Scottish Straight

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Scottish Straight

6-14 lb
Medium build, round features
12-15 years
Best Suited For
Any cat loving household, including singles, families with other pets, and families with children
Friendly, intelligent, laidback, playful, social
Comparable Breeds
Scottish Fold, Exotic Shorthair
8-10 inches

Scottish Straight Breed History

The Scottish Straight is one of the feline breeds that make up the Scottish Breed Group, along with the beloved  Scottish Fold. More specifically, according to  The International Cat Association (TICA), the Scottish Breed Group consists of the Longhair Scottish Fold and the Shorthair Scottish Fold, as well as the Longhair Scottish Straight and the Shorthair Scottish Straight, for a total of four breeds. The group is quite unique in many ways, and it is known for being smart, affectionate, and attractive. Let’s learn more about these Scottish felines, and what makes them so special! 

This breed of cat has an interesting history. The very first Scottish Fold was a barn cat whose name was Susie. She was found by William Ross in 1961 in Scotland, on a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire. He quickly recognized that she had a standout feature: folded ears that made her look a bit like an owl. This kitty was later bred with other breeds, such as the  American Shorthair, Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, and Persian.    

One important thing to realize is that the Scottish Straight is almost identical to the Scottish Fold, and they can actually be born within the same litter. The only difference is in the ears. While Scottish Folds have those iconic ears that fold down, Scottish Straight cats do not. As the name implies, their ears are straight like other breeds. The reason for this difference lies in the breed’s origins. All Scottish Folds can trace their ancestry back to that first kitty with folded ears, Susie. However, the selective breeding program did not solely produce kittens with those unique ears, as some had straight ears. Thus, all Scottish Folds that do not develop the unusual folded ears are simply called Scottish Straights. So, when you learn about the Scottish Fold, you’re also learning about the Scottish Straight, and vice versa. Again, they can both be born in the same litter, and will, therefore, showcase the same personality traits and physical attributes. 

Today, the Scottish Straight is known for its wonderful temperament. Many pet parents all around the world absolutely love having these kitties as part of their families. Not only are they super cute, but they also have a personality that makes them lovely companions for people of all ages. Of course, like other breeds, there are certain qualities that Scottish Straight cats will exhibit, both in looks and behavior, and it’s those qualities that help them stand out against other felines.   

Breed Traits

Here are some of the main characteristics that define the personality of the Scottish Straight:

Curious and fun-loving 

The Scottish Straight, like the Scottish Fold, is known for its inquisitiveness, as well as its intelligence. So, you can expect these kitties to always be on the lookout for something new and interesting in their environment. They are sure to love getting new toys, including puzzle toys that challenge their minds, and they might enjoy going on adventures with you. 

For example, you might be able to train your Scottish Straight to do things like sit in a pet stroller or walk on a cat leash to spend time outdoors with you. Or, you might keep it simple by allowing your kitty to enjoy the outside world from the comfort of a durable and secure catio.

If you prefer to keep your activities with your cat safely indoors, you can still have loads of fun with a Scottish Straight. Interacting with your kitty during play sessions that allow them to release their energy is sure to be amusing for both of you.  

Also, don’t forget to find ways to keep this kitty entertained during the day while you aren’t home to interact with them. You can give your pet some exciting wall perches, comfy window perches, tall cat trees, irresistible catnip toys, yummy cat grass, and more. Whatever it is, the Scottish Straight is bound to want to check it out and jump right in to let out their inner hunter, relax for a nap, gaze out the window, etc. 

This all basically means that the Scottish Straight will require a lot of mental stimulation throughout the day in order to keep their inquisitive and smart personality satisfied. Another one of the solutions for this is  interactive cat toys. Find a fun gadget that can keep your feline friend occupied, use it safely as directed, and supervise playtime if it’s necessary to do so. This could be just the thing to help your cat stay sharp, and it can help them release their energy in a positive way. Always remember: a neglected cat can quickly become bored, and that might lead to other negative emotions and moods, such as depression.

Loyal and attention seeking

In addition to being fun-loving, these cats are known for their loyalty. Although every kitty is a unique individual, Scottish Straight cats typically are not shy, as they would much prefer always being around you, perhaps even following you throughout your home to stay close by, whether you’re working or relaxing.

It is important to keep this breed’s personality in mind if you are thinking about bringing a Scottish Straight into your family. Put simply, if you are looking for a cat that will want to be near you rather than alone, this breed may be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you want a more independent kitty, this might not be it.  

Another thing to keep in mind is that, despite enjoying being around people, these cats generally do not like being carried or picked up, and they do have a bit of an independent side that makes them comfortable being near you while still being able to do their own thing. Therefore, they make great pets for those who are searching for a cat that will be devoted without being too clingy to their human family. A Scottish Straight might be that ideal balance that you are looking for in a pet, as these cats are likely going to give you loads of attention and companionship without always needing to do things like sit in your lap. But, again, if you do want an adorable feline that you’ll be able to pick up, hold, and carry around, this breed might disappoint, as most of these cats are known for not being fans of this. 


Intelligent and ready to learn

Because these cats are so smart, you can even try to train them to do tricks or play fetch. This can take some time, and it does require consistency, but the results might be amazing and a lot of fun to watch. Plus, spending time training your Scottish Straight might be a fantastic way to get that important interaction in to keep your intelligent and playful kitty mentally stimulated and physically active. Just be sure to incorporate the right training tools and use the appropriate and gentle training techniques that felines will respond to in a positive way. 

