Happy Silly Cat

Folding the Controversy: The Ethics of Breeding Scottish Folds

The Scottish Fold Cat is a fascinating breed known for its unique folded ears. More than just a cute feature, these cats have a distinctive temperament and complex health considerations.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of the Scottish Fold, the history of the breed, how to care for and maintain their well-being, and the controversy surrounding their breeding.

Characteristics of the Scottish Fold

Affection Level: Scottish Folds are known for their gentle and affectionate nature and thrive on human companionship. They like to be close to their owners and will actively seek out affection.

Friendliness: Scottish Folds are friendly cats who enjoy being around people. They often will greet visitors with a friendly approach.

Kid-Friendly: Scottish Folds make excellent family pets and are great with kids. They are patient and friendly, making them perfect companions for younger children.

Pet-Friendly: Scottish Folds get along well with other animals and are happy to share their home with other pets. Exercise Needs: Scottish Folds are not high-energy cats but do require some exercise.

Interactive play sessions and short walks are enough to keep them fit and healthy. Playfulness: Scottish Folds are playful cats who enjoy toys and games.

They have a fun-loving nature and love to engage in interactive play. Energy Level: Scottish Folds are not known for their high energy levels but will have bursts of activity throughout the day.

Intelligence: Scottish Folds are smart cats and enjoy puzzles and games that challenge their minds. Tendency to Vocalize: Scottish Folds are not overly vocal cats but will communicate with their owners when they want attention or food.

Amount of Shedding: Scottish Folds are moderate shedders and require regular grooming that includes brushing.

History of the Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold cat breed originated in Scotland in 1961. A local shepherd found a white cat with folded ears on a farm and named her Susie.

Susie’s distinctive trait was soon found to be inherited, and the breed was established. The breed was recognized in the United States in the 1970s and has since gained popularity worldwide.

However, it is considered rare in some countries due to some breeding restrictions.

Scottish Fold Care

Brushing: Regular brushing is essential for Scottish Folds. They have medium-length hair prone to matting, particularly behind their ears and under their legs.

Nail Trimming: It is necessary to trim Scottish Fold nails regularly to prevent them from becoming overgrown. Dental Hygiene: Good dental hygiene is essential for Scottish Folds.

Regular brushing with a specially formulated cat toothpaste can prevent dental issues. Ear Checks: It is essential to check the ears of Scottish Folds regularly.

Do not insert objects into their ears as it can cause damage to their sensitive ear canals. Activity Level: Regular exercise keeps Scottish Folds healthy and motivated.

They enjoy interactive play, toys, and occasional walks.

Common Health Problems

Osteochondrodysplasia: Osteochondrodysplasia is a genetic condition that causes improper bone development in Scottish Folds. It can result in painful and debilitating joint issues.

Other Health Problems: Scottish Folds are prone to polycystic kidney disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and spinal cord abnormalities.


The Scottish Fold has a rounded head with medium-sized ears that fold forward and down. They have large, expressive eyes, and their coat comes in a range of colors, including blue, silver, and black.

Diet and Nutrition

Scottish Folds require a balanced diet with high-quality protein, including meat, poultry, or fish. It is advisable to feed them specific cat food for their age and lifestyle.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Scottish Fold

When adopting or purchasing Scottish Folds, it is essential to choose a reputable breeder who screens for genetic health problems. Adoption centers and rescue organizations offer Scottish Folds in addition to breeders.

The Folded Ear Trait

Explanation of Trait: The folded ears of Scottish Folds arise from a spontaneous mutation that affects the development of the ear cartilage. Kittens are born with straight ears but begin to fold around three weeks of age.

Gene for Folded Ears: The gene responsible for the folded ear trait is dominant with incomplete penetrance, which means that the trait can cause health problems, and not all cats with the gene will have the characteristic. Health Issues Associated with the Gene: The folded ears can lead to ear infections, narrowing of the ear canal, and hearing loss.

Osteochondrodysplasia is also associated with the gene, leading to painful joint issues. Heterozygous Cats vs.

Homozygous Cats: Heterozygous cats have one copy of the folded ear gene and one normal ear gene. They tend to have fewer health problems than homozygous cats, which have two copies of the gene.

Controversy Surrounding Breeding of Scottish Folds

The breeding of Scottish Folds is controversial due to their potential health issues. Some breeders defend the practice, citing ethical breeding practices.

However, many organizations and animal welfare groups advocate not breeding Scottish Folds with the folded ear gene to prevent health problems.


In conclusion, Scottish Folds are unique and beautiful cats with a loving personality. They require special care due to their genetic health issues and traits.

