The American Curl originated in the United States, and they have something unique about them. This breed is loving, curious, and energetic. What’s not to love? Keep reading to learn more about the American Curl cat breed.

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American Bobtail Cat Breed Overview
NicknamesPeter Pan Cat
Height9 - 12 inches
Weight5 - 10 pounds
Lifespan12 - 16 years
TemperamentPlayful, Friendly, Affectionate
Suitable ForYoung Adults, Young Children, Other Pets

History Of The American Curl Cat Breed

Out of all the cat breeds in the world, the American Curl is one of the youngest. The first one of this breed was found in the United States in Lakewood, California, in 1981.

This cat was named Shulamith, a longhaired black female with funny-looking ears. A young couple, Joe and Grace Ruga, fed and took her in.

Six months later, Shulamith had a litter of kittens with distinctive ears like their mother. All American Curl cats are descended from Shulamith.

There was plenty of debate about the genetics of these curled ears.

Roy Robinson of London, England, a feline geneticist, confirmed the ear-curling was an autosomal dominant gene. This gene makes it so that any cat with a copy of the gene will show the trait. Luckily, there are no defects associated with the ear-curling gene.

In 1983, selective breeding began to create more Americal Curl cats. In 1986, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) officially recognized the breed.

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What Does The American Curl Look Like?

American Curl cats are medium-sized. They can grow to be about nine to 12 inches tall. Females may be smaller than males, weighing between five and eight pounds. Males typically weigh between seven to ten pounds. 

One of their best (and most distinct) features is their curled-back ears. The curls are often described as elegant and well-balanced. They’re wide at the base, curling backward in a smooth arc when viewed from the front or the back.

However, the ears are well-rounded and flexible.

American Curls also have a wedged head with a rounded muzzle. The eyes are walnut-shaped and moderately large, often having many eye color options.

The tail is flexible and the same length as its body. It’s wide at the base and tapers toward the tip. The body is rectangular and muscular, with the legs being well proportionated to the rest of the body.

Finally, this cat can have a longhaired coat or a shorthaired coat. Both lengths may have a minimal undercoat.

What Coat Colors Do American Curls Have?

The American Curl cat breed can have a variety of coat colors and coat patterns, as well. For example, some of their colors may include the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Brown
  • Sable
  • Cinnamon
  • Lavender
  • Silver
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Gray
  • Black
  • Ebony
  • Cream
  • Beige
  • Tan
  • Lilac
  • Red
  • Orange
  • White
All You Need To Know About The Unique American Curl Cat |

In addition, they can have coat markings, such as:

  • Bi-Color
  • Calico
  • Tri-Color
  • Color Point
  • Tabby

Caring For The American Curl

Believe it or not, American Curls are relatively low maintenance to care for. Let’s discuss their needs to learn more about cat care for your pet.


Whether your American Curl has long or short hair, they shed quite a bit. But, of course, they’ll shed all year round, too.

You’ll want to brush your kitty at least twice weekly to keep the shedding under control and prevent mats and knots.

Cats keep themselves clean, but you’ll still want to brush their coat and maintain other grooming habits with them.

For example, you’ll need to keep their nails trimmed, brush their teeth regularly, and clean their ears.

Since this breed has curled ears, it can be easy for them to get dirty. So, check the ears periodically. 


As with all cats, American Curls need a high-quality diet. Adult cats can eat one to two meals daily while growing kittens should have three to four meals daily.

Your food should reflect the cat’s breed size, age, weight, and metabolism. Their energy levels should also be a factor.

If you’re unsure what to feed your cat and how much, discuss a proper diet with your veterinarian. 

Some options may be Blue Buffalo canned wet food for kittens, Nutro kibble for adults, and Hill’s Science Diet dry cat food for seniors.

Always feed your cat proper meals and free feed. Free feeding allows your cat to graze on their kibble all day long. This causes obesity and doesn’t get your kitty into good eating habits. 

All You Need To Know About The Unique American Curl Cat |


American Curls are playful cats and will enjoy running around the house and playing games with you. They’ll get plenty of exercise on their own since they love to explore the house and will jump on furniture, getting into every nook and cranny.

However, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to play with your kitty daily. Not only is it great bonding for the two of you, but you’ll also know your cat is getting some physical activity and mental stimulation each day. 

In fact, this cat breed is so energetic and playful that they’re also typically known as the Peter Pan Cat.


Unlike dogs, cats aren’t easily trainable. However, some cats can learn a trick or two, and they’ll enjoy bonding time with you.

