Though the first thing you notice about the LaPerm is its peculiar curly coat, you’ll quickly learn this mischievous feline is full of personality to match his unique appearance.
Weight: 5-8 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Temperament: playful, clever, curious
Ease of Training:
The LaPerm has only been around since the 1982, when a tabby barn cat birthed a bald kitten in Dalles, Oregon. She was also much smaller compared to the others in the litter and had a longer body with notably large ears. After a couple months passed, this unique kitten took things one step further by growing a wavy coat. Eventually, the cat — aptly named Curly — gave birth to a litter of her own and all five of the male kittens were bald just like she once was.
Because the curl-causing gene is dominant, and because the owner didn’t spay or neuter the kittens, quite a few LaPerms were born in a decade’s time. Eventually, the owner entered four of the unique cats into a Portland, Oregon CFA show, where judges went wild over its appearance and demeanor. The feline has since been recognized by numerous associations.
Speaking of demeanor, if you’re on the prowl for a feline that’s independent but still loves to curl up in your lap every once in a while, the LaPerm is the kitty for you. This breed is perfectly OK on its own and can easily entertain itself with toys and other shenanigans. Often known for being “clownish” and ripe with curiosity, the LaPerm will scout the house, open cupboards, and generally insert himself anywhere he desires.
However, should a LaPerm crave a little human attention, don’t be surprised if he playfully bops you as a, “Hey! Look at me!” gesture. They tend to be delighted meeting new guests, and in the same way they appreciate human companionship they also get along well with other pets. The LaPerm is kid-friendly, too, but does best with older children who don’t feel quite as compelled to tug at his very alluring hair.
LaPerms are moderately vocal. They’ll meow if they need your attention — like if their bowl is empty or if they want some cuddles — and will even engage in back-and-forth “conversation” with you. All-in-all, they’re a wonderful companion for anyone looking for a playful, curious, independent, but affectionate cat.
LaPerms are generally very easy to groom, though their long, curly coats may need some extra attention compared to other felines. They do require weekly brushing to prevent tangling and matting. Despite the long hair, shedding is minimal throughout the year. In some cases, LaPerms undergo “molting” after getting spayed or neutered — a response to hormonal changes — which leads to a permanently thinned coat.
Given its barn background, the LaPerm is a very healthy, hardy cat and there aren’t any known genetic diseases or ailments that affect them. Still, they require annual vet exams to ensure everything is in working order, along with regular nail trims and teeth brushing. Keep your kitty at a healthy weight to prevent obesity-related health conditions. Should anything unexpected happen, having pet insurance can provide peace of mind.
Photo by flickr photographer chipve