The history of the Scottish Fold can be traced back to one tiny kitten – a white barn cat named Susie. Susie was found at a farm in Scotland in 1961 with a unique owl-like appearance, caused by her folded ears. She was gathered up and used as a breeding cat, thus starting the entire breed of the Scottish Fold.
The uniqueness of the Scottish Fold lies solely in its ears, the tips of which are folded downward and forward towards the head. The change is the result of a spontaneous mutation of an incomplete dominant gene. This means that kittens born to a cat with folded ears may have folded ears or may have straight ears. Folded ears should be evident by about three to four weeks of age. The mutation also carries a risk of joint and bone disease, evident as a tail thickness and lack of tail mobility.
The Scottish Fold is in high demand, partly because of its sweet face and disposition and partly because of the fact that not all kittens born to Scottish Folds have folded ears. These cats also crave human companionship and make wonderful house pets. They are a calm and adaptable breed, as comfortable in a tiny city apartment as they are in a country manor.
Although great family cats, Scottish Folds are nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions which can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Scottish Folds are prone to include joint and bone problems such as osteochondrodysplasia; blood disorders such as neonatal isoerythrolysis; skin problems such as pemphigus foliaceus; and kidney problems such as polycystic kidney disease.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Scottish Fold inherits anything other than folded ears and a sweet face, you’re covered.