The LaPerm is a breed of rex cats, with the most remarkable feature being its soft and bouncy curls caused by a dominant gene. It has a medium-sized muscular body with a long neck and legs. The head is wedge-shaped with a somewhat rounded outline, while the muzzle is slightly broad. The almond-shaped eyes, broad noses, and flared ears are some of its other physical traits. The LaPerms with shorter fur have a bottle-brush type tail, and those with a longer fur have a plumed tail with ruff.
|Other Names||Dalles LaPerm|
|Coat||Loose, springy, wavy, light, airy without thick undercoat;
Longhaired: fullness and length vary seasonally, sometimes parts down naturally;
Shorthaired: does not have earmuffs or ringlets, texture is harder
|Color||All colors or patterns are possible; torties, tabbies, and reds are common; chocolate, colorpoints, lilac, darker points, shaded, and ticked tabbies are also bred|
|Group of Breed||Domestic|
|Lifespan (Life Expectancy)||10-15 years|
|Weight||Males: 7-10 lbs (3.2-4.5 kg)
Females: 5-8 lbs (2.3-3.6 kg)
|Size of Litter||3-6 kittens|
|Personality Traits||Lovable, active, intelligent, sociable|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Country of Origin||The USA|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||GCCF, TICA, CFA, WNCA, SACC|
History and Origin
Because of a natural mutation in a tabby barn cat called Speedy, a bald female kitten with tabby patterns on the skin and big, widely spaced ears was born on a farm in the city of Dalles, Oregon, in the year 1982. Soon, its coat started to develop with soft, curly hairs.
As a result, the farm owners Richard and Linda Koehl named it Curly. Eventually, Curly mated with different male cats in the neighborhood, including a Manx and a Siamese, producing the first litter of LaPerm kittens that inherited the dominant trait of curly coat from their mother.
According to the geneticists, these cats were different from the other curly-coated cat breeds like the Cornish, Devon, and the Selkirk Rex. These cats were eventually recognized by different cat registries including Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association.
Temperament and Behavior
The humorous and adorable LaPerm cat with its clownish and mischievous behavior keeps its family members amused all day. It often demonstrates its cleverness and playfulness by opening doors, swiping things, or tapping at the back of its owner with its paws. Though it likes to follow its master around and sit in the lap or on the shoulder, it does not have the tendency to cling at all times.
As an inquisitive cat, it loves to get into things. However, it is a friendly and pleasant pet to live with. It is not always vocal, but will interact when wanting attention from its people. Known for its patience and gentle behavior, it gets along well with older children and household dogs that are friendly to cats. With early socialization, it can learn to accept the presence of guests.
To keep your LaPerm’s coat in the best condition use a comb with rotating teeth to brush its soft curls twice or thrice a week. A little water can be used to dampen its curls, which helps in setting them properly.
If it develops small mats, gently brush out with a greyhound comb. A periodic bath can be given by pressing a towel against its coat. Allow it to dry in a draft-free place. Do not use a blow dryer since it might make its coat frizzy.
Weekly brushing its teeth will keep away periodontal diseases. Trimming its nails every week is also recommended. If your cat’s ears are dirty, you can wipe them by using a soft cloth dampened with a mixture of warm water and cider vinegar.
The LaPerms are a healthy breed of cats with no known health concerns. Nonetheless, you should always check the written health guarantee while buying a kitten from the breeder.
Being moderately active, it likes to keep itself busy playing with cat toys like catnip toys, interactive teasers, lasers, mouse, and scratching posts. It enjoys climbing high up on a cat tree so that it can observe everything closely.
Teach your cat to follow different sets of commands such as to shake its paw, to roll over, to sit, etc. Do not teach too many new tricks at a time since it will only confuse your pet. Instead, you should be more patient and consistent in your approach. Introduce your LaPerm kitten to other pets, including cats and dogs, but under controlled circumstances.
A balanced diet with the right amount of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates is recommended for the LaPerm cat. If you are giving your pet commercial cat food, check whether it meets the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) standards. Since it is prone to obesity, its daily calorie intake should not exceed 70 Kcals/kg of body weight.
- The first LaPerm cat to gain the Champion recognition from the TICA was Dennigan’s French Maid of Shoalwater.
- Champion Uluru BC Omaste Po of Quincunx was the first LaPerm that was imported to the UK.