It is essential to adopt or purchase from reputable breeders to ensure the welfare of these amazing cats and prevent health problems. The Scottish Fold cat has rightfully earned a reputation for being charming and friendly, traits that make them an excellent companion.

However, the breeding of these cats has been the subject of controversy in recent years. In this article, we will explore the ethics of breeding Scottish Folds, the withdrawal of GCCF registration, acceptance by ACFA, CFA, and TICA, and the Scottish Fold clubs.

Ethics of Breeding Scottish Folds

The Scottish Fold’s distinctive folded ears have made them a popular breed. However, the breeding of Scottish Folds has been controversial due to the associated health problems.

The folded ears are caused by a dominant gene with incomplete penetrance, which means that not all cats with the gene will have the characteristic. Scottish Folds have a high incidence of osteochondrodysplasia, a genetic condition that can cause painful and debilitating joint issues.

Breeding practices that prioritize the appearance of the cats over their health have been criticized. Opponents of breeding Scottish Folds argue that the breed’s distinctive characteristics should not come at the cost of the animal’s welfare.

Ethical breeders aim to produce healthy cats with the desired appearance, and organizations such as the International Cat Association (TICA) have established breeding guidelines to promote the welfare of Scottish Folds.

Withdrawal of GCCF Registration

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the largest registering body for cats in the United Kingdom, withdrew their registration of the Scottish Fold in August 2018. The GCCF cited ethical concerns over the breed’s health issues and welfare.

The withdrawal of GCCF registration meant that cats with GCCF pedigrees could no longer compete in GCCF shows, although it did not prevent Scottish Folds from being imported from other countries. The decision was praised by animal welfare organizations, but it caused controversy among breeders and enthusiasts.

Some breeders accused the GCCF of making the decision without consulting the Scottish Fold breeding community. Proponents of breeding Scottish Folds argued that the breed’s health issues were not unique to Scottish Folds and that the GCCF should have worked with breeders to improve the breed’s health.

Acceptance by ACFA, CFA, and TICA

Despite the withdrawal of GCCF registration, Scottish Folds are still recognized by other registering bodies such as the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), and TICA. However, these organizations have established guidelines aimed at promoting the health and welfare of Scottish Folds.

The ACFA requires all Scottish Fold breeders to have their cats X-rayed to check their joint health. The CFA has established guidelines to ensure that Scottish Folds are bred with the aim of producing healthy cats.

Similarly, TICA has established breeding guidelines that require Scottish Fold breeders to screen their cats for genetic health issues before breeding.

Scottish Fold Clubs

Scottish Fold clubs have been established worldwide to promote the breed and to ensure that the cats are bred with their health and welfare in mind. These clubs work closely with breeders, registering bodies, and animal welfare organizations to promote ethical breeding practices and to ensure that Scottish Folds are healthy and happy.

They provide information and support to owners and breeders, and they organize events and shows where Scottish Folds can be displayed.

Price of Folded Ears

The Scottish Fold’s distinctive folded ears make them an attractive breed, but the cost of this feature can be considerable. Prices for Scottish Folds vary depending on the country of origin, where they are purchased, and the pedigree of the cat.

In the United States, the cost of a Scottish Fold kitten can range from $800 to $2,500, with prices depending on the kitten’s age, coat color, and breeder reputation. In the United Kingdom, Scottish Folds can cost between 200 to 1,500, with the pedigree and age of the cat affecting the price.


The breeding of Scottish Folds has been the subject of controversy due to the health issues associated with the breed’s distinctive folded ears. However, ethical breeding practices, the establishment of breeding guidelines, and the work of Scottish Fold clubs have helped to promote the breed’s welfare.

The charm and friendliness of Scottish Folds make them popular with cat lovers worldwide, and while the cost of their distinctive trait can be high, owning a Scottish Fold can bring joy and companionship to their owners. In conclusion, the breeding of Scottish Folds has been a controversial topic due to the health problems associated with their distinctive folded ears.

While some breeding practices have been criticized for prioritizing appearance over health, ethical breeding practices and guidelines have been established to promote the welfare of Scottish Folds. The withdrawal of GCCF registration and the acceptance of the breed by other registering bodies such as ACFA, CFA, and TICA reflect the importance of promoting ethical breeding practices for the health and welfare of the breed.

Scottish Fold clubs also provide valuable resources and support to owners and breeders. Overall, while the charm and friendliness of Scottish Folds make them popular with cat lovers, it is essential to consider their health and welfare when breeding, purchasing, or adopting them.

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