Scottish Fold/Straight breed history

     Often, the creation of a new cat breed hinges on a natural genetic mutation that occurs unexpectedly in an otherwise ordinary cat. Such was the case with the Scottish Fold. Members of the breed today can all trace their heritage back to Susie, a white cat with unusual folded ears who earned her keep as a mouser in a barn in Scotland’s Tayside region. Susie might have lived her life in obscurity had she not been noticed in 1961 by a shepherd named William Ross who had an interest in cats. When Susie had kittens with a local tom, Ross acquired one of them, a female he named Snooks. In the natural way of things, Snooks had kittens, and one, a male was bred to a British Shorthair. Thus began the development of what were first known as “lop-eared cats,” later as Scottish Folds, a nod to their country of origin and their defining characteristic.

     Other breeders became involved and it was determined that the gene mutation for the fold was dominant, meaning that if one parent passed on a gene for straight ears and the other a gene for folded ears, the resulting kitten would have folded ears. A gene for long hair was another gift Susie passed on to her descendants. The longhaired variety is known as a Highland Fold in some associations.

     

     Scottish Folds were first imported into the United States in 1971. By the mid-1970s, they had been recognized by most cat associations in North America. They can be out-crossed to American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs. Ironically, they are not recognized as a breed in their country of origin over concerns that the folded ear might lead to ear infections or deafness and because of a related cartilage problem.

Personality and Popularity

   Scottish breed, whether with folded ears or with normal (straight) ears, are typically good-natured and placid and adjust to other animals within a household extremely well. They tend to become very attached to their human caregivers and are by nature quite affectionate. They adore human companionship and display this in their own quiet, sometimes funny and adorable way. And Folds, and Straight, receive high mark for playfulness, affection, and grooming, and often very intelligent, loyal, soft spoken, and adaptable to home situations and people. Scottish Fold adapt to almost any home situation and are as comfortable in a room full of noisy children and dogs as they are in single person's dwelling.

   Scottish Folds and Straight are also known for sleeping on their backs. This is called the "Buta Position". Cats of this breed typically have quiet voices and display a complex repertoire of  meows and purrs not found in better-known breeds. Their disposition matches their sweet expression. Scottish Folds' and Straight's fur is very soft, fluffy and pleasant to touch: you will want to pet them constantly and they would love it!

   The distinctive physical traits of the breed, combined  with their reputation as unusually loving companions, make Folds/Straight highly sought-after pets and Fold kittens typically cost considerably more than kittens of more common breeds, and Scottish Straight kittens will have reasonably lower price from Folds the same litter. All Folds are born with straight, unfolded ears, and those with the Fold gene will begin to show the fold usually within about 21 days. The original cats only had one fold in their ears, but due to selective breeding breeders have increased the fold to a double or triple crease that causes the ear to lie totally flat against the head. The Scottish Fold's eras are meant to be treated with care; they are very delicate! 

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