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12 Incredible Scottish Fold Cat Facts; Origin, Appearance & More

The Scottish Fold is one of the rarest cat breeds around. These cats are best known for their folded ears which give them the appearance of having a very round head. While this cat breed is very popular in the US, not many people know much about the breed itself. Take a look at these incredible Scottish Fold facts that can help you better understand these loving cats with big personalities.

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The 12 Fascinating Facts About Scottish Fold Cats

1. All Scottish Folds Have a Common Ancestor

If you’re looking for one cat to thank for the amazing Scottish Fold lineage, you can do that. Her name was Susie. This little cat was born in a litter in Perthshire, Scotland in 1961. Unlike her littermates, Susie has folded ears. Dear Susie was bred with other cats to create the Scottish Fold breed and the adorable cats we love today. Thanks, Susie!

Scottish fold cat marble shadded tabby_Veronika Dolgaya_shutterstock
Image Credit: Veronika Dolgaya, Shutterstock
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2. Their Folded Ears Are a Mutation

You may wonder why your Scottish Fold has its ears. The answer is a spontaneous genetic mutation. This mutation is an incompletely dominant gene that appears in cats with straight or folded ears. Oddly enough, the mutation doesn’t only affect the ears, although this is the most noticeable result. It can also cause cats with the mutation to have cartilage abnormalities throughout their bodies.

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3. These Kitties Are Born with Straight Ears

Did you know the cute Scottish Fold isn’t born with its adorable folded ears? These kitties are born with “normal” ears that begin to fold when kittens are between 18 to 24 days old. This only happens if the kitten in question has the mutation. If not, their ears will stay straight. In a litter consisting of one Scottish Fold parent, roughly 50% of the kittens will have folded ears.

cute Scottish fold kittens chinchilla one month old_Mikhail Kniazev_shutterstock
Image Credit: Mikhail Kniazev, Shutterstock
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4. Scottish Shorthairs Are Folds with Straight Ears

As we’ve mentioned, only 50% of a litter will exhibit folded ears. The kittens in the litter whose ears remain straight are known as Scottish Shorthairs. These kitties are equally adorable, they just were born without the mutation that causes the ears to fold.

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5. Scottish Folds Aren’t Bred with One Another

Due to ethical concerns, it is best not to breed two Scottish Folds. There is a high potential for degenerative issues when this happens. Scottish Folds are usually bred with American Shorthairs or British Shorthairs. This is why only 50% of a litter will develop the fold, making Scottish Folds very rare.

American shorthair and Scottish fold cat sitting on wooden box
Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock
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6. Not All Folds Are the Same

Don’t expect every Scottish Fold to have the same type of ears. The folds are categorized in degrees. Let’s take a look at each of the three fold types!

  • Single Folds – This fold is considered slight and normally only affects the tips of the ears.
  • Double Folds – This fold is far more noticeable. You’ll note that nearly half of the cat’s ear is bent in the downward position.
  • Triple Fold – This is the most prominent fold. With a triple fold, the cat’s ears lay flat against its head. This gives the appearance of a rounder head due to the tightness of the fold.
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7. Scottish Folds Have a Unique Sitting Style

Scottish Folds are also known for their unique sitting style. Many people compare it to that of a human. Owners of this breed often call this sitting style, “The Buddha Sit.” Scottish Folds are also well known for the prairie dog stance when they hear something and want a better look.

Scottish fold cat sitting like a human
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock
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8. Scottish Fold Cats Are Show Cats

Well, those with triple folds are considered show cats. However, this breed is the only recognized breed with folded ears. You will see other breeds, often those of Chinese origins, with folded ears. Those breeds have not been fully established and cannot make appearances in show rings.

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9. Be Gentle with the Tail

You should be gentle with any pet you own, but when it comes to the Scottish Fold, their tails are especially sensitive. Often, this breed can be born with stiff tails. If that’s the case, the cat can experience quite a bit of pain if mishandled or their tails aren’t dealt with gently.

scottish fold hiding under a plant outdoors
Image Credit: Nadiia Rotman, Shutterstock
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10. Taylor Swift Is a Fan of Scottish Folds

While pop star Taylor Swift is used to fans being interested in her every move, her two Scottish Folds, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey are also fan favorites. The pop icon has shown her Scottish Folds in photoshoots and commercials. Since their appearance, fans of the pop star have fallen in love and keep up with their lives. Taylor added another kitty to the family, Benjamin Button, who is a Ragdoll but just as adorable.

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11. Scottish Folds Have Multiple Colors and Patterns

You’ll find this cat breed comes in multiple colors and patterns. You may even find those with longer hair known as the Highland Fold. Unfortunately, when it comes to showing a Scottish Fold, lavender, chocolate, and seal point colorations are not accepted. These colors represent hybridization and aren’t accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).

Scottish Fold
Image Credit: ElenaBuzmakova_Borisova, Pixabay
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12. They Once Had a Different Name

The Scottish Fold hasn’t always been the name of this gorgeous cat breed. At one point, these cats were known as “Lops” or “Lop-eared.” The name became Scottish Fold when the breed was officially registered.

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As you can see, the Scottish Fold is not only an adorably unique cat, but they also have an interesting history. If you have a Scottish Fold or are interested in having one, these 12 facts can help you learn more about these cats and their history. You and your Scottish Fold can cuddle up together knowing you’re the proud owner of one of the rarest kitties around.

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Featured Image Credit: OksanaSusoeva, Shutterstock