are folded forward and downward. In earlier cats there was only one fold, however, newer members of the breed often have two to three creases. The ears are a result of genetic mutation and the first cat of this type was reported in Scotland in early nineteen sixties. The kitten was born in a litter of otherwise normal house cats. Ensuing breeding of the female cat indicated the dominant nature of the altered gene and thereafter it was formally developed for the purpose of creation of a unique breed. Scottish Folds were imported in United States a decade later and were recognized by major feline breed registration bodies in the coming years. They are still not recognized in the British Isles though.
Even as the modern Scottish Fold was created primarily through crossing with American and British Shorthairs, it is seen in both short and longhair versions. The coat is generally accepted in all colors and patterns except for the pointed variant. Build is medium with an average weight of eight to ten pounds. Head is rounded and flat on top with widely spaced big bright eyes, a short nose and the characteristic folded ears. The ears begin to fold within the first month of life. Not all kittens have folded ears. Some are born with straight ears and retain this trait. This is owing to the fact that if two 'folded' cats are used for parenting, the resulting kittens invariably suffer from a joint anomaly that can be both painful and debilitating. Therefore 'folded' and 'straight' eared cats are crossed for breeding purposes and as a result litters usually are mixed.
Scottish Folds are not accepted by major British cat fanciers to date. This is owing to the above mentioned hereditary disorder as well as the unusual anatomy of their ears which leads many to believe that these cats are prone to development of ear infections and hearing deficit. Generally though the Folds are healthy and compact cats who live well into their teens if provided with normal health care and affection.
Sweet and quiet cats, Scottish Folds are blessed with a very pleasant personality. They are gentle and tolerant of other family members. They love to play and are energetic but prefer to cuddle next to their humans the most. Scottish Folds have a soft and melodic voice that they occasionally use to communicate. Calm and laid-back, these pretty cats fare best if showered with the appropriate amount of love and attention. One of the rarer breeds, they are the darlings of many cat fanciers owing to their singular appearance and wonderful nature.