Among the four varieties of Scottish cats there is such an intriguing breed as Highland Fold. This cat breed is exotic and quite rare. It is only gaining popularity due to its uniqueness. Where else on our planet can you find a fluffy lump, which do not have visible ears! Such aliens.
Description of the Highland Fold breed
The features of the Highland Fold breed are that this cat has both folded ears and a fairly thick and long coat, but still less long than that of Persian cats. Plus, Highland Folds do not gett matted, their coat is silky, has a flowing structure and don’t resemble wool at all. In general, it is a pleasure to have a cat with such amazing fur.
How can a Highland Fold have a long coat if its parents are short-haired? Long hair is because the long-haired gene is recessive. To give birth to a long-haired cat from two short-haired parents the carrier of the gene is necessary in both parents. Under this condition, Highland Fold kittens can also be obtained from the short-haired parents.
Highland Folds are a separate type of Scottish cats, so catteries can distinguish it in a separate line. To get all the kittens in a litter with a long coat, Highland Folds mate only with Highland Straights.
Highland Fold Cat Ears
The Highland Fold has another striking feature. It is, of course, the ears folded slightly forward and down toward the nose. They are also smaller in size than those of Highland Straight cats. These ears create the illusion of a completely round head.
Head of the Highland Fold Cat
The head of the Scottish longhair cat should be round due to the spherical structure of the skull, strong chin, cheekbones, well “stuffed” with fur, and also folded ears.
Highland Fold Cat Eyes
The eyes should be round, which together with the round muzzle gives the cat a distinctive expression called a baby face. The color of the eyes matches the color of the coat, which in these cats can be quite different – from monochrome (solid – black, chocolate, blue, etc.) to painted (tabby) – marbled, spotted, etc.
Highland Fold Body
The body is muscular, well built, paws short, straight, muscular, rounded and thick, should not be distortions, which could lead to disqualification at the show. Attention should be paid to this point, because Highland folds are carriers of the fold gene, which in turn affects not only the ear fold, but in the case of improper breeding of Scottish cats can cause a dangerous disease of the joints – osteochondrodysplasia. If in childhood the kitten is noticeable painfulness or stiffness in the joints, it means that he will grow up sick. Moreover, cat shows are out of the question.
Highland Fold Cat Tail
A healthy Highland Fold cat should have a medium or better long tail that reaches to the middle of the shoulder blade. It should not be thickened, stiff, immobile. All of these signs indicate the presence of abnormal structural skeletal system.
History of the Highland Fold cat breed
Scottish Fold cats were bred in the 70s of the 20th century. Breeders then crossed them with British and Persian cats. And that would be OK, but from time to time shaggy kittens were born to short-haired parents. For a long time breeders had to answer the question of whether it was a special kind of breed or a defect. That is why they did not want to recognize the breed, but later it happened – and in 1980s many felinological organizations named the Highland Fold as a separate breed, almost 10 years after their short-haired counterparts were recognized.
Today, Highland Folds are found far less frequently in catteries than Scottish Folds and Scottish Straights. But there are breeders who specialize in breeding Highland cats, realizing how interesting this breed is and royally beautiful.
Highland Fold Cat Temperament
The Highland Fold has a temperament that is considered one of the virtues of the breed. He does not differ from other Scottish cat types. So, these cats are very friendly and cozy, they are true companions, somewhat resembling dogs, because they are very loyal to their owners. In contrast to British cats, previously actively involved in breeding Scottish cats, the latter are not aloof and proud, but on the contrary, they are in great need of communication. At the same time they do not impose, but patiently wait to be noticed. At the same time this breed, like the British, is very aristocratic and well accustomed to the rules of socializing with people.
Highland Fold cat traits and care level
Also well-bred and socialized Highland Fold cats, having a healthy set of genes that breeders have been selecting for years, leaving only the best traits and qualities of the breed, are devoid of aggression and vindictiveness. Highland Fold is unlikely to do anything out of revenge. And they are great optimists and very compassionate cats. And they are also quite calm. Although every rule has exceptions.
A disadvantage of Scottish cat temperament is that many of them do not like to be held in hands. But this does not prevent them from cuddling next to their owner, giving him another dose of affection. The owners of cats who are good at sitting in their arms are lucky.
Let’s compare the pros and cons of the Highland Fold breed. After all, future owners just need to know what they can expect and what they shouldn’t.
|Not aggressive and vindictive||Sits in the arms only when wants|
|Friendly and intelligent||Joint problems can arise because of the fold gene|
|Loyal to the owners||Is prone to heart and kidney diseases|
|Are good with kids and get along with other pets||Requires regular and thorough combing|
Of course, kittens under one year of age do not quite fit this definition, as they tend to be hyperactive, clingy, often talkative, and not yet fully mannered.This is normal behavior for a healthy growing developing pet. And the littles miss their mother, so they may lie in their owner’s arms for long periods of time, which often passes when they reach adolescence.
But you also need to be aware that each cat has its own individuality, which is formed not only by genes (and they can also fail), but also by training. It will depend on the breeder and directly on the owner. From the earliest days the kitten should be trained to the rules of behavior in your family and not allow to do what you would not want the adult cat to do. After all, this lump sooner or later will grow up, and his baby habits will stay with him.
How to care for Highland Folds
The grooming of Highland Folds is easy. They need a proper feeding diet to keep them healthy in general and their joints in particular. It is also important to watch their portion size, as these cats tend to gain excess weight if they overeat.
Approximately once a week they should be combed out, during shedding you will have to do it every day. You can bathe them about once every 2 months, but if the animal is not a show animal, they need to be bathed as they get dirty. Haircuts are not necessary for this breed.
Teeth and ears will have to be brushed as needed, and claws will have to be trimmed as desired by the owner.
If you walk a Highland Fold cat on the street, you must inspect its ears afterwards. Because of the long coat, Highland Folds easily get ticks, which must be removed immediately.
Highland Folds are easily accustomed to the scratching post and litter box, so in most cases there are no problems with training.
Highland Fold Cats Health Issues
All Folds are prone to genetic diseases – osteochondrodysplasia and polyarthritis. Nowadays, after years of research, breeders have achieved healthy litters from genetically healthy parents. Obligatory condition: one parent must be straight-eared, the second parent can be folded-eared or straight-eared. Nevertheless, if a cat has a Fold gene, it means that it is at risk for the above mentioned diseases. Signs of the disease may or may not show up. But the owner should be prepared for such a scenario.
Also, to minimize the risk of choosing a sick kitten is possible by not supporting unscrupulous breeders, and choosing catteries with a good reputation and positive reviews, Buy a kitten with a pedigree, where the parents of the kitten are registered. It means that the mating was carried out in compliance with all the rules. Yes, such kittens will cost somewhat more, but a new member of the family will enjoy health and prosperity for many years.
This aspect is very important while choosing a Highland Fold kitten because if a cat is bought knowingly sick and mated incorrectly it is possible to lose a pet at the age of 1,5-2 years: the most severe cases can be fatal. If you are still too worried and unsure about choosing a healthy kitten and having to care for a sick cat, consider the Scottish Straights or Highland Straights, which do not have the Fold gene and therefore are not genetically affected by joint disease.
Generally, Highland Folds have a charming and exotic appearance, have a good temperament and are easy to care for. This cat breed requires no effort from the owners in training. All of the above supports your choice if you decide to buy a Highland Fold kitten. Choose a responsible and experienced Highland Fold breeder, communicate and feel free to look at the litter to find your best companion for joy and love.