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Scottish Fold: The cats that won the web’s heart

by Joy Wood

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The Scottish Fold is a breed of domestic cat that has one striking feature: adorable ears that gently fold forward and down, giving these cats and kittens the appearance of a wide-eyed owl. Discovered in the 1960s, the breed has experienced a surge of popularity in recent years with celebrities and hordes of fans falling madly in love. How did it happen? The internet, of course. And a little bit of cat magic.

Scottish Fold: Maru, internet sensation

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The first Scottish Fold to take the internet by storm was Maru. Maru is a Japan-based cat with a mild obsession for boxes and an irresistible personality. When Maru’s owner began posting videos of him on YouTube, a star was born.

Scottish Fold: Maru sets a record

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With over 340 million video views, famous Scottish Fold Maru set a Guinness world record and has now been certified as the most viewed cat on YouTube. With his own book, vlog and commercial acting career, one has to wonder just what Maru is spending his hard-earned cash on. Boxes?

Scottish Folds owned by celebrities

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Probably the most well-known Scottish Folds to be doted on by a celebrity are Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson, the beloved cats of country pop crooner Taylor Swift. When Swift first posted Instagram pics of Olivia as a kitten, the internet swooned. Ed Sheeran has also featured his Scottish Fold cat Calippo on his Insta feed.

Scottish Fold: cats of Instagram

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If you had any doubt as to just how popular Scottish Folds are, a quick Instagram search will answer your question. Type in ‘Scottish Fold’ and you will get no less than 2 million results. The real question is: has the Scottish Fold now reached the level of influencer?

The first Scottish Fold: Susie

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The OG of Scottish Folds was a humble Scottish barn cat named Susie. With her unusual folded ears, Susie resembled an owl. In 1961 Susie caught the eye of a shepherd and cat fancier named William Ross.

Scottish Fold: Snooks

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Ross adopted one of Susie’s kittens — a cat he named Snooks. And when Snooks eventually had her own litter of kittens, the breed known as the Scottish Fold was born.

Scottish Folds sit like people

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Scottish Folds are famous for their cute, human-like poses. This cat will often choose to sit on its bottom with its legs stretched out. Which is not only completely adorable — it’s a major photo op.

Scottish Folds like to sleep on their back

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Another unique pose of the Scottish Fold is their preferred sleep position: on their back. A sleepy Scottish Fold will often prefer to snooze this way — sometimes with their paws in the air!

Scottish Folds are funny and social

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The Scottish Fold is known for its fun-loving personality. There is nothing these cats like more than to interact with their people. They even like to follow people around the house, just like a dog.

Scottish Folds prefer one person

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Curious and affectionate, Scottish Folds will tend to bond with one person in the house. If you are that lucky person, you’ll know it, because they will stick by your side.

Scottish Fold: cats that love people

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They say you’re never lonely when you have a Scottish Fold. That’s because these cats crave and enjoy your company. They’re happiest when cuddled up next to their person — we say ‘next to’ because, despite their friendliness, they aren’t much of a lap cat.

Not all Scottish Folds have folded ears

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Interestingly enough, not all Scottish Folds actually have folded ears. This breed can also have straight ears. It’s not until a Scottish Fold kitten is about three to four weeks old that the ears will begin to fold.

Scottish Fold: genetic issues

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The distinctive genetics that characterize the Scottish Fold means that the cats cannot be allowed to breed with each other. If two Scottish Folds breed, the kittens will inherit too many unfortunate defects and will have a poor quality of life.

Scottish Fold: reputable breeder

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If you are smitten with the breed, make sure you source your Scottish Fold from a reputable breeder. Someone who is knowledgeable and caring will make sure you find a healthy cat that’s perfect for you!

Scottish Fold: voice

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One of the best parts of a Scottish Fold cat is its gentle and endearing personality. And this gentleness extends even to its voice. With a soft meow that sounds like a gentle chirp, they don’t often have a lot to talk about.

Scottish Fold: grooming

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Scottish Folds groom themselves regularly, like most other cats. It’s not necessary to wash and brush them unless that’s something you love to do. If you’re up to the challenge, and your cat allows it, you can try to gently brush its teeth once a month.

Scottish Fold: clean ears

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Because of the unique structure of the Scottish Fold’s ears, dirt and germs can get trapped. You can give them a gentle cleaning from time to time. Using a cotton-tipped swab, wipe very gently between the upper folds of the ear, taking care that the swab doesn’t touch the lower inner ear.

Scottish Fold: other animals

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Unlike most other cats, Scottish Folds seem to have a natural ability to adjust to other animals in a household. Of course, a slow, gentle introduction is always best.

Scottish Fold: personality

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Personality plus! Call it a teddy bear, call it ‘dog-like’ — whatever you call it, there’s no disputing the natural charm of the Scottish Fold.

Scottish Fold voted most popular

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With hordes of adoring fans and leagues of loyal followers, today the Scottish Fold is firmly entrenched as the most admired of all cat breeds. Given that sweet face, it’s only natural, right?

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