LaPerm Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics, and Care Guide
By: Buzzpetz Updated: April 24, 2023
Have you ever seen a cat with curly hair? If so, you might have encountered a LaPerm, a unique and lovable cat breed that stands out for its wavy or curly coat. But there’s more to this breed than its distinctive appearance. They are a friendly, curious, and affectionate cat that loves to interact and play with their humans and other pets. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the LaPerm cat breed, including its size, appearance, personality, care, health, history, and where to buy one.
Short or long
Any color or combination of colors
Any pattern, including solid, tabby, calico, or tortoiseshell
Any color, including copper, gold, yellow, aqua, blue, or green
Friendly, curious, affectionate, and playful
No (but low-shedding and low-allergen)
Good with Kids
Yes (medium to high)
Good with Pets
Yes (medium to high)
United States (Oregon)
History of the LaPerm Cat Breed
The LaPerm is a fairly new breed that originated in the United States in the 1980s. The first LaPerm kitten was born on an Oregon farm in 1982. The kitten was bald at birth, with large ears and a tabby pattern on her skin. Her name was Curly, and she soon grew soft, curly hair all over her body. Curly was the result of a natural genetic mutation that caused her coat to curl.
When Curly grew up, she had several litters of kittens, some of which inherited her curly coat. Curly’s owner, Linda Koehl, became interested in developing a new breed from these curly cats. She named them LaPerms, which means wavy or rippled in French. The breed gained recognition from various cat associations in the 1990s and 2000s and is now present in many countries around the world.
The most distinctive feature of the LaPerm is its curly or wavy coat, which can be short or long. The coat is caused by a dominant gene that makes the hair curl. The curliness can vary from gentle waves to tight ringlets or corkscrews. The coat can come in any color or pattern, such as solid, tabby, calico, or tortoiseshell. The LaPerm also has other physical traits that give it an elegant and athletic look. It has a wedge-shaped head, large ears that may have tufts or lynx tips, almond-shaped eyes that can be any color and a long tail that may be plumed or curly.
They are medium-sized cats that takes two to three years to reach full maturity. The average weight range for the breed is between 6 and 10 pounds, and the average length range is between 12 and 18 inches.
The LaPerm is an outgoing, friendly, curious, and affectionate cat that loves to interact and play with its humans and other pets. It is not shy or aloof with strangers but rather greets them like old friends. It enjoys being held and cuddled and will often purr loudly to show its happiness. It is also a lap cat that likes to snuggle up with its favorite person.
The LaPerm is not very vocal but has a soft voice that it uses sparingly. It prefers to communicate with gentle taps of its paw or eye contact. This breed is also an active and inquisitive cat that likes to explore its surroundings and play with toys. It is intelligent and can learn tricks or fetch. It also likes to climb and jump up to high places.
The LaPerm has no special nutritional needs but benefits from a high-quality diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Real meat or fish should be the main ingredient of its food. It also helps to add some omega fatty acids to its diet to promote healthy skin and coat.
The LaPerm has low grooming needs compared to other long-haired breeds. Its coat does not shed much or mat easily, but it still needs some brushing once or twice a week to prevent tangles and remove loose hair. Other grooming tasks include trimming its nails regularly, cleaning its ears gently with a cotton ball moistened with warm water or ear cleaner, and brushing its teeth daily or weekly with vet-approved toothpaste.
The LaPerm also needs plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep it happy and healthy. It likes to play with toys that challenge its hunting instincts, such as feather wands or laser pointers. It also appreciates having scratching posts and cat trees to sharpen its claws and satisfy its climbing urges.
Common Health Issues
The LaPerm is generally a healthy breed with no known genetic diseases or predispositions. However, like any cat, it can develop health problems such as dental issues, urinary tract infections, parasites, or allergies. To prevent or detect these problems early, it is important to take your LaPerm to regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and spaying/neutering. The average lifespan of the LaPerm is 12 to 15 years.
Interesting Facts About LaPerm Cats
Named after its curly coat, which means wavy or rippled in French.
This breed resulted from a natural genetic mutation that occurred in a barn cat named Speedy in Oregon in 1982. Her kitten, Curly, was born bald and later grew soft, curly hair. Curly became the foundation of the breed.
They are a dominant gene breed, meaning only one parent must carry the gene to produce curly kittens. The gene affects not only the coat but also the whiskers and eyebrows, which are also curly.
They can have a short or long coat, which can come in any color or pattern. The coat can vary from gentle waves to tight ringlets or corkscrews. The curliness can also change with age, season, or hormonal changes.
LaPerms are recognized by several cat associations around the world, including The International Cat Association (TICA), the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).
Where to Buy a LaPerm Cat
If you are interested in buying a LaPerm kitten or cat, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 for a kitten from a breeder. While you will unlikely find one of these cats at a shelter or rescue, it doesn’t hurt to check; you may get lucky.
The International Cat Association keeps a short list of breeders, which can be found here:
The LaPerm is a unique and lovable cat breed that stands out for its curly or wavy coat. But it also has a friendly, curious, and affectionate personality, making it a great companion for anyone who loves cats. This breed is easy to care for and generally healthy, but it needs some grooming, exercise, and stimulation to keep it happy and healthy. If you are looking for a cat that will curl up on your lap and purr loudly, the LaPerm might be the perfect breed for you.
Have you ever met a LaPerm cat? What do you think of this breed? Share your thoughts or experiences with us in the comments below!
More Cat Breeds
If you’re interested in learning about similar cat breeds, check out:
LaPerm cats are not hypoallergenic, although they shed less and produce lower amounts of allergens than some other breeds. No cat can be considered 100% hypoallergenic because all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen found in cat saliva and skin oils.
Do LaPerm cats shed?
No, LaPerm cats do not shed a lot. Their coats are low-shedding and mat-resistant, and they usually lose hair only during seasonal molting or grooming.
How much are LaPerm cats?
The price of a LaPerm cat can vary depending on the breeder, the location, the quality, and the availability of the cat. The average cost of a kitten from a reputable breeder is between $800 and $1,500.
What is the history of the LaPerm cat?
This is a fairly new breed that originated in the United States in the 1980s. The first LaPerm kitten was born on an Oregon farm in 1982. The kitten was bald at birth but soon grew soft, curly hair all over her body. She was the result of a natural genetic mutation that caused her coat to curl. Her name was Curly, and she had several litters of kittens, some of which inherited her curly coat. Curly’s owner, Linda Koehl, became interested in developing a new breed from these curly cats. She named them LaPerms, which means wavy or rippled in French. The LaPerm breed gained recognition from various cat associations in the 1990s and 2000s and is now present in many countries around the world.
What is the personality of the LaPerm cat?
The LaPerm cat is an outgoing, friendly, curious, and affectionate cat that loves to interact and play with its humans and other pets.
Join our newsletter and stay updated on our latest articles, plus receive occasional tips and tricks straight to your inbox!