The American Curl 'Curly'
If you’re looking for a sweet cat with a Peter Pan-esque nature, and adorable ears look no further than the American Curl!
American Curl kittens are born with straight ears that curl up within forty eight hours of their birth. At four months, their little ears will not curl anymore, and the ears should feel quite stiff at the base, but soft a floppy toward the tips.
So you wonder, how did this adorable creature come about? The story is that in 1981, in California, a female black kitten was found by Joe and Grace Ruga. The kitten had the distinct curled back ears. The Ruga’s called the kitten Shulamith after the ‘black and comely’ Princess in the Old Testament, book of Solomon. When little Shulamith had her kitten, two of them also had the same curled back ears. And voila! American Curls!
The Curly comes in long haired and short haired in any colour, they are silky to touch and require little grooming. Although brushing and making a fuss of them, would be very welcome!
Home environment - As with most cats, they can be sociable when introduced to an environment that is peaceful, stimulating and safe. This cat can thrive in a household with children who can treat this quirky beauty politely and respectfully. Always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.
Hair - The American Curl has both short and long fine silk hair which allows for easy care. Shedding is low and combing or brushing can be done maybe twice a week.
Teeth – The use of small finger toothbrushes can help keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy. An annual check at the vets will also pick up on anything that might need professional attention.
Nails – Now, be careful with this one. Cat’s nails are live so there is the potential to cause pain especially if the nail is dark and you cannot see clearly to differentiate live areas from ‘safe’ areas to clip. Probably best to schedule a visit to your vets or local shelter where there will be someone trained to carry out this procedure. I clipped my cats nail tips while she sat in the sink about once a fortnight. She would only allow me to clip her front ones and would happily bite her back paw nails at her leisure.
Clean – You can use a soft cloth and wipe the eye area. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so that you don’t spread any infection. Gently wipe out ears, warm water is fine. An American Curl’s ears should be handled softly when cleaning because rough handling may damage the cartilage. Never poke or use cotton buds (Q-tips) inside the ears. Remember the Curl has very rigid ears and need to be handled as softly as possible.
Litter Box – Keep the trays meticulously clean and have more than one (if possible). Remember to keep trays away from food areas.
Roam or not to roam – It’s a good idea to keep your lovely inside, apart from attacks from other cats or dogs or traffic dangers, such a beauty might be stolen. If you’re going to allow roaming, remember to microchip and use a collar with an ID
Beware! American Curl’s are very addictive. Once you have had one, you may find you need more of them!