The Scottish Fold Cat: A Guide To The Breed

close up of the face of a silver and grey scottish fold cat lying head on paws

If you’re interested in adopting a new member of the family, the Scottish Fold cat would be a terrific choice.   

Popular for its sweet temper and attentive nature, this cat can make an excellent everyday companion. Also known as the lop-eared cat, the Scottish Fold is one of the best-devoted cat breeds out there.

Before you make up your mind to get one of these interesting cats, it’d be a good idea to dig into all the essential information about this specific cat breed.

Luckily, we’ve got it covered for you.

We’ve covered all the important facts regarding these cats so that you can have a clear idea before embracing one in the family. 

close up of a grey scottish fold cat with amber eyes standing next to a houseplant

Scottish Fold Cat Information  

The Scottish Fold Cat is one of the most affectionate, attentive, and intelligent cats in the world. They have been known to make wonderful pets for big homes with a lot of children and other pets. 

If you’re thinking of welcoming a one into your home, here are a few pieces of information that might be helpful for you —  

An Overview of the Scottish Fold

Height8-11 in.
Weight 6- 13lbs.
Lifespan13 – 15 years
OriginScotland
TemperamentSweet, affectionate, gentle, playful
Activity LevelCalm
CompatibilityHigh compatibility with kids and other pets
CoatShort/Long
SheddingMedium
ColorsWhite, silver, cream, grey, and orange
PatternsSolid, bi-color, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico
Allergy-friendly?No
VocalnessQuiet
Prey DriveLow

Breed Characteristics

When it comes to physical characteristics, the Scottish Fold is truly a fascinating creature.

It comes with large and round eyes that exhibit an affectionate expression. Usually, the eye colors resemble that of the coat color. Most of these cats have green, gold, or greenish-blue eye colors. They have broad noses, which is an interesting feature of this cat.

Their heads are well-rounded with raised cheeks and firm chins. You can find marked jowls in some of the male Scottish Fold cats. The whisker pads are round in shape and the jaws appear dense.

The most interesting feature of these cats is their ears. These cats consist of small ears that are folded in front and below, primarily known as lop-sided ears. The ears complement the head structure and make the cats look extremely fascinating. They are born with straight ears, which start folding from three weeks of age.

These cats may have long or short hair coats. You can also find them with medium-long coats as well. The coats feel soft and have an incredible texture compared to other breeds. Tabby and calico patterns are common in Scottish Fold cats, but they can come in other different patterns as well.

They have solid and well-built legs that are proportional to the rest of the body. Males are usually larger and more athletic compared to female cats. The paws are round and correspond to the color of the coat. Scottish Fold cats have a medium or long tail with a rounded tip. Their tails are quite delicate and should be handled gently since they are prone to stiffness. 

close up of a grey scottish fold kitten lying in sphinx pose on a bed

History 

The history of the breed goes as back as the 1950s. A barn cat with folded ears was first born in Tayside, Scotland, which was considered the first Scottish Fold cat. 

She was named Susie, and later one of her female kittens was taken by a shepherd and his wife, William and Mary Ross for breeding with a British Shorthair. This led to the development of many kittens with the same folded ears that earned the name “lop-eared cats”. 

Around 1966, William registered this hybrid cat breed under Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

Scottish Fold cats found their way from Scotland to the United States through Dr. Neil Todd during the 1970s. Later, these cats ended up with Sally Wolf Peters, a breeder based in Pennsylvania, and from there, they gained much popularity in the United States.

Today, these cats are recognized as one of the most gorgeous cat breeds around the world. Apart from their physical traits, these cats have gained recognition for their outstanding personality.

Scottish Fold Personality Traits And Temperament

In terms of personality, these cats are truly remarkable.

The best thing about these cats is that they are extremely family-friendly. From children to friendly felines, there’s no one that a Fold can’t befriend. 

Even with cat-friendly dogs, you will find out that these cats can easily have a good time. One thing you’ll always notice with these cats is their habit of posing in queer positions. This is quite a treat to the eyes and can entertain the little children in the family. 

