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American Curl Cat

The American Curl cat breed is known for their unique appearance, as well as their nature and ability to get along well with other pets.

The American Curl originated in the early 1980s in California from a genetic mutation.

A stray black kitten that had silky hair and unusual ears that happened to curl backward.   This started the breed of kittens, even though the father was not known, and surprisingly was a dominant gene.

When the kittens are born, their ears appear straight, but after 3-5 days they begin curling backward and set permanently at about 16 weeks in an arc that can approach 180 degrees, giving a look like a shell.

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American Curl Cat Breed Characteristics


The American Curl is known for his uniquely shaped ears and has an overall kitten-like expression.

Their silky coat can be short or long and it has different colors such as silver patched tabby, chocolate smoke, or even a shade of lilac.  Even the tail is lush and plumed.

Their beautiful eyes have a range of colors from amber, blue, copper, gold, and even an orange hue.

The curly ears are what gives this breed its name and is their most unique characteristic.  The tips of their ear are flexible and round with tufts of fur.

The head of the American Curl is wedge shape with beautiful eyes that have a walnut shape.

While the American Curl has a long body, they are not large cats, but medium-sized.   Male cats will weigh from 8 to 12 pounds. Female cats are usually 6 to 8 pounds.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Their grooming needs are moderate, but a good weekly brush should keep their coat un-matted. They do shed just like any other cat, but just keep your lint brush handy and you should be fine!

They are not known as a hypoallergenic breed.

American Curl Personality

The American Curl is known for his loving personality and the ability to get along with everyone.

These cats love children, families and are even known to enjoy a dog’s company.  Don’t be surprised if your American Curl will follow you around the house.

While not one of the talkative or bossier breeds, your American Curl will let you know what he or she wants as this isn’t a shy cat.  But, he is definitely a quieter breed.

The American Curl is an active cat and loves his daily exercise.  Known as a jumper to fly across the room, they have been nicknamed the Peter Pan of cats for his agility and youthful nature.

Make sure that you have some cat trees or places where your American Curl can jump to great heights and observe the activity.

They are very trainable and love to learn new games and play fetch.

American Curls have been known to open doors and cabinets, so make sure that anything you want untouched is behind a closed or locked cabinet.

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Artemis had a severe ear infection and needed to visit both the regular vet and a specialist, multiple times. After medication and a few follow-up visits, she recovered well and is now doing great!

Common Health Issues in American Curls

While there isn’t evidence of any major breed-specific illnesses with the American Curl, one health problem does crop up:

Ear Infections

While any cat can develop an ear infection, the mutation that causes the ears to curl back makes the American cat’s ear canals to be especially narrow.

Wax will build up more readily and provide a home for bacteria and parasites that can damage your cat’s hearing and cause discomfort.

However, frequent ear cleanings at home and regular visits to the vet to address this issue are very important for this breed.

As always, reputable breeders offer the best chance of getting a problem-free cat for an ear infection or any other disease or illness that might occur.

If problems with the ears do occur, it can cost $150 for a vet cleaning, and several hundred if surgery on the ear is needed.

Should You Purchase Pet Insurance for Your American Curl?

While the American Curl is one of the healthier breeds, having pet insurance can be important for the long term health of your cat.

If your cat does develop chronic ear infections, having pet insurance will help you pay for the treatment, testing and the medication for those infections.

And ear infections tend to be chronic even if you treat them immediately.

Cats live a very long time and the American Curls are known to live up to 16 years old.

When a cat lives that long there will, unfortunately, be health issues that arise just due to old age, such as kidney disease or even diabetes.

Medical costs for either of these diseases can be very expensive and it is not unusual to end up with a vet bill from $5,000 to $10,000.

Most pet insurance plans cover long term illnesses up to 90% of the bill (minus your annual deductible), which can really save you money and get your kitty the best care without hurting you financially.

Finding The Best Pet Insurance

The best plans, like Healthy Paws, Pets Best and Embrace, will cover long term illnesses and all the testing and diagnostics that goes with it.

Look for a comprehensive plan that will cover all accidents and illnesses so you know that you are always covered.

Cat insurance plans are fairly inexpensive and usually range from $9 to $15 a month and that certainly won’t break the bank!

Just make sure to enroll your American Curl when he or she is a kitten and before any pre-existing conditions occur.

There are no pet insurance providers that will cover pre-existing conditions.  No exceptions!

You already spent money on your American Curl and the last thing you want is for your kitty to get sick or hurt and you can’t afford to take care of your fur kid.

With pet insurance, you have the comfort of knowing that you will be able to pay for whatever might happen with your cat today or in the future!

If you are looking for a new pet insurance policy that offers continuous, lifetime care, our top 8 cat pet insurance companies is a great place to start!


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We have worked hard to provide you with all the free resources possible to help give you insight into the best pet insurance for cats, additional cat breeds info, common cat health issues, and a fun look at frequently asked cat questions.


Additional Cat Breeds:


American Curl Cat, American Wirehair Cat, Arabian Mau Cat, Ashera Cat, Balinese Cat, Burmese Cat, Chartreux Cat, Chausie Cat, Cymric Cat, Domestic Medium Hair Cat 

Himalayan Cat, Japanese Bobtail Cat, Manx Cat, Nebelung Cat, Norwegian Forest Cat, Orange Tabby Cat, Oriental Cat, Persian Cat, Pixie-Bob Cat, Russian Blue Cat

Scottish Fold Cat, Selkirk Rex Cat, Siamese Cat, Siberian Cat, Singapura Cat, Somali Cat, Thai Cat, Toygers Cat, Turkish Angora Cat, LaPerm Cat, Maine Coon Cat



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