8 Cat Breeds with Adorable Small Short Ears

Cat Breeds June 9, 2024

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8 Cat Breeds with Adorable Small Short Ears

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Cat ears come in different shapes and sizes. While some cat breeds like the Abyssinian and Devon Rex have big ears others like the Scottish Fold have small and short ears.

Most small eared-cats often fold their ears backwards or tuck them into their fluffy coat, making them appear even smaller. The appearance of your cat’s small ears may also depend on your furball’s mood. For instance, an aggravated cat will lower and turn his ears sideways while an angry or terrified feline will lay his ears flat.

To learn more about short-earned cats, here’s a low down on eight cat breeds that have this quirky trait and all the interesting facts about them.

#1 Scottish Fold

  • Size: 5-13 pounds
  • Lifespan: 11-14 years
  • Temperament: People-oriented and intelligent

The Scottish Fold is one of the most famous small-eared cats. This beautiful feline originated in Scotland in the 1960s.

The Scottish Fold’s small ears are folded forward and downward due to natural mutation. Lack of cartilage in the ears causes the ears to flop and fold forward making them look smaller than they really are.

Notably, Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears but the ears begin folding after 21 days.

Despite their small ears, Scottish Folds are very attentive. These cats are also devoted family pets and are known to make friends with everyone in the family. These cats are also very active and enjoy playing games and being entertained. They get bored when left unattended for long periods.

Moreover, the Scottish fold’s intelligence and adaptable nature make it easy for them to learn new tricks.

Unfortunately due to the fold gene, the Scottish fold is prone to a degenerative joint disorder called osteochondrodysplasia. This disease affects the cat’s cartilage and bone development resulting in stiff leg joints and tail.

Fortunately, with scheduled health plans and preventive veterinary treatments, your Scottish fold can have a life span of up to 14 years.

#2 American Curl

  • Size: 5 to 12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9-16 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, playful, and friendly

The American Curl has small, soft, pointed ears with rounded tips that curl backwards. The curling is due to spontaneous genetic mutation resulting from selective breeding. The bending of this cat’s ears varies but generally arcs between 90 to180 degrees.

The American Curl kittens are born with normal-sized straight ears that begin to curl backwards after 48 hours. After 4 months, the kittens’ ears will have curled completely and hardened at the base.

The American Curl is an energetic and active feline who enjoys jumping and climbing. They love playing and you should provide them with plenty of space for their daily exercises. They are also intelligent breeds that should be intellectually stimulated with puzzle toys and interactive games like playing fetch.

This breed is prone to ear infections due to their narrow ear canals which easily trap wax. A routine ear examination is necessary to help prevent infections.

When checking your American Curl’s ears do it carefully and gently to prevent breaking the ear cartilage. Also, always call a vet for advice if you notice any inner ear problems.

#3 Persian

  • Size: 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, and docile

The Persian cat traces its origin to Persia, which is currently referred to as Iran. In 2015, this feline became the second most famous cat breed and the most popular exotic breed in the US.

The Persian cat is characterized by a wide, round flat face, short muzzle, and large round eyes. The cat’s fluffy and long-haired coat makes their short ears appear small.

Although Persian cats are sweet and friendly, they should be handled gently, especially by children. They don’t like being grabbed or roughed up. Persian cats are known to get attached to a specific person in the household although they do enjoy the company of other pets in the home.

Persians are docile and gentle cats that require little attention. These giant cats are laid back and they would rather nap on the comfiest spot than play or follow you around the house.

The Persian’s long thick luxurious coat requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and mat. Their ears also need to be examined regularly to check for infections.

#4 Highlander

  • Size: 10-20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Temperament: Active, friendly, intelligent, and social

The Highlander traces its origin back to the Highland Lynx. The breed was created after crossing the Desert Lynx with the Jungle Curl in 2004.

The Highlanders’ unique physical traits make them have a wild appearance. Some of the unique characteristics of this cat include:

  • Extra toes on each paw
  • A short tail
  • Round-curled ears

These cats curled ears are set on top of their head and curl more inwards than forwards or backwards. Highlander kittens are born with straight ears but at two weeks the ears start to curl.

The Highlanders are social and playful pets that enjoy the company of both family members and strangers. Their gentle and affectionate nature allows them to get along with all household members including children, dogs, and other cats.

Additionally, the highlander is a confident and energetic cat breed that needs to be occupied with lots of human interaction and exercise. It’s advisable to keep this cat occupied with interactive activities so that they don’t become destructive in the house.

