The American Curl Cat is a breed of cat with a distinctive curled-up tail and ears. This breed originated from a spontaneous genetic mutation that occurred in 1980 in Lakewood, California. It is theorized that the curl gene was introduced into the domestic cat population from wild cats living near farms or ranches where curly coated barn cats were present after several generations.

The American Curl was born in June 1981 when a cat’s ears spontaneously curled in the domestic cat population. A California cat named Shulamith was the first recorded American Curl, and became popular in 1983 after being featured on an episode of “That’s Incredible”. The Cat Fanciers’ Association began recognizing the breed in 1986.

In  1981, two cats with ears that curled backwards arrived on the doorstep of a couple in Lakewood, California. One of the cats died shortly afterward, but the other female, named Shulamith remained a member of the family and had her name changed to “Pooka”.

In 1981, a Shulamith cat gave birth to kittens that had curled-back ears. Two of the kittens were from the same litter, meaning they had been born with those ear types. A local longhaired tom cat was not a carrier of the gene for curly-ear type and did not have those traits himself.  Nancy Kiester ended up with these curly-eared cats, which she liked because they were gentle.

Kiester realized that these kittens might be an entirely new breed. He proved this was true and from there the American Curl was recognized and promoted.

Physical Appearance

The American Curl is a breed of cat that was developed in the 1970s. It has an attractive, unique curl in its ears. The ears often appear to be well proportioned and balanced and can vary in size.

The head is modified wedge with a smooth transition from forehead to nose. The nose is straight and moderate in length, while the top of the head flows into the neck without a break, Size medium in proportion to body. The muzzle is rounded with gentle transition.

American curl with good physical appearance

The American Curl cats are typically medium sized cat but can be seen in a variety of sizes. The ears are long and rounded at the tips, with a curve when viewed from the side, erected on both side of the head. They have medium length hair that appears to be moderate in strength and tone. Their backs are strong and smooth, tapering towards their abdomen.

The American curl is a large, muscular cat with a round head and eyes that are oval on top and round at the bottom. The eyes must be one eye width apart and slightly angled between the base of the ear and the tip of the nose. They come in all colors and patterns including pointed pattern, pointed with white, ticked tabby, shaded.

The American Curl is a breed of cat that has a distinctive hair-curl, which makes it look like its ears are folded forward. It has a short or long coat that lies flat against the body. The long-haired American Curl is plumed. The matured cat weighs like 5-10 lbs.


American Curls are  breed who love spending time with humans. They show affection, and are playful and interactive in every way imaginable. They adapt well to other animals and children, and will even roll with the flow of any situation. Faithful and dog-like, Curls follow their humans around wherever they go.

American curl displaying it behaviour

Training and Caring

The American Curl will want to keep an active lifestyle even as it ages. Long after other cat breeds have retired to a life of sunning themselves on the windowsill all day, the American Curl wants to spend more time playing than your average cat. The American Curl can be trained to do a few tricks, which makes them quite responsive.

American curl ready for training and caring

A short-haired American Curl has very little grooming needs whereas a long-haired cat will require weekly brushing. In addition to brushing, like all cats, your American Curl should have their teeth brushed regularly and will also need their nails trimmed every couple of weeks.


American Curls are generally healthy cats, but they can have a few health conditions. Kidney disease is one of the main issues American Curls face. Other problems include periodontal (gum) disease, heartworm disease, and feline immunodeficiency virus. These all have different life spans; some are short while others are long. The American Curl also has an average life span of 12-15 years.


Kehinde Ezekiel is a freelance writer who has covered many topics, including home improvement, gardening, pets, tech, and parenting.

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