Scottish Fold: The Ultimate Guide to their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care

If you have been thinking of getting a pet cat, you might want to consider the Scottish Fold. We will take a closer look at the Scottish Fold cat and tell you everything there is to know about them.

What’s the nature of the breed?

By nature, the Scottish Fold is a very peaceful, gentle, loving, and sociable cat. These cats hate being left alone for hours on end, get bored easily, and always want to be involved in whatever people are doing. They have this odd habit of posing in weird positions and using their voice to get the attention of people around them.

While they are not overly active, they do enjoy the occasional game. They are known to be fairly smart cats and they enjoy teaser toys that require them to pass some kind of obstacle or to solve a problem of sorts.

Origin and history of the breed

What is funny about the Scottish Fold is that it is actually a result of a genetic mutation, followed by selective breeding. You might notice that these cats have Folded ears, hence their names.

This trait was noticed in a white barn cat in Scotland in the early 1960’s. Some person liked the look, and they started breeding this white cat with folded ears with other local domestic cats.

It was actually bred with a British shorthair cat, and this genetic mutation of the folded ears lived on. There are also so-called Highland Folds, which have long hair. The Scottish Fold was imported to the US in the early 1970s, and was shortly after recognized by major cat associations.

Origin and history of the breed

Health and possible diseases

As far as cats go, the Scottish Fold is a relatively healthy breed of cat. It’s not like those folded ears pose any major health concerns. However, there are a couple of pretty serious health issues which the Scottish Fold can suffer from. For one, they have a tendency to suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a fairly serious heart disease.

They are also known for suffering from degenerative joint disease in the tail, ankles, and knees, which results in limited mobility. Moreover, if their teeth are not well looked after, they can develop periodontitis and other dental issues. Other than that, they tend to be fairly healthy cats.


The Scottish Fold requires a moderate amount of grooming. The short-haired ones require brushing once per week to remove dead hair and skin. The longer-haired variants require brushing about twice per week. You don’t want to bathe these cats very much, no more than twice per year, as it is not good for their coats.

You also want to trim their nails every couple of weeks, wipe out their ears with cotton balls once per week, and daily tooth brushing is a good idea too. In terms of grooming, they are not overly demanding, about average for a cat.

Height and size

The Scottish Fold is not a particularly large cat. Generally speaking, it will grow to around 10 inches in height, but sometimes also as small as 8 inches. There are some of these cats which are known as Munchkins, which only grow to around 7 inches in height. These cats are not particularly wide or long, but are more rounded than anything else.


Scottish Fold cats can vary quite greatly in terms of their weight and size. Some of the larger specimens can grow up to 14 pounds in weight, with others being as light as 6 pounds. Generally speaking, most will remain around the 10 pound mark.


In terms of being active, the Scottish Fold is moderately active. They like attention from people and might follow you around the house all day long. They are not fond of being alone or inactive.

However, they are also not overly active. They enjoy lounging around and sunbathing at times, or even just sitting on a windowsill and watching the outdoors. They are convenient cats because of this moderate energy level.


Unfortunately, if you suffer from allergies, you may want to stay away from the Scottish Fold cat, especially the long-haired variety. They are not hypoallergenic and are known for causing reactions in allergy sufferers. However, regular grooming and cleaning of the home can help mitigate this a little bit.


Scottish Fold cats are pretty average when it comes to their lifespans, especially when compared to other cats. Their small size and health concerns lead them to live to about 15 years of age. 15 is the average lifespan of this cat.

Caring Difficulty

The Scottish Fold is not all that hard to care for, about moderate we would say. They require a fair amount of grooming, nail clipping, and ear cleaning.

They require a well-balanced diet and they want their litter box to always be super clean. Moreover, they like playing and being around people. They are not overly hard to care for, but do need a certain amount of attention and maintenance.

Where to get a Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds can be found all over the world, but mostly in Europe and North America. There are actually quite a few breeders around, so as long as you can find a legit breeder with good reviews, you should be fine.

You always want to inquire about genetics and family history to ensure that there are no major issues present. Lots of Scottish Fold kittens and fully grown cats can also be found for adoption.

How much does a Scottish Fold cost?

Scottish Fold cats are actually quite expensive by any standards. On average, for a normal Scottish Fold kitten, expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.

Furthermore, if the kittens come from a distinguished line or the parents are award winners, you could pay up to $2,500 per kitten. Yes, it is quite the investment.

Choosing the right type of Scottish Fold

Choosing the right type is not very hard. There are munchkins of this breed, so if you would rather have a small cat, go for a Scottish Fold munchkin.

Also, if you would rather have one with longer hair, you can go for a Scottish Highland Fold. Other than that, as long as you choose a good breeder that will give you papers, besides color preferences, there is not much else to look out for here.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a Scottish Fold

What do they require?

As mentioned above, there’s not all that much maintenance involved here. These Scottish Fold cats require moderate maintenance in terms of grooming, litter cleaning, nail clipping, and ear cleaning.

Learn more about Scottish Fold cats in this short video below: 

You need to provide them with a healthy and well-balanced diets, all of their necessary immunizations, and they will definitely need some toys and a cat scratching post.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

When it comes to attention and social needs of the Scottish Fold, they are moderate. They don’t really like to be alone for long times, and they do enjoy the occasional play session, but in the grand scheme of things, their needs for attention and care are not too high. They don’t mind doing nothing as long as they are with people.

Characteristics of Scottish Folds


This is a pretty diverse cat in terms of patterns which it can come in. This cat comes in a variety of patterns including solid colored, tortoiseshell, tricolor or calico, bicolor, tabby, ticking, smoky, shaded, and spotted.


This is a pretty diverse cat in terms of patterns which it can come in. This cat comes in a variety of patterns including solid colored, tortoiseshell, tricolor or calico, bicolor, tabby, ticking, smoky, shaded, and spotted.


The Scottish Fold is indeed a fairly affectionate cat. It likes to be around people, it likes pets, and it likes kids too.

It likes to play, and it does not mind sitting in a lap or being picked up on occasion. They do also enjoy a good scratch behind the ears. They do not require constant attention, but they do enjoy affection.


These cats do just fine with both dogs and kids. They like smaller dogs more, but larger dogs, well-behaved ones, are fine too. They also do fine with kids as long as they are respectful.


Scottish Fold cats are moderately intelligent. They do enjoy some puzzle or teaser toys. They are not overly smart or exceedingly dumb, just pretty average.


Scottish Fold cats don’t have all that much energy, but they are not slouches either. They enjoy a good game session, they’ll follow you around, and they will definitely hunt for prey. However, in the grand scheme of things, they are not overly active.


As mentioned above, Scottish Fold cats are not overly high maintenance. Regular feeding, play, some toys and scratching posts, regular grooming, and the occasional bath will do just fine for these cats.

Types of Scottish Fold Cats

Are there any types of the breed? Yes, there are a few types of this breed, but generally speaking, they only differ in size and length of hair, rather than colors or patterns.

As mentioned before, you have the munchkin Scottish Fold, which is small, the normal version, and you have the Scottish Highland Fold, which has long hair.

Color and pattern

We already talked about the patterns above, but in terms of color, these cats can come in white, blue, cream, red, silver, cameo, brown, blue-cream, and black


As you can see, the Scottish Fold is a good house cat. It is sociable and loving, it is not overly energetic, it is not overly smart, it is not known for destroying things, and is not too hard to care for.