Scottish Fold Cats have distinctive folded ears which bend forward to lie against the head. These medium sized, rounded cats have a short neck, large round eyes, sturdy legs and a large fluffy tail.
The coat of a Scottish Fold Cat is medium in length, soft and dense with hair that stands away from the body requiring very little grooming. These cats come in most colors and patterns.
All Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight, unfolded ears that do not begin to crease until about 21 days. Most have just one crease, but due to selective breeding some cats have a double or even triple crease that causes the ear to lie totally flat against the head.
The Scottish Fold body type is medium sized with the males weighing in at 9-13 lbs, and the females weigh between 6-9 lbs. These Scottish Fold Kittens have round contours; their bodies appear round and padded with short muscular legs, their heads are domed at the top, eyes are very round, wide set and large, and their noses are short and rounded.
Scottish Fold Cats have a sweet nature and gentle temperament. They are sociable and good with children, but also quiet and self-contained. Due to their reputation as loving companions, they are highly sought after as pets and are somewhat pricey compared to other popular cat breeds.
The original Scottish Fold cat was a white, long-haired female cat found in a barn on a farm in Perthshire, Scotland in 1961. She had two kittens born with folded ears, one was adopted by a neighboring farmer and cat-fancier named William Ross. Mr. Ross, working with geneticist Pat Turner, started the Scottish Fold breed of cats. In three years they produced 76 kittens, 42 with creased ears and 34 with straight ears.
It is important to note that Scottish Folds cannot be bred to other Scottish Folds due to the danger of an inherited crippling bone problem. However the gene that causes creased ears is dominant, so Folds can be bred with straight-eared cats.
Due to the fear of ear problems such as infection, mites and deafness, Scottish Folds were not accepted for showing in Great Britain and Europe. Eventually this breed was exported to America where it was established by cross breeding with British and American Shorthairs. And, other than a problem with wax build-up in the ear, the initial concerns of ear mites and infections have proven unfounded.