Scottish Fold

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scottish fold cat portrait
Meet the adorable and enchanting Scottish Fold cat breed - the feline fashionistas with the cutest little folded ears! With their irresistible charm and sweet nature, these quirky cats have captured the hearts of cat lovers worldwide.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!


HEIGHT10-12 inches
WEIGHT9-13 lbs
LIFESPAN13-15 years
scottish fold lying on a sofa
Photo: themacx/Getty Images Signature


The Scottish Fold cat is a unique and charming breed whose distinctive look is marked by its namesake folded ears. These little feline friends are medium-sized, typically weighing between 9 and 13 pounds, and standing around 10 to 12 inches tall. But don’t let their modest size fool you, these cats carry a robust and muscular body beneath their plush coats.

Speaking of coats, Scottish Folds can sport a variety of vibrant colors and patterns. From solid hues to tabby, calico, and everything in between, these cats are little bundles of rainbow joy. Their coat is dense and soft to the touch, making every petting session feel like stroking a cloud.

Now, let’s get back to the star of the show, their ears! The unique fold in the Scottish Fold’s ears is caused by a natural genetic mutation, giving these cats an adorable “owl-like” expression. The ears are small and tightly folded, and they tip forward toward the front of the head. This distinctive feature, combined with their large, round, and wide-set eyes, creates an endearing look that is hard to resist.

Their heads are round and full, with a well-rounded chin and jaw. The nose is medium in length with a gentle curve, making their faces look almost perfectly circular. The overall visage of the Scottish Fold is one of sweetness and it’s completed with their expressive, soulful eyes that come in a variety of colors, depending on the coat.

The body of a Scottish Fold is well-rounded, muscular, and strong, giving them a sturdy appearance. They possess medium-sized tails that are tapered and flexible, complementing their compact, well-padded bodies. Despite their solid structure, Scottish Folds carry an air of elegance and grace, moving with a light and effortless stride.

scottish fold lying on the carpet
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Scottish Folds are not just adorable to look at, their personalities are equally endearing. These cats have a reputation for being extraordinarily sweet and affectionate, often seen as the ‘gentle giants’ of the feline world.

Despite their sturdy physical build, their hearts are tender which is reflected in their loving and docile temperament. The Scottish Fold is a companion cat; they love to be around their human families and are not too proud to ask for your attention or a warm lap to sit on.

They are known to be exceptionally good-natured, with an ever-pleasant demeanor. Unlike some cats that can be a tad aloof, Scottish Folds crave interaction and companionship. They are sociable creatures who enjoy the company of both humans and other pets. You’ll often find them happily playing with other cats, dogs, and even engaging with children, showing a remarkable level of patience and tolerance.

However, they’re not all cuddles and purrs. Scottish Folds are also playful and curious, with a playful side that surfaces every now and then. Their playful antics can range from chasing a laser pointer to exploring every nook and cranny of your home.

Yet, their calm and composed nature means they do not get overexcited or overly aggressive during play, making them ideal for families or households with other pets.

Moreover, these cats are intelligent and quick learners. They enjoy mental stimulation just as much as they enjoy a good petting session. So, don’t be surprised if your Scottish Fold quickly learns how to open doors or play fetch. They enjoy interactive toys that challenge their intelligence. Puzzle toys can keep a Scottish Fold entertained for hours on end!

Despite their playful and inquisitive nature, Scottish Folds are generally quiet cats. They’re not known to be particularly vocal, and when they do make noise, it’s usually a soft, sweet chirrup. Their quiet, peaceful demeanor makes them excellent companions for those who appreciate tranquility at home.

One unique trait about Scottish Folds is that they prefer to sit in what owners call the “Buddha Position”. They enjoy sitting on their hind legs with their front paws resting on their belly, just like a Buddha statue. This quirky sitting habit is adorable to witness and is just one of the many ways that Scottish Folds endear themselves to their owners.

scottish fold sitting on the floor
Photo: lafar/Getty Images



Scottish Folds are relatively low-maintenance cats when it comes to grooming. Their short, dense coat requires brushing only once or twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Bathing is rarely necessary unless your playful feline manages to get into something particularly messy.

It’s good to remember that regular dental hygiene is important too. Brushing their teeth weekly can prevent periodontal disease and contribute to overall health.

