The Scottish Fold cat has ears that are partially flattened against its head, though the amount of folding varies from one cat to another. The folded ears give this cat an appearance that is variously described as “owlish,” “teddy bear,” and “pixie.” The ear folding occurs at three to four weeks of age – Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears.
The gene that causes the ears to fold is an unfortunate genetic defect of the cartilage that causes these cats to have painful, shortened lives because they are prone to developing severe osteochondrodysplasia. This progressive and debilitating disease has no cure.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) stopped registering Scottish Folds in the 1970s due to health concerns, and many believe that Scottish Fold breeding should be banned.
Scottish Fold kittens became popular in recent years after celebrities started showing off their pet Scottish Folds online. However, given the medical problems associated with folded ears, we recommend against breeding or buying these cats.
- Angell, Kitty, Cat Fanciers’ Association. (17 June 2008). “Breed Profile: Scottish Fold.”CFAinc.com.
- Brocklehurst, S. (2017, April 27). Should Scottish Fold Cats Be Banned? BBC.com.