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Scottish Fold Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Scottish fold cats remind some people of furry owls.

Scottish fold cats have made it into the top 10 most popular cat breeds in America. That means that our office cat, Fancy, has taken it upon herself to find a Scottish fold kitty to interview so that we can have all of our questions about their basic characteristics answered with authority.

Here is Fancy's interview, uncut, with Seamus the Scottish fold.

Fancy: Welcome to CatHealth.com, Seamus; thanks for coming in to talk with me today.

Seamus: You're welcome, Fancy; I appreciate the opportunity to let people know some basics about my breed, the Scottish fold.

Fancy: I don't mean to be rude at all, but I thought we'd start with the obvious: your looks are quite striking, and your ears are different from most cats I've seen. Again, please don't take this as an insult, but your ears are floppy on top…kind of like some dogs'.

Seamus: No offense taken! My ears are my pride and joy. They set me apart from other cat breeds. They fold over at the tips. I guess you could say they're sort of like some dogs' floppy ears, but they don't fold all the way down; just a little bit.

Fancy: Wow, they look really great. Do all Scottish fold cats have ear tips that fold forward?

Seamus: Actually, each Scottish fold has about a 50/50 chance of having folding ear tips vs. tips that stand straight up like the majority of cats' do. We're born with ears that stand up, and if they're going to fold, they do so over the first few months of our lives. Many people say that those of us with folded ear tips look a bit like furry owls.

Fancy: Where did Scottish folds come from?

Seamus: My breed began with Susie, a cat found by a Scottish shepherd in 1961. Susie had folded ears, and all Scottish folds today are her descendants.

Fancy: How interesting! I've noticed today that you seem very outgoing. Is that a general characteristic of Scottish folds?

Seamus: Yes! In general, we are happy, fun, and curious. We want to be with our human; playing, talking, and seeing what they're doing all the time. We are also good at doing things that require using our paws, like opening cupboards, so keep that in mind if you are going to adopt a Scottish fold. We love to play fetch, too, so teach your kitten how to do that early for years of fun.

Fancy: Are there any health problems that are more common in Scottish fold cats than other breeds? The humans like to know what to watch out for if they get a cat from a certain breed.

Seamus: Osteochondrodystrophy. It's a disorder that affects the cartilage in the body, and it's actually the reason our ears fold. If it affects the joints in a cat's body, it leads to stunted growth of the legs and tail and progressive, painful arthritis. Scottish folds with ear folds should never be bred to one another because the offspring are much more likely to have full-blown osteochondrodystrophy. Some people advocate giving up breeding Scottish folds at all since this condition is painful when a cat has it.

A Fancy Cat interview.

Fancy: That's so sad. How much routine grooming is necessary for Scottish folds?

Seamus: We need regular veterinary care, tooth-brushing, and claw trimming like all cats do. Brushing our coat once a week is usually sufficient for keeping our fur healthy and shiny. Long-haired versions of the Scottish fold, sometimes called Highland folds, might need more frequent brushing.

Fancy: Seamus, I've loved talking with you today and learning more about Scottish fold cats. Congratulations on your breed being the 7th most popular one in America. I hope you have a great rest of your day; what will you be up to?

Seamus: Scottish folds are known for sitting on our behinds like a person and standing up on our hind legs to look at things like meerkats. I think I'll do a little of both of those things today and maybe try to talk my human into a rousing game of fetch.

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