Scottish Fold cats are a relatively new breed, only having been around since the 1960s. Despite their short history, Scottish Folds have quickly become popular pets thanks to their adorable folded ears and friendly personalities.
With their closely tucked ears, large eyes, and round face, these friendly and affectionate cats have been compared to the looks of an owl.
They are known to be very intelligent as well as sensitive, active and expressive. Their popularity has grown in recent years due to a number of celebrities showing off their Scottish Folds on social media. Taylor Swift has two Scottish Folds, which she regularly shares photos and videos of on Instagram.
In this guide we will cover everything you need to know about the Scottish Fold including information on their characteristics, how to care for them and some fascinating facts about this majestic breed of cat.
Scottish Fold Breed Overview
|Height||8 to 10 inches (20 – 25cm)|
|Weight||6 to 9 pounds (female)/ 9 to 13 pounds (male)|
|Cost||$1500 – $2500|
|Good with||Children, adults, seniors, dogs, other cats and families|
|Temperament||Affectionate, sociable and friendly|
|Coat||Hairless / Short|
|Activity level||Calm & chilled|
lavender / silver
blue / gray
black / ebony
red / orange
cream / beige / tan
calico / tri-color
|Traits||easy to train|
easy to groom
friendly with other pets
friendly with strangers
friendly with humans
doesn’t like being alone for long periods of time
tolerates being picked up
house & outdoor cats
Appearance of a Scottish Fold
The Scottish fold is a delight for the eyes. It is one of the most gorgeous cat breeds around. They have a lovely round head which looks even rounder with the folded ears. They have large bright round eyes, which make the breed even more striking.
Their ears are folded forward, which gives them their distinctive Scottish Fold appearance.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns, including solid, tabby, tabby and white, bicolor, and particolor.
The colour of the eyes is determined by the colour of the coat. White and bicolor cats, for example, can have blue or odd eyes (where each eye is a different color). Where as blue and darker colored cats will have yellow eyes.
They have a short thick coat which is easy to care for and feels amazing when you stroke them.
Some registries accept the Scottish Fold Longhair, a longhaired version of the Scottish Fold. Their longer coats can vary in texture and require regular grooming.
A Scottish fold needs brushing once a week. Why do they need brushing? Well it’s always good to brush your cat so to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils.
With the longer hair Scottish Fold, they may need to be groomed a couple of times per week to help prevent tangles in their coat.
Scottish Folds tend to get a bit of discharge around the eyes. To remove this, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the corners of the eyes. To avoid the spread of infection, use a separate area of the cloth for each eye.
Because of their folded ears, it’s a good ideas to examine them on a weekly basis, especially if their ears are tightly folded. If there’s any dirt, use a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water to clean them. Cotton swabs should be avoided because they can cause damage to the ear’s interior.
Traditionally, Scottish Folds are indoor-only cats, but my two Folds love going outside. In fact they only come in when they want to sleep.
The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat with a slim build. Males tend to weigh between 9 – 13lbs and females will weigh between 6 to 9 lbs.
Overall, Scottish Folds are a healthy breed of cat with an average lifespan of 15 years, which is a very good age for a cat.
With most pedigreed and mixed breed cats, both have will have specific health problems that may be genetic in nature.
The Scottish Fold has a few issues that they may encounter in their lifetime. Note that not all Scottish Fold will have these problems.
- Upset stomach
- Feline upper respiratory disease
- Diabetes mellitus
Degenerative joint disease
This is particularly an issue with the tail but also in the ankle and knee joints. This can result in pain or limited mobility. The tail of Scottish fold cats can become stiff, so it must be handled with caution.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease. It has been observed in the breed, but has yet to be proven that it is a heritable form of the disease.
Regardless of how healthy your cat is when you first bring them home, you should plan for any problems that may arise during their lifetime.
Personality of a Scottish Fold
Scottish folds are gentle and loving cats. They love being around their owner and will occasionally follow you around the house. They love nothing more than company and will want to join in with whatever their owner / family are doing.
Scottish folds are known for some unusual traits. You will often see them standing up on their hind legs like a meerkat or lying down, flat out like a dog or a frog. I actually have a Scottish Fold. He’s the one in the picture above. His name is Buttons. He will lie down on his back and meows until I rub his tummy. They love a good stroke!
Scottish Folds are quite vocal. They will let you know when they want something. Their communication skills are off the scale when compared to other breeds.
They don’t like being left at home for long periods of time. If you are considering a Scottish fold cat as a pet, take this into consideration. I actually bought two Scottish Folds because I knew that we’d be out of the house for long periods of the day. Here they are as kittens..
My other fold is called Basil. He is the brother of Buttons, but his ears didn’t fold! See below..
History of the Scottish Fold
It all started from a cat named Susie.
She was a white cat with unusual folded ears who lived on a farm in Scotland’s Tayside region.
All breeds of Scottish Folds today can be traced back to Susie.
As with most creations of new cat breeds, it is reliant on a natural genetic mutation in an otherwise ordinary cat. This was the case with the Scottish Fold. Susie had the unusual genetic mutation of having both ears folded down.
The whole Scottish Fold breed of cat may never have come about had it not been for William Ross. He was a shepherd who in 1961, adopted one of Susie’s kittens. The kitten was a female named Snooks.
Snooks had kittens naturally, and one of them, a male, was bred to a British Shorthair. Thus began the evolution of what were initially known as “lop-eared cats,” later known as Scottish Folds, a nod to their country of origin and defining feature.
Other breeders got involved, and it was discovered that the fold gene mutation was dominant, which meant that if one parent passed on a gene for straight ears and the other a gene for folded ears, the resulting kitten would have folded ears. Susie also passed on a gene for long hair to her descendants. Some associations refer to the longhaired variety as a Highland Fold.
The first Scottish Folds were imported into the United States in 1971. Most cat associations in North America had recognised them by the mid-1970s. They can be crossed with American and British Shorthairs.
They are not recognised as a breed in their country of origin, ironically, due to concerns that the folded ear may cause ear infections or deafness, as well as a related cartilage problem.