Exercise and Play

Despite their calm demeanor, Scottish Folds enjoy a healthy dose of playtime. The key is to find activities that stimulate their mind as well as their body. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and even cat-friendly mobile apps can keep them entertained and mentally sharp.

Even a simple game of fetch can provide a valuable physical workout and reinforce the bond between you and your furry friend. Remember, a well-exercised Scottish Fold is a happy Scottish Fold!

Diet and Nutrition

When it comes to diet, Scottish Folds aren’t particularly fussy eaters. However, a well-balanced diet is essential for their health. High-quality commercial cat food that’s rich in protein is a great place to start.

Keep in mind that these cats are prone to obesity, so it’s important to monitor their portion sizes and make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise. Occasional treats are fine, but they should make up no more than 10% of their daily intake. As always, fresh water should be available at all times.

scottish fold sitting in the terrace
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Scottish Folds are lovable felines that tend to have a life expectancy of around 13 to 15 years. However, like all breeds, they are predisposed to certain health issues. Here’s a list of the top five common health conditions to watch out for:

Osteochondrodysplasia: This genetic condition affects bone and cartilage development, potentially leading to painful stiffness in the tail, legs, and feet.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): PKD often goes undetected until later in life and can lead to kidney failure.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is a form of heart disease that is hereditary in cats.

Arthritis: Due to their unique bone structure, Scottish Folds can be particularly susceptible to arthritis.

Obesity: Scottish Folds love their food and can easily become overweight, leading to further health problems.

To ensure your Scottish Fold stays hale and hearty, a balanced diet is key. Feed them good quality cat food and keep treats to a minimum to prevent weight gain. Their love for play can be used to keep them active and maintain a healthy weight.

Routine veterinary checks should not be overlooked. Regular check-ups, at least twice a year, can help detect any potential health issues early. Vaccinations, too, play a crucial role in preventing infectious diseases. Remember – the best care is preventive care!

scottish fold in the garden
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The Scottish Fold’s story is as unique and charming as the breed itself. It all began in 1961, in the verdant countryside of Scotland’s Tayside region. A shepherd named William Ross noticed a peculiar white cat in a local barn.

The cat, named Susie, had an unusual genetic mutation that caused her ears to fold forward, giving her an ‘owl-like’ appearance. Ross was smitten. He adopted one of Susie’s kittens, which also had folded ears, and thus began the lineage of the charming Scottish Fold we know today.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for our lovable feline friends. British breeders expressed concerns about potential ear-related health issues, and the breed was not accepted for championship status in their homeland.

But the Scottish Fold found admirers across the Atlantic. In 1971, just a decade after William Ross discovered Susie, this enchanting breed was registered by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in the United States.

It was a pivotal moment for the Scottish Fold – acceptance and recognition in a new land. The breed’s endearing personality, coupled with its unique appearance, quickly won the hearts of American cat enthusiasts. Over the next few years, the breed’s popularity soared, and in 1979, The International Cat Association (TICA) also extended full recognition to the Scottish Fold. Vindication at last!

Fast forward to the present day, the Scottish Fold is adored worldwide for its sweet temperament, striking looks, and those charismatic, folded ears. Despite the initial hurdles in its journey, the Scottish Fold cat has made its mark in the feline world, a testament to its irresistible charm and the dedication of those who believed in the breed.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

scottish fold perching on the sofa
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How expensive is a Scottish Fold cat?

The price for a Scottish Fold cat can range depending on various factors such as the breeder’s reputation, location, and the cat’s age, color, and pedigree. However, prices typically range from $800 to $2000.

How rare is the Scottish Fold breed?

The Scottish Fold is a moderately rare breed. Its distinctive folded ears are due to a genetic mutation that occurs in roughly one in every three kittens. As a result, not every kitten in a Scottish Fold litter will have the breed’s trademark folded ears.

Is the Scottish Fold a friendly breed?

Yes, the Scottish Fold is renowned for its friendly, gentle, and affectionate nature. These cats are great companions and interact well with both adults and children.

Is the Scottish Fold a lazy breed?

Scottish Folds are not necessarily lazy but they are known for their calm and laid-back demeanor. Like all cats, they enjoy their sleeping hours but also engage in playtime and exploration.

Does the Scottish Fold have any health issues?

The main health concern for Scottish Folds is a unique form of degenerative joint disease, which can affect the tail, ankles, and knees. Breeders generally aim to reduce the risk of this condition by out-crossing with other breeds. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to monitor the cat’s health.

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