All Cats with Folded Ears

What you need to know about cats with folded ears

Are you a big cat lover or just want to know a lot about them? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably been curious about cats with folded ears before. Many people think that the Scottish Fold cat breed is the only one from this category. That is not true at all. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you. That is why, in this article, I’m going to answer all of your cat questions.

Why do some cats have folded ears?

Depending on the breed, folded ears can have multiple causes. The first one would be the genetic health problems. However, this only applies to the Scottish Fold breed. They are the only cats that have this unusual ears because of a mutation. The rest of the cats don’t have this kind of problems and. They have folded ears simply because it is a breed specific characteristic.

Types of folded ears

Yes, you’ve heard that right. There isn’t only one type of folded ears. Again, they can be different depending on the breed. There are 4 cat breeds that do have folded ears: the Scottish Folds, the American Curls, the Highlander cats, and the Ukrainian Levkoy. They are very different cats, but they do share this characteristic. However, their ears do not fold the same.

Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold cats have really small ears that bend forward and down towards the front of their head, with rounded ear tips. [1] This gives them a very cute appearance that most people love. People usually buy this cat strictly because of their beautiful ears.

scottish fold train

American Curl

The American Curl breed can fool you very easy when it comes to their ears. They are born with straight ears, and many people tend to get confused. They begin to curl only after about 4 days. At about 16 weeks old, the American Curl’s ears are developing their final form. The ears curl back and usually form an arc of 90 to 180 degrees. This will determine the value of the cat.  The tips of the ears are in most cases rounded and flexible. They do have large ears, much bigger than the Scottish Fold’s ears.

american curl ears

American curl cat


Highlander cats are not very popular among people, because they are quite rare. Compared to the previous breeds, this one is a little special. Why is that? Because it doesn’t necessarily come with curled ears. The cats from this breed can come with either curled or straight ears. You shouldn’t get this kitty if you want one with folded ears, because you never know. Also, the gene that is causing their ears to fold is also doing one more thing. Curled ears are going to be smaller than straight ears.

highlander ears

Highlander cat

Ukrainian Levkoy

Another rather unknown breed is Ukrainian Levkoy. They do have the same special feature just like all previous breeds. Their ears are large and bent forward and inward. Moreover, they are high and wide apart.

Ukrainian Levkoy cat ears

Ukrainian Levkoy cat

Can you straight the ears?

This is a silly question that people ask me frequently. In most of the cases, the folded ears are caused by skeletal problems. That means that trying to straighten the ears would do a lot of permanent damage to the cat. Don’t even try doing it if you love your kitty.

Are folded ears a health problem?

Unfortunately, these cute little ears that the cats from the Scottish Fold breed are coming with some health problems. They do have a genetic mutation that is affecting the development of their cartilage called osteochondrodysplasia. This health issue is what makes their ears bend forward, giving them the gorgeous look.

It doesn’t just influence the form of the ears, it also affects the cartilage of the bones. This results in a lot of pain for the poor kitties, because of the faulty bone development. All the cats from the Scottish Fold breeds often suffer from painful joints and wrists.

One outcome of this pain is a very popular position that they sometimes sit in. By standing on their legs, they will feel discomfort. That’s why they prefer the Buddha position. You may not hear of it if you don’t know too many things about Scottish Fold breeds. This is because, in most cases, it is a specific position for these cats. It looks kind of funny. How do you recognize it? By observing if your kitty has her legs thrown out while sitting on her butt.

You should take those cats to the vet immediately after they are born. While some felines might live a normal life with this disease, there are some bad scenarios as well. Your vet will tell you exactly what to do and if there is any major problem like paralysis.

The description of these breeds

Before you think about buying any of those cats because of their adorable ears, you would probably want to know more things about them, and this is exactly what I’m going to do.

Scottish Fold

Starting off with the Scottish Fold breed, I already talked about them a little earlier. About their health issues, to be more specific. However, that should not discourage you to get a kitty from this breed. They are wonderful little creatures. They are a medium size cat that is known, besides their ears, for their round faces and large eyes. They love humans and even dogs or some other animals as well. Their energy is also worth mentioning, these cats will entertain you whenever you feel like playing with them.

They have some very interesting colors and patterns, like chinchilla, shaded silver, shell cameo etc. The most common color of the fur that they are born with is blue. However, people seem to appreciate grey on them. This color along with their unusual ears make them look exactly like a cute owl. Because we’ve already talked about one of their position, I’m going to mention another funny one as well. Almost all of them love sleeping on their backs, giving them a very sweet look.

American Curl

Coming up, we’ve got the American Curl breed. Compared to the Scottish Fold cats, these kitties don’t have any known specific genetic health conditions. They are medium size as well and reach maturity pretty hard. You are going to see their full body development only after 2 to 3 years. They have a silky fur that can be either short or long. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns like ticked tabby, shaded, smoke, chinchilla etc.

Even though they are very intelligent animals, they can act like little babies even when if they reached maturity. A very important characteristic is their playfulness, even with children. If you happen to have one and wonder which cat to get for him, you’ve found it. They enjoy petting a lot and will dedicate themselves to their owner. However, they are not too vocal, so don’t expect too many meows. Make sure to give them the attention that they crave, and you will be their favorite.


The Highlander cat is also an interesting one. Even though they have folded ears, they don’t come with any unwanted genetic health issues. They can have either long or short hair. They can come in several colors, just like the previous breeds. They aren’t huge cats, but definitely bigger than the average ones. Although it may seem like it, the fold of their ears is not similar to the American Curl cats. They can have pretty loose ears. It is a great domestic cat and usually very affectionate with the owner. They are very energetic and playful, but generally quiet.

Cat trainers also love them because of their intelligence. I would suggest to you to get this cat, even if you are not the first owner. They adapt fast to any family and will love you like you were the one who raised them.

Ukrainian Levkoy

Even though the Ukrainian Levkoy breed isn’t that popular, they can be great domestic cats as well. They are also medium size cats that can have some health issues at birth. They may have defects of born structures or even crossed eyes. Not anything alarming though. Besides their ears, they do have another specific characteristic. Many people will be very happy to hear this, especially the ones with allergies: they are hairless.

They get along with anyone in the house, especially children and other animals. However, don’t expect a happy and playful relationship right away if you adopt a mature cat. They have a hard time adapting, but they will accommodate eventually. After that, you will see that they are very intelligent and loving animals.


Overall, there are a few breeds that have folded ears and is up to you whether you like this characteristic or not. What I can tell you though is that they are lovely cats that do deserve love from you too. With that being said, don’t hesitate and adopt one or more of this kind of cats. You will be amazed by their intelligence and beautiful personality. Now, my question is: which breed do you prefer from this and why? Did you choose one of them just because they have this special ear characteristic?

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