interesting facts about scottish fold cats

Scottish cats are the closest relatives of British shorthair cats.

Are you here to learn some fun facts about Scottish Fold cats? You’re in the right place!

The history of the Scottish breed began in 1961, when Susie, a long-haired white cat with floppy ears, was born on a Scottish farm. The owners showed it to local breeders, who became interested in such a spontaneous mutation and began to cultivate lop-earedness, christening the future breed “Scottish Fold”. But as a result of selection, it turned out that if you combine folds with folds, kittens appear with diseases of the musculoskeletal system. For this reason, the English felinological organization banned the breeding of the Scottish breed.

In the 70s, already American genetic scientists resumed work on breeding this breed. As a result, it was possible to create an excellent breed with soft rounded shapes, various colors and unique lop-earedness, practically eliminating the manifestation of the harmful effects of the mutation.

scottish fold cat stretched out on a table

Breeders Master Class on THE Scottish Fold CAT

If you want to learn more about the breed, click the title above or the “zoom” image to the right and enter the password: 1!Magnificats to watch a video by the breed specialist Marilee Griswold, MD with 25+ years experience

Types of Scottish Breeds

As a result of selection work, it turned out that only mating between fold-eared and straight-eared Scots gives a full-fledged and viable offspring, although not all kittens inherit folded ears. In the offspring of cats of the Scottish breed, at best, half of the kittens have a coveted trait. As you know, all Scots are born with the same ears, but by day 21, someone becomes a fold, and someone becomes a straight. It may happen that everyone in the litter will be straight. Scottish fold cat can have different degrees of “fold”: single, double and even triple. And it depends on genetics. The fact is that the edges of the ear are bent so because of the excessive weakness of the cartilage, it simply cannot keep the ear in a straight state. Three months later, it is already possible to determine whether a cat belongs to a certain class – show (show), tribal (breed) or domestic (pet). Representatives of cats with lowered ears belong to the exhibition type, which everyone dreams of getting.

Today, when crossing folds with straights, four types of kittens can appear:

  • Highland fold (fold longhair) SFL
  • Highland Straight (Straight-Eared Semi-Longhair) SFL
  • Scottish Straight (Straight-eared Shorthair) SFS
scottish fold cat folded ears striped tail window lounging

Appearance of Scottish FOLD Cat

The body is dense, of medium size and length. The paws are rounded, of medium length and thickness, with tightly clenched toes. The average weight of an adult animal is 3-5.5 kilograms (6.5-12lbs). The head and muzzle are round, the chin and mustache pads are also rounded. Cheeks are full. The nose is short, wide, straight with a slight deflection. The eyes are wide open, large, round, wide set. The look is cute, like an owl. The color should be in harmony with the color of the coat. The tail is medium or long in proportion to the body and must be flexible.

Highland Fold and Scottish Folds are lop-eared cats, this is their unique trait. The ears are small, set close to the head, with slightly rounded tips, ideally facing the outer corner of the eye. The ears are almost invisible in the Highland Fold due to the long coat. Particularly prized are folds whose ears are as small as possible and folded as tightly as possible. An exhibition copy is when the ears are so close to the head that they practically do not go beyond its contour. Highland Straight and Scottish Straight are straight-eared cats. The ears of the straights are small or medium in size, erect with slightly pointed tips, set wide and high. The inclination of the ear is almost absent. The ends are slightly flared. The outer surfaces of the ears are well furred. Inside are dense and lush brushes.

Highland Fold and Highland Straight are semi-longhair cats. Their coat is thick, with an undercoat, with a distinct color tail and hind area, has a silk texture, does not require special care. It is shorter on the belly, body and legs. Scottish Fold and Scottish Straight are shorthair cats. Their coat is double textured, with a pronounced undercoat lying close to the body. Their coat is like plush fur, which the cat itself takes excellent care of.

There are a lot of colors of fur: lilac, white, brindle, marble, golden, spotted, black, blue, red – and so on.  All colors are accepted.

scottish fold cat with big green eyes and folded ears

Character of Scottish Cats

The muzzle of the Scots, open with wide-open eyes, corresponds to the character of this animal. The Scottish Fold is a companion cat, docile and intelligent creature. Through careful selection, cowardly and aggressive individuals were bred from breeding. Therefore, complaisance and positive temperament are at the gene level. Scottish kitties get along well with all family members, including children and other animals. Therefore, they can be considered ideal family pets. Because of their uniqueness and difficulty in breeding, many people think that the Scots require some special care. In fact, they are practically no different from an ordinary cat. These cats can stand on their hind legs, sit on their butts and sleep on their backs. Rumor has it that cats standing up in a “column” knead their spine in this way.

scottish fold cat snoozing with this paw by his face

Two Varieties of Scottish FOLD

It is also necessary to know that there are two genetic lines of the Scottish Fold cat: European and American. In Europe, the breeding of folds was built on crossing with representatives of the British Shorthair breed. As a result, Scottish Folds of the European line of breeding have a strong skeleton and loosely pressed, big ears, and their brothers Scottish Fold Straights until recently were generally registered as British.

Since 2004, Scottish Straights (straight-eared Scottish) were registered as a breed of “Scottish Shorthair” with the right to participate in the championship. Therefore, in the pedigrees under the symbol BRI (British) until 2004 there could be both a British and a Scottish Fold Straight. Many buyers prefer European bred Scottish Folds as they are large and plush, like the British, but with hanging ears. The Scottish Straights are no different from the British at all and sometimes you can find a Scottish Fold Straight much larger than a purebred British; it is considered the “British Scottish Fold”. The American breeding system had slightly different objectives. The American Scottish Fold was conceived as not a large, not heavy animal with a long and flexible tail. At first, they crossed with the American Shorthair cat, but later American geneticists began to cross lop-eared kittens with straight-eared kittens, which they began to call “Scottish Straights”. With the help of straights, it was possible to improve the shape and fit of the ears of the folds, as well as to lengthen the tail. The tail, long and tapered towards the end, led to an elongation of the entire body. That is why, in accordance with American standards, the Scottish Fold is an animal of medium size, with rounded lines with strong, but not massive bones. American Scottish folds have ears tightly pressed to the head, the tail is longer than that of the British.

scottish fold cat bathing in the sun in a window


A Scottish Fold cat can be considered PEDIGREE only if it has a metric indicating that specific breed. In this case, depending on the selected variety of Scot, the metric should indicate “SFL”, “SFS” or “SCL”. If there are no documents, and the cat is similar to this breed, then this is only a phenotypic similarity, nothing more.

Why should you buy a kitten only in a specialized cattery with documents? These documents will allow you to be sure that the kitten is genetically healthy, that the breeder approached his birth responsibly, that the mating was between genetically healthy animals, and genetically suitable.

If you are not a breeder, and if you are not going to participate in exhibitions, then it is of paramount importance for you whether your kitten’s ears are tight or not very tight and whether his tail is long or slightly shorter?  

The main thing you need to pay attention to when buying a Scottish Fold Kitten is:

  • is your kitten healthy?
  • what is his character?
  • in what conditions does the kitten live with the breeder,?
  • are they active?
  • do they have a wrinkled tail?

Scottish Straights have an outward resemblance to the British Shorthair, but are not its twin breed. And even more so, there is no breed “lop-eared Brit”! The main difference is the shape of the ears. The British have small, erect ears with slightly rounded tips. The Scots are also small in size, but folded down and forward, the body is smaller and more graceful, the head is also smaller and rounder. Crossing these two lines is bad for both breeds, so it is unacceptable.

facts about scottish fold cats

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