American Curls are similar. You can teach this breed simple commands, which is excellent mental stimulation.

In addition, since this breed is laid-back, litter box training should be a breeze.

Health Problems

Luckily, this cat breed is relatively healthy. However, American Curls aren’t invincible and can still get some health issues.

For example, some health conditions to watch out for may be the following:

  • Ear Infections
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart Issues
  • Kidney Disease

With proper care, American Curls have an average lifespan of about 12 to 16 years.

Bring your kitty to the vet yearly for their annual checkup. You can bring them more often to ensure they grow and develop well. Also, you’ll keep them up to date with their vaccinations.

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Temperament Of The American Curl Cat Breed

There’s a lot to love about American Curl cats. They are friendly and affectionate with most people, especially their family members. In fact, this cat breed is often described as being “doglike.”

This breed will follow their humans around the house, always wanting pets and playtime. They’re also intelligent and will learn how to open doors and switch the lights off.

If you’re looking for a cat who may mature in their old age, American Curls may not be for you. This Peter Pan Cat retains their kitten-like personality throughout most of its life.

They enjoy playing and climbing and will explore every inch of the house. However, American Curls should remain an indoor-only cat due to their curiosity. 

However, they may not be out for too long if they get out. They don’t like being away from their humans for too long. They may get separation anxiety from you if you must leave for work all day. 

Luckily, this cat enjoys the company of not only humans but other animals. So you can have other cats, dogs, or small animals in your home, and your American Curl will get along well.

In addition, they’re great with young children and can match their energy.

Also, this breed is relatively quiet. They don’t meow too much since they’ll be under your feet most of the time. But if they truly need your attention, you may hear them talk once in a while. 

Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?

Aside from females weighing slightly less than males, there aren’t many differences between the two genders. Both males and females are an excellent choice for any household. However, they’ll have similar temperaments, but personalities can vary. 

All You Need To Know About The Unique American Curl Cat |

Who Should Own The American Curl?

Anyone can own this sweet kitty. Whether you live alone, with your significant other, or have young children, this breed will fit right in.

If you have other pets in the house or not, your American Curl will do fine. They can live in a bigger house or an apartment since they’re relatively quiet.

This breed might not be for you if you have to be out for work all day or take frequent business trips. They enjoy your company too much. 

Also, they require a lot of attention and will weave through your legs, following you around. Due to that, this breed might not be well suited for seniors. 

Where Can You Get American Curl Cats?

Where ever you can adopt cats, you should be able to find an American Curl. Your local animal shelter or breed rescue organization will be an excellent place to start.

These cats are often found as strays or were surrendered or abandoned by their previous family. Always adopt and not shop because these cats need a forever, loving home, too.

You may find a purebred American Curl kitten, adult, or senior at a shelter or rescue. Alternatively, you may get a mixed breed with American Curl genes.

A good place to start looking may be at Rescue Me.

You can go through a reputable breeder if you genuinely want American Curl kittens.

Research the American Curl breeders before deciding to adopt from them. For example, an ethical breeder will do the following:

  • Ensure the kittens are up to date with their vaccinations
  • Socialize and train the kittens as early as possible
  • Won’t allow the kittens to leave their mother before eight weeks old
  • Meet with you in person to get to know each other (and allow you to meet the parents and litter)
  • Have health certifications and family tree history information available for you to bring home upon adoption

Finally, a good breeder will breed the cats in safe and healthy conditions.

You can start with the CFA Breeder Listing to find good American Curl cat breeders.

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Question Corner: FAQs About The American Curl Cat Breed

Have we convinced you how great the American Curl cat breed is yet? If so, and you want to learn more, read through the frequently asked questions answered below. 

What’s The Average Cost Of The American Curl?

The average American Curl price is between $1,000 and $2,000. However, the price may vary depending on the cat’s lineage, age, litter number, popularity, and more.

Are American Curl Cats Hypoallergenic?

No, this breed sheds moderately. Also, cats lick themselves clean, getting their saliva everywhere. The dander in the fur and saliva is not suitable for allergy sufferers.

Are American Curl Cats Rare?

This breed is rather popular. So, they may be hard to come by. However, they’re easier to find in the United States than they are anywhere else in the world.

Do American Curl Cats Shed?

Yes, they do. While this breed doesn’t shed heavily, you will still find cat fur on your furniture and clothes.

Is The American Curl Right For You?

Having an American Curl in the house is a delight. This breed will fit right in any household. There will never be a dull moment with this kitty around. 

All You Need To Know About The Unique American Curl Cat |
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