If you’re looking for an affectionate, caring and beautiful breed of cat to add to your family, look no further than the Scottish Fold. With a prestigious heritage and a lifetime of pleasure for your family, this breed is a perfect addition to a cat-loving household and it easily provides a lifetime of enjoyment, fulfillment and affection.
The Scottish Fold, named for its peculiar yet adorable folded ears, was first noticed in 1961 by a Scottish Shepherd. He took notice of a cat on a neighboring farm because of its “folded” ears – a birth trait that is made possible by a dominant gene within the cartilage of the ears – creating a folded, shortened appearance. As the shepherd continued to investigate, he realized that the breed was not formerly known. When he adopted a “folded” cat from his neighbor’s litter and later produced two “folded” kittens himself, he attempted to gain recognition for the breed but encountered resistance. The breed was officially recognized by the CFA in 1973, later receiving the coveted champion status in 1978.
The ears of a Scottish Fold cat fold down and forwards but the ears remain fully functional. They’re able to tilt and swivel in a typical feline fashion – and can even be laid flat against the head when expressing anger. The gene that causes this unique fold is a dominant trait. In order to produce Scottish Fold offspring, at least one parent must have the unique folded ear. Scottish Fold interbreeding leads to an increased chance of skeletal deformities. Like all other breeds of cat, continually inbreeding produces a higher chance of genetic problems that can lead to more serious medical conditions throughout the life of the cat.
Potential Breed Problems
When Scottish Folds are interbred, they have a high likelihood of skeletal problems as well as an increased risk for congenital osteodystrophy which enlarges and distorts the underlying bone structure. If your cat exhibits difficulty in moving or unusual density of the bones, you will need to have your cat checked by a certified veterinarian. This often presents itself as an unusual thickness in the tail or the legs.
While all Fold cats eventually acquire the trait-specific folded ear, they are not born that way. Scottish Fold kittens are originally born with straight ears. The fold appears about 3-4 weeks after birth. The unusual and characteristic fold can also lead to almost-inevitable ear problems such as increased wax buildup or dirt. The cats are also just as likely to have problems with ear mites as other cat breeds, and owners should watch carefully for signs of an ear infection due to improper or irregular cleaning. While early cat bred studies led researchers to believe that Fold cats were susceptible to deafness, this is no longer thought to be true.
Scottish Folds are easily adaptable to new or changing environments. They are typically very sweet, affectionate and loving. They are not very vocal, and tend to be extremely quiet and observant animals. While they will demonstrate affection towards multiple people, they do have a tendency to single out one family member and bond with them exclusively on a deeper level. They love attention, but don’t want to be forced into it. They want to choose when to receive attention, and they will often go to their “chosen” human to receive it – becoming almost like a shadow to the one person that they uniquely bond with. Scottish Folds are highly intelligent and curious animals that like to explore in a safe environment where they feel loved and protected.
While they appreciate a close relationship with their family and others, they aren’t incredibly fond of being held and they certainly can’t be classified as “clingy” or “whiny”. They’d much prefer to sit next to you while you go about your daily activities rather than being held on a lap or in your arms. They are also incredibly playful and can easily learn to play fetch or play with other cat toys. Their playful and inquisitive nature will continue throughout their lifetimes, and it’s not likely to dissipate once they reach adulthood.
Caring for the Scottish Fold
Folds, especially long-haired breeds need to be regularly maintained in order to achieve maximum health. They need to be regularly brushed – at least once a week. Their ears also need to be regularly cleaned and examined for wax build up or ear mites. Scottish Fold cats need to be washed occasionally with a good, high-quality cat shampoo. Their diet needs to be high in nutrients like vitamins and protein. The most important aspect of caring for a Scottish Fold is to be sure to shower them with lots and lots of love, exercise and playful affection.
Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com