American Curl Cat Breed Guide

Cheeky | Friendly | Playful. Known as Peter Pan cats due to their forever kitten-like purrsonalities, the American curl cat is a unique breed and one that puts a smile on every face that meets them. Their famously curled back ears give them a perpetual surprised look and is one that has captivated breeders for 40 years ever since the first of the breed appeared on the scene. Read on to find out more about this interesting floof and whether they might be the purrfect next addition to your fur fam.   

American curl cat sitting


Average Lifespan: 10 – 20 years

Average Weight: 2.2 – 4.5kg

Coat Length: Short or Long

Colouring: All colours and combinations

Shedding: Low


The American curl cat is a new breed of floof having only been bred since 1981. The story of this interesting kitty began in California when an American couple found a stray long-haired black cat with unique curled-back ears. They were instantly taken aback by its interesting look and adopted her, giving her a name as unique as her appearance, Shulamith. 

Shulamith soon produced her own litter of four, with two kittens inheriting her curled ears. From here, Shulamith’s parents along with another started to breed the American curl and eventually consulted a TICA geneticist and asked him to study the breed to help them guide their breeding program. The geneticist discovered that the gene that caused the distinctively curled ears was an autosomal dominant trait, meaning that a cat with even just one of the mutated Cu genes would produce a curled ear. He also found no adverse effects of the mutation in the 383 cats he studied which was great news for breeders and fans of the American curl as they became known for being extremely healthy cats, often having very long lifespans. By 1987, the American Curl gained TICA recognition, just 6 years after Shulamith’s rise to fame and although they aren’t a common breed, they are adored to the ends of the Earth by their lucky few owners. 


Of course, the most distinctive quality of the American curl cat is its curled back ears, which can have an arc anywhere between 90 – 180 degrees. When American curls are born their ears are straight, but within 3-4 days their curly adventure begins completely forming into their unique shape within the first few months of their lives. 

The combination of the shape of their ears and their wide-set eyes, makes them look like they’re always a bit shook which makes them a funny floof to have around the home.

Their ears are tufted with silky hair, and their coats can be short or long and both shed very little due to the lack of undercoat making them a low-maintenance breed of kitty cat.

White American curl kitten


Like the Neverland boys from Peter Pan, American curls never want to grow up and always retain some of their kitten-like purrsonality traits. They’re cheeky and thrive on playtime with their hooman best friend. With some dog-like qualities such as following their hooman bestie wherever they lead as well as enjoying games like fetch, they make great companion animals. American curls love children and also get along well with cat-friendly pooches making them excellent family animals.


Some cats that have interesting appearances due to genetic mutations often have other negative health implications. However, through genetic testing, the American curl was found to have no adverse health effects of their curly-eared trait. Even their hearing is still superhuman and not affected by the odd shape of their ears and they are known to live long into their teenage years with some venturing beyond the twenty-year mark. Nevertheless, adding cat ear cleaning to their weekly grooming regime is impawtent to keep wax and gunk buildup at bay and prevent infection which can be done easily with a damp cloth, so put those Q-tips away!


Due to their great general health, American curl cats have no specific feeding requirements. Like all kitties, they thrive on a diet high in quality animal meat to satiate their carnivorous bellies and provide them with all of the essential nutrients they need to maintain their long and healthy lives. 

Look for a cat food with at least 60% animal protein and free from unnecessary plant proteins that cats struggle to digest which some low-quality pet food brands use to sneakily bulk up the protein content of their food. 

For all of the details on how to read a cat food label like a pro check out our Ultimate Guide to Cat Food so that you can separate the good stuff from the fluff.


Scrumbles Wet and Dry Cat Food

At Scrumbles, nutrition and gut health are at the forefront of our minds when we’re crafting our pet food recipes.

We load all of our complete dry cat food and complete wet cat food with up to 77% human-grade animal meat, as well as either prebiotics or probiotics for happy tums and pretty poops. 

We only use natural ingredients and all of our recipes are responsibly sourced and of course delicious, to keep even the fussiest of feline princesses purring.

In fact all of our recipes score 100% on palatability testing, meaning they’re some of the most delicious cat dinners out! 

So why not make the switch to Scrumbles gut friendly cat food today to best maintain your American curl’s health and keep them thriving for years to come?!

Whilst you're here, why not read:

1. Ginger Cats: Breed Guide

2. Siamese Cat Breed Guide

3. Calico Cat Breed Guide 

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