Many breeds of cats are distinguished by a single feature, such as a short tail or a curly coat, and the American Curl is certainly no exception. This unique cat is distinguished by its unique ears, which curl back gracefully, resulting in a happy and alert expression. The ears of the American Curl are similar in many ways to those of the wild Lynx, with the tufts of hair curling outward in a swept back look.
The personality of the American Curl is unique as well, and many owners remark on the intelligence and curiosity the breed exhibits. The breed is also known for the lovely trilling sounds it makes, and for its playful and active personality. In fact, many American Curl cats retain their kitten like playfulness and personality well into their adult lives.
It is interesting to note that American Curl kittens are not born with folded ears. Instead, the straight ears of those newborn kittens will begin to curl back anywhere from 3 to 5 days after birth. During this time period the ears curl back and remain in a tight rosebud manner, with the ears gradually uncurling until they are permanently set at approximately four months of age. The ear quality is of course critical to the show value of the kittens, and breeders use this time period to determine quality and sort out show quality kittens from their pet quality siblings.
Of course not all American Curls are show quality, but all can be wonderful house pets and treasured family members. The active and inquisitive nature of the breed make it a perfect addition to any type of home, and the beautiful folded ears are certainly a show stopper.
As one would expect with such a breed, good ear hygiene is critical to avoiding problems, and it is important for new owners to clean the cats’ ears on a regular basis. Getting the kitten used to this maintenance routine while still young is the best way to ensure he or she will not object later on.
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