This unique folding feature of the Scottish Fold is due to a dominant gene that causes varying degrees of fold in the ear cartilage – the early examples had a single fold where the ears bent forwards, although many of today’s cats have tight ‘triple’ folds. This often gives the cat a somewhat owl-like appearance, emphasised by the distinctive rounded shape with a short neck, round head and compact body. The longhaired Scottish Fold has a medium to long soft coat standing away from the body, together with an imposing ruff beneath its chin, the appearance of breeches on the hind legs and a big fluffy tail. All kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to fold at about 3 – 4 weeks of age if they are going to, although some cats retain straight ears throughout life (and are known as ‘Scottish Straights’).
Both longhaired and shorthaired Scottish Folds are known to be very good natured, affectionate cats who are very human-orientated and become extremely attached to their owners. They are easy going, playful but not overly boisterous, and score extra marks for being a very softly spoken breed with a wide variety of quiet sounds often not found in other breeds. They tend to adopt very relaxed positions when resting, often sleeping on their backs, and sitting in a ‘Buddha’ position with their legs stretched out and paws resting on their stomachs.
It is a cardinal sin to mate Folds with Folds as this causes huge cartilage problems in the kittens. The permissible outcross for a Fold is an Scottish Straight/American Shorthair/ British Shorthair (or Longhair).
BRITISH SHORTHAIR/ BRITISH LONGHAIR
The chubby-faced British Shorthair with the chipmunk cheeks and happy smile is famous as the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. This sturdy teddy bear has a smile and a plush coat combined with a wonderful disposition that makes the breed great family pets. The ancestry can be traced back to the cats of Rome and is one of the oldest breeds of English cats. Once a hunter and protector of the barns, the British Shorthair now embraces family life, preferring to snooze in comfort by the fire and to exchange hunting for playing with toy mice. The breed is dignified & affectionate, sometimes referred to as the Winston Churchill of the cat world, roaming the household dominion with all four feet on the floor. The British Longhair takes the characteristics of the British Shorthair and adds a longer coat resulting in an imposing longhaired cat with all the same characteristics that have made the British Shorthair such a loyal companion.
In both longhaired and shorthaired varieties of the breeds above, the coat can come in an amazing range of recognised colours and patterns (but their recognition depend on the various cat clubs’ rules). Also, the above temperament traits are nonetheless generalisations. It is also important to know & accept that every kitty is unique.
Note: The above info is adapted from various online sources.