American Curls have distinct, curled back ears that give them their signature look. Kittens of this breed are born with straight ears that begin to curl back within one to seven days after birth. As they get older, the curl can change, and is not permanent until the kittens reach about 5 months of age.
The body of the American Curl can vary in size and shape since outcrossing to Domestic Shorthairs and Longhairs still occurs in order to increase the gene pool. The breed is seen in almost every color and pattern.
American Curls can vary a lot in personality, but are basically easygoing, fun loving pets. They are playful and affectionate, and enjoy children. They also tend to get along well with dogs and other cats.
American Curls thrive on attention, but are not excessively vocal cats.
The look of the American Curl can vary significantly from one cat to another because of continued outcrossing to non-pedigreed cats. All American Curls should have the signature curled ear.
American Curls need regular ear checks to make sure their ears are healthy. Owners can check the ears for accumulated ear wax or other problems during weekly grooming sessions.
The American Curl was developed in California in the early 1980s, and was the result of a naturally occurring mutation in Domestic Shorthairs and Longhairs. Two fanciers obtained kittens with curled ears from a stray litter and began to research Scottish Folds. They discovered the curled ears on these kittens were different from those of the Fold, and began working toward having them recognized as a new breed.
In 1986, The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the American Curl into the registry with Champion status. Five years later, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) also recognized the breed. The American Cat Fanciers Association (AFCA) also registers American Curls.