LaPerm cat breed quick facts
Length: 14 - 16 inches
Weight: Females: 6 - 9 pounds, males: 7 - 12 pounds
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Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Coat length: Long or short
Coloring: Any coat color or pattern
Grooming needs: Low
Friendliness: Breed alone is not an accurate predictor of individual cats' personalities. However, LaPerm cats are generally regarded as active and affectionate.
What the LaPerm cat breed is known for: LaPerms are know for their curly hair, loud purring, and being extra friendly. There are both short-haired LaPerms and long-haired LaPerm cats.
The LaPerm cat lives up to their name, sporting a wavy or curly coat. This healthy, medium-sized cat is ideal for anyone who wants a loving, affectionate, and active companion. While no cat is truly hypoallergenic, the LaPerm breed rarely sheds which may make them less likely to trigger allergies. Consider the breed's personality and care requirements to decide whether one of these unique cats is a good choice for your family.
History of the LaPerm cat breed
The LaPerm cat breed originated in the state of Oregon in 1982. When one of pet parent Linda Koehl's barn cats "Speedy," a brown tabby, gave birth to a litter of kittens that spring, one of the kittens was born without hair. Over the following weeks, the hairless kitten grew a curly coat and was aptly named "Curly."
Future litters of barn cats increasingly included kittens that developed curly hair. Unlike the Cornish rex cat breed, the genetic mutation that causes the curly coat in LaPerm cats is believed to be a dominant trait. Eventually, Koehl decided to enter these unique cats in a cat show and after a positive response, she started a breeding program for the LaPerm breed.
The breed comes in every coat color and pattern, including calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby patterns. LaPerm cats may have long or short hair. The fur may have tight curls or gentle waves with most curls and ringlets occurring on the throat, the underside of the body, and the base of the ears. Shorthair LaPerm cats tend to have more texture in their coat while the longhair LaPerm cats boast a bottlebrush or plumed tail and a curly ruff.
In 2003, the LaPerm breed was accepted for championship status with the International Cat Association (TICA). The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) granted the LaPerm breed championship status in 2008.
Is LaPerm rare?
The LaPerm cat is a new breed and is still rare. While it is not a common breed of cat LaPerm breeders can be found in other countries including Canada and Australia.
Are LaPerm cats expensive?
LaPerm cats can be expensive with an average price between $800 and $1,500. The price for a LaPerm kitten can vary by the breeder. Take the time to find a reputable breeder to ensure you receive a healthy kitten.
LaPerm cat personality
LaPerm cats are very active and playful. They are also very intelligent and love being an active part of the family. This means they may often follow you around the home or even hitch a ride on your shoulder. You can play games such as fetch and even teach the cats tricks. They enjoy heights and the ability to survey the room, so make sure you have a tall cat tree or shelves that will allow them access to the upper levels of the room.
The breed may not be known for being couch potatoes, but they are loving and affectionate and will gladly serve as a lap cat when you settle in for the evening. The breed does not frequently vocalize, but they aren't shy and will purr often.
These cats are people-oriented and will bond with your family. They should not be left alone for long periods of time. Consider another cat or dog to keep your LaPerm company while you are at work or school. If you live alone and work long hours, this may not be the breed for you.
LaPerm cat lifespan & health issues
The LaPerm cat breed is generally healthy with no known genetic health problems. The cats generally live 12 to 15 years or more with proper care. Prevent potential problems by taking your cat in for a veterinary check-up regularly and keeping them up-to-date with all of the recommended vaccinations.
LaPerm cat grooming & care
LaPerm cats require only minimal grooming. They don't have a thick undercoat, so their curly hair rarely mats. In fact, too frequent brushing or bathing and then blowdrying the coat may straighten the fur.
Instead, use a comb to groom the cat once or twice per week. This is enough to remove any tangles and loose fur. A longhaired LaPerm may need more frequent grooming than a shorthaired LaPerm.
Additional grooming tasks include:
- Trimming the cat's nails once or twice per month
- Brushing the cat's teeth with a veterinarian-approved toothpaste
- Dampening the fur to create more defined curls, if desired
Feed a high-quality commercial cat food. Consult your veterinarian or the food's product label to determine the appropriate portion size. Make sure that fresh water is available at all times.
Welcoming a new cat
LaPerm cats have a reputation for being people-oriented and your new cat is likely to quickly bond with you and become an active part of your family. It is still important to take some time to prepare your home to make sure your cat feels safe and welcome.
Start by cat-proofing the home. Remove any toxic plants and other hazards. Remember that LaPerm cats are active and enjoy high places, so you will need to cat-proof shelves and the top of cabinets, and your refrigerator as well.
Set up a room with everything your new cat may need. This includes:
- Food and water
- Litter box
- Cat toys
- Cat tree
- Scratching post
When your new cat arrives, allow them to explore the room and get used to their new surroundings at their own pace. Spend time with your cat and offer to play and interact, but wait for them to come to you before holding and petting your new companion.
Introduce the cat to the other members of the household, including other cats and dogs. Once your cat is comfortable in the new environment, you can open the door to the room to allow them more access to the home. Before you know it, your LaPerm cat or kitten will soon be an active and joyful part of your home.