The Scottish Fold cat is readily identified by its forward folded ears, which give it an owlish look. Its large, shining eyes add to its feline appeal, complementing its sweet and gentle nature nicely. First appearing in the early 1960s, this cat breed is among the calmest. It is quiet and able to go about its daily business without vocalisation. When it does talk, it does so in a soft voice.
The Scottish Fold gets along with other pets and humans of all ages, making it a popular choice among families and individual owners.
In 1961, a white cat with unusually folded ears was found by a shepherd in a barn in Scotland. When the feline, named Susie, had a litter, 2 of the kittens had the same folded ears. A neighbour, cat fancier William Ross, bought one of the said kittens and bred it with his own cat to develop a new breed. With the help of a geneticist, Ross was able to propagate the breed. The first three years yielded 76 Scottish Fold kittens, 42 of them with folded ears. It was later found out that the folded ears were due to a dominant gene.
In the beginning, Ross called the new breed “lop eared,” as inspired by a similar trait among rabbits. It was registered with the GCCF in 1966. The breed name was later changed to Scottish Fold. However, in 1970, the GCCF halted Scottish Fold registrations because of the risk of developing ear problems due to the mutation.
Just as the Scottish Fold registrations waned in the UK, it arrived in the US in 1970. In 1973, the breed was recognised by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. In 1978, it was awarded championship status.
All Scottish Fold cats can trace its parentage to Susie. Today, it is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
Appearance and Grooming
This cute cat has a medium-sized body that has a rounded shape, which lends it a very endearing look. Averaging 6-13 lbs, its body has a padded appearance and legs that are medium to short and proportionate to its body. The feet are rounded with neat toes. The tail is proportionate to its frame.
Its head is rounded and cheeks are prominent. Its eyes are large and round, adding to the adorable appeal of this breed. The eye colour is typically dependent on the coat colour. Its ears, the most distinctive feature for this breed, are folded forward and downward. It could be a single, double, or triple fold. Scottish Fold kittens are generally born with straight ears, however, they fold in 3 weeks. Interestingly, not all Scottish Fold cats have folded ears. Only 40% develop them, although the ones with straight ears are still valuable in developing the breed.
The Scottish Fold cat’s coat can be short or long. The short coat variety, which is more prevalent, is more dense, plush, and resilient. This feline’s coat can come in any combination or colour.
Temperament and Intelligence
Energetic but not hyperactive, the Scottish Fold cat likes attention but it is not needy. It also exhibits canine traits. This cat breed is smart, gentle, obedient, and highly adaptable. Aside from its adorably round features, its affectionate nature has won over many feline fans. It is a great companion cat as it likes to follow its humans around and get involved in their activities. It tends to gravitate to one person in a household. As it gets along well with children and other pets, it makes for a wonderful family pet.
A trademark pose of this breed is the Buddha position, where it sits back and places its paws on its belly. Another charming trait of this feline is its preference for sleeping on its back. It is also known to do various tasks, even eat, using its paws. Although it is rather dog-like in its devotion to its human, the Scottish Fold does not vocalise too much. However, it will talk back when spoken to or to remind you about its meals.
Nutrition and Feeding
The Scottish Fold cat should be given a nutritious diet that fulfils its breed’s nutritional requirements. It should be consistently given the same food following the same feeding schedule. If there are changes to its diet, those must be done gradually to avoid digestive problems.
The portion of each meal should depend on its weight, age, and activity level. The food must have at least 25% protein and just 5% carbohydrates.
Health and Exercise
The Scottish Fold cat has an average life expectancy of 12–15 years. The Scottish fold is generally a health cat breed, but she is prone to develop hereditary health issues like osteochondrodystophy. This condition affects bone and cartilage development. Other conditions that the Scottish Fold cat is susceptible to are cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease.
To make sure that you get a well-bred Scottish Fold kitten, acquire one from breeders that provide health guarantees. Make sure that the kitten does not have skeletal abnormalities like inflexible legs or thick and short tail. Make it a habit to regularly visit the vet to keep your cat in top shape.
The Scottish Fold is a moderately active cat that likes to hang out with her family. She likes to be showered with attention. To help keep her in tip-top shape, schedule a few sessions of playtime every day.
As an intelligent feline, the Scottish Fold enjoys interactive games with her humans. She is also a quick learner; she can be trained to play fetch or master a few tricks.
Because the Scottish Fold is not a highly active feline, she needs to be motivated to exercise. Make sure to get her a tall cat tower and scratching posts so she can do some physical activities indoors.
Cost of Ownership
The price for a well-bred kitten ranges from £400-1,000. Insurance costs would reach £12 (basic) to £25 (lifetime) a month. The food expenses may be £15-£20 monthly. For vaccinations, boosters, annual checks and other veterinary costs, pet care costs may add up to more than £600 yearly.
On average, a Scottish Fold owner will spend about £40-£60 per month. The insurance costs can also influence the expenses. For its lifetime (12-15 years), the expenses can be as low as £5,760 to as high as £10,800. This range does not include the expenses incurred in buying a Scottish Fold kitten.
Scottish Fold Breed Highlights
- The Scottish Fold cat is a very affectionate and gentle feline that loves human company, making it a good family pet.
- This cat breed has dog-like traits, such as following its owners around and enjoying a game of fetch.
- It needs to be combed a number of times weekly to keep its coat mat-free.
- Although not as active as other cats, the Scottish Fold likes to play and cuddle.
- As it thrives on company, this feline will not do well if left alone for long periods.
- The Scottish Fold is a healthy breed but is exposed to the risk of developing skeletal abnormalities.
Are you sure the Scottish Fold is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
Cat Breed Selector Quiz