The Scottish Fold is a breed of domestic cat.
The distinguishing characteristic of the Scottish fold cat is its small ears which fold forward and downward, giving the cat what is often described as an “owl-like” appearance.
Originally called lop-eared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit, Scottish Fold became the breed’s name in 1966. Depending on registries, longhaired Scottish Folds are varyingly known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold and Coupari.
The original Scottish Fold was a white barn cat named Susie, who was found at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1961.
When Susie had kittens, two of them were born with the distinctive folded ears. One was owned by William Ross, a nearby farmer and cat-lover. Ross registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great Britain and started to breed Scottish Fold kittens with the help of Pat Turner.
The breeding program ended up with 76 kittens in the first three years, 42 with folded ears. They suspected that the ear mutation was from a dominant allele. This means that if one parent has straight ears, and one parent has folded ears, half of the kittens will be Folds.
All Folds are born with straight, unfolded ears, and those with the Fold gene will begin to show the fold usually within about 21 days.
Scottish Folds, whether with folded ears or with normal ears, are normally good-natured and calm.
They are very popular pets because of their unique look, and their reputation as particularly loving companions.
The typical lifespan of a Scottish Fold is about 15 years.
The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat and has an overall height of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10) and body length of 36 to 41 cm (14 to 16). An average Scottish Fold Cat weighs between 4 and 6 kg (9 and 13 lb).
The Fold’s entire body structure, especially the head and face, is generally rounded, and the eyes large and round. The nose will be short with a gentle curve and the cat’s body well-rounded with a padded look and medium-to-short legs. The head is domed at the top, and the neck very short. The broadly-spaced eyes give the Scottish Fold a “sweet expression”.
Scottish Folds can be either long- or short-haired, and they may have nearly any coat color or combination of colors.
These cats typically have soft voices and display a complex repertoire of meows and purrs not found in better-known breeds.
Folds are also known for sleeping on their backs.
In the United States, a Scottish Fold kitten with folded ears cost $1,000 to $2,000 or even more – a straight eared Scottish Fold kitten cost a lot less.
Only folded ear cats of Scottish lineage are permitted in the show ring, and naturally, every breeder wants to produce show cats.
Due to the rarity of the Fold, and due to the fact that not every kitten born has folded ears, it is very hard for the supply to keep up with the demand.
The Scottish Fold was granted championship status by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1978.
The short novel The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers features “the most famous Scottish Fold” according to Grace Sutton of The Cat Fanciers’ Association.
It was the most famous Scottish Fold until Maru. Maru is a male Scottish Straight cat in Japan who has become popular on YouTube. As of September 2016, videos featuring Maru have been viewed over 325 million times, a Guinness World Record for the most YouTube video views of an individual animal. Maru has been described as the “most famous cat on the internet”.