The Scottish Fold is normal cat with a difference – its ears are folded against its head. As its name indicates, the Scottish Fold originated from Scotland. It was discovered by a farmer and cat breeder named William Ross, who noticed the cat with the strange ears on his neighbour’s farm. He used their kitten, a long haired, white Scottish Fold named Susie for breeding more kittens with folded ears. They became a registered breed in the 1970s.
The Scottish Fold’s folded ears are actually due to a defect in the cartilage of their ears. Due to this cartilage fault, some Scottish Folds may also experience stiff legs and tails and this must be inspected in every cat show. Strangely enough not every kitten born as a Scottish Fold will have folded ears, although the fold is the predominate gene. To keep the breed’s gene healthy, a folded ear Scottish Fold should always be outcrossed by a non-folded. Scottish Folds with normal ears cannot be entered for cat shows but are invaluable for breeding plans and still make good pets.
There are different degrees of folds for the ears – single fold, double fold and even triple fold. With a triple fold, the ears are folded so closely against the head; it almost looks like the cat has no ears at all! The eyes of the Scottish fold are huge and give it an owl-like appearance enhanced by its folded ears. Scottish folds can come in the short and longhaired variety and in almost every colour except Siamese point. Their body type is stocky, well-padded with shorter thick legs and they have dense coats. Scottish Folds have been compared to cuddly teddy bears.
The Scottish Fold is a non-fussy cat. Folds usually are sociable, but quiet. They seem to like sleeping in strange positions, such as on their back or on their tummies with legs spread out. They are generally low maintenance cats, but care should be taken to clean their ears and prevent ear infection, especially with the triple fold.