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American Curl: American Curl cat health and care

The American Curl is a cat breed that attracts attention. Its curved ears look like an elegant headdress designed by a modern designer. Its...

The American Curl is a cat breed that attracts attention. Its curved ears look like an elegant headdress designed by a modern designer. Its character reflects its history as a domestic cat: it is balanced, playful and human-oriented.

American Curl: American Curl cat health and care

American Curl Article Contents

  • Appearance of the American Curl
  • Behavior of the American Curl
  • American cat breeding
  • American Curl Cat Health and Care
  • Feeding the American Curl

Appearance of the American Curl

Behavior of the American Curl
The name of the cat American Curl comes from its unusual ears. These ears are curved backwards, broad at the base with rounded tips, medium size, and erect on the head. The bases of the ears have tufts of hair that point outward. In young animals, the ears curl after four to six days, but the final shape does not appear until after several months. The curvature of the auricle varies from one cat to another, and can go up to 180 degrees in extreme cases! Nevertheless, cats' hearing is not affected, and their ears are as mobile as those of other animals.

The cat's quality is evaluated according to the curvature of its ears. Cats with 1st degree curvature are ideal for the family. Cats with ears curved to the 2nd or 3rd degree are breeding and show animals. Ideally, the ears should form a crescent moon. The base is straight up to two thirds of the ear, then curves over the last third. The angle measures 90 to 180 degrees.

These backward curved cartilages appeared after a random genetic mutation. This unusual shape of the ear is a dominant trait: in cats that have a gene for straight ears and a gene for curved ears, the "curved ears" gene always prevails. If both parents have a curved ear gene and a straight ear gene, their kittens may have one or the other character. Cats with straight ears are called "American Curls Straight Ear".

But curly ears are not the only characteristic of the breed. American Curls cats are medium in size. Their silky coat has virtually no undercoat, and therefore lies directly on the body. Cats of this breed can have different coat lengths, but without undercoat, even long-haired animals lose little hair. All coat colors are allowed in the breed standard, including more exotic shades such as Lynx Point and Smoke.

The eyes of the American Curl reveal a lot about its character: they are almond-shaped and are expressive, open and friendly.

Behavior of the American Curl

The American Curl is an exceptionally friendly cat breed. It seeks the closeness of its owners, and prefers the company of children, which makes it an ideal animal for the family. Their character is marked by their short-haired origins: American Curls cats are very active, open-minded and robust. These intelligent animals love stimulating play, and often even learn how to bring home and open doors. They keep their liveliness up to an advanced age. American Curls cats are curious and often follow their master everywhere, but they are neither intrusive nor talkative, as are many oriental breeds of cats.

American Cat Breeding

The story of the American Curl began in 1981, in California (USA): a cat with long hair and strange ears attracted the attention of Joe and Grace Ruga, two cat lovers. She asked them for some food, and moved in with them soon after. "Shulamith" is the ancestor of all American Curls cats.

Targeted breeding of the breed began after the birth of Shulamith's first kitten in 1983. Geneticists studied the genetic basis of the breed on 384 kittens, and discovered that the gene responsible for the ear shape is autosomal dominant: all cats with the curl gene have curled ears. The British geneticist Roy Robinson has also closely studied the breed's health and has not detected any genetic defects. In order to maintain the breed's robustness, cats with straight ears are also approved for breeding, as long as they conform to the American Curl breeding standard.

It is thanks to this crossbreeding with domestic cats that the American Curl is a very healthy breed. For this health to be maintained, responsible breeding is essential. A professional breeder considers his cats as members of his family and takes responsibility for his animals and their offspring. He breeds his cats in a thoughtful manner, and takes into account individual genetics and animal health in his decision making. A species-appropriate environment and diet are important, but they obviously come at a price. However, a responsible breeder should not give up his animals before their twelfth week of life, because kittens need at least three months to learn everything important from their mother and siblings. This is an exciting and exhausting passage, not only for the breeder, but also for the mother! For a mother to properly socialize her kittens, she should have enough rest time between litters. In fact, what makes the most money is not always what is good for the animals. So be careful, and don't be lulled by breeders who offer "undocumented purebred cats at a reasonable price".

The price of an American Curl cat depends on its breeding line and the curvature of its ears. The 1st degree makes the cat a family pet, sold to cat lovers with no interest in breeding. Cats with curved ears in the 2nd or 3rd degree are breeding and show animals. As there are only a few breeders of these American purchases in German speaking countries, prices vary considerably according to supply and demand.

American Curl Cat Health and Care

Although this breed is described as robust, the ears curved backwards in some cases cause health problems. A narrow ear canal can lead to an increase in earwax production and therefore a high risk of infection. A regular check-up of the ears is the best precaution! Excess wax can easily be removed with a soft, slightly moistened cloth. However, avoid introducing foreign objects directly into the ear canal.

The American Curl exists with a long and a short hair. Because they have only a slight undercoat, both variations of the breed shed little hair. Regular brushing makes it easier to change the coat during the molting period, but it can be limited to a few grooming sessions per week.

Like all other breeds of cats, the American Curl should make regular visits to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will be able to tell you when to vaccinate your cat, and will keep an eye on his dental hygiene.

Feeding the American Curl

The best way to maintain your cat's health is to feed him high-quality food containing lots of healthy proteins. The food that cats eat in the wild, the mouse, contains about 85% meat and only 5% herbal ingredients, which are found in their pre-intestinal tract. Cats can therefore consume only a small amount of carbohydrates. As carnivores, they get the nutrients and proteins they need from high-quality meat.

The ideal food for your American Curl cat should therefore have a high meat content. When reviewing food labels, keep in mind that, according to European food law, ingredients must appear in descending order of quantity present in the food. Meat should therefore appear at the top of the list. Many foods also contain by-products that are not harmful in themselves. The term "meat and animal by-products" may also include offal such as liver and spleen, or even hair or horn. Therefore, care must be taken to be vigilant. Grain products should only be given in small quantities. They should therefore be listed as low as possible in the list of ingredients.

Taste enhancers and preservatives cause allergies in many cats. Unfortunately, they can be found in almost every type of food available on the market. If your favorite American Curl food does not contain these additives, it's a big plus! Finally, sugar should not be part of a cat's diet. Although cats can't have carries, sugar is very bad for the kidneys and can, in the long term, cause diabetes.

But don't worry, if you look carefully at the product labels, you will find the right food for your American cat!

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