“Look, What a Folded-Ear Cat!”
The Scottish Fold - what is the distinctive feature of this breed? Of course, it is small ears folded tightly to the head! This is known even to people who are far from felinology, and visitors of shows always guess thus very cat breed. “Look, What a Folded-Ear Cat!", a kid who has come to look at cute kittens tells his parents. And he's right! Scottish Folds can be seen literally at any show.
It is Scottish Folds that are most frequently live in Russian apartments today, and no wonder, because there is a great number of reasons for such popularity of this breed.
Clima Marble Charm owned by Romanjuk Natal'ja
First, their appearance is unique and pretty to look at. And it is very recognizable. Nobody will doubt that the pet is pedigreed: cats with such ears do not run across the streets! The variety of colors of Scottish Folds can satisfy even the most refined whim.
Secondly, the character of Scottish Folds is very nice; these cats are made of “pastry". Just pick up this cat in arms, and you will feel its body, which is strong and muscular, but soft and “spreading" in hands. Scottish Folds are incredibly affectionate and loyal to their owners. They will never choose a single owner: Scottish Folds like all people who are near them. Endless purr, endless eager for human endearment – this is about the Scottish Fold.
It is interesting, but despite their tenderness, Scottish Folds do not ask to pick them up in arms - they just come to you themselves. And you can never offend them. It seems they just do not know what offences exist! The “plush" character of the Scottish Folds is fixed by breeders at the genetic level.
Finally, they behave very well: Scottish Folds are very sociable, they feel a need to be constantly “in touch" with the owner, to sit on his lap and purr with pleasure, or if the beloved owner is busy, just to be near, to move from one room to another, and to be in constant visual contact - they simply cannot imagine themselves without it. If there are several cats of this breed in the house, it may be very funny to watch their movements: when the owner leaves the room and goes to kitchen and returns back to the sofa, for example, with a cup of tea, the cats go behind him one by one, and then, having eaten a couple of food granules on their way, they return back. It is fascinating!
Magic of the Scottish Fold
|Photo from the personal archive of Petrova Svetlana|
Cats have been living near people for many centuries. Absolutely all cats evoke emotions. We admire the huge size, are proud of silky coat or feel appeased touching the dense fur. But only Scottish Folds evoke a kind of a firstborn, ancient tender emotion, which is similar to what we feel when we see a baby.
Remember, how a baby sitting in its mother's arms looks. It watches the world with huge eyes, being surprised at every sound, every new phenomenon. It is impossible not to smile in response to its smile! And you feel tenderness, a desire to press the baby to your breast, to protect, to secure against any hardship.
It is a baby face that we see in the face of the Scottish Fold. Huge round surprised wide-set eyes, short whiskers in the grin of the Cheshire cat, an upturned nose and ears tightly pressed to the head, which make the image complete. Is not it really like a baby? Scottish Folds are also compared with surprised owls. “An animal resembling an owl" - it's about them. Plush short hair, both shiny and silky, complements the image and makes it even more striking, even more touching. No wonder that experts at shows select these very cats to participate in the final! They have a distinct advantage, namely a baby face...
Breeding of the Scottish Fold
This breed has a number of advantages! It seems that it is a gold mine, a key to victory and success. But it is not so simple: we inevitably face problems with breeding of the Scottish Fold. Unfortunately, a lovely baby face has played Old Harry with this breed: Scottish Folds have turned to be very attractive to people, everyone wants to have a cat with unusual folded ears. Thus, as everyone knows, demand begets supply, and the Scottish Fold is currently the top-selling cat breed, but, alas, not the top-buying.
|Calluna Felicita*RU owned by Svetlana Gorbunova|
Why is this happening? The gene of folded ears is a dominant one. If you mate a Scottish Fold with any cat with straight ears, you will get kittens with folded ears. Therefore, the quality of the livestock of Scottish Folds in Russia varies greatly.
