laperm breed information
common health issues
The LaPerm is one of the four internationally recognized curly furred breeds known as “rex” breeds (the others are the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and Selkirk Rex). The LaPerm’s curly hair is a result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation that was first noted in 1982, when Speedy, a barn cat owned by Linda and Richard Koehl of Oregon, gave birth to a litter of kittens. One of the kittens, born bald with tabby markings on her skin, went on to develop a soft curly coat. Curly, as she was named, became the founder of the breed, which has been bred selectively to strengthen the curly fur trait. Today, the LaPerm’s popularity is increasing around the world, especially since it was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2003 and the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) in 2008.
The cat's curly fur is the result of a dominant gene, and it can range from slight waves to ringlet-type corkscrew curls. It is soft, but not silky, and can come in any color. Longhaired LaPerms may have curly plumed tails, and shorthaired LaPerms have a “bottle-brush” type tail. Both types have curled whiskers! Luckily, the curled coat does not easily mat and sheds less than other breeds. Occasional bathing and towel drying are all that is needed to keep it clean. Males usually weigh between 9 and 12 lbs. while the females range from 6-8 lbs.
Although their coat’s appearances may vary, the LaPerm is universally known for having a gentle, affectionate and inquisitive nature, who will seek human contact and loves to be held. She will adapt readily to life in almost any setting, and is accepting of other pets and children.
Affectionate nature aside, the LaPerm can still be prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses LaPerms are prone to include immune-mediated diseases such as neonatal isoerythrolysis; heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; eye problems such as glaucoma; metabolic diseases such as diabetes; thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism; and kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your LaPerm inherits anything more than a curly coat, you’re covered.