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Science Diet - Vet's #1 Choice for Their Own Pets

A lively cat, the American Curl gets along well with people and loves to climb and jump.

     American Curl At a glance

Weight range:

Male: medium: 8-12 lbs.
Female: small: <8 lbs.

Eye color:

Amber, Aqua, Blue, Copper, Green, Gold, Hazel, Odd-eyed, Orange, Yellow


Longevity Range: 9-13 yrs.
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: Moderate


Length: Short, Medium
Characteristics: Silky, Smooth, Straight
Colors: White, Blue, Black, Red, Cream, Chocolate, Lilac, Silver, Golden, Tortoiseshell, Buttercream, Brown
Pattern: Solid color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Ticking, Smoke, Shaded, Points
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate, High

Club recognition:

Cat Association Recognition:
Prevalence: So-so

The American Curl Cat Breed

If provided with enough exercise space, American Curls tends to maintain their weight rather well.

This well-muscled cat, while not large, has a long body compared to the overall size. The American Curl has medium-sized bones so it is not a delicate cat despite the length of the body.

The head of the American Curl is wedge shaped with eyes that are shaped like a walnut. The tail is long. The unique feature, of course, is that the ears curl backwards. The ears are large, and curve in a smooth arc of at least 90 degrees. The natural fur in the ears is apparent. The tips of the ears should be flexible and can be handled without any complaints from the cat. 

The coat texture of the American Curl is silky, whether it is a short hair or a long hair. The hair length on the long haired curl is really more semi-long than long. The American Curl is accepted in all colors and patterns.


The American Curl is a lively cat. He is very interested in people and gets along well with his guardians. 

Living With:

The American Curl enjoys daily exercise. They relish cat trees in the house with perches for climbing and jumping. If they are provided with enough exercise space, they tend to maintain their weight rather well. They also like interactive play. While not considered a "lap cat," the Curl likes to be next to people.


In 1981 in California, a kitten was found by Joe and Grace Ruga. This kitten had the unique characteristic of having ears that curled backwards. The Rugas brought the kitten into the house, named her Shulamith, and she became the foundation of the American Curl breed. When Shulamith had her kittens, two of them also had the same curled ears. In addition, one of the kittens with the curled ears was a shorthaired cat instead of exhibiting the longer coat of Shulamith.

Shulamith and her remarkable kittens soon came to the attention of the cat fancy and the breed, called American Curl, began to attract people who were interested in breeding and exhibiting them. The breed became recognized for exhibition in the championship class at cat shows.