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.