Cat Breeds 101: LaPerm

Cat Breeds 101 - LaPerm
Cat Breeds 101: LaPerm – Image To Repin / Share
Photo: Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0

Ringlets, corkscrews, or digital waves – name the curl and you’ll probably find it on a LaPerm, the cat with a natural “perm” (oxymoronic, yes, but you understand what we mean).

Despite its chichi-sounding name, the LaPerm actually has very plebeian roots, as the first recorded LaPerm was the offspring of a shorthaired farm tabby. But unlike the rest of the litter, this strange-looking mutant kitten was born with hardly any hair.

At six weeks of age, the fur finally came, and it was worth the wait because it developed into an eye-catching wavy coat that was softly textured and springy to touch. Farm visitors found it fascinating, and eventually, the farm owner, Linda Koehl, decided to begin a breeding program for her cat, whom she (perhaps not so imaginatively) named Curly. Thus the LaPerm breed was born. [1]

The LaPerm is characterized by curly hair, found from the tip of the cat’s tail to the inside of its ears. It is not unusual for a LaPerm to give birth to a kit that turns out to have straight coat. Sometimes the straight coat remains straight, while at other times, it sheds off and gets replaced by wavier locks. The only way to be very sure that your LaPerm is really a LaPerm is to wait for the mature coat to grow. This wait can take up to two years. [2]

Although its coat is very attractive, it is low maintenance. Weekly brushing is all it needs. The lack of undercoat makes matting less likely. [1] Of course, there is also the usual weekly tooth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning that is advised for nearly all other cat breeds. Aside from that, no exceptional care is required. Because the LaPerm comes from a hardy and well-adapted breed, it has no known genetic health issues either. [2]

This ease of care, plus its gentle-though-playful personality makes the LaPerm an excellent family pet. This is a cat that will be happy to stay indoors as a lap cat, and it will be equally happy to romp outdoors with your kids. It doesn’t really care what it does or where it does it, as long as it’s doing it with you. [1]

[1] LaPerm. The International Cat Association.
[2] LaPerm. Vetstreet.

LaPerm Cat Video: