Scottish Fold cat, also known by the name of Coupari (by Canadian breeders), is known for its unique physical characteristic - its ears contain one, or more, folds and tend to bend forward and downward, towards the front of its head. This unusual attribute, a result of natural dominant-gene mutation, gives the cat an "owl-like" appearance. The breed was initially known as Flops (for 'floppy' ears). It was only in 1966 that the name 'Scottish Fold' was adopted. The cat has a number of other official names as well - Highland Fold (by the ACFA, AACE and UFO), Scottish Fold Longhair (by the TICA, NCFA, ACA, CCA and CFA) and Longhair Fold (by the CFF).
The Scottish Fold was first spotted in 1961, by a shepherd named William Ross, at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland. It was a long-haired cat, in white color, called Susie, with an unusual fold in the middle of its ears. Sometime later, Susie gave birth to a litter, with two of the kittens being born with folded ears. Ross, who was a neighboring farmer and cat-fancier, acquired one of these two kittens and registered it with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, in Great Britain. Soon, he started breeding the Scottish Fold kittens, with the help of Pat Turner, a geneticist.
The breeding program of Ross and Turner resulted in 76 kittens in the first three years. Of these, 42 were born with folded ears and the rest had straight ears. With this, the conclusion was drawn that the folded ears resulted from a simple dominant gene. While Scottish Fold was not accepted as a showing breed in Great Britain and Europe, where it was believed to be susceptible to ear problems, it was exported to America. There, it gained tremendous popularity and was also granted the championship status by The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), in the year 1978.
Scottish Fold cat is characterized by folded ears. Though the kittens are born with straight ears, after three to four weeks, they start folding. The cat can be categorized as medium-sized and has a round, well-padded body (especially the head and face). Its eyes are large, round and broadly spaced. Scottish Folds have a kinked tail that lacks flexibility. Their coat is short, dense, and resilient, with hair that is either very long or very short. These cats can be seen in almost all the colors possible, with the exception of the ones that indicate hybridization, like chocolate and lavender. Their nose is short and has a gentle curve, while the legs can be medium-to-short in length and the head is domed.
Scottish Fold cats are known to be quite intelligent. They have a gentle temper and prove to be very loyal. These cats find it easy to adapt to new people and environment. Scottish Folds have a soft voice and are not extremely vocal. They are gregarious by their very nature and love human company. Not too active, these cats fall in the medium activity range. They love to play, but prefer if their owner is also involved in the games. Scottish Fold cats prefer to be close to their owner. They are also known for their habit of sleeping flat on their back and can often be seen looking like an otter, when they sit up.