American Curl Cat: Characteristics, Personality, and Breed Information

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American Curl
United States
Adult weight
5-10 pounds
Life Span
11-15 years
Curious, intelligent, social, playful
Other Names
"Peter Pan" of the cat world
Small-sized short to medium hair
$1,000 - $2,000
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Personality and Temperament

The American curl cat gets its name from its ears, which curl backward, creating a unique shell-like shape. Just in case you're wondering whether this breed shares any genetics with the Scottish fold, the answer is no. Both breeds are distinct, with different characteristics.

Far more sociable than the average cat, these friendly felines like to greet their families at the door and follow them around the house. They like children and they have a tendency to get along well with other pets.

American curl cats come in every color and pattern imaginable, in both long and shorthair varieties. They have very little undercoat, and their topcoats tend to feel very soft and silky.

In addition to their signature ear shape, the American curl cat is known for having a long, luxurious tail.

As you might imagine, American curl cats with very curly ears are often reserved as show cats. Breeders tend to offer cats that have a less pronounced curve to their ear structure as pets.

About the American Curl Cat
American Curl Cat Care










These cats do not have any special nutritional needs. We recommend feeding your American curl cat a high-quality, meat-based diet. Even though these kitties are extraordinarily sweet and friendly, they are still obligate carnivores!

Just like all other cats, the American curl does a pretty good job of grooming itself. Treat them to a light brushing a few times per week, regular nail trims, and ear cleaning when necessary.

American curl cats are playful and appreciate interactive games with their families. These cats like to play fetch and will quickly learn how to carry small balls, toys, and pieces of crumpled up paper.

The American curl may have a unique appearance, but the breed has another common trait that links them to other felines: They love to climb and they need to scratch. Your American curl cat will appreciate a multilevel cat tree, a window perch, and a selection of toys to play with.

Since these cats want to be wherever their families are, you may have to initiate play to prevent them from having too much couch time. Don't worry – it'll be just as much fun for you as it is for them!

As you might imagine, these American curl cats have some special needs when it comes to caring for their ears. The lower portion of the ear cartilage is very stiff and stable, but the upper portion of the ear is thin and fragile. You'll need to use a light touch when clearing away any wax. A gentle ear cleaning solution can help.

In addition, pet parents should watch for signs of ear infection.

American curl cats are generally healthy and have a lifespan that extends to an average of approximately 15 years.


All American curl cats can trace their heritage back to a stray, long-haired black female cat that ultimately found a home with a Lakewood, California family in 1981. They named the cat Shulamith and when she gave birth to a litter of kittens six months later, they had unique curled ears like their mother's.

Selective breeding began two years later, in 1983. It was discovered that the ear curling gene that gives these cats their distinct appearance is autosomal dominant, meaning any cat with even a single copy of the gene will have the curled ear trait.

During initial development of the American curl cat breed, feline geneticist Roy Robinson analyzed all crosses and found no defects. This breed has been an important one ever since then, thanks to its good health, its unique appearance, and its outstanding, friendly personality.

American Curl Cat History
About the American Curl Cat


The American curl cat has walnut shaped eyes that are oval on top and rounder at the bottom. The eyes should be set at a slight angle between the tip of the nose and the base of the ears, one eye width apart.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be of medium length, with medium boning. The feet should have a rounded shape and should be of medium size.


The American curl's tail should be the same length as its body. It should be wide at the base with a tapering shape.

The Breed Standard


The American curl has a lean, elegant body with moderate muscle mass and a fairly slender build. Females should weigh between five and 8 pounds, and males should weigh between seven and 10 pounds.


The head is a modified wedge shape with no flat plains. It is longer than it is wide. The nose should be moderate in length with a straight, slight rise that extends from the bottom of the eyes to the four head followed by a gentle curve toward the top of the head.


The American curl is named for its ears, which have a distinctly curled profile. There should be a minimum of 90 degrees arc of curl and a maximum of 180 degrees arc of curl. The American curl's ears should be wider at the base, with an open shape and rounded, flexible tips. They should be moderately large, and they should be placed equally on the side and top of the head. Ear furnishings are desirable.


American curl cats may have long or short coats.


All colors and patterns are acceptable in both the long and short hair coat divisions. Nose leather and paw pad colors correspond to coat colors.


How much does a American Curl cat cost?

American Curl cats cost between $1,000 - $2,000.

How big do American Curl cats get?

American Curl cats tend to be small in size. A fully grown American Curl cat might weigh between 5-10 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 8"-10" inches tall.

How long do American Curl cats live?

The Average lifespan for American Curl is 11-15 years.

Do American Curl cats shed?

American Curl are short-haired cats. Therefore, they do not shed as much as long-haired cat breeds.

3 thoughts on “American Curl”

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  1. Julie Jordan

    My 2 1/2 yr old purebred neutered male American Curl doesn’t have the curl- which I prefer and because of that was only 400$ Purchased from breeder at the San Diego Cat Show in Del Mar CA. He is cream and rust color, green eyes, very affectionate , long soft hair- not as long as a Himalayan. 11.5 lbs. very playful. Sometimes fetches. Likes to push little things off of counters. Sheds a lot though. Afraid of thunder and fireworks. Very spoiled.

  2. Tonie Beaudet

    They are an absolute joy. I rescued 2 from a shelter in NJ. Never had heard of them. Had to look them up on the internet. My male has perfect Siamese coloring and points, my female has snowshoe Siamese coloring. and they both have beautiful blue eyes. They are very playful and curious about everything. They follow me around the house like puppies. I am so in love with them. I would recommend the breed to anyone looking for a companion kitty.