highland fold breed information
common health issues
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.