Skip to main content

Scottish Fold Kittens

Scottish Fold Cat
Photograph copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright, thanks. This picture is to show the appearance of the cat breed only. There is no connection between this cat and this post.

I know that people searching for Scottish Fold kittens want to land on a breeder's website, look at kittens, and start window shopping. That's fine but a look a fine example of this cat breed (above) plus some a little more information (on a rather difficult to talk about subject) may help make the correct decision. In this shortish post I am not criticizing cat breeders. I am just discussing objectively and in a neutral way some important issues surrounding this cat breed.

The Scottish Fold resembles an owl. This is charming. The ears are flat to the head. The head is bred round to enhance the unusual appearance; a "stand out" appearance. Except for those oh so strange ears, the Scottish Fold is a blend of American and British Shorthair cats. Fairly normal conformation. Nothing extreme. Is there a trend back to the less extreme appearance? I think so.

The body shape is called "semi-cobby". In layperson language this means a little chunky or stocky compared to the average cat shape. The round eyes also enhance the owl like rounded appearance. All Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight (normal) ears. They start to flatten between 13-23 days of age. Not all kittens in a litter will develop folded ears as the mutant gene is dominant.

Yet we shouldn't forget that the central feature of this cat, the flat ears, are as a result of a genetic mutation that would, it could be argued, not be present in the wild (i.e. naturally) as it restricts survival in limiting hearing. Hearing and the sense of smell are very important in the cat and animal world. The mutation does not enhance survival, therefore. At a Darwinian level, this type of evolution would have died out, I suspect.

The author, Gloria Stephens, in her book, Legacy of the Cat, writes that there is a difference of opinion amongst some cat breeders as to the inheritance of the genetic problems (disease) associated with this cat breed. It is a little unsettling to read this as it infers that some breeders don't really have a handle on the negative aspects of this genetic mutation.

Although, when we look to adopt Scottish Fold kittens we should know these issues as it tells us that some breeders are going to be more concerned about the health issues associated with this genetic mutation. Sometimes the effects of genetic mutations that create an interesting appearance are not confined to the interesting appearance. There are secondary health issues. And this is the case with the Scottish Fold.

Some breeders say that Fold can be bred to Fold with no health problems. While others say that serious defects show up when the cat is 5 years of age or more, if this breeding method is adopted. These breeders say that the mutant gene affects the cartilage in other parts of the body causing an arthritic like condition in the feet and abnormal cartilage growth in the joints. The tail can become stiff too. In other words some cats might become crippled.

People looking to adopt/buy, call it what you like, Scottish Fold kittens, should know these issues. Maybe they should ask questions. There are moral as a well as practical issues involved. This is not a criticism, but should people be breeding cats that can, under certain circumstances, become
prematurely unhealthy?

From Scottish Fold Kittens to some more on this cat's health

Comments

Anonymous said…
Get a life.
Anonymous said…
This was very useful information,thankyou for posting it.I had not fully considered the implications of buying a cat of this type,and will probably think again.

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti