My Indoor Cat

Scottish Fold Cats – A Controversial (But Wonderful) Indoor Cat Breed

scottish fold cat

A Scottish Fold is a medium-sized domestic cat breed with small adorable lop-ears. Most Scottish Folds assume a natural fluffy short-haired coat. On the other hand, some Scottish Fold kittens mostly assume a lilac-colored tone. These adorable and unique indoor cat breeds are also described by their soft purrs and Buddha sitting position. 

Scottish Folds are the perfect picks for any indoor cat lover. Keep reading to find out why. 

A Scottish Fold can assume a robust, muscular body with a rounded face when mature. Equally, Scottish Folds are playful, tender, and outgoing. On the other hand, Scottish Fold kittens are overly cute and very playful. They also love attention and affection from their owners. 

Breed Overview 

scottish fold munchkin cat
  • Size: The Scottish Fold cat is an average or medium-sized domestic cat breed. A mature and healthy male can weigh anywhere between 4 to 6 kilograms (8 – 13 lbs), while a healthy mature female weighs 2.7 to 4 kgs (6-9 lbs).
  • Coat & Color: Most Scottish Folds can have both short and long hair. The fur color comes in the same colors and patterns as pointed-eared cats.  Common color combinations include grey, brown, solid white, and calico. 
  • Life expectancy: On average, a Scottish Fold can live between 11 to 14 years. This is according to Animal Life Expectancy and other trusted pet care sources. If you feed your cat the correct diet and maintain proper health care checks, they can live for 15 + years. 

Characteristics of the Scottish Fold 

Affection level High 
Friendliness High 
Outgoing High 
Attentiveness High 
Kid and pet-friendliness High 
Patience High 
Playfulness Moderate 
Energy level Medium 
Mischievous Low–Moderate 
Amount of shedding Medium (depending on the coat’s length) 

History of the Scottish Fold 

The Scottish Fold cat originates from Scotland (no surprise there!) in the 1960s – (1961 to be precise).  A farmer cross-bred a local Scottish barn cat called Susie near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland, with a British short-haired cat.  

Susie the White Barn Cat (Mother of all Scottish Folds) 

Susie, the white barn cat had unusual natural folded ears that bent forward. She gave birth to kittens, two of which had folded ears. 

William Ross, a cat lover, and neighbor, adopted one of the kittens (with the folded ears) and registered them with the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) in 1966. 

After registration, Ross began to breed the Scottish Fold cats. In three years, the program managed to produce 76 kittens. 34 of which had straight ears, while 42 had unique folded ears. 

Today, all the Scottish Fold cats share their lineage with Susie. 

Did You Know?

  • Scottish Folds were first known as “lop-eared cats.” 
  • They are not recognized as a breed in Scotland due to concerns about joint issues.
  • Kittens are born with straight ears, and the folds appear around three weeks of age. About 50 percent of a litter will have folded ears. 
  • Scottish Folds have been known to sit up like prairie dogs to improve their vantage point when they hear a noise. 
  • They are known to sit like humans, which is lovingly called “The Buddha Sit.” 
  • Pop star Taylor Swift lives with two Scottish Fold cats named after primetime drama characters, Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson. They are always by Swift’s side and have been featured in photo shoots and commercials. 
  • Scottish Fold cats have since been cross-bred with Munchkin cats to produce a Scottish Fold Munchkin. This cat looks like the Scottish Fold in the face but has short legs.

Caring for your Scottish Fold 

All cat breeds are meticulous groomers. However, regularly groom of your cat is a good practice to get into. 

Caring for a Scottish Fold is straightforward. These indoor pets do not shed as much as other cat breeds, which makes them good indoor cats. 

They benefit from moderate grooming sessions, strengthening the bond between yourself and your cat. 

Here’s how to groom your Scottish Fold correctly. 


munchkin cat scottish fold

Experienced Scottish Fold parents recommend regular fur brushing for long-haired Scottish Folds. Probably twice a week and once a week for the short-haired variety. 

Long-coated cats require more commitment than short-coated cats. 

Pro Tip: Short-coated Scottish Folds are unlikely to get tangled fur compared with the long-haired variety. 

Here are some steps to brushing your long-haired Scottish Fold cat.  I highly recommend starting this young to get them used to it.  This will make your life easier in the long run. 

Recommended tools: 

  • Pin brush
  • Metal comb 
  • Deshedding brush (during the warm season when cats lose more fur) 

Steps involved: 

When done regularly, grooming your cat takes about 10-15 minutes. 

  1. First, ensure that your cat is comfortable. You can brush your kitty’s hair after feeding or even allow your cat to play with the grooming tools (highly recommended). 
  1. Gently brush their back using the recommended cat grooming brush 
  1. Proceed to their underbelly and tail (be very gentle with their tails as they can suffer from arthritis here). I do not recommend brushing around their face. 
  1. Use your fingers to feel if all tangles are gone 
  1. Then use a metal comb to remove all loose fur 
  1. I treat my cats after the entire process is complete as a reward. 

Follow the above process but use a slicker brush or any thin teethed comb for short-coated Scottish Fold cats. 

Nail Clipping and Trimming 

Being an indoor cat means that your cat has fewer rough surfaces to wear its claws down on.  You can tell if your Scottish Fold needs its nails clipped as it may look uncomfortable when walking. Your cat may also be scratching the carpet or sofas more frequently if they have long nails. So, as the cat’s parent, it is your responsibility to trim them or get them trimmed professionally. 

Use the recommended specialized cat nail clipper to trim the nails of your Scottish Fold after a few weeks. Also, use the appropriate file after trimming your cat’s nails. This, however, depends on how fast the nails grow. 

Moreover, place a scratching post strategically to prevent your cat from scratching against the sofa or carpet. 

How to precisely trim your Scottish Fold nails 

  1. Ensure your pet friend is comfortable enough. You can even ask a family member to hold your cat comfortably. Also, allow your cat to familiarize itself with the necessary grooming tools. 
  1. Gently press her paws one at a time to extend the retractable cat’s nails 
  1. DO NOT CUT the nail close to the tissue around their nails 
  1. Gently trim their claws 

Dental and Ear Hygiene 

It’s a good idea to check your cats’ ears weekly for signs of infection or mites in their ears.  You can do this gently when they are with you for cuddles or sitting on your lap to make it a more positive experience.  

I am not a fan of brushing my cat’s teeth.  I prefer to give them raw meat with bones that they chew on, which helps to keep their teeth clean.  The dental routine for your cat is something to discuss with your vet and get their opinion based on your cat.   

However, if you do have to brush your cat’s teeth, here are some tips 

  1. Try and make it a positive experience. Start by brushing the side of their face with your finger, and then build this up to touching their gums over time.  Maybe add a bit of Vet approved cat toothpaste so they get used to the flavor without brushing. 
  1. When you think she is ready to have her teeth brushed.  Hold her properly and stand behind her. 
  1. Familiarize your Scottish Fold by massaging her face close to the mouth 
  1. Place a small amount of vet-approved cat toothpaste on your finger and bring it close to her mouth to see if she is interested in the taste.  NEVER USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. It is toxic to your cat. 
  1. Repeat step 3 as recurrently as possible before proceeding to the next step 
  1. Hold your kitty’s head but concentrate on the lower jaw and the top of her head. 
  1. Slip your index finger and gently rub her teeth. Repeat this step as many times until she is familiar with the entire process 
  1. Introduce a toothbrush, and remember to be gentle and slow 

Vets may recommend brushing a cat’s teeth daily. However, you can brush your Scottish Fold’s teeth as often as possible while trying to make it a positive experience. 

Litter Box Maintenance 

Note that every indoor cat needs a clean environment. So, always empty the litter box regularly to avoid creating a mess and give your Scottish Fold a clean environment.  A clean litter tray will make your cat happy and less likely to do their business in places you don’t want! 

Common Health Problems 

scottish fold kitten

Fortunately, the Scottish Fold is not prone to many health problems. However, the most common health concern for the Scottish Fold is degenerative joint disease. 

Degenerative joint disease is also known as osteochondrodysplasia. 

This particular disorder affects bone and cartilage development in the Scottish Fold. 

A cat suffering from degenerative joint disease exhibits challenges with leg movement and rigid leg and tail joints.

Other two prone health conditions include: 

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) 
  • Cardiomyopathy 

Diet & Nutrition 

Scottish Folds are known to be good eaters.  Special care must be taken to prevent them from becoming overweight, as they prefer a less active lifestyle than other cats. Of course, this is one of the features that makes them good indoor cats!   

As with all cats, Scottish Folds are obligate carnivores. This means they get their nutrition from at least a 70% meat diet.  They cannot properly digest vegetation, so giving them a high-protein meat diet is important. 

Your Scottish Fold’s cat food will transition twice in its lifetime.  As kittens up to the age of 12 months, they will require kitten food specifically designed to support their rapid growth.  From 12 months onwards, they transition to adult cat food designed to maintain their weight and health.  Finally, around 11 years as they transitioned to senior cat food.  This usually has supplements to support their health as they age. 

Best Cat Food for Scottish Fold 

It’s always a good idea to consult your breeder or local vet for the best food for your Scottish Fold.  Many people like to give their Scottish Fold a mix of wet and dry food and occasionally raw meat to give them a balance. 

One study suggests that cats on a dry food-only diet, particularly those indoors, may be more likely to become overweight cats.  However, a wet food-only diet can lead to dental health issues, something I have experienced with one of my cats. 

Check out our articles on different types of cat food to see which one you think might be suitable for your cat. 

Questions About Scottish Fold Cats

cat scottish fold

Are Scottish Fold Cats Hypoallergenic?

Scottish Fold cats are not a hypoallergenic cat breed. This breed will trigger those that suffer from cat allergies.

Are Scottish Fold Cats Friendly?

Scottish Folds are a sociable, friendly cat breed. They enjoy playing games as well as spending time with their human companions.

How Long Do Scottish Fold Cats Live?

Scottish Fold cats live up to 15 years old.

Do Scottish Fold Cats Shed?

Yes, Scottish Fold cats shed all year round. They have higher levels of shedding in Autumn and Spring. Naturally, longhaired Scottish Fold cats will shed more than their short-haired siblings.

Are Scottish Fold Cats in Pain?

As your Scottish Fold cat ages, they inevitably develop a degenerative joint disease called osteochondrodysplasia. This is like arthritis, and is caused by the same gene that causes folded ears. Common pain areas are the tail, ankles, and knees.


We think that Scottish Folds make a great indoor cat.  Their less active lifestyle and sweet and friendly nature make them a great choice for kids and adults alike. 

Already have pets at home?  Don’t worry; this breed is known to be pet friendly and gets along well with other animals. 

Their attentive and loyal nature makes them loving companions who bond well with their owners.  They are better suited to a household where people are at home most of the time rather than being left alone.   

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