This might also be a great breed to add to your family if you hope to  teach your kitty to use speech buttons to communicate with you. Because these cats are known for being intelligent and curious, they might find the buttons interesting, and might catch on quite efficiently if you use the right approach when training them. 

Just bear in mind that, when training your Scottish Straight, patience and rewards are key. Use positive reinforcement, and reward your cat with a treat or praise each time they complete a task.  

Relaxed and easygoing

In addition to their playfulness, this breed is described as being laid-back, so again, they can have a nicely balanced personality. These cats are also pretty quiet, with a soft voice, so, unlike other breeds, they might not be too talkative. 

If you have kids or other pets, the Scottish Straight may fit right in, too. These kitties can get along with other pets and with children, making them a good breed to consider when you want to add to your family. Just keep in mind that it is best to start acclimating your cat to other animals and people while they are still young, preferably in the kitten stage. When you properly socialize them and introduce them to strangers and other cats early on, you could increase the odds that they will grow up to be sociable and friendly cats. Of course, a lot of this also has to do with their intelligence, as Scottish Straights will likely soak up all of the lessons you throw at them, even when it comes to lessons in socialization.

Questions to ask yourself before getting a Scottish Straight

Overall, the Scottish Straight has a lot of endearing qualities, but it may not be the right breed for everyone. So, ask yourself a few questions before deciding if the Scottish Straight is the right cat for you when you are thinking about adding a feline to your family. 

For instance, will you or your family members be able to devote enough time and give enough attention to your cat? If not, it may be better to go with a breed that has a more independent personality and wouldn’t require as much interaction (of course, all kitties need to have a good amount of healthy interaction with their human families, but some need it more than others to feel content and fulfilled). 

Also, if you and your family are typically really busy outside of the home or you spend a lot of time away from home, whether you work long hours or travel often, a Scottish Straight cat might not be happy and might end up feeling bored and lonely. On the other hand, if you know that you will be able to spend a lot of time at home, giving your furry companion loads of affection, playtime, and snuggle time, a Scottish Straight is most likely going to absolutely love getting all of that attention. 

Overall Description

As mentioned above, Scottish Folds and Scottish Straights can either be long-haired or short-haired, and Straights and Folds can be born in the same litter. The only difference is that the Scottish Straight’s ears will remain upright, like other cat breeds, while the Scottish Fold’s ears will eventually fold forward and downward. Ultimately, though, the Folds and the Straights have the same personality and structural features.

According to  TICA, this feline breed is described as round. That’s because these cats have a round face and head, round body and feet, and round eyes. This feature makes them really cute – something that you will realize as soon as you see one in person or in a photo. You might even notice that an adult Scottish Straight still looks much like a kitten. 


The body of a Scottish Straight is medium sized and medium boned. Their ears can be medium in size as well, or they can be small, and they will feature tips that are rounded to complement the rest of the round features of this cat. Even the tail might have a round tip.  

When it comes to the coat of a Scottish Straight, it also adds to this kitty’s attractiveness, whether it is short and plush or long and luxurious. It’s nearly impossible to resist the cuteness of these kitties, so expect a lot of compliments about your pet.  


If you want to be able to bring home a kitty that has a particular look in terms of their coat, you’ll be glad to learn that Scottish Straights come in a variety of patterns and colors, including all of those in the Pointed and Traditional Divisions. These include tabby, bi-color, parti-color, tabby and white, and solid. Also, every eye color is possible, though copper is the most common.

A litter of these kittens might not only feature a mix of Straights and Folds but also a mix of coat colors and patterns. This variety makes the Scottish Straight a diverse breed, whose looks can fit every pet parent’s preference.  

Grooming Requirements

All cats can benefit from you grooming them on a regular basis. This includes brushing their coat and trimming their claws. But it’s wise to check a breed’s specific needs to learn how to help your cat maintain a clean and healthy coat. 

The grooming requirements of a Scottish Straight, and the amount of time that you will need to spend brushing your cat, will pretty much depend on the length of the fur. But, whether you have a short-haired or long-haired kitty, brushing them will be important, and your Scottish Straight is most likely going to thoroughly enjoy taking in all of the attention. 

As you probably already guessed, a long-haired Scottish Straight may need to be  brushed more frequently than their short-haired counterpart. And they might require longer brushing sessions that are done on a regular basis. Plus, you might need to use different types of brushes to get the right results. This consistent grooming routine can work on removing dead hair, and this could help prevent tangles and matting as well.

Short-haired Scottish Straights, on the other hand, could benefit from a simple weekly brushing in order to help prevent hairballs and reduce shedding. And these grooming sessions can help keep your pet’s coat soft and smooth too. Because there isn’t as much of a risk of the fur getting tangled or matted as there is with a long-haired cat, the grooming routine may be easier overall.

Also, you can generally expect that, like other feline breeds, these cats will shed all year long, and you might notice more shedding during certain seasons of the year. Thankfully, regularly brushing your kitty can help when it comes to shedding by removing loose fur before it ends up on all of your clothes and around the house. And, as mentioned above, this is a fabulous way to bond with your sweet Scottish Straight.  

On the whole, the grooming requirements and the amount of work needed for this cat are minimal. With just a few regular brushing sessions each week, you can keep a long-haired or short-haired Scottish Straight looking lovely, and you will likely notice that less hair ends up on your couch, too. 

In conclusion, Scottish Straights are fun, affectionate, attractive, and loyal. If you think that this breed’s traits would be a good fit for your household, you can find a kitten, adult, or senior that’s in need of a home and ready to shower you with love. 

Photo credit: vasi_100/Bigstock; sharafmaksumov/Bigstock; serkucher/Bigstock

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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