highland fold breed information

common health issues

Osteochondrodysplasia is the abnormal growth of cartilage and bone. Most of the time, this condition affects the limbs and results in skeletal dwarfism. The limbs are abnormally short, leading to a short statured adult dog. In severe cases, the limbs are bowed and lameness can occur. There is no specific treatment, though severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Inherited deafness in one or both ears occurs due to the degeneration of the structures of the inner ear. It usually occurs within the first few weeks of birth. Deafness is tied to coat color, especially in merle pups, and has an association with blue eyes. Hearing tests can be conducted at referral centers or veterinary schools, but inherited deafness is permanent and cannot be cured.

As its name implies, polycystic kidney disease is a disease in which cysts form in the kidney. This causes them to be enlarged, and disrupts their normal function. Polycystic kidney disease generally leads to kidney failure. There is no specific treatment � supportive treatment for kidney failure improves quality of life.

Urolithiasis is a common condition in which crystals in the urine combine to form stones. The stones can be found anywhere in the urinary tract, but are commonly found in the bladder. Some kinds of stones can be dissolved medically while some require surgical removal. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent stone formation.

The Highland Fold is the long-haired variety of the cat known as the Scottish Fold, so-called for their folded ears. Depending on the registry, these cats are known as Highland Folds, Scottish Fold Longhairs, Longhaired Folds or Couparis. Their history can be traced back to one tiny kitten, a white barn cat named Susie, who was found at a farm in Scotland in 1961 with a unique owl-like appearance due to 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 Highland Folds lies mostly in their ears, the tips of which are folded downward and forward toward the head. 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 Highland Fold is in high demand, partly because of her sweet face and disposition and partly because of the fact that not all kittens born to Folds have folded ears. This cat also craves human companionship and makes a wonderful house pet. She is a calm and adaptable breed, as comfortable in a tiny city apartment as she is in a country manor.

Although great family cats, Highland Folds are nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health, not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Highland Folds are prone to include joint and bone problems such as osteochondrodysplasia; urinary tract conditions such as calcium oxalate urolithiasis; hearing problems including deafness; and kidney problems such as polycystic kidney disease.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Highland Fold inherits anything other than folded ears, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)