The distinctive feature of the breed is their uniquely curled ears, set on the corners of the head. These ears are quite firm to the touch, erect and open, curving back in a smooth arc towards the center of the back of the skull. The Curl is a well balanced, medium sized cat weighting 5 to 10 pounds. Maturity is reached between two and three years of age. Allowance to be made for larger size in males.
Head: Profile - nose straight, slight rise from bottom of eyes to forehead, gentle convex curve to top of skull, chin firm, even with nose. Modified wedge longer than wide, muzzle has gentle transition, neither pointed nor square.
Penalize: Deep curve.
Ears: Degree of Curl - Minimum 90 degree arc. Ideal arc of 135 degrees, not to exceed 180 degrees. Moderately large set equally on sides and top of head, wide at base and open, tips rounded and flexible; furnishing desirable.
Penalize: Low set, mismatched, pinched, donkey ears, vertical crimp, horizontal kink, ears that appear corrugated on interior surface.
Body: Shape slender, rectangular, length 1-1/2 times the height at shoulder. Medium in size and boning. Moderately developed strength and tone. Neck in proportion to body size. Tail wide at base, tapering, in equal proportion to body length. Legs and Feet: Legs medium in proportion to body size. Hind legs slightly longer than front legs. Set straight when viewed from front or back. Feet medium and rounded.
Eyes: Moderately large, walnut shaped on top and round on bottom. Set on a bias, one eye width apart. Eye color according to coat color, except pointed must be blue.
Coat & Color: Medium long, lying flat, tail plumed. Fine silky texture, MINIMAL UNDERCOAT. All colors accepted in all other breeds.
The American Curl is a medium size cat (7-11 lbs) with no health handicaps associated with the curled ears. They are strong, healthy cats remarkably free of genetic defects that affect many purebred cats, and will not reach maturity until 2-3 years of age. The American Curl may have either curled ears or straight ears. If the cat's ears are curled, it will not be apparent until two or three days after the birth, and will take their final form after four months. The curled ears should be hard and stiff to the touch. The longhairs have a plush, silky coat, and the shorthairs have a thick, non-wooly coat, and is also silky. The American Curl may have three degrees of curl - first degree, second degree, or third degree. The third degree is the preferred one. Luxurious tufts of fur sprout from the bottom of the ears. The straight ear American Curl has all of the loving personality of the curled ear American Curl but may not be shown. The American Curl comes in two coat lengths - either long haired or short haired. The American Curl comes in all colors.
The breed is the result of a spontaneous mutation which occurred in a cat in Lakewood, California in 1981. The first cat, a black female domestic cat, was found and taken in by the Ruga family who named her Shulamith. All American Curls descend from her, the foundation female. In 1983, the first American Curl was exhibited at a cat show, and in 1987, the longhair American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl set a precedent in the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) by being the first breed to be admitted to the Championship Class as one breed with two coat lengths.
The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world from the United States to Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.
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