American Curl

This cat breed is nicely built, muscular, graceful, medium in size, characterized by quirky backward-curling ears. American Curls are bred in shorthaired and longhaired types. The Curl’s coat can be absolutely different in color, from tortoiseshell to solid. The signature feature of the breed is the arc-shaped curl of the ear caused by a spontaneous mutation in the dominant gene.

Breed Description

American Longhaired Curl is a relatively young cat breed. An American Curl cat sports a high-set neck, straight back, a thin fatty layer, well-developed muscles, and has gentle, soft movements. Cats of this breed feature beautiful, smooth, silky coats snugging tightly to the body. The longhaired type with its luxurious plumed tail is a more popular one. The fur color and the eye color are genetically connected, a wide variety of colors, patterns, markings is available.

American Curls are born with common ears that start curling backwards during the 1st week. At 4 months the ear catrilage is hard and set in the adult position.


The story of the breed dates back to 1981 when a stray cat with curled ears appeared in California, was adopted by a family, and gave birth to a litter with similar ear shape. As dominance of the mutant gene was revealed, new owners attempted breeding. In 1983 Curls were exhibited at CFA expo in Palm Springs, a few years later the American Curl was recognized as breed. It has become widespread in the United States but is still uncommon in other countries.


These friendly, gentle, sweet cats are known as sociable, playful, intelligent, accepting of new people and surroundings. The American Curl is likely to keep kittenish traits for the whole life. This cat is attached to its master and family, shows a lot of affection, likes cuddling up and sleeping in bed besides the owner.


The American Curl's signature ears require particular attention: frequent cleaning with special attention to avoid damage to the cartilage. A grooming procedure may be recommended before exhibitions.

Breed Standard

CFA Breed Standard

American curl is nicely balanced in conformation: medium-size breed of cat. Female cats’ weight is from 3 to 5 kg, male cats’ weight is from 5 to 7 kg. They can be characterized as jovial and active cats.

The cats have V-shaped head with smooth lines proportional towards the whole body. Nose is long and straight. Minimum ear curling is 90 degree, the max is not more than 180 degree. Ear cartilage comes from the ear base with height of 1/3 of the ear. Ears shape curls as an elegant arc and ear tips are rounded.

Ears shape: wide at the base, opened, curled back into a smooth arc when observing from the front. Tips rounded, flexible. Size is bigger than medium. Upright standing. The presence of hair on the ears is preferred.

The eyes are oval in shape, placed slightly skew, of medium size, of a blue color or any other, but always bright.

The cats possess square-shape and muscular body with strong breast.

The limbs are muscular, straight with rounded foot. The tail is proportional to the body length, wide at the base and sharpen at the end.

The semi-longhair breeds are characterized by silky and half adherent coat with a minimum undercoat. Coat color can vary.

The short-haired type is characterized by soft, half adherent and shiny coat, without undercoat. Short coated. Coat color completely different.

Gallery of American Curl