American curl cat history
The history of cat American curl begins in June 1981, in Lakewood, California. Then, two stray cats with unusual curled ears wandered up to the doorstep of cat lovers, Joe and Grace Ruga. One suffered an unfortunate accident soon after arriving, but the other, a long-haired black female, was adopted by the Rugas. The cat was named Shulamith, a variation of a Hebrew term that means "black but comely”.
The Rugas at first paid little attention to Shulamith’s curled ears, as they assumed that other curly-eared cats existed somewhere. However, after consulting many cats breed books and journals, they realized that there was no reference to cats with such unique ears.
In December 1981 Shulamith delivered her first litter of four kittens. Out of these four kittens had curled ears.
The Rugas didn’t know much about genetics at the time, thus this indicated that the gene governing the trait was dominant, since a local long-haired tom named Mr. Grey, did not have curly ears or the gene for them. A geneticist who was contacted to study this phenomenon confirmed this assumption. He also attributed the curled ears gene to a spontaneous genetic mutation in the domestic cat population.
Since the curl gene was (and still is) dominant, only one parent needs to possess it in order to deliver curled ears kittens, which was a big advantage for the breeding program. Unlike a recessive gene, a dominant gene will always be expressed in the cat's physical appearance. If a cat doesn't have curled ears, she doesn't have the curl gene. A spontaneous genetic mutation in the domestic cat population was very likely responsible for the unique ears.
Shulamith continued to mate with the local toms, adding to the local American Curls. The kittens appeared in many colors, hair lengths and patterns, including pointed. The Rugas gave away kittens to friends and family, including Grace's sister, Esther Brimlow.
Esther gave two American Curl cats to former Australian Shepherd breeder Nancy Kiester, who showed her American Curls to cat judge and Scottish Fold breeder Jean Grimm. Grimm told Kiester that American Curl cats were unknown to the cat fancy and teamed up with the Rugas to start an official breeding program and edit the first breed standard. It was then that they named the breed American Curls.
They first exhibited the American Curl cats at the October 1983 CFA show in Palm Springs, California. Cat fanciers immediately recognized that the American Curl cats unparalleled ears were unique and acceptance quickly followed. American Curl cats were officially accepted for CFA registration in 1986 and for championship competition in February 1993.
American curl cat personality
American Curl cats are very sociable and people-oriented. They will join you when watching your favorite TV show, help you with dinner preparation, get into the shower with you and finally they will sleep in your bed. Affectionate and caring, they will become your soul-mates. They also get on very well with children and other pets as well and they do not mind guests in the house.
Although fearless and courageous cats, when introduced into a new home American Curl cats seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants giving them plenty of space and time to adjust to the new kid on the block. They are never aggressive, on the contrary they are gentle and polite.
Intelligent and curious, American Curls can be taught to act tricks and even fetch. They are also very playful, while their favorite toys are anything that makes a crinkling sound. Not overly talkative, they express themselves through little trill-like cooing sounds when they want to comment or would like an opinion on something that's momentarily confounding to them.
American curl cat breed standards
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline the distinct feature of the American Curls Shorthair is their attractive, uniquely curled ears. The curls are well balanced, moderately muscled, svelte rather than massive in built. They are alert, active, with gentle, even dispositions.
Their head is of medium size. It shapes a modified wedge without flat planes, moderately longer than wide and with smooth transitions. The nose of the American Curl cats is moderate in length and straight, rising slightly from the bottom of the eyes to the forehead. The muzzle should be rounded with gentle transitions and the chin firm, in line with the nose and the upper lip.
The American Curl cat ears are moderately large, wide at the base and open, curving back in a smooth arc when viewed from front and rear. Actually the tips of the ears should create a minimum 90 degree arc of curl with an imaginary horizontal line, which should not exceed the 180 degrees. They should also be well furnished (desirably) and their tips rounded and flexible. The ears should be placed erect, set equally on top and side of the head.
The American Curl cats possess moderately large, oval on top and round on bottom eyes. They are set width apart on a slight angle, between the base of the ears and the tip of the nose. Their color has no relation with the coat color, except for the Himalayan varieties where only blue is officially allowed. In any case, the color should be clear and brilliant.
Their body is medium sized, flexible and with a moderately strong musculature. Their legs, in proportion to the body are of medium length and of medium boning, set straight when viewed from front or rear. They end up to medium sized and rounded paws.
Their tail is equal to the body length and flexible, wide at its base and tapering. Their coat is short, soft and silky. All color varieties and patterns are allowed for American Curl cats, as quoted bellow:
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Cinnamon/Fawn with White
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Cinnamon/Fawn Agouti
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Cinnamon/Fawn Golden
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Cinnamon/Fawn Agouti and White
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Cinnamon/Fawn Golden and White
· Red/Cream/Tortie Solid/ Agouti
· Red/Cream/Tortie Golden
· Red/Cream/Tortie Solid/ Agouti with White
· Red/Cream/Tortie Golden and White
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Red/Cream/Cinnamon/Fawn Smoke/Silver Agouti
· Tortie Smoke/ Silver Agouti
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Red/Cream/Cinnamon/Fawn Smoke/Silver Agouti with White
· Tortie Smoke/ Silver Agouti with White
· Tabby Pointed
· Smoke Pointed
· Silver Tabby Pointed
· Golden Tabby Pointed
· Pointed with White
· Tabby Pointed with White
· Smoke Pointed with White
· Silver Tabby Pointed with White
· Golden Tabby Pointed with White[>