American Curl

Updated: April 22, 2020
American Curl

The American Curl cat stands out for their unique ears and thick tail. They are a relatively young breed but are nevertheless, tremendously popular in their country of origin. Their sweet and particular appearance have captured people's attention and now more and more families are welcoming these cats into their home.

If you're interested in adopting an American Curl cat, make sure to read this AnimalWised breed file where we will tell you everything you need to know about this breed.

  • America
  • United States
FIFe classification
  • Category II
Physical characteristics
Average weight
  • 7-11
  • 11-13
  • 13-17
  • 17-22
  • 22-30
Life expectancy
  • 8-10
  • 10-15
  • 15-18
  • 18-20
Type of hair
  1. Origin
  2. Physical appearance
  3. Character
  4. Care
  5. Health


The American Curl cat breed originated in California, United States of America. In 1981, a pair of breeders found a kitten with curled ears and decided to adopt it. In the first litter they had, two kittens had the same curled ear characteristic. One with short hair and the other with long hair.

This new breed and its particular curled ears began having lots of attention and fans who were interested in adopting an American Curl cat. Due to the fame and rapid expansion of the breed, it didn't take long until it was recognized by official bodies. In 1991 the CFA officially recognized it as a breed, and shortly after, in 2002, the FIFE published a breed standard for American Curl cats.

Physical appearance

American Curl cats are medium-sized, weighing between 6,6 - 11 lbs. Females are somewhat smaller than males.Their height at the withers is between 17,7 - 19,6 inches in males and 15,7 - 17,7 inches. Their body is long and muscular, with a rectangular silhouette. The head of these cats is wedge-shaped, they are longer than wide. They have a rounded snout and a firm chin. Their eyes are large and round. They usually have green or yellow eyes, although there are also some with blue eyes.

The most distinctive trait of this breed, as you can imagine, are their curled ears. An interesting fact is that their ears are actually straight when they are born and begin to curl after a week. Furthermore, this curvature will not be definitive until they reach 5 months of age.

When it comes to their coat, many have long hair but we can also find American Curl cats with other coat lengths. Their fur is always fine and shiny. The pattern or coloration of their coat can vary. All but chocolate or cinnamon are accepted in their standard file.


American Curl cats are very loving and calm. They like living with both humans and other animals, so they are perfect if you have other pets. Like any other animal, they will need to be socialized from a young age. This will help them be friendly towards strangers as adults.

This breed is ideal for families with children, as they are fun and patient cats. They can play with your children and also relax and cuddle with them. These cats also adapt well to various environments. Whether it's a flat, a house or a house with a garden, these cats will adapt and take advantage of the space. As they are intelligent and curious, they will try to discover each corner of their home from a young age.


As American Curls have semi-long fur, it will be necessary to brush their coat at least 1-2 times a week. This will help avoid tangles, dirt accumulation and help you detect any parasite or abnormality. To learn more, we encourage you to also visit our article on brushes for long-haired cats. You can bathe your cat every two months from an early age so they get used to it. However, cats are naturally clean animals that take care of their own hygiene. So this is not necessary unless they get very dirty.

Due to the shape of their ears, you will need to pay special attention to their care and maintenance. As they are curved, more external dirt accumulates than usual. It's recommended to clean the cat's ears regularly using veterinary optic products. You can buy these products at any veterinary clinic or hospital.

Lastly, your cat's diet is very important to their over-all health. You can ask your veterinarian for advice about which high-quality cat food is best for your American Curl. Homemade recipes can also be very beneficial for your cat. Ask you veterinarian for more information.


The American Curl breed is usually healthy and robust. However, because it is a relatively recent breed, possible congenital pathologies may not have been detected yet. These cats have semi-long hair so it's best to brush them regularly so that we can avoid them having dangerous hairballs or trichobezoars.

In addition, you must bring your cat to their veterinarian for check-ups every 6 months. This will help detect any medical issues early on so as to ensure the best health for your cat. Another important duty is to follow your cat's vaccinations schedule and regular deworming. To learn more, visit our article on the vaccination schedule for cats.

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American Curl