What is immediately noticeable about the Scottish Fold: The folded ears. At first glance, one could assume that the Scottish Fold, as it is also called in German, is just afraid. In truth, however, the shape of the ears is genetic. Together with the rounded face shape, they give the Scottish Fold the appearance of a plush toy. The cat breed, which has its origins in Scotland, is considered to be very child-friendly thanks to its calm and loving nature.
The most noticeable feature of the Scottish Fold is its small, folded-forward ears. As a result, the head appears rounded and is reminiscent of a doll’s face. The fold ears form around 3-4 weeks after birth. In normal kittens, this is when the ear cartilage hardens and the ears begin to stand upright. This development does not take place with the Scottish Fold. In addition, the fold-ear cats have a broad nose. The tail corresponds to the body length of the animal and the fur is fluffy and dense.
In addition to the Scottish Fold with medium-length fur, there is the Highland Fold with medium-length fur. This variation was created by crossing it with British Longhair cats. Almost all coat colors are allowed. Exceptions are Chocolate, Siam-Point, and Lilac. Male Scottish Folds weigh between 4 and 5kg. Females are a little lighter with a weight of 2 and 4 kg.
The Scottish Folds are rather calmer fellows and hardly make any noises. The cute appearance corresponds to her dear character. They like to play very much and with their ideas, they amuse so many in a gloomy mood. In addition, the fur noses like to cuddle and purr gently. They moan very quietly, don’t like noise and arguments. Scottish Folds will put up with almost anything from their loved ones without ever scratching or biting. They are intelligent, attentive, and very fond of children. They are considered to be extremely patient, which makes them the perfect family cat. In addition to their friendly and reserved manner, they adapt well to different life situations and can also be left alone during the day.
In the early 1960s, a shepherd discovered a cat with folded ears on a Scottish farm. The litter of this cat, which was baptized “Susie”, gave birth to more fold-eared cats. The shepherd crossed one of these cats with a British Shorthair, which resulted in other fold-eared cats. With that, the breeding of the Scottish breed of cats began.
A little later it was found out that the breed-typical shape of the ears is caused by a gene mutation. One of the parent animals has to carry this gene so that their kittens have folding ears. Since the mating of two fold-ear cats led to severe bone and cartilage problems in the kittens, the Scottish Folds are now crossed with British Shorthair cats. The cartilage defects not only affect the ears but can also cause severe pain in the joints. In most of the litters, there are half fold-ear cats and the other half cats with erect ears, called Scottish Straight. These may be used for breeding.
Due to the recurring bone problems and a possible limitation in communication between cats, the Scottish Fold is known as torture breeding. Several breeding associations, such as the umbrella organization “Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe)”, do not recognize this breed. In principle, breeding in Germany is considered to be in violation of animal welfare.
Care and Attitude
The Scottish Fold really appreciate a clean environment. The litter box should be cleared of feces and urine daily and completely cleaned once a week. If you have the option, you can set up a cat-safe balcony. Scottish Folds can be kept as an indoor cats without any problems, but every cat is happy when a bit of fresh wind blows around its muzzle. Furthermore, it is important to offer enough employment opportunities, especially for indoor cats. The clever Scottish Folds can be offered various cat toys and intelligence toys. Raised viewing platforms and a sturdy scratching post should not be missing in the cat household. Fold-eared cats like to be surrounded by people, but you should offer them retreats.
It is quite sufficient to brush the cat’s fur with a comb or brush once a week. The coat of the Highland Folds, on the other hand, needs a little more attention. To prevent matting, brush Highland Folds twice a week. In outdoor cats, you should also regularly check the fur for parasites and dirt. Check the ears of the Scottish Fold every now and then and gently remove any dirt with a piece of cotton wool. If kept and cared for in a species-appropriate manner, Scottish Folds can live up to 15 years.
The Diet of the Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold does not make any special demands on its diet. You can offer high-quality dry and wet food on a nutritional basis. It should be noted that this should contain a high proportion of meat. Grains and animal by-products should be little or no cat food. The nutrients your Scottish Fold needs to depend on the circumstances in which you live. For example, kittens and seniors need different amounts of nutrients. Illnesses and castration also play a role and should be taken into account in the diet. Talk to your trusted veterinarian about this.
Self-cooking and BARF are other possible feeding methods. However, it is a good idea to do your research before choosing any of these methods, as it is imperative to put together the appropriate amount of nutrients your cat needs. Otherwise, it can lead to severe deficiency symptoms. The advantage is that with both methods you know exactly what is in the feed.
An Important Nutritional Supplement
Cat grass is an important nutritional supplement for cats. You should offer cat grass especially to the Highland Folds, which have a longer coat. Since cats swallow a lot of hair when cleaning their fur, hairballs form in the stomach, which the animals have to get rid of. The cat grass helps to induce nausea and to free them from the hairy pads in their stomach.
Provide your cat with enough fresh water every day. Remember never to offer cats regular milk. They are naturally lactose intolerant, which means they cannot tolerate lactose. This can lead to severe digestive problems. From time to time cats can be offered special cat milk with a reduced milk sugar content. However, this should in no way represent a substitute for water, but only be viewed as a treat.