American Curl

American Curlew

American Curl is a breed of affectionate companion cats with ears wrapped back, bred in the USA in the 80s of the last century.

Brief information

  • Breed name: American Curl
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Weight: 3-7 kg


  • The American curl exists in two independent types – short-haired and semi-long-haired (in the FIFe system it is positioned as long-haired). Despite the fact that the standard considers both varieties to be equal, breeders around the world continue to prefer semi-long-haired curls as more glamorous and photogenic pets.
  • The genetic mutation responsible for the shape and position of the ear cartilage does not have a negative impact on the health of animals. Moreover, American curls have unexpectedly strong immunity for pedigreed cats.
  • American curls are pets with a fine mental organization, loving people more than other cats. They are unobtrusive and do not arrange deafening "oratorios" if they are hungry or disagree with something.
  • The breed is distinguished by a high level of intelligence and learning ability (as far as a cat can be trained at all).
  • American curls have a peaceful nature that helps them share housing with other cats and even dogs. In addition, they are very supportive towards children.
  • The playful paws of the curls masterfully open the kitchen cabinets and press the door latches until they switch to the right position for the cat.
  • Adult cats retain playfulness and childlike spontaneity until old age, for which they are called cats with the character of Peter Pan.
  • Thin, as if curled on curlers, the ears of American curls have harder cartilage than the ears of ordinary cats, and are easily injured. In general, get ready to explain to the guests for a long time and convincingly why you do not allow your cat to be stroked on the head.
  • Kittens of the American curl are born with straight ears that begin to twist only on the 3-10 day of life. The degree of the cartilage curl in this case can be different: from the minimum to a miniature "roll".

American Curls - affectionate, courteous intellectuals, memorable for their extraordinary image and fantastic sense of attachment to a person. Moderately balanced, but far from phlegmatic, they masterfully break any stereotypes concerning the cat tribe. Independence, persistent unwillingness to share the territory and the owner with other pets, passion for privacy – all this is absolutely not about curls, who consider such habits the height of bad manners. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the most positive breeds, whose representatives desperately do not want to grow up, therefore, in their advanced ten years, the "arc-eared" cats are as frisky and easy-going as in their youth.

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Affectionate ?
Affectionate ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Sociability ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Playfulness ?
Playful ( Rating 4/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the American Curl breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the American Curl breed

All modern American curls have a common ancestor – the cat Sulamith, picked up on the street in 1981 by a couple named Ruga. The spouses were pleasantly amused by the arched, as if turned inside out, ears of a mongrel kitty. But since the newly minted owners were far from felinological subtleties, they were in no hurry to show the animal to specialists. In the same 1981 Sulamith got offspring. A mongrel and unknown cat became the father of a whole brood of purring fuzzies. Nevertheless, almost all kittens born from him inherited their mother's curled ears.

American Curl

Joe and Grace Ruga were not ambitious, so at first they just handed out Sulamifi babies to friends. However, in 1983, the couple nevertheless turned with their wards to a geneticist, who found that the elegant "curling" ears of a cat were the result of a genetic mutation. Moreover, the gene responsible for this feature turned out to be dominant. This allowed Sulamith to enter into relationships with cats of any breed, producing babies with the same ear shape as herself. In the same year, Ruga's wards appeared at one of the cat shows held in California, which became a good PR for them.

The American Curl breed received official recognition of TICA fairly quickly – in 1987. At the same time, the "privilege" was granted only to semi-long-haired cats. Shorthair curls languished in anticipation until 1991, when the felinological organization finally decided to standardize them. It is worth noting, however, that the CFA recognized animals immediately in the short-haired and long-haired types, while the ACA and ACFA did the same only in 1993-1994.

Note: despite the fact that it is not accepted to challenge Sulamifi's right to the status of the founder of the American Curl breed, it is worth clarifying that she was far from the only cat with such a mutation. Since the 60s of the XX century, farmers in Oklahoma and California have periodically encountered cats that had an unusual fracture of the ear cloth, as evidenced by news notes of those years.

Video: American Curl

American Curl breed Standard

Kittens of the American curl

If in the story of the Matroskin cat, the identity "documents" were mustaches, paws and tail, then in the case of curls, ears alone are enough. Large, though not without grace, "locators" of Kotofeev from the New World form a noble bend, thanks to which it seems that the animal is constantly listening to something.


American curls have wedge-shaped heads with soft, smooth transitions. The nose of representatives of this breed is moderately long, the chin is strong, well-defined.


Curls are characterized by a straight or scissor bite type.


Large, obliquely set eyes of cats have the shape of an elongated oval, usually referred to as a "walnut". The eye color of American curls is not tied to the coat color and can be any. An exception to the rule is individuals with color–point "fur coats", in which the shade of the iris should be bright blue.


The wide and large ears of American curls are bent back and have a thin rounded tip. According to the requirements of the standard, the angle of rotation of the ear cartilage should be at least 90 °, but not more than 180 °.

The muzzle of the American curl


American curls are distinguished by fatness and at the same time elegance of silhouette. The body of cats is flexible, rectangular, somewhat stretched, but quite muscular.


