Ear shape is rarely the only distinguishing feature in cats. Of all the breeds registered by international associations and about the same number of varieties of mixed breeds, cats with round ears are extremely rare among them.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, they represent a group of genetic mutants that have acquired a characteristic trait as a result of natural or artificial selection.
Cat Breeds With Round Ears
First of all, we should consider the well-known cat breeds in which the rounded tips of the ears formed in a natural way.
This amazing cat is also called “Iranian”. The breed has three characteristic differences:
- Long hair is the pride of the breed and at the same time a headache for owners, since it is difficult to care for it.
- Flattened muzzle and upturned nose.
- The Persian cat lacks the ability to adapt to living conditions outside the home.
The ears of the Persians are low, small, set wide apart, slightly rounded at the top.
The Himalayans continue the line of the Persians, they are a cross between long-haired Oriental and Siamese cats. From the first, the animals took a luxurious long fur coat and a snub-nosed muzzle, and from the second they inherited an acromelanic color-point color.
The round ears of the Himalayan cats exactly repeat the shape of the Persian branch and are no different from it.
Another descendant of Iranian cats, but without long hair. With the Persians, they crossed ordinary American cats and got a new breed. All colors of the parental populations are present in it, there is a snub nose, a flattened muzzle, and small ears with round ends.
The list continues with a unique cat. Not only do its ears have an obvious roundness, but they are also bent in the opposite direction at an angle of 90 ° . The natural mutation was discovered in 1981 (USA). Later, the cat gave birth to seals with the same deformed round ears.
The peculiarity is that babies are born with normal ears, but by the age of 4 months, their round tips are completely wrapped.
The American Curl comes in short and semi-long haired. The characteristic feature is preserved in two forms.
This very young breed was bred in 2006 from the Canadian Sphynx and American Curl. The elf has a hairless, flexible body, wrinkled skin on the neck and head, slanting eyes, and a flexible tail pointed at the tip.
The portrait of an unusual cat is completed with large, bent-back ears.
The breed gained recognition in 1977, although it appeared in Europe in the century before last, as evidenced by the entry in the British Encyclopedia. For a long time, there were proceedings with the belonging of the Oriental to the group of Siamese cats. They come from the same Asian region and are very similar in appearance.
Only two features differ significantly:
- A color in which there is no “trademark” Siamese color-point.
- Large round ears – in an oriental cat they are set wide apart and set low.
interesting! Many oriental cats have a very loud and unpleasant voice. It is considered a distinctive feature of the breed.
Another cat from the galaxy of mixed breeds. The parent breeds were Munchkins (short-legged cats) and American Curls. The kinkalow inherited distinctive features from their ancestors. Kittens are born with normal ears, but after a week and a half in some cats, they begin to bend back, like curls.
Interesting! There are less than a hundred kinkalow in the world.
Round ears in cats are most often found in mixed breeds. Nature does not indulge pets with such traits, and breeders have taken on this function.
Highland is a hybrid of the desert lynx (caracal) and jungle curl. The latter generally has a mixture of several breeds – from swamp lynx to Bengals and Egyptian Mau, as well as an American Curl with round ears bent back.
The Highland Lynx is a large, high-legged, spotted cat with well-developed hocks (hind legs higher than forelegs), strong, active. Loyal to people.
It has a lynx muzzle, a spotted hide, and a short tail. Due to the round shape of the ears, there are no “lynx” tassels, but even without them, the animal bears a great resemblance to its wild ancestors.
Wild Cats With Round Ears
Feline proponents are constantly experimenting with some wild species that have a trait of interest to them. Therefore, cats with round ears are consistently in the field of view of breeders.
An African predator that lives in the northern part of the continent. It reaches 5 feet in length, 25 inches in height and weighs up to 45 pounds. Rounded large ears and beautiful spotted coloring traditionally attract the attention of breeders who are breeding new breeds to the Serval.
These cats show distrust of humans, get along badly and, with any care, remain untamed for the rest of their lives. The exception is pets that came to people at an early age, but after reaching puberty, they also change their behavior dramatically.
But in parental qualities, the servals showed themselves from the best side. They easily find a common language with ordinary domestic cats and have offspring with them. Some of these hybrids have become very popular.
A hybrid of a serval and several domestic breeds. Oriental, Bengal, Ocicat, and Egyptian Mau took part in the selection at various stages. The result is a large animal that inherited from its wild ancestor height (up to 25 inches), weight (33 pounds), spotted predatory coloration, and large ears with round ends. A very impressive and wayward cat.
Like other wild animal hybrids, all Savannah offspring are marked for blood. F1 is the direct heir to the first mating African cat (50% Serval). In categories F1-F4, all cats remain sterile and cannot have offspring. Therefore, only females are suitable for further breeding.
They are knitted with domestic cats (usually the Bengal breed is chosen) and continue the pedigree line of the savannahs. Home content includes group F5-F7. There is no longer hunting alertness and wild aggressiveness in it, but all the qualities of ordinary domestic cats are manifested.
All domestic cats with round ears have no additional requirements for nutrition, hygiene, and living conditions. The only difficulty for some of them lies in the processing of bent ears – weak cartilages are easily damaged if handled carelessly.
Wildcat hybrids are more demanding. For example, savannah in generations F1-F4 is not recommended for home keeping, it is best to place it in a specially equipped aviary. Such a cat should have everything necessary for playing, resting, and eating, and close communication with people is minimized.
In other categories (F5-F7) there are no contraindications for living in an ordinary apartment.
Round ears in cats is an indicator of belonging to a group of unique animals. With rare exceptions, they all belong to the population of mixed breeds or hybrids, have no common character traits, and demonstrate internal and external individuality.
Each of these breeds is represented by a small number of animals. But the desire of breeders to pursue new species is steadily growing. This means that soon there will be new types of cats with unusual ears.