An old tale explains the origin of the Scottish Fold’s unusual, folded ears. It was said that the howling of the winds across the moors and the wailing of the bagpipes caused these cats to fold down their ears, shutting out the cold and the wailing music.
Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. At three to four weeks, the ears will either stay straight or fold over. Straight-ear Scottish Folds may still be used for breeding (except a straight-ear should not be mated with another straight ear Scottish Fold due to the possible retention of a recessive gene that can cause a crippling disease). Please note that three of the Cat Authors (Gracee, Inkee-Bear and Sophee) are straight-ear Scottish Folds (and are neutered).
Most Scottish Folds are generally instantly recognizable by their unique folded ears. The ears crease forward and down, giving the Fold an endearing, surprised, kitten-like expression. Their heads are almond shaped with eyes that are large, round and gold. Scottish Folds come in all colors and patterns.
Discovered by a shepherd in Scotland at a farm where he worked, Susie was the first cat with folded-down ears. When she had a litter of kittens, two of them had this same type of ear. The new breed was named the Scottish Fold. Loving, quiet cats, they get along well with other pets but crave human companionship. With tiny voices not often used, they are nonetheless heavy-boned, well muscled, and sturdy in appearance. They love to hunt and are particularly resistant to diseases.
Information for this article was obtained from the book ‘For the Love of Cats’ by Dena Harris as well as my own experiences with the four Scottish Folds in my life: Charlie Brown (crossed over the Rainbow Bridge), Gracee, Inkee-Bear and last but not least, Ms. Sophee.