Breed review: Scottish Fold kittens and cats

Posted by Argos, 7 March 2014, last updated 1 October 2020.

Also known as Highland Folds, Scottish Fold kittens and cats are a relatively young breed of cat which has grown quickly in popularity owing to their pleasant looks and gentle characters.

History of the Scottish Fold cat

The first recorded birth of a Scottish Fold was in 1961 at a farm close to Dundee in Scotland.  After a few weeks, the farmer noticed that one of the kittens had unusual folded-down ears. When this kitten matured, her own litter also included a couple of kittens with these distinctive ears.

Attracted by the appearance, a friend decided to take the kittens and start to breed them; thus starting the line of cats now known as the Scottish Fold.

Scottish Fold Cat

Breeding facts

The first documented Scottish Folds were bred with a range of cats including Persians, Burmese, American Shorthairs and Exotic Shorthairs in order to develop the sweet, round face they are famous for.

In a litter of Scottish Folds, about 50% of the kittens will develop the unique ears while the other will retain their straight-eared appearance. However, they still inherit the gentle nature of these cats.

Official breeding associations allow breeders to mate Scottish Folds with British and American Shorthairs in their programmes.


The Scottish Fold is a medium size and has a solid build. Its legs are short and sturdy and its tail is quite short and thick. The head is round, the cheeks full and the nose turned up slightly.

One of the most distinctive features of a Scottish Fold is its eyes, which are large and coppery.
Although most Scottish Folds are short-haired, occasionally long-haired kittens appear in a litter.

Interestingly, Scottish Folds are born with straight ears which only start to turn downwards a couple of weeks after birth.


Owing to their gentle and calm natures, Scottish Folds are ideal for all sorts of households. They can adapt well in single-person homes or within a family environment as they get along well with children. They also cohabitate well with other pets but you should always introduce new pets slowly and with sensitivity.

Scottish Folds are not particularly active cats and are happy to spend the day lounging around. They do enjoy affection, attention and gentle play though.

Like most cats, they are very intelligent but some interesting and unusual habits include drinking from running water and even eating with their paws!

They have an acute sense of hearing, being able to detect sounds inaudible to their owners, and will sit up alertly if they hear something unusual. Their voice is soft but these cats are not very chatty.

Health Matters

An average life span for a Scottish Fold is about 15 years.

The gene which is responsible for their unusual ears can occasionally cause skeletal and cartilage abnormalities and is also the reason for the short tail which is not as supple as on most other cats.

Other abnormalities that can be common in the breed are splayed toes and dense leg bones.

Found yourself a new Scottish Fold cat? Now it’s time to protect them with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our Scottish Fold cat insurance policies today.

Share this with your friends Apple download app image Apple download app image