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American Curls

On a June day in 1981 in Lakewood, California, a black kitten with a long shiny, silky coat, large golden eyes and uniquely curled ears showed up on the doorstep of Joe and Grace Ruga's home. Joe told Grace not to feed the kitten, but when he returned from work one day he found a bowl of milk on the porch for her. From that moment on "Shulamith" grew to be a loving and affectionate member of the family and Joe's cat. Six months later "Shulamith" delivered her first litter of four kittens, two had ears that curled like their mother's.  

In 1983 selective breeding of the Curls commenced and a rare, new addition presented to the cat world. Due to their domestic ancestry American Curls are available in both longhair and shorthair varieties, and can be any colour or coat pattern. Domestic longhair and shorthair cats are the only allowable outcross in South Africa.

he curled ear is a natural genetic mutation, resultant of a single dominant gene. This is a healthy breed, with no problems associated with the gene. When Curls are born their ears are straight and only begin to curl 24 to 72 hours after birth, and continue to curl and unfurl until 12 to 16 weeks of age. The degree of curl can vary, ranging from an almost straight ear (pet quality) to a show quality ear with an arc of 90-180 degrees. When breeding Curl to Curl, the resulting kittens will usually all have curled ears. However, breeding to a straight ear cat, regardless of whether or not it is a domestic cat or an American Curl Straight Ear, will produce at least 50% Curls and sometimes more due to the dominant nature of the curl gene. American Curl Straight Eared cats from such litters are thus very valuable in a planned breeding program and also make outstanding pets.

The Curls are people-oriented, faithful, and very affectionate and playful, adjusting quickly to other pets, children and new situations. They will wake you up in the morning by patting your face or by licking your eyelids, until you get up and pay them the attention they crave. They are an exuberant breed, and love life to the fullest. They are playful, but still content to curl up in your lap and nap while you watch television or read a book. They are respectful to animals already in the home, as well as any new ones that you may bring in after them. They are playful throughout adulthood and every now and then love a good game of chasing each other through the house.

They are inquisitive and often "assist" with household tasks (so be prepared!).  Curls are talkative and express their curiosity and opinions through chirping or chirruping sounds and with gentle head-butts. They love to be stroked and any kind of attention is welcomed.  They are intelligent and will come running when called.  Indy, our stud, continually wags his tail, just like a puppy.  It is quite amusing watching this tail-wagging, chirruping boy following me around the house.

Distinguished by ears that curl backward in a graceful arc giving an alert, happy appearance, the Curl has a medium-sized rectangular body with a silky flat-lying medium longhaired coat or short resilient coat in the case of the shorthair cats.  Curls are well balanced, moderately muscled and slender rather than massively built.  They have expressive walnut-shaped eyes.  The Curl head is a medium-sized modified wedge and in proportion to the body.  The muzzle is slightly rounded without a pronounced whisker break, with a firm chin.  

No known health problems have been associated with the American Curl. So, kept up to date on vaccinations, and taken well care of, your Curl can be expected to live a long and healthy life.

Silverleaf only feeds Hills

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