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Scottish Fold Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Scottish Fold Cat laying on a couch

Scottish Fold Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Scottish Folds (affectionately nicknamed “Lops”) are known for their unique, round faces and folded ears. This appearance is caused by a genetic mutation that causes the shape of their ears to be structured differently. Many people find this appealing, endearing trait, even saying that the Scottish Fold looks like it is smiling.

Breed Overview


7 – 10 inches


6 – 13 pounds


11 – 15 years


Black, white, red, blue, silver, fawn, chocolate, lilac

Suitable for:

Families with children, families with dogs, apartment living


Friendly, social, and docile

The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat that comes in many lovely and unique colors. They are friendly, calm, and not excessively vocal. Many people find the Scottish Fold’s qualities incredibly appealing; however, not everyone can get their hands on this beloved cat. The Scottish Fold is a rare breed, so if you can bring one home, consider yourself lucky.

Scottish Fold Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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Scottish Fold Breed Kittens

cute Scottish fold kittens chinchilla one month old_Mikhail Kniazev_shutterstock
Image Credit: Mikhail Kniazev, Shutterstock

As mentioned before, the Scottish Fold is a difficult cat to come by. The rarity of this breed increases the price of Scottish Fold kittens, so even if you can find a breeder who specializes in Scottish Folds, you will have to make sure that you have room in your budget for it. If you discover a breeder who sells Scottish Folds at a shockingly low price, don’t fall for it. Prices that are too low are often an indication that something is amiss. Some Scottish Folds cost as much as $3,000, but you spend much less if you’re lucky enough to find one at a shelter or rescue center.

If you plan to purchase your Scottish Fold from a breeder, do thorough research to ensure that you work with an ethical, experienced, and reputable breeder. Before bringing your kitten home, make sure you can provide the essentials. This includes food, feeding and drinking dishes, litter, litter box, veterinary care, toys, and more.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds are adored for their excellent temperaments. They are known to be docile and friendly and quick to grow attached to their favorite humans. You won’t want to stay away from your Scottish Fold for too long, as they do not tolerate isolation very well. If you work often or are away from home for other reasons, you should consider getting another animal companion to keep your Scottish Fold company.

The Scottish Fold is ideal if you are looking for a cat that loves to cuddle. At the same time, your Scottish Fold will love to participate in playful activities. However, they are not the most active cat breed.

The Scottish Fold is an intelligent cat. This means they will require a lot of mental stimulation, and you can provide interactive puzzle toys to keep your cat entertained. You may also want to train your Scottish Fold to walk on a leash or perform fun tricks to keep your cat’s mind busy.

orange scottish fold with striped bandana
Image Credit: Kajohnwat Srikulthanakij, Shutterstock

Are These Cats Good for Families?

The Scottish Fold is gentle, sweet, and an overall excellent companion. They make great pets for individuals and families, as they love to give and receive attention. Their calm, kind personalities make them patient with children; however, it is important to teach younger children boundaries and how to handle cats gently. While the Scottish Fold may tolerate accidental roughness once or twice, your cat may grow fearful or distrustful of younger children who don’t handle them properly.

This breed is incredibly affectionate, so you can expect plenty of cuddles and snuggles. They may follow you around the house as you go about your day and won’t hesitate to venture out to meet unfamiliar guests.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Scottish Folds are friendly with other pets, assuming all animals involved have been socialized and introduced properly.

However, be aware of what animals you are trying to house together. If you bring home a bigger dog with a high prey drive, your dog may see the Scottish Fold as prey and may be inclined to chase. While the Scottish Fold is friendly and calm, they will certainly not appreciate being pursued around the house.

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Things to Know When Owning a Scottish Fold

Before bringing a Scottish Fold home, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the breed so that you’ll know what to expect. Below, we’ll examine some of the most important characteristics to consider, including the cat’s food and diet requirements and how much exercise they require.

