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The Scottish Fold Cat

The first Scottish Fold cat came from a farm in Pearthshire, Scotland, England in, 1961. The cat was discovered by a local shepherd who noticed the strange folded ears. He contacted the cat's owners, Mr and Mrs Mc Rae who told him that all the other kittens in the litter were normal. The Mc Rae's promised the shepherd a kitten from any future litter that she might produce. Two years passed and Susie, the flat eared cat, gave birth to two more kittens with folded ears, one of each sex. The male was given to a neighbour who had it neutered and kept it as a pet, the female was given to the shepherd and his wife - William and Mary Ross.

Three months later sadly, Susie was killed by a car on the road near where she lived. The Ross's went on to develop the breed from their kitten, Snooks, with the help of Pat Turner, a London breeder who took a male cat named Snowdrift back to London with him for an experimental breeding programme. Snowdrift became the founding father of the breed, with 76 descendants in three years, 42 of which had folded ears. 

In England the feline authorities opposed the breed, and in 1970 three of Snowdrift's descendants went to the USA. for a special study by geneticist Neil Todd in Newtown, Massachusetts. Later a breeder from Pennsylvania called Sally Wolfe Peters developed the breed. As a result of this the first Scottish Fold Cat was registered in the US in 1973, and she formed 'The International Scottish Fold Association' in 1974. By 1978 the breed had gained championship status at American cat shows, and had had become one of the most popular pedigree breeds in the USA by the 1990's. In England The Cat Association, eventually recognized the breed in 1983, and the Scottish Fold Cat is now seen regularly at their shows.

Abnormalities:

The gene that causes the ears to be folded appears to be linked to several physical abnormalities. It is a single dominant gene that causes problems when present in double strength (in the homozygous condition). If two Scottish Folds are mated, there is a greater chance that the kittens will be born with folded ears, but are liable to suffer from serious defects. As a result of this genetic link the breeders often mate their cats with non-folded felines, the result of this is the offspring will only have the ear-folding gene in single strength (the heterozygous condition).

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