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CFA Pedigreed Breed: American Curl

On a typical hot June day in 1981, a stray longhaired black female cat with funny ears mooched a meal from Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, California, and moved in. Shulamith was the original American Curl, to which all bona fide pedigrees trace their origin. When selective breeding began in 1983, fanciers bred the American Curl with an eye toward developing a show breed.

When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days they start to curl back, staying in a tight rosebud position, unfurling gradually until permanently ‘set' at around 16 weeks. They are available in both long and shorthair color and pattern varieties, and since there is minimal undercoat, the Curl sheds little and requires hardly any grooming.

The Curl personality is truly unique. If not sleeping up high somewhere in a large salad bowl, figuring out with great determination just how to get into the shower with you, or assuming their spot right in front of a favorite television show, they are patting at your glasses while you try to read the paper. Needless to say, Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soul mates that adjust remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very doglike in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything. When introduced into a new home, Curl's seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. Not overly talkative, the Curl's curiosity and intelligence is expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kittenlike personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011