Breed review: American curl kittens and cats

Posted by Trixie. November 26th 2015.

The American Curl is among the newest breed of cats, having only been registered by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1986.

The breed stemmed from a natural genetic mutation – the signature curled ears – first seen in a stray that visited the home of an American couple in the early 1980s.

The cat, named Shulamith, had a litter of four kittens, with two having the curled ears and these became the ancestors of today’s breed.

While still relatively young, the breed is found across the world in developed countries.

The popular American Curl cat


Size and appearance

The American Curl is a mid-sized cat, which typically weighs from 2.2kg to 4.5kg and dose not reach full size until the age of two or three years.

American Curl kittens are born with straight ears and most will curl within the first few months. Some will have ears that do not curl at all.


American Curls can be longhaired or shorthaired but both have soft fur and require little grooming.

The shorthaired variety shed all year round and lose more hair than their longhaired cousins.

Bathing is rarely needed but general health maintenance, such as regular teeth brushing and nail clipping is advisable.

The American Curl is an indoor cat.

American Curl kittens

Temperament and behaviour

American Curls love being around people – both adults and children – and are generally warm in nature.

They are quite active, even into their older years and show signs of curiosity and intelligence.

American Curls are happy to learn tricks and love to play but will happily sit on your lap for a nap when he or she has had some exercise.


The American Curl is a generally healthy breed, with the exception being the ears.

They typically have narrow ear canals that can become blocked, hence the need for regular cleaning.

The cartilage within the ear is delicate and American Curls should be handle with care to prevent any damage.

An American Curl’s lifespan is typically 12 to 16 years.

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