Face of brown and black American curl cat

American Curl Cat Care and Personality: What You Need to Know If You’re Thinking of Getting an American Curl Cat

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Last Updated: December 4, 2023

If you’re seeking a feline companion with a distinctive appearance and an affectionate personality, look no further than the American Curl cat. With their captivating curled ears and friendly demeanor, these cats have quickly won the hearts of both new and long-time cat lovers around the world.

Let’s get to know more about this cat breed!

Brief History

The American Curl breed originated in California in the early ‘80s upon the discovery of a stray cat that had unique curled ears. This cat, named Shulamith, caught the attention of cat enthusiast Joe Ruga, who decided to breed her and explore the genetic trait behind her curled ears.

Through selective breeding, the American Curl breed was established, and it gained recognition from various cat associations in the late 1980s.

Physical Features

The American Curl cat is of medium size, weighing between 6 and 12 pounds (2.7 and 5.4 kg) on average. It has a graceful, semi-foreign body type with a medium-length coat that comes in various patterns and colors. In addition, their most distinctive feature is their unique curled ears, which curl backward in an elegant arc.

However, it’s worth noting that American Curls are not hypoallergenic, though they shed less than some other cat breeds.

Black and grey American curl cat standing
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


With their affectionate and friendly nature, American Curl cats make wonderful companions. They are social creatures who enjoy being involved in their human family’s activities.

Additionally, these cats are intelligent, curious, and adaptable. They are generally not overly vocal, but they do enjoy engaging in conversations with their owners through gentle trills and chirps.

American Curls tend to have a moderate activity level, enjoying both playtime and relaxation. They appreciate interactive toys and games, so make sure to provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

In addition, this breed has a high level of sociability and gets along well with children and other pets when you properly introduce them.

Health Issues & Lifespan

American Curl cats generally enjoy good overall health. Their large gene pool keeps them from becoming susceptible to genetic diseases. However, their ears should be handled carefully to prevent damaging their cartilage. They should also be cleaned regularly to prevent infections.

With proper care, an American Curl can live a long and fulfilling life of around 12 to 16 years.

Special Care Needs

The American Curl cat has relatively low grooming needs due to its semi-long, silky coat. Regular brushing helps maintain their coat’s cleanliness and prevent matting.

Pay attention to the curled ears and gently clean them with a vet-approved ear cleaner to avoid any buildup.

Additionally, providing scratching posts and interactive toys can help keep their claws and minds engaged.

Who is the American Curl Cat Best Suited For?

  • Individuals or families seeking an affectionate and interactive companion
  • People with moderate activity levels who can provide playtime and mental stimulation
  • Those who appreciate a unique and eye-catching feline appearance
  • Families with children and other pets, given proper introductions
  • Owners who can provide a safe and stimulating indoor environment

Fun Facts

  • The degree of ear curl in American Curls can vary. Some have a subtle backward curve, while others have ears that curl in an almost complete arc. The curling process occurs during the kitten’s first few weeks of life.
  • Just like human fingerprints, each American Curl’s ear curl is unique. Each cat has its own distinct curl pattern, making them even more special and individual.
  • American Curl kittens are born with straight ears. The ears begin to curl between 5 and 10 days after birth, with the final shape not fully developed until around 16 weeks of age.
  • Unlike some other cat breeds with unique physical traits, the curling of the American Curl’s ears is a natural genetic mutation, not the result of selective breeding.
  • American Curls are often affectionately referred to as the “Peter Pan” of cats due to their perpetually youthful and playful personalities.
  • American Curls have gained popularity in the media world. They have appeared in commercials, television shows, and even movies, showcasing their unique and adorable features.
  • The American Curl breed has garnered recognition from various cat associations worldwide, including The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
  • American Curls tend to adapt well to travel. They handle long car rides or even plane journeys with relative ease, making them great companions for globetrotting cat lovers.
  • American Curls are highly curious cats and enjoy interactive play. They love exploring their surroundings, investigating new objects, and engaging in playful antics that can provide endless entertainment for their owners.

Final Thoughts

The American Curl cat is a captivating and friendly breed that offers a delightful combination of unique physical traits and an affectionate personality. With their curled ears, adaptable nature, and gentle disposition, they make excellent companions for a variety of individuals and families.

By understanding their specific needs and providing them with love, care, and attention, you can experience the joy and companionship that an American Curl cat brings to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are American Curl cats good with children?

American Curls are generally good with children and can form strong bonds with them. However, it’s important to supervise interactions and teach children how to handle cats gently.

Can American Curl cats be left alone for long periods?

While American Curls enjoy human company, they can tolerate being alone for moderate periods. However, they thrive on social interaction, so it’s best to provide companionship whenever possible.

Do American Curl cats require a lot of grooming?

American Curls have moderate grooming needs. Regular brushing and occasional ear cleaning are usually sufficient to keep their coat and ears in good condition.

Are American Curl cats indoor or outdoor cats?

It’s best to keep American Curls as indoor cats to protect them from potential dangers such as accidents, diseases, and predators. However, supervised outdoor time in a secure environment can be enjoyable for them.

Are American Curl cats prone to excessive shedding?

American Curls shed moderately, so they do produce some loose hair. It’s important to regularly brush them to minimize the shedding and keep their coat healthy.

Do American Curl cats require a specific diet?

American Curls have no specific dietary requirements. Feed them balanced, high-quality cat food suitable for their age, and consult your veterinarian for any specific dietary recommendations.

Can American Curl cats be trained?

Yes, American Curls are intelligent, and you can train them using positive reinforcement techniques. They enjoy interactive play sessions and respond well to training efforts.

Are American Curl cats vocal?

American Curls are not particularly vocal compared to some other breeds. They communicate through soft trills and chirps rather than loud meowing.

Are American Curl cats prone to ear infections?

The unique ear shape of the American Curl cat does not make them more prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning and routine veterinary care can help prevent any potential issues.

Are American Curl cats high-energy cats?

American Curls are moderately active cats. They enjoy playtime and interactive toys, but they are not as high-energy as some other breeds.

Featured Image Credit: tanakawho, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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