LaPerm Kittens For Sale

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Cloaked in a High-Fashion Movie Star’s Perm,
This Cat Bedazzles with its Curls of Appeal

With a coat that rivals the chic hairstyle of a trendy movie star or rock icon, the LaPerm is a cat with dazzling appeal. The LaPerm's fur is enthrallingly curly, as if a talented hairdresser has given the cat a full-body perm in addition to its strikingly exotic ruff, generously fringed ears and bushy plumed tail. Available in an unlimited number of colors, patterns, and eye colors, the LaPerm is also an unusually affectionate cat. However, it is its enormously glamorous coat of high-fashion grunge that steals the show with shaggy curls, adorable ringlets and hippie-quality charm.

The LaPerm is a spontaneously, genetically-mutated cousin of the Rex cat (the other Rex breeds are the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex and Selkirk Rex), which originated in the U.S. and is now present in many other countries worldwide. The breed is genetically distinct from the other Rex breeds, since a dominant gene which can be present in both the male and the female creates the curly coat. The LaPerm has a strong, attractive physique, with an active, outgoing personality. It is also reputed to be “hypoallergenic” which means it may induce lower levels of allergic reaction in people sensitive to cat dander compared with many other cats. Its most significant physical feature is its exceptionally attractive coat, resembling a range of looks from a superstar’s coveted shaggy hairstyle to that of a dashing sheepskin coat.

The first LaPerm was born in 1982 and was a solo spontaneous mutation in an otherwise normal litter of six kittens. The breed founders, Linda and Richard Koehl, who were owners of an Oregon cherry farm, had adopted some farm cats mainly for pest control. Within a litter of kittens from an ordinary brown tabby shorthair, there was a bald female kitten with tabby skin markings. Alarmed by the unusual kitten’s appearance with worry about its health, The Koehls and their friends were surprised as she matured into a lovely cat with a unique, soft, curly coat.

Just one of the other outside barn cats, the kitten was named Curly and was given no special treatment. As a result of a serious accident, the cat was introduced to life within the home while it recovered from its injuries. During this time, the Koehls became aware of this cat’s extremely affectionate demeanor in conjunction with an enviably stylish coat.

Curly wasted no time in producing her own litter, again dramatically surprising the Koehls with five male kittens who while bald at birth eventually developed their mother’s same soft curls. Breeding activity resulted in many more curly-coated kittens, both long and shorthaired.

When Linda sought the advice and opinions of professional exhibitors, breeders, and judges, they all concurred that these cats were quite unique. This convinced Linda to appropriately name the breed, “LaPerm,” and pursue deliberate development and official recognition.

TICA, The International Cat Association, approved the LaPerm for championship status in 2003, and the breed gained championship recognition in CFA (the Cat Fanciers’ Association) in May of 2008. Today, the LaPerm is recognized by cat associations all over the world.

A medium-sized cat with rather long legs, the LaPerm is an active, muscular cat. LaPerm males weigh eight to ten pounds; females, six to eight pounds. Their large cupped ears are decorated by curls and ringlets at the base, while the large, beguiling, almond-shaped eyes convey a look of innocence at all times, despite evidence to the contrary! Eye colors can range from gold through aqua, with "odd eyes"—eyes of two different colors – accepted for formal exhibition.

The coat itself is described as having a unique textured feel. It is not silky per se, as it creates a certain drag on the hand like mohair, and the texture comes as much from the shape of the curls as from the mixture of different hair types. It should, however, be soft and inviting to the touch. Shorthairs have more texture to their coats than longhairs do. The coat feels loose, bouncy, and springy when patted, and stands away from the body, as it has no thick undercoat. It is light and airy, and show judges sometimes blow on the coat to see if it will part. Note that LaPerm kittens may lose their coat as they begin to mature, go through a gawky adolescent phase, and then develop their lovely curls later on.

The coat varies according to the season and the maturity of the cat but is essentially wavy or curly all over with the longest and most defined curls in the ruff and on the neck, often falling in ringlets like ancient barristers’ wigs. There is also long curly fur inside the ears, tufts at the ear tips and “ear muffs,” and/or longer, silky hair on the backs of the ears. The longhaired version is graced with a curly plumed tail, while the shorthairs have tails more like bottle brushes. Both have long, curly whiskers. Sometimes the coat will fall into a natural part along the spine, jokingly described as “the parting of the waves.”

The very personable LaPerm loves to sit in a human lap, but when that’s not an option, this inquisitive cat is exploring its surroundings and making sure that it’s a part of everything that is going on. The LaPerm is generally a quiet cat who enjoys giving and receiving hugs and kisses, and riding on a human shoulder so that it can keep an eye on everything.

LaPerms are very intelligent and clever cats that think about how to use their paws to reach out and get exactly what they want, whether it is a favorite toy, a door latch, or your attention. They are also likely to raise a paw up in a human-like “high-five” sign, or reach out and brush your face with that same paw. These are very playful cats, and are also excellent strategizers that can spend time planning, step by step, just how to grab hold of a special object that has been placed intentionally out of its reach! They seem to know the power of their precious curls and ringlets and their innocent, beguiling eyes to capture your undivided attention. Their affectionate, loving nature is extended to everyone around them including the children with whom they play, pets with whom they live and strangers with whom they flirt.

Maintenance of the LaPerm coat is a breeze, and generally a pleasure for both the owner and the cat. Longhaired LaPerms need weekly grooming; shorthaired LaPerms need only be groomed every few weeks. The coat does not mat easily as there is little undercoat, and the curl holds much of the loose fur to the body, rather than dropping it to the floor, on the furniture or on your clothes. Light combing with a special metal comb with rolling teeth is recommended. Bathing and towel drying will also help to keep the fur pristine. Blowdrying is not a good idea, as it makes the coat frizz. Once the coat is totally dry, you may emphasize the curl by spritzing the coat with a fine mist of plain water. All of this is inspired by the usual maintenance required to keep “permed” human hair in good condition and attractive at all times.