The LaPerm is an unusual cat with a silky coat of shaggy curls and ringlets that is sometimes referred to as a gypsy shag. These are intelligent, active cats who meticulously plan how to get that toy just out of reach. The name commemorates their Native American connection with the Chinook tribe, which customarily used the French definite article when naming new words.
Linda Koehl, the breed’s founder, felt the cats’ coats resembled a loose perm and hence christened the new breed LaPerm. It is a slim muscular cat with no exaggerated characteristics, which is appropriate given its farm history as a working cat. The LaPerm has appealing huge, expressive almond-shaped eyes in addition to its characteristic curly coat with mohair feel.
In 1982, six kittens were born to a short-haired, brown tabby barn cat on a farm in Dalles, Oregon. One had a blue tabby pattern on her skin and was hairless. Eight weeks later, the kitten sprouted a smooth, wavy coat with a silky feel, much to the surprise of owners Richard and Linda Koehl. More cats, such as baby “Curly,” emerged among the barn cats throughout the next ten years.
The LaPerm is a small to medium-sized cat with long legs and a long neck. The wedge-shaped head, which broadens slightly at the muzzle, is softened by rounded features. Flared ears and almond-shaped eyes give this dog a lovely yet slightly strange appearance. The texture of the breed’s coat varies from delicate waves to lengthy curls. The curls will be the tightest on the underside, throat, and base of the ears.
Longer-haired versions are distinguished by a ruff and a plumed tail. The LaPerm’s coat parts in the center when he is shorthaired, and his tail is a “bottle brush.” Kittens are born bald or have hair loss within two weeks of birth. Their curly coat will develop during the next four months. Throughout the cat’s life, coat variations occur, including periodic “molting.” The LaPerm’s light, springy fur is textured rather than velvety to the touch and stands slightly off from the body.
To reduce the possibility of tangling, it is always recommended to comb through a LaPerm’s coat before bathing the animal. Blow drying the coat is not recommended because the heat tends to straighten out the breed’s distinctive curls. Use a metal comb with rolling teeth to remove dead hair in between baths.
Three or four brushings per week are adequate to keep the coat in outstanding condition, and because the LaPerm enjoys this process so much, it is not difficult to get the animal to stay still.
- Weight: 3 to 5 kg
- Coat length: Long
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Variety
- Pattern: Variety
The LaPerm is a clever, inquisitive cat that considers how to acquire what it wants and now uses their paws to reach out and obtain exactly what they want, whether it is a favorite toy or your attention. With their curls and ringlets and innocent eyes, these naughty clown-like cats make you chuckle with their amusing antics. These lively, outgoing cats enjoy being with you and partaking in whatever you do.
They like to be near to you and will follow you around like a dog, ride on your shoulders, play games with you, or sprawl out on the couch next to you as you watch TV. They are calm, friendly cats who need human touch and will extend out a paw to pat your cheek. Because of their warm, caring personality, they get along well with children and other household pets, making them a great family companion.
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: Low
The LaPerm have undergone a rigorous and respected breeding procedure, and they are usually regarded as a hardy breed. They usually live very long and healthy lives, and no inheritable illnesses are known to affect them at this time.
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