There are more than a hundred breeds of cats in the world, among which there are more than 700 varieties. Pets differ from each other not only in color, coloring and hair, but also in the structure of the body. It is noteworthy that of all the varieties of breeds, only eight species revealed an incorrect structure of the ears. For more information about these breeds, see the article.
Causes irregular shape of the ears in cats
The reason for the wrong structure of the ear is a mutation gene, and for each breed it is different. For example:
- Scottish Fold gene – the dominant lop-ear gene with partial penetrance. Representatives of Pets with this mutation have ears that “look” forward. Moreover, the degree of fit of the ears varies. The gene of lop-eared breeds is also associated with limb defects: in parallel with the “wrong” ears, changes occur in the cat’s skeleton. Because of this, breeders stopped crossing two Scottish fold individuals with each other, thereby eliminating animal health problems.
- American Curl gene. With this mutation, the cat’s ear begins to “twist” to the upper tip. The eyelet can be wrapped up to 180 degrees. This gene does not have a negative impact on the cat’s development and health.
- Round the ears. As a result of the predominance of the mutating gene, the animal does not have the traditional triangular shape of the ears, but a rounded one. This “defect” was first detected in Pets in Italy, and later in America.
- Breeds of cats with improper structure of the ears.
There are eight breeds of cats that have different ear structures from the usual standard shape. These breeds include:
Scottish fold. To date, this breed is the most common. It was bred in the twentieth century in Scotland. The appearance of cats is quite unusual, they resemble small owls because of their curved ears and large eyes. Scottish cats have two types of ears because of the mutation: curved forward (they are called Scottish folds), and straight (Scottish straights). For many years, geneticists forbade breeding this breed due to accompanying health problems, but the problem was solved. When breeding, Scottish folds were crossed only with Scottish straights. As a result of this mixing, the lop-ear gene remained, and hereditary diseases disappeared.
The Highlander is a breed of cat bred in America in the nineties of the twentieth century. Breeders crossed the jungle curl and the desert lynx. The result is a cat with a beautiful spotted color, a small tail and curved ears. This breed was officially recognized by the international cat Association in may 2008. Fans of unusual breeds are happy to buy highlanders.
American curl cat
The American curl is a relatively new breed, native to the United States. Pets have an interesting structure of the ears, they are twisted outwards. It is noteworthy that kittens are born with straight ears, but after a week they begin to wrap up. The American curl was recognized only in 1983. At the same time, standards for this breed and a breeding plan were developed. In the late 90’s, Roy Robinson – a British breeder – wrote an article about the fact that the bred kittens curl, in addition to curved ears, no genetic disorders are observed. And unlike other breeds that take decades to be recognized, the American curl was adopted by the International cat Association.
Peterbald and Petersburg Sphynx
Peterbald (Petersburg Sphynx) – Russian breed that was developed in 1994 by Olga Mironova. Russian felinologist crossed an Oriental cat and a don Sphinx. The result was a hairless pet with large ears. The beautiful St. Petersburg Sphinx was recognized by the breeding Felinological Federation in 1996. At the end of the twentieth century, the Peterbald gained world recognition. To date, work on crossing continues.
Ukrainian levka – the breed was bred in 2004 by felinologist Biryukova E. V. she crossed the don Sphinx with a Scottish fold. In 2007, Russia opened a nursery for levkoev. A distinctive feature of the breed is the appearance of the ears, which are high and slightly curved to the head. This breed is becoming more and more popular in the modern world.
The elf cat
The elf is a breed native to North America. In 2006, two breeders Kristen Lead and Karen Nelson bred this breed. They crossed the canadian Sphynx and the American curl. The result was a beautiful hairless cat with large curved ears, like an elf. Hence the name. Pets have good health and stamina. Since breeding work is still ongoing, the breed has not been officially recognized by any phenylological organization.
Oriental cats – were bred by American breeders in the 60s. By crossing a Balinese cat and a Shorthair Oriental, breeders were able to breed this amazing cat. For the first time the elegant beauty was presented at competitions in 1977 as an independent breed. But officially long-eared cats were recognized in 1997 by the GCCF Association. The Oriental cat is similar to the Siamese breed, only its ears are much larger.
Kincullough – in 1997, American breeder Terry Harris crossed an American curl with a Munchkin. As a result of this crossing, kittens were born with two different mutations – short legs and curved ears, a long tail and a massive body. In 2008, kincullough was recognized by the pygmy cat Association. Today, representatives of this breed can be seen mainly in America.
Each of the above breeds has its own advantages and disadvantages. But they all have one thing in common – the “wrong” structure of the ears. Some people are attracted and impressed by this feature, while others are repelled by it. In any case, cats, despite the structure of the body, remain affectionate and gentle Pets for their owners.