The Breed History
The Highland Fold, like the Scottish Fold traces back to a single white shorthaired ancestor from Scotland who in 1961 had a litter containing two folded kittens. See Scottish Fold chapter for details. Longhaired Scottish Fold cats, apparently resulting from Persian outcrossing, are considered a separate breed called the Highland Fold in some registries, and in other registries are within a separate division in the Scottish Fold breed, the Scottish Fold Longhair. The GCCF first accepted the shorthaired breed, followed by most other major registries in the 1970s, and the longhaired variety followed in the 1980s. Outcrossing to American and British Shorthair cats is still allowed. Because this breed is a division of the Scottish Fold breed in some registries, separate data are not always available in the literature. Many studies will consider a Highland Fold cat a Scottish Fold cat for study purposes because of the shared registry.
Weight: female 6-9 lb (2.5-4 kg), male 9-13 lb (4-6 kg)
Coat: The Highland Fold is a medium-long haired cat, soft coated in texture, with ruff and britches, and "fluffy" on the tail. Note the Longhair is not accepted in all registries. All colors are accepted excluding pointed or Oriental colors (lilac, chocolate etc); except the CFF registry which allows pointed cats.
Eyes: Usually gold colored.
Points of Conformation: This is a medium sized cat with a rounded outline. The head is large, and the nose is broad and curved. The muzzle is short, with well-developed cheeks. A minimal stop is present only. The ears are small-medium with rounded tips; the fold results in ear tips sitting down and forward. Single fold ears loosely approximate the normal ear type, progressively more tightly folded ears are called double fold and triple fold; the latter being the show type. The forward curved ear sitting cap-like over the temples results from an autosomal dominant mutation (Fd) with incomplete penetrance. Every litter will have some straight eared kittens. Folding of the ears occurs between 14 and 28 days and usually ears are set by 3-4 months of age. Not all ears stay folded; some pop back up to a straight position. The tail is medium long, tapering with a rounded tip. Legs are medium-short, and paws are round. A tail that is short, of reduced flexibility or kinked disqualifies.
Grooming: Weekly brushing is all that is required. During shedding season more frequent brushing may be needed. Pay attention to ear health because the canals are closely covered by the ears.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: These are moderately active cats. They possess gentle dispositions, and have low vocalizing tendency, with small chirping voice. They enjoy close human contact and may shadow their owners, and be a lap cat. A quirk in their posture is that they may sit up in a Buddha position. Adaptable, travel and do well in both quiet and noisy/busy households. Good with other pets.
Normal Breed Variations
Need to watch caloric input; tend to obesity. Small litters are the norm.
B Blood Type: A prevalence of 19%, and in another report, four of 27 cats (~15%) tested had B blood type (reported for Scottish Fold cats).Though Highlands have not been studied separately, Highland Fold cats will probably have similar rates because of their shared genetic pool.
None reported in the literature
Osteochondrodysplasia Skeletal Deformities: This is a Fold breed-specific condition and should be understood before purchasing kittens or before professionally assessing this breed. See Scottish Fold chapter for description and references.
Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI): Apparent "fading" kittens from litters where the parents are not blood tested are seen in the Scottish Fold, and attributed to the presence of type B blood in one parent; by extrapolation one might expect this to be the case in the Highland Fold. All B type cats have circulating anti-A antibodies and even primiparous queens can carry these. Type B queens bred to type A toms can result in fatal red cell lysis in A blood type offspring with undetected NI. Kittens with NI can be distinguished from other fading kittens because of pigmenturia; anemia and icterus will also be present; not all kittens at risk for NI will develop overt clinical symptoms.
Transfusion Reactions: Increased probability of reactions due to prevalence of B blood type, extrapolated from Scottish Fold data.
Ear mite propensity: More difficult to treat effectively due to the folded ear structure. Anecdotal evidence.
Hereditary Deafness: Is associated with the dominant gene for white cat (W); may be found in white cats of this breed; extrapolated from Scottish Fold data.
Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis: A Scottish Fold breed propensity for this condition was reported.
Rare and Isolated Reports
Polycystic Kidney Disease: See Scottish Fold chapter for description and references.
Blood typing before breeding or transfusions is advisable due to prevalence of B blood type in the breed.
- Breed name synonyms: Fold, Longhaired Scottish Fold, Lop-eared cat or Lop (historical), nickname: Foldie.
- Registries: TICA (Scottish Fold Longhair and Scottish fold separated), CFA, ACFA (Scottish Fold is a separate breed from Highland Fold), CFF, ACF (Scottish fold Longhair, Scottish Fold), CCA (Longhair and Shorthair are divisions within the Scottish Fold) -not accepted in GCCF
- Breed resources: The Longhair Clan-Longhair Scottish Fold Breed Club (CFF): Jean Viel III 49 Hancock St., Salem, MA 01970
- Scottish Fold Fanciers: http://www.ziplink.net/users/days/SFF.html
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