They are very loyal cats and have sweet personalities. Although they love human companionship, they are not overly demanding or difficult to deal with. They do not have any specific nutritional requirements and do not require any high maintenance.

These cats are very gentle and well-behaved, so you don’t have to worry about them at all. They tend to vocalize less than most cats and do not cry or meow during the night. 

Folds are very playful and love engaging in activities. From jumping and frolicking around the house to playing with toys — these cats love engaging in different activities. 

They are very devoted to their owners and love following them around. If you like to engage in conversations with your cat, the Scottish Fold is all ears. You can even expect a bit of a tittle-tattle from your cat in return. In other words, they make great everyday companions.

These cats love company and hate solitude. If you’re someone living alone or spending hours away from home, this could be a problem for a Fold. So, if you’re planning to adopt a Fold, make sure you take this fact into consideration.

Size

Scottish Fold cats weigh from 6-13 pounds on average. The male cats are larger than the female cats. The female cats weigh up to 8 pounds, while the males can weigh up to 13 pounds. In terms of body length, these cats measure about 14-16 inches. The height of these cats is around 8-11 inches approximately.

tabby scottish fold cat sitting

Colors And Coat Patterns

The breed comes in a wide range of colors. Commonly white, silver, cream, grey, and orange colors are seen among Scottish Folds. Rarely gray-black, ebony, beige, lavender, and silvery blue colors are found.

The coat patterns of this cat include tabby, solid color, tortoiseshell, and calico. In many cases, bicolor and spotted coat patterns are also seen. Basically, there is a big variety in color and pattern – it is the ears, round face, and round eyes that distinguish the breed from others.

Known Health Issues 

Scottish Fold cats are generally quite healthy but some cats suffer from a few health problems. One of the most common health issues the breed suffers from is osteochondrodysplasia. It is an inherited degenerative joint disease that hinders bone and cartilage development in cats and is the reason they have folded ears.

The symptoms of this disease include stiff leg joints, short and stiff tail, swollen joints, and any abnormal walking pattern. Your cat can also suffer from an inability to walk properly, and the cat may look irritated. 

Furthermore, the cat’s limbs may turn out to be deformed and as the disease is genetic, it will most likely involve all the kittens in the litter. Your cat may suffer from a limp and find it difficult to engage in any activity. 

In severe cases, the cat might become completely crippled and may not recover even with treatment procedures. It is this condition that makes the breed a controversial breed.

Apart from this joint disease, the breed is also susceptible to heart and renal diseases. Cardiomyopathy is one of the most common heart diseases that Scottish Fold cats suffer from. It typically presents as abnormal heart rate, irregular respiratory pattern, loss of appetite, weight changes, etc. 

Like many cats, the breed is also prone to a kidney disease called polycystic kidney disease, which is a genetic disorder in the kidney. Your cat may experience abnormal urination patterns, appetite loss, and weight changes. 

Despite these potential health problems, Scottish Fold cats have a typical life span of around 13-15 years. To make sure your cat is perfectly healthy, it’s best to carry out routine health checkups once or twice a year. Early diagnosis of any disease can help in taking immediate steps in managing it. It’s also a wise idea to talk to your breeder about any potential genetic diseases in the breed line.

scottish fold kitten in a shelter cage

How Much Do Scottish Folds Cost?

The breed is quite popular — that is why they can be quite expensive to purchase. The average price range for a Scottish Fold can vary from 1000$ to 1800$. If you purchase from an acclaimed, prize-winning breeder, the cost may exceed 2000$. But you can also get cats from lesser-known breeders at around 500-700$.

Final Words 

Overall, the Scottish Fold Cat is a wonderful cat breed that can make a fantastic pet for your home. From its loving nature to friendly behavior — everything about this gorgeous cat breed is perfect. So, if you’re in search of an ardent and dedicated pet for your home, the Fold cat will totally live up to your expectations – just be fully versed in all the potential pitfalls related to their health.