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rec.pets.cats: Scottish Fold Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/scottish-fold
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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                          Scottish Fold Breed FAQ

   Linnea Danielsen - Linanci Cattery,
   Copyright (c) 1995 by Linnea Danielsen.  All Rights Reserved.

     * History
     * Description
     * Temperament
     * Special Medical Concerns
     * Is This Breed For Me?
     * Frequently Asked Questions

   Susie, the first Scottish Fold cat, was discovered in 1961 in the
   Tayside Region of Scotland, at a farm near Coupar Angus. She was a
   white barn cat with ears that folded downward and forward on her head.
   Her face resembled an "owl" or an "otter's face". A shepherd by the
   name of William Ross first noticed Susie's unique ears at a neighbor's
   barn. Since William and his wife Mary were Cat Fanciers they were
   fascinated with Susie. A year later Susie and a local tom had a litter
   of two folded ear kittens and the Ross's acquired the female and named
   her Snooks. Snooks' son was bred to a British Shorthair and so began
   the breed known today as the Scottish Fold. At this time the breed was
   registered with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great
   In the mid 1960s, Pat Turner, a cat breeder and geneticist, became
   involved in the development of the Fold. Over the next 3 years she
   oversaw the breedings which produced 76 kittens - 42 with folded ears
   and 34 with straight ears. She and Peter Dyte, another British
   geneticist, agreed that the gene mutation responsible for folded ears
   is a simple dominant. This means that if a kitten inherits a gene from
   one parent for straight ears and one from a parent with the gene for
   folded ears, it will be a fold. They also learned that the original
   cats carried the longhair gene.
   Susie, the original fold, was a loose fold which means the tips of her
   ears bent forward about halfway up the ear. This is now called a
   single fold. Today's folds have ear folds ranging from the loose
   single fold to the very tight triple fold which is seen in the show
   quality cats.
   A faction in the British Cat Fancy felt that the Scottish Fold would
   be prone to ear infections and deafness. They campaigned to prevent
   their acceptance for registry in Great Britain. Folds are still not
   accepted for registry in registries of Great Britian and Europe.
   Mrs. Ross arranged for some of her folds to be shipped to Neil Todd,
   Ph.D., a geneticist in Newtonville, MA in the early 1970's. The first
   American born litter arrived Nov. 30, 1971. After his study ended,
   some folded kittens were given to first one CFA affiliated breeder who
   gave some to another, etc., until the shorthair Scottish Folds were
   accepted by ACA for registration in 1973, ACFA and CFA in 1974. TICA
   was the first registry to recognized the longhairs for championship
   competition in the 1987-88 show season and CFA followed in 1993-94.
   Although the Ross' had to give up their efforts in their own country
   to develop and raise these adorable cats, they will always be regarded
   in America as the founders of the breed.

   After two decades of outcrossing to the American and British
   Shorthairs, the Scottish Fold has developed a look all its own. It is
   a medium sized cat, 9 to 13 pounds in the male and 6 to 9 pounds in
   the female. A Fold should have a well rounded, padded look to the
   entire body with a round headed appearance from all angles, domed at
   the top with a very short neck. The eyes should be large, round,
   broadly spaced and giving a sweet expression. A Fold can have straight
   medium-sized ears to small tightly folded ears with wide range in the
   degree of the fold. The ear tips will be rounded on the tip. A Fold
   will have well-rounded whisker pads with whiskers which often curve
   forward. The jaw is firm and well rounded. The nose is gently curved,
   short and wide due to the wide set of the eyes. Sometimes the curve of
   the mouth around their prominent whisker pads gives the appearance of
   a "smiling" cat. As you can see from the description, the Scottish
   Fold's head should look round in all ways.
   The Scottish Fold can be found in both the shorthair and longhaired
   version. The longhaired Scottish Fold has a semi-long coat of variable
   length which should sport a nice ruff on the males, leg britches and a
   huge fluffy tail.
   Scottish Folds can be found in almost every color and combination of
   colors and white except for the pointed colors. This means that
   generally you will not be able to find a Scottish Fold who has the
   coloring of a Siamese or Himalayan. (The exception is Folds bred by
   members of the Cat Fanciers Federation, which allows the pointed
   pattern. All other registries consider pointed Folds to be AOV (Any
   Other Variety), and will not accept them for competition.) The brown
   tabby & white Scottish Fold is probably the most well known color but
   they can be found in everyone's favorite colors.

   The Scottish Fold is a sweet natured cat who is usually quiet voiced
   and loves to help supervise whatever you happen to be doing. Their
   activity level is in the medium range. They love to play but usually
   expect you to be involved in the fun and games. While not every Fold
   will be a lap fungus, they will usually be found close to you.
   Scottish Folds love to sleep flat on their backs and can often be
   found sitting up looking very much like an otter.
Special Medical Concerns

   In general the Scottish Fold is a healthy, hardy cat with a lifespan
   of approximately 15 yrs. Early in the development of this breed a
   degenerative joint disease was discovered to be linked with breeding
   folded-eared cats to folded-eared cats. Because of this, ethical
   breeders will only breed straight-eared cats to folded- eared cats.
   Scottish Folds who are the products of folded-ear to straight-ear
   breedings seldom if ever develop joint disease.
   Affected Folds will usually show signs of the disease between the ages
   of 4 to 6 months. This disease, in its worst case, will cause the
   joints of the cat's tail, ankles and knees to fuse and stiffen. A
   Scottish Fold with a very short thickened tail is probably affected to
   some extent. While this health problem is disabling, it is not life
   threatening. Though it cannot be cured, it can be very successfully
Is This Breed For Me?

   If you like a cat that is very active and for the most part aloof,
   then no, the Scottish Fold is not for you. If you want a cat who wants
   to know what you are doing and why you aren't paying attention to him,
   then yes, you'd probably do well with a Scottish Fold. Scottish Folds
   want to be with you and will not do well if left alone for long
   periods of time. If you work long hours, you might want to consider
   getting your Scottish Fold a playmate from your local Humane Society
   or Shelter. Another option is in buying a pair of Folds - one
   folded-eared and one straight-eared. Two Folds will keep each other
   from getting lonely and will be twice the love and devotion when you
   are home.
Frequently Asked Questions

   _How do I find Scottish Fold breeders?_

   Scottish Folds are accepted in all the cat registry associations in
   the United States. Most of their central offices can give you names of
   breeders registered with them. Another option is to attend a cat show
   near you and talk to the breeders that are there. Get to know them and
   get on their waiting lists. Yes, a Waiting List!!! Because of the
   folded ear to straight ear breedings not all the kittens born have
   folded ears and for this reason most Fold breeders have waiting lists
   for their folded-eared kittens. Don't feel like you are getting the
   run around if you aren't able to find your special kitten for 6 or
   more months. (And if you want a specific color, sex, or coat length,
   you may have to wait even longer.)
   _Where else can I find information on the breed?_

   Another place to find information about Scottish Folds and breeders is
   to contact the International Scottish Fold Association. This is a CFA
   (Cat Fanciers Association) affiliated breed club. If you send a #10
   SASE to ISFA, 12500 Skyline Dr., Burnsville, MN, 55337-2920, they will
   send you information on the breed itself and a list of member
   breeders. The Association is not only for breeders but is open to
   anyone with an interest in Scottish Folds and membership gets you a
   well written quarterly newsletter.
   You can also purchase the paperback book titled _Scottish Fold Cats: A
   Complete Owner's Manual_, written by Phil Maggitti. Any bookstore can
   order it for you. Most of the information is accurate though some of
   the genetics data is a little dated. It also has some wonderful color
   _Is there more information on Scottish Folds on the Web?_

   You can find the names of breeders of Scottish Folds and most other
   breeds as well, on the Breeders Referral List that is attached to the
   Fanciers homepage at:
   _Who is Linanci Cattery?_

   You can learn all about us and see some of our Scottish Folds at:
    Scottish Fold FAQ 
    Linnea Danielsen,
    Last updated 08/29/96

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