The legs of American curls are straight, of medium length. The paws are rounded, gathered into plump "lumps".


The tail of the American curl is equal to the length of its trunk. Pedigree cats have a thick tail at the base, noticeably "losing weight" as they approach the thin, pointed tip.


Representatives of the long-haired variety of the breed have an airy, semi-overlapping type of coat, with a minimum amount of undercoat and protective hair. The neck area and tail of the kittens are especially richly pubescent. The "outfit" of shorthair curls is less voluminous. They, like long-haired individuals, have practically no undercoat, but the coat itself is more elastic, smooth.

Shorthair American Curl
Long-haired American curl


In terms of colors, American curls are allowed almost everything. Solid, Siamese, tabby, torty, color point and bicolor curls made in USA can have any of the colors, sometimes quite unexpected.

Disadvantages and disqualifying vices

At exhibitions, curls can claim to be rated no higher than "good" in the presence of the following anatomical deviations:

  • low-set, too steeply bent and directed anywhere but backwards, ears;
  • nose with noticeable stop;
  • too rough or, conversely, the cotton structure of the undercoat.

Individuals who have too large a crease angle of the ear cartilage are not allowed to participate in exhibition events: when the tip of the ear touches the head. The same fate awaits curls with too thick ear tissue, deformed cartilage (so-called "corrugated ears") and tail fractures.

Photo of American curl

The character of the American curl

American curls are the sweetest creatures with an extraordinary appearance and angelic character, whom you just want to squeeze in your arms. Unlike most other representatives of the purring fraternity, they are completely devoid of arrogance and militant independence and are truly attached to a person. To get along with the American curl, you do not have to take any special actions. This earwig loves the owner by default, but in turn expects the same manifestation of feelings from him. Most American curls are sociable, curious cats who prefer to spend their leisure time in the company of a person. They will willingly sit with you on the Internet, correcting the movements of a computer mouse with a fluffy paw, help to tie (or untie) another napkin or just lie on the couch at your feet. However, do not confuse the desire for close physical and emotional contact with obsession, which curls are absolutely not peculiar.

How about a little attention?

American curl refers to breeds of cats that do not cope well with loneliness. Yes, the cat is able to entertain himself, but communication with a person will not replace him with a mountain of sweets in a bowl, nor the most expensive gaming complexes. So before you get an "arc-eared" cat, think carefully about whether it will fit into your work schedule. The poise and natural tranquility of American curls allows them, if not to be friends with other domestic animals, then at least not to conflict. It's hard to imagine what such a terrible thing should happen to make these good-natured purrs release their claws and hiss threateningly at a dog or a cat living in the same house with them. But with small animals, cats, as a rule, do not stand on ceremony. Hunting instinct – nothing can be done.

Another distinctive character trait of American curls is the ability to adapt painlessly to the changing conditions of the surrounding reality. These cats adapt quickly and relatively easily tolerate moving and traveling. Curls and noise effects do not irritate, so if you throw a Friday party in your own apartment, kotofey will not only not be afraid, but will also try to take an active part in the festive event. The American curl will also easily find an approach to the guests who appear on the threshold of the house, demonstrating its own location by quietly purring and cutting circles at the feet of the "alien".

Education and training

American curls have a certain "dog-like" character. In other words, this is the kind of breed that can be raised "for yourself" and even teach some tricks. The main thing is not to make excessive demands on the mustachioed good man, because he is just a cat and in general – he has paws. Nevertheless, cats are able to learn individual dog commands, such as "To me!" or "Not allowed!".

Sitting well

When training an American curl, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the psyche of cats in general. So, for example, never repeat the command several times and do not modify it. The animal simply will not understand you if today you order him to "Sit down!" and tomorrow you simply invite him to "Sit down!". Commands should be given in a soft but convincing tone. Remember, cats are not dogs and they will not allow themselves to be pushed around. Give up the method of negative reinforcement in favor of positive: give the American curl treats even when he did not do the job and be sure to praise. And of course, do not delay with education: the older the curl gets, the more difficult it is to convince him of the need for training. Yes, he can be a universal cutie and the most good-natured pet in the world, but this will not prevent him from shirking classes and turning on the "invisible" mode.

Maintenance and care

The American curl will need the same "belongings" as any other cat. In particular, for purring, you will have to buy a couch or a house, toys, bowls for eating and drinking, a carrier, a tray, as well as a harness for walking. The house will also have to be put in order for the kitten to move. Remove from the floor any small items that the baby wants to taste, securely hide household chemicals, shoes and wires from household appliances.

For up to a year, the kittens of the American curl suffer from excessive curiosity, which drives them to window sills, to open windows, into the drums of washing machines, ovens and trash bins, so at first it is better to carefully monitor the movements of the mustachioed limitless in the apartment. You can take an American curl kitten outside no earlier than 2.5-3 months, and then only if the animal is vaccinated and proglistogonen. Adult cats are walked twice a day on a harness. The breed is considered active and playful, it needs constant fresh impressions, which can be obtained only outside the apartment, respectively, it is wiser not to neglect the daily walks of the pet.

