Scotland is home to multiple wonders–Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness, The Kelpies, Jamie Fraser (for any Outlander fans reading, you know what I’m talking about!). Another wonder that Scotland is home to is a very unusual looking feline known as the Scottish Fold.
Discovered in 1961 on a farm in Perthshire, the first Scottish Fold was named Susie and possessed folded ears as the result of a natural mutation. Hold on to your kilts as we delve into everything you need to know about the Scottish Fold Cat!
Basic Characteristics of Scottish Folds
The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat weighing around 9-13 pounds and measures an average of 20 inches from head to tail. Their bodies possess a roundish shape, including the head and face. Their charming eyes can be green, gold, or blue and at the end of their face is a stubby little nose.
The most notable feature of the Scottish Fold is, indeed, their folding ears which give them an impish appearance. Due to a genetic mutation, Scottish Folds are born with straight ears that typically start to fold after 21 days from birth. Due to breeding, the ears can fold once, twice, or even three times. Don’t be fooled though, there are some Scottish Folds who have ears that don’t fold at all!
Scottish Folds are typically short-haired, but some do have long-haired coats. If you love a little variety and color in your life, you’re in luck because the Scottish Fold is available in many different shades. Despite the length of their fur, they can come in any combination of coat color including, white, black, red, blue, and cream. Color variations also include calico, bi-color, and tortoiseshell.
If you’re a people person, have kids, or other pets, the Scottish Fold is the cat for you! They are very sweet-natured and extremely friendly cats who LOVE to be around people and other cat-friendly animals. If you are nervous about bringing a Scottish Fold into your already full household, don’t fret! Just make sure you properly introduce other family members slowly and responsibly.
These cats possess a very tranquil and sociable disposition and crave attention, in a very non-demanding way. It has been stated that Scottish Folds are very fond of their pet parents and will follow them around and even play games! They will use their voice to get attention, but if loud, obnoxious meowing doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry because Scottish Folds tend to be soft-spoken.
Maintaining a healthy balance between exercise and nutrition is a good idea regardless of what pet you own. Scottish Folds are very playful and can be active cats. While they don’t require excessive exercise, they do enjoy playing and learning tricks. Many pet parents say that their Scottish Folds like to play fetch or solve treat puzzles. With yoga-like abilities, Scottish Folds are known to stand on their back legs as well as put themselves into unusual poses that may seem uncomfortable to most. These silly felines are typically found sleeping on their backs.
One thing that Scottish Folds thrive from is having a companion to play with, whether that is a human or animal friend. If you find yourself at work all day, your Scottish Fold would love to have a visitor, such as a pet sitter stop by for playtime. Given their friendly dispositions, you won’t have to worry about your Scottish Fold being standoffish with a new person in your home.
Grooming Your Scottish Fold
As previously mentioned, Scottish Folds can have short or long coats. Their coats can be particularly dense and, therefore, weekly brushing is recommended. Usually, you will only need to brush a short-haired Scottish Fold once a week and a long-haired biweekly. Not only will this help keep their fur looking clean and healthy, but it will also help to prevent any mats or hairballs. In order to keep the coat and skin clean and healthy, pet parents may want to consider monthly baths. If you know your cat isn’t a fan when it comes to baths, consider taking her to a groomer.
In addition to typical grooming, other weekly hygiene tasks include brushing your cat’s teeth and inspecting those infamous folds for any sign of irritation or infection. Other grooming duties would include keeping your cat’s nails trimmed. This can also be done by providing a scratching post for your feline to use at their own enjoyment.
Vet and Medical Care for Scottish Folds
Scottish Folds typically live between 11 and 15 years. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your cat maintains his or her best health in order to live a long and happy life. While relatively healthy animals, Scottish Folds are prone to some medical conditions that owners and potential pet parents may want to keep in mind.
Due to their folded ears, Scottish Folds can suffer from a skeletal condition known as osteochondrodystrophy. This specific breed has an incomplete autosomal dominant gene which affects cartilage and bone development. If a Scottish Fold is homozygous, meaning it has two of these genes, then it is predisposed to a serious condition of arthritis that can be crippling, even at a young age. If a Scottish Fold is heterozygous, having only one of these genes, it may develop arthritis, but typically not until later in life. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for this condition and it basically comes down to responsible breeding.
If you ever feel there may be something medically wrong with your pet it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your vet. Staying up to date with routine vet care and being proactive when you notice a change in your pet’s behavior can help prevent conditions from arising or worsening. Vet bills can escalate quickly so consider getting your cat pet insurance to assist with vet costs.
So, Is a Scottish Fold the Right Cat for You?
So let’s recap! You have a home with a loving family, either of the human of fur kind. You can dedicate a lot of time playing and entertaining a Scottish Fold. You are aware of and willing to take on any medical issues that could potentially arise with your new pet. If you answered yes to all these questions, then a Scottish Fold will probably adapt well to your lifestyle.
Please consider all these attributes before getting a Scottish Fold, but keep in mind that every cat is unique in their own way. If one or more of these features do not coincide with your current lifestyle, please consider a different breed. Buying a Scottish Fold from a breeder can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.
Keep in mind that adopting is always a rewarding option! Many purebred animals end up in shelters every single day. As always, Space Coast Pet Services is available for any of your fur baby needs, including cat sitters and pet taxis. Contact us or visit our website today for a full list of services.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, in 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, bonded, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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