Food & Diet Requirements 

Scottish Folds are prone to obesity, so it is vital that you monitor your cat’s diet. While you are still allowed to give your Scottish Fold treats, it may be best to focus on low-calorie, healthy treats rather than those that are high in fat and calories.

A healthy feline diet will have an animal-based product listed as the first ingredient, such as chicken, turkey, duck, or salmon. It will also have a stamp of approval from The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), so check your cat’s food for that label.


The Scottish Fold is not a particularly active cat. It is perfectly content to play occasionally, follow you around the house, and spend most of its time cuddling or napping. However, being active is still an essential part of your cat’s health, so it is necessary that you encourage your Scottish Fold to exercise regularly.

As much as 15 minutes per day is enough to ensure that your Scottish Fold is getting the necessary physical exercise. Using a teaser wand with a feather or catnip mouse will get your cat moving, or you can use a laser pointer to tempt your cat to run.

scottish fold hiding under a plant outdoors
Image Credit by: Nadiia Rotman, Shutterstock


The Scottish Fold is intelligent yet stubborn. They can be trained, but it requires more patience than other breeds. Although you must be careful with the number of treats you give your pet, you can use cat treats to entice your Scottish Fold to learn a few tricks. However, most will quickly learn to use the litter box properly without your encouragement.

Grooming ✂️

Scottish Folds are moderate shedders and do not require much maintenance to keep their coats shiny and healthy. If you have a short-haired Scottish Fold, brushing them once a week will be sufficient. However, if you have a long-haired Scottish Fold, you must brush them several times weekly, if not daily. Like any cat, you should clean the Scottish Fold’s teeth every few days and trim their nails when necessary.

You will need to pay special attention to the ears with your Scottish Fold. While all cats should have their ears inspected, checking the Scottish Fold’s ears is crucial due to their predisposition for ear infections. If you notice issues with your Scottish Fold’s ears, contact your vet for a complete examination.

Health and Conditions

The Scottish Fold is typically a healthy cat, but there are some conditions that they are genetically predisposed to. Osteochondrodyplasia is a condition in which your cat’s cartilage develops abnormally, leading to a difference in the structure of the surrounding bones as well. This causes your Scottish Fold’s ears to fold in their unique and adorable shape, but it can also lead to improper formation of bone structures. As a result, your cat may experience diseases of the joints and other structures of the limbs.

Another condition that the Scottish Fold is prone to is polycystic kidney disease, in which your cat develops cysts in the kidney. The cysts can develop as early as your cat’s birth, and they typically grow with age. As time goes on, they may impair the function of the kidneys and even lead to kidney failure. While there is no cure for this condition, it can be managed with dietary restrictions, fluid therapy, and medicine.  Arthritis is also common in Scottish Folds due to their abnormal cartilage and bone formation

scottish fold cat checked by vet
Image Credit by: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
Minor Conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Osteochondrodyplasia
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Male vs Female

There are typically no discernable differences in personality between fixed male and female Scottish Folds. The most notable difference between males and females will be their size since males tend to be larger on average.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Scottish Fold

1. Scottish Folds Used to Be Known as “Lop-Eared Cats.”

2. American Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift Owns Two Scottish Folds.

cat, scottish fold, pet
Image Credit: Sophkins, Pixabay

3. Despite Their Name, Scottish Folds Are Not Recognized as an Official Breed in Scotland Due to the Potential Health Issues Their Folded Ears Can Cause.

Final Thoughts

Scottish Folds are unique, adorable, and rare cats. If you are thinking of adding one to your home, you will need to make sure you find one from a reputable breeder and have the budget for such an uncommon yet coveted breed.

If you adopt a Scottish Fold, you’ll discover they’re remarkably affectionate, friendly, and docile. Whether you live alone, with a family, or with several other pets in the home, your Scottish Fold will be welcoming to everyone they cohabitate with. We hope this article has taught you everything you wanted to know about the Scottish Fold and wish you luck in adopting one.

Read Also:

Featured Image Credit: Alexander Sobol, Shutterstock

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