The Scottish Fold cat breed is best known for its distinctive ears, which are folded forward and down, and by its large rounded eyes, which give it a sweet, wide-eyed expression. The Scottish Fold personality is mellow and affectionate, although the activity level can vary depending on whether it has an ancestry of mostly-British Shorthair or mostly-American Shorthair; a Fold with more British ancestry will be more laid-back than one who’s more American.
Scottish Folds are found in both longhaired and shorScottish Foldred varieties, in a great number of colours and pattern combinations. The longhaired variety is sometimes referred to as a “Highland Fold”.
Many Scottish Folds have the curious habit of sitting or lying in very strange postures — on their backs, sitting up in a “Buddha” position, flattening themselves out like little bearskin rugs. Their small, folded ears are unusually expressive, more so than an average cat’s “normal” ears. They have soft, chirpy voices they do not use often.
Buyers of these wonderful cats should be aware that some Scottish Fold cats are prone to problems of hardening cartilige. Show Scottish Folds are taught to accept handling of their tails as judges check for one of the clearer signs of this hardening — stiffening of the tail.
As this problem does not generally show up in young Scottish Fold kittens, be sure to discuss this issue with the breeder and what guarantees the breeder will make against this condition in the future.
Reputable breeders will breed only fold-ear to straight-ear to guard against this problem. Be concerned about any breeders who are breeding fold-ear to fold-ear. Scottish Folds may still use British Shorthairs and American Shorthairs as allowable outcrosses.
Not all Scottish Fold kittens will have folded ears. All Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. It isn’t until the kitten is about three weeks old that a breeder will begin to know which kittens will have folded ears and which will not. There are degrees of folding, too — usually described as a single, double, or triple fold. A single fold is generally a “loose” fold and isn’t show quality. The most desirable fold is a triple fold, which is tight to the head.
Owners of tightly-folded Scottish Folds need to check their insides of their cats’ ears frequently, as they can become dirty over time.However, straight-eared Scottish Folds are sought after in breeding programs and still make wonderful pets.
The straight-eared Scottish Fold is accepted as its own breed in ACF, the Scottish Shorthair. It is also being promoted for acceptance in TICA.