The first known cat with folded ears was born in 1961 in a farm in Scotland. The McCrae family named this white folded ear female cat Susie. A shepherd, William Ross, noticed this unusual cat and told his wife about it. The Ross' asked the McCraes if they could get some kitten if Susie ever got offspring. Two years later Susie got two female kitten. Both with folded ears. One female came to the Ross‘ and was named Snooks. The male kitten was given away for non-breeding. The Ross‘ breeded Snooks with other cats, e.g. also British Shorthair, to get altogether seven folded ear cats. These are, up to now the cadre of all Scottish Fold cats living.
One of these cats was examined by a geneticist, who observed after some test breedings, that the folded ears were passed on in a dominant way. So only one part of the