In 1982, on an Oregon farm, a litter of six kittens was born to a barn cat. One of the kittens was born completely bald -- looking nothing like her mother or her littermates. Within eight weeks, the kitten began to grow very soft, curly hair. At three to four months of age, the kitten, now named Curly, had a full coat of curly hair. For the next 10 years, these unusual kittens continued to appear on occasion without the aid of selective breeding, until the farm owner eventually discovered she had a distinct breed, which she named LaPerm, meaning "wavy" or "rippled."
The LaPerm can sport anything from a wavy coat to ringlet-type curls that range from tight ringlets to long corkscrew curls. The longhair is generally blessed with a curly plumed tail and often exhibits a full, curly ruff. The shorthair has more texture to the coat than does the longhaired variety: It does not have the ruff, though it does have a bottle-brush-type tail, and the coat generally stands away from the body, parting down the middle.
LaPerms are gentle and affectionate but also very active. Unlike many active breeds, the LaPerm is also quite content to be a lap cat. The LaPerm will often follow your lead -- if they are busy playing and you decide to sit and relax, simply pick up your LaPerm and sit down with it, and it will stay on your lap devouring the attention you give it. LaPerms seek human contact and will purr as soon as they become aware of your presence. They are inquisitive by nature and always want to know what is going on around them. They will reach for your face with their paws and rub their faces against your head, neck, and face.