Oh, yes! Scratch me completely


The wool of American curls does not fall off and is almost not confused, so it is enough for her to simply comb with a frequent comb and a stimulating massage with a brush made of natural bristles. Both short-haired and semi-long-haired individuals are combed using the same set of tools, but with different frequency. In particular, it is recommended to work out the "fur coats" of short–haired curls with a comb once every 7-10 days, long-haired ones - twice a week. American curls shed seasonally and during such periods it is better to increase the number of combs: it is useful for the pet, and there is less wool in the apartment. Sometimes a fluff is used to remove the dead undercoat, which is insignificant in the breed.

Give me a paw!

Bathing is better not to abuse: two or three times a year, the American curl is enough for the eyes. They wash the purr with a pet shampoo, which is better to choose with a cat cosmetics consultant. To give the wool a pleasant shine and facilitate combing, it is advisable to use an air conditioner. Short–haired curls are dried with a cotton towel, long-haired curls are dried with a hairdryer. In the intervals between bathing, you can arrange dry cleaning for the cats, for which it is worth buying powdered and powdered shampoos.

It is also necessary to clean the ears of American curls, but due to the unusual structure of the ear funnels, this should be done very carefully. The ear cartilage of the kitty is dense and breaks easily if you press hard on it. Usually, the ears of American curls emit not so much secret, which looks like a dry dark plaque, which is recommended to be cleaned once a month. It is better to examine the eyes daily. Representatives of this breed do not suffer from excessive lacrimation, but the tracks and lumps in the corners of the eyelids of the animal, of course, do not decorate. So in the morning, wipe the corners of the curl's eyes with a damp cloth.

Brushing teeth is best done once every couple of weeks. To do this, you will have to stock up on a cleaning compound from the vetapteka and a cat toothbrush. If for some reason such things are not available, you can limit yourself to a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger and baking soda. Even if the curl has ten scratching posts hung all over the apartment, it is still necessary to cut his "scratches", since they often grow into pads in representatives of this breed. The only point: if you have no experience of cutting claws as such, it is advisable to read the step-by-step instructions before the procedure, otherwise you risk hitting a blood vessel in the claw and injuring the pet.


Where is my feed?

American curls have an enthusiastic and reverent attitude to food. Purrs with "twisted" ears like to stuff their bellies, and sometimes with something that does not suit them at all. Do not be fooled by the pleading looks of the pet and do not put a spoonful of roast or a piece of pie in his bowl. Firstly, because the food from the table is unlikely to be appreciated by the digestive system of kotofey. And secondly, because such indulgences undermine your authority in the eyes of the animal.

American curls should have their own "kitchen", which is based on either high-quality "drying" of super-premium class, or natural products. Moreover, in the second case, the bet will have to be made on lean meat (poultry, lamb, beef) and offal. Once a week, you can treat a mustachioed delicacy with pork or beef cartilage (no fish and chicken bones). As additives to the main diet, oatmeal and rice porridge cooked in broth, low-fat kefir, ryazhenka and cottage cheese are suitable. Vegetables are given to American curls only in boiled or stewed form. These are mainly carrots, pumpkin, zucchini and beets. And of course, do not forget about vitamin supplements with calcium, which help to balance the natural diet of the pet.

How to feed an American curl

Up to 6 months, kittens should eat 4-5 times a day. Half-year-old teenagers are fed 4 times and so on for up to a year. Starting from 12 months, the American curl eats three times a day, since the transition to two meals a day is carried out no earlier than one and a half years.

Health and diseases of American curls

American curls are cats with excellent health, so their owner will not have to be systematically on duty at the door of the veterinary office. The gene of the twisted shape of the ear cartilage did not affect the physical endurance and immunity of the breed, as a result, the animal body practically does not succumb to viral infections. As for other, non-hereditary ailments, curls are subject to them to the same extent as other breeds.

How to choose a kitten

I'm already selected
  • Even in the litters of famous curls with champion diplomas, kids with straight ears can "skip". And if the breeder shows you a cat flock, in which, along with the "arc–eared" purrs, straight-eared kittens run, this is not a reason to suspect the kennel and its owners of all mortal sins.
  • Kittens of the American curl rarely inherit the parental degree of the ear curl. Accordingly, if, when meeting a mother cat, you found that her ears are not so twisted, this does not mean that her offspring will have a similar feature.
  • It is more reasonable to take American curling kittens at the age of 2.5-3 months. The rather late date is explained by the fact that during the first weeks of life, the ear cartilage of babies is unstable and often changes the angle of inversion.
  • Choosing a kitten with the most steep ear curl in order to secure access to exhibitions in the future is an unnecessary safety net. This parameter has absolutely no effect on the exhibition karma of the American curl: often the champions are individuals with a slight bend of the cartilage (but not less than 90 °).
  • Check the availability of the necessary documents for the selected kitten (metric, vet passport), as well as the presence of an electronic chip on his body.

Kittens of the American curl

The price of an American curl

Prices for American curls with pedigrees start from about $250 and end around $400. A higher price tag is usually placed on individuals with show potential, as well as on animals of rare colors like golden chinchilla, red and chocolate van.

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