Conspicuous through its curly, rippled fur, the LaPerm is a people-oriented, calm, and affectionate breed. It flourishes in loving families that can match its desire for attention and human companionship. Though inquisitive, it will be happy to stay in the lap of their owners, or simply observe whatever is going around their surroundings. However, it can be extremely active with its barn cat ancestry and would love to play a great game of fetch or chase, then snuggle with their families after a fun playing session.
Origin of the La Perm Cat
While the LaPerm cat has a short history compared to other breeds from the cat fancy, their origin never lacks fascination. In 1982, a barn cat named Speedy gave birth to a litter of six kittens. However, one of its kittens had a distinct trait, being entirely bald, compared to other kittens sporting a soft, brown coat. Moreover, it was smaller in size, but a relatively longer body structure.
After about two weeks, the kitten started to grow wavy across her body, which made its owners, Linda, and Richard Koehl, decide to name it Curly. Soon, Curly gave birth to a five tabby kitten, which had the same characteristics, being born entirely bald and then growing soft, curly fur in the following months. As the owners didn’t manage Curly’s breeding, more curly-coated kittens were born after then.
Linda entered a Cat Fanciers’ Association in Oregon in 1992, bringing one of the curly-haired cats. However, the event needed the feline’s breed for the registration process. She decided to register the name LaPerm, which was derived from the fuzzy perm hair trend that became popular in the 1980s. Today, the LaPerm breed is recognized by the world’s major cat associations.
Physical Characteristics of the La Perm Cat
Length: Between 12 to 18 inches
Weight: 7 to 10 pounds (Males), 5 to 8 pounds (Females)
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Coat Color: White, blue, black, cream, cinnamon, lavender, fawn, and different shadings and patterns
Type of Coat: Soft, wavy, short or long
Eye Color: Copper, yellow, gold, blue, aqua, or green
The LaPerm cat is a fairish-sized cat, with a wedge-shaped head and a well-proportioned and muscular body. They have almond-shaped eyes and big-cupped ears, surrounded by hair resembling that of a Lynx. This feline is most renowned for its curly and rippled coat, which is a product of a natural and spontaneous genetic mutation.
La Perm Cat Personality
LaPerm cats are people-oriented cats that can be affectionate to their owners without being overly clingy or nagging. However, expect that they will follow their families around, sit on top of their computer, cuddle on their lap, or climb their shoulder, whichever they will be happier. They relish human companionship and will thrive both in an apartment or indoor living, as long as they get the pampering they need.
With their barn cat ancestry, these furballs are active and agile. They will prefer a good game of fetch or chase, or smack the catnip mouse. As inquisitive cats, they will follow their owners around to get a peek of whatever they are doing. However, they can be mischievous, using his paws to swipe things around the house or open cabinets or doors.
Despite their high energy and high curiosity, LaPerms are vocally quiet felines, and will only communicate should they have something significantly important to impart to their owners. They are also open for a good conversation with their favorite person, as long as the latter initiate and do most of the talking.
LaPerm cats are delightful to live with. They are gentle and patient with people, and even with children, other cat-friendly pets, and visitors, as long as proper introduction and socialization have been observed at a young age.
Caring for the La Perm Cat
While their curly coat might seem intimidating, their fur’s grooming requirements are fairly low. Brushing them one to three times weekly is an excellent way to keep it from developing tangles or mats. However, long-haired breeds may need more combing sessions in a week. If in case their wavy hair needs some boost, misting her with clean water using a spray bottle and combing their coat using the hands can bring it back in its tip-top condition.
Since they are active and agile, cat trees, perches, and scratching posts are suitable investments to keep these cats entertained by themselves, whenever their owners are busy with one-on-one play sessions.
As for children, these cats will enjoy the company of toddlers that will treat them with respect. Children must be taught how to handle pets nicely and politely, petting these felines on the floor instead of carrying them around the house. For other pets, the proper introduction must be observed in controlled environments.
LaPerms are generally healthy and are not known to suffer from any breed-specific condition or disease. But, as with other cat breeds, getting the required immunizations and having regular consultations are good ways to ensure they have a long, healthy life.
LaPerm cats are terrific additions to loving homes looking for affable and outgoing cats. They don’t have the other feline breeds’ neediness but will shower their owners with the same amount of devotion and affection.