On a small farm near Coupar Angus in the Tayside Region of
Scotland Northwest of Dundee, a shepherd named William Ross
discovered the first known Scottish Fold cat. The year was 1961.
That year was the beginning of a wonderful era for the cat fancy as a
whole. That is the year the Fold started on its journey to the
wonderful cat we know and love today.
The cat Mr. Ross had spotted was unique because her ears folded
forward and downward on her head. Mr. Ross knew he had
discovered something wonderful and different and asked the owners if
he could have one of the kittens. He proceeded to develop the
Scottish Fold from the original cat: a white barn cat named Susie.
Since that time we have all been in love with and intrigued by the
wonderful "owl" look of these cats. When the Scottish Fold was
granted Championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
in 1978, many Americans were already completely taken with these
The folded ear is a spontaneous mutation and is produced by an
incomplete dominant gene (meaning neither straight nor folded ears
is dominant over the other). Therefore, Scottish Folds are born with
"normal" ears and will fold within the first 4 weeks of life. Many
Scottish Folds do not fold and are called "straight-ears" or
"perk-ears." The straight ears are valued highly in Scottish Fold
breeding programs as reputable breeders pair straight-ears with
folded ears to preserve the integrity of the gene and the breed.
Folds are healthy, hardy cats. Not generally known as lap cats,
Folds are "people" cats. They develop strong, loving relationships
with their owners and must know what "their person" is doing at all
times. They have sweet dispositions and soft voices, when they
speak, which isn’t often. Most Scottish Folds seem to view life as
something wonderful and enjoy new experiences. They are neither
overly shy nor rambunctious cats.
Scottish Folds have two allowable outcrosses: the American
Shorthair and the British Shorthair. Outcrossing to any other breed is
not allowable in CFA. The Fold should be medium in stature, with a
rounded, well-padded body and a dense, resilient coat. The eyes
should be large, round and spaced in proportion to the head;
the expression should be one of sweetness. The nose should be
short and with a gentle curve. A nose break or brow ridge
is not preferred as this bone structure tends to "close down the face."
Folds are available in both longhair and shorthair varieties. Most
breeders work with both coat lengths, but some work with only
longhair or shorthair. All colors are possible except for those colors
that show evidence of hybridization such as chocolate, lavender, the
Himalayan or Siamese pattern, or a combination of both.