Further, Highlanders are intelligent cats that can be trained to perform tricks such as walking on a leash. These cats are also fascinated by water and won’t mind getting wet. To be on the safe side, always supervise this breed around water bodies and toilets.

This breed is very healthy and has no considerable medical conditions. Because of the curled ears, it’s normal for them to have wax buildup. Ensure you keep your Highlander ears clean by wiping them with a soft cloth or using special ear drops.

By giving them routine vaccinations and veterinary care, you can prolong your Highlander lifespan for up to 15 years.

#5 Birman

  • Size: 6-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Temperament: Laidback, curious, intelligent, and calm

Birmans are also called the sacred cats of Burma as they were worshipped by the Buddhist monks according to legends. This large cat has short legs, short ears, and a long color-pointed silky coat. These felines striking blue almond-shaped eyes enhance their beauty.

Birmans are loyal and affectionate cat breeds that enjoy the company of family members including children and cat-friendly dogs. They are also curious and playful and they’ll follow you from one room to the other exploring the environment.

Birmans are intelligent felines that enjoy puzzle toys. However, sometimes your Birman will prefer to just laze around.

This cat’s long coat doesn’t mat easily making it easy to groom. However, the cat coat sheds a lot during the spring meaning you’ll need to comb it weekly.

Unfortunately, the Birman cats are prone to genetic problems like Congenital hypotrichosis, corneal dermoid, and spongiform degeneration.

#6 Exotic Shorthair

  • Size: 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8-15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent and people-oriented

Exotic Shorthair is short hair version of the Persian cat. It was developed by crossing the Persian cat with various shorthair breeds like the American and British shorthairs. This resulted in a sweet and gentle yet undemanding family cat.

The exotic shorthair has unique round physical features including the face, head, paws, and tips of their small ears.

The affectionate and calm nature of this breed makes her get along with all the household members including children and other pets.

The Exotic Shorthair is a calm and quiet cat and she’ll get your attention with her soft musical voice and innocent sweet gaze. These cats will easily survive in homes with small spaces.

Moreover, the Exotic Shorthairs are curious and playful. They aren’t demanding and enjoy sleeping the whole day or entertaining themselves by playing chase or solving puzzles.

The Exotic Shorthair requires minimal grooming compared to her cat parent- the Persian. The tiny flat face and short nose make this cat a brachycephalic breed. This means they suffer from health problems common among brachycephalic breeds such as breathing difficulties, dental malocclusions, and heat sensitivity.

#7 British Shorthair

  • Size: 7-17 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Temperament: People-oriented and social

The British Shorthair is one of the oldest cat and most popular cat breeds in the UK. This cat has a deep blue-grey coat and orange eyes. The cat’s round face and dense thick coat make her round widely separated ears appear rather small.

The British Shorthair is a sweet and affectionate cat that enjoys being loved and adored. They love to follow and be around their favorite person. They are easygoing and get along very well with children and other pets including dogs.

Although British Shorthair furballs love the attention they receive through play and touch, they don’t enjoy being held or carried around by children. British Shorthairs are extremely active and energetic as kittens but start to settle down after one year.

The British Shorthair’s smooth and short coat requires low grooming and maintenance.

Even though the British Shorthair is a robust breed, they are prone to gingivitis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes the heart function less efficiently.

#8 Toyger

  • Size: 7-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9-13 years
  • Temperament: Social, affectionate

The Toyger cat was developed in the 1980s by Judy Sugden. This cat resulted from a cross between a Bengal cat with a striped domestic shorthair. The cat has a medium-sized head with small round ears.

Toyger cats have gentle and docile traits. They love human company and will be miserable when left alone. Thus, they’re suitable for large families.

Toyger cats can be quite messy around the house when bored or left without enough entertainment. They are smart and can be trained to perform tricks like playing fetch. This breed is also social and outgoing and will enjoy outdoor activities like walking on a leash.

Final Thoughts

Short eared cats are beautiful!

Whether the ears are short due to being curled or folded, they make these cats look adorable. Remember to always handle your feline’s small ears gently and to clean them regularly.

So, do you have a small, short-eared furball?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Agnes is a freelance writer with big love for all fluffy creatures, especially her Maine Coon cat. She's written over 200 articles about animal care, ranging from how to raise kittens to the healthiest pet snacks on the market
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