July 31, 2013 PetGuide
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Scottish Fold

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 6-14 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Physique: Rounded face, folded ears
  • Best Suited For: Families with children and other pets, as well as singles.
  • Temperament: Inquisitive, intelligent,easy going and quiet. Affectionate and loyal.
  • Comparable Breeds: Chartreux, LaPerm

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In 1961 shepherd William Ross discovered the first Scottish Fold in the Tayside Region of Scotland near Coupar Angus northwest of Dundee. Ross asked the owner of the farm for one of the kittens, whom he named Susie. She was a white barn cat who became the founder of the Scottish Fold breed. Her ears folded forward and down, giving her an expression that has, by turns, been described as looking like an owl, a Teddy bear, or a “pixie.” Regardless of the descriptive chosen, it’s almost impossible not to be charmed by a Scottish Fold. The breed caught on rapidly in the United States, and gained championship status with The Cat Fancier’s Association in 1978. Initially the long-haired variant was known as the Highland Fold, but that designation was dropped in 1992 and now short and long-haired Scottish folds compete as one breed in different divisions.

The Scottish Fold is a hardy cat, doing justice to the breed’s working class origins.

scottish-fold-1The Scottish Fold is a hardy cat, doing justice to the breed’s working class origins. They have very small, soft voices and in general “speak” only rarely. Although quiet, they are adoringly devoted to their people and highly adaptable to almost any living situation. They tolerate other animals and children well, but they do just fine with a single person. Folds don’t tend to overreact to new surroundings, which makes them an ideal show cat.

There are two types of Scottish Fold: folded ear and “normal” or straight ear. The operative word with these cats is “round.” In body conformation the Fold is a medium-sized cat with a well-padded body. Their eyes are full and circular, well spaced, and sweetly expressive. The look is completed by their thick, round whisker pads and short nose which, in profile is gently curved. Kittens are born with upright ears which begin to fold at three to four weeks, a process that should be complete by 12 weeks.

scottish-fold-2The Scottish Fold can be either a short or long-haired cat and is found in a wide range of coat colorations. The colors lilac and chocolate are not allowed in the breed, however, and neither is Siamese-like colorpointing. The most common colorations are solids and tabby patterns without without white markings. Eye colors include green, blue-green, and gold in solid coats; blue and copper in cats with tabby markings; and odd eyes in bi-colors, vans, and whites.

Grooming needs are based entirely on coat length, with longer-haired varieties needed combing and brushing to keep dead hair out of the coat to avoid mats and tangles. It is important to get a Scottish Fold accustomed to having its ears cleaned from an early age. The top of the ear has to be drawn gently upward to gain access to the opening, which will need to be wiped out periodically. Only the visible surfaces are cleaned, and the cat’s ears should be routinely checked by a veterinary professional for any sign of parasites or infection.

Photo credit: mdmmikle/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to Chartreux


  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 9-12 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Physique: Large, muscular body
  • Best Suited For: Older individuals or people living alone
  • Temperament: Quiet, calm, attentive, loyal, loving
  • Comparable Breeds: Persian, Balinese
Go to LaPerm


  • Height: 6-7 inches
  • Weight: 7-10 lb
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Physique: Small torso, slim long legs
  • Best Suited For: Families with children or without. Good with other cats and dogs.
  • Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, inquisitive, gregarious
  • Comparable Breeds: Somali, Japanese Bobtail