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American Curl
Characteristics, History, and Health

American Curl

Other Breeds

The American Curl is an intelligent, loyal, and loving kitty. Affectionately known as the "Peter Pan" of cats, they are known to retain their kitten energy well into their senior years. They often have tufted tails and sport ears with an elegant backwards curl, said to resemble the fanned and tufted ear features of the Lynx.

Main Info
Coat Pattern
Variety of patterns
Coat Length
Shorthair, Longhair
Health Issues
  • Can be prone to ear infectionCan be prone to ear infection
  • Generally healthy breedGenerally healthy breed

Main Characteristics of the American Curl

The American Curl is a medium-sized cat with a rectangluar body, walnut-shaped eyes, and a silky coat that comes in both shorthair and longhair varieties in many colors and patterns. Their ears are actually straight when they are born and only begin to curl—first into a tight "rosebud" within three to five days—then resting into their final backwards curled position around 16 weeks of age.

American Curl Origin

The American Curl pedigree breed traces back to a cat named "Shulamith", a stray longhaired female who endeared herself to Grace and Joe Ruga of Lakewood, California in 1981. This black-coated beauty gave birth to kittens that developed curled ears that are now the signature of the American Curl breed. Selective breeding picked up speed two years later in 1983 to develop a show-quality breed that was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1987. Roy Robinson, the same geneticist that performed the first analysis of American Wirehair fur to distinguish it from Cornish and Devon Rex cat breeds coat genetics, studied American Curl ears and confirmed that the gene responsible for the breed's signature ears was autosomal dominant, which means that any offspring with one copy of the gene from a parent will display the curled ear trait.

American Curl Personality Traits

The American Curl is a sweet, people-oriented cat that is always interested in what you're doing. They can be vocal at times, and love to follow you around the house. They are curious and love to explore, so providing high areas for climbing and jumping and other opportunities for play will go a long way toward keeping your American Curl kitty happy and engaged.

American Curl Common Health Issues

The American Curl is a generally healthy breed, though they can be prone to ear infections so regular ear care is a good idea. As with all cat breeds, oral health is very important, so it's important to establish both at-home brushing routines in addition to taking them to your veterinarian for regular wellness exams and professional dental cleanings.

American Curl Fun Facts

  • The American Curl is known as the "Peter Pan" of cats. These energetic beauties typically stay kitten-like into their older years.

  • A very popular kitty. The American Curl is extremely popular, and currently holds the rank of the 27th most popular cat breed in the United States.

American Curl Characteristics

10-20 years
Good with
Families, children, cats, cat-friendly dogs
Shedding amount
Affection level
Activity level
Tendency to vocalize
Low to Medium
Exercise needs


The International Cat Association (TICA) “Introduction to the American Curl”

Cat Fanciers' Association "About the American Curl"

Spruce Pets: American Curl Cat Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

FETCH by WebMD "What to Know About American Curls"

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