Of course, it is rooted in history. A cat with folded ears, which existed somewhere in China, is mentioned in Darwin's works. But this breed was officially named and developed when ancestors of the Scottish Fold were found in Scotland in 1961. At the beginning breeders mated animals with folded ears, which resulted in mutation of the locomotive system. Unfortunately, this led to a ban on breeding of the Scottish Fold in Europe. But the breed was not forgotten, and their gorgeous look and wonderful temperament made American scientists and breeders to investigate the mutation of the Fd gene.
|Goldenberry Diadema owned by Petrova Svetlana|
The main rule in breeding of Scottish Folds is to use one partner with folded ears, and another partner with straight ears. In America they have used the American Shorthair for breeding, and in Europe – the British Shorthair. Of course, the American type of the Scottish fold is more attractive, sweet and preferred by professional breeders. Today, the Scottish Straight (that is Scottish cats with straight ears) is the main partner of the Scottish Fold. The American Shorthair may be mated, but rarely: just once in 4-5 generations to obtain more healthy kittens in terms of their bones and energy. The British Shorthair is less preferred, but still possible, if the breeder wants to obtain new colours for his Scottish Folds.
I can say for sure: breeding of the Scottish Fold is the most difficult matter. To achieve the best results you need to have a much greater pride than with any other breed. The classical scheme of “1 male cat and 5 female cats" does not work. If the male cat has folded ears, all female cats should have straight ears. In future, the whole breeding program of the cattery should be based only on straight-ear female cats and folded-ear male cats. Unfortunately, as to the Scottish Fold, the Murphy's law is stronger than the laws of genetics, and kittens are often born with wrong ears, despite the breeder's expectations. That is why many catteries adhere to two lines: with a Scottish Straight male cat (with straight ears) and with a Scottish Fold male cat (with folded ears), and corresponding female cats.
Scottish Folds at Shows
Scottish Folds have a stable position at shows and take the third place after the Maine Coon and the British Shorthair. The Scottish Fold is characterized by a great show temperament fixed at the genetic level. Short, stuffed and at the same time incredibly silky and shiny coat of the Scottish Fold evokes unique emotions when you touch it.
Scottish Folds have a round head, large, wide-set eyes of a bright, saturated colour matching the hair colour, a surprised face and chic short coat. The body is of medium size and with medium bones, rounded, well-balanced, on strong rounded legs. The tail is of medium length, free from any thickenings, movable along the entire length.
|Esenia Dream Point owned by Poddubnaja Elena|
The coat of Scottish Folds can be absolutely of any colour. The WCF system provides a ban on colourpoint and white, the CFA system provides a ban on chocolate, cinnamon, a lightened variation, any colourpoint variations, any variations of these colours with white. The European FIFE system bans Scottish Folds at all. Breeders often want to get various colours of Scottish cats. Scottish Folds can be of solid colours, from white to black, with silver variations (smoke). Scottish Folds of the blue colour have been incredibly popular. People remember about the British Fold. And many breeders of the Scottish Shorthair dream about a Scottish Fold kitten of the blue colour with ears perfectly closing to the head and huge round eyes in a modern style. Scottish Folds of tabby silver colours are also widespread; black silver spotted and marbled cats are very popular, because these colors are widely advertised by one of the producers of cat food. Red marbled and spotted Scottish Folds will leave no one indifferent. Professional breeders prefer colours with white; black and white, as well as tortie and white colours of cats look extremely bright and attractive at any show. And not long ago Scottish Fold breeders interested the feline society with gold, silver and ticked tabby colours, colorpoint variations, as well as mink and sepia coat colours. There is also a cattery working on creation of a Scottish Fold of the colour of Bengal rosette.
Legend about a Folded-Ear Traveller
No matter, where this amazing breed comes from, and how it will develop in future, my favorite story about the origin of the Scottish Fold is as follows. A ship with a sailor and his cat moored to a port. The cat left and went to the port town for a few days following the spring call of love. Meanwhile, a variety of goods was loaded onto the ship, and it was about to leave the port. The cat would not come. However, the sailor loved his fluffy friend very much, and one morning he saw the ship off and stayed to wait for the cat. She appeared at the pier only in the evening. She rubbed against the sailor's legs and purred. The sailor told her so many “gentle and tender" words in response that the cat's eyes got round and big in amazement, and her ears folded and got tightly pressed to the head. Thus, the Scottish Fold appeared!
Author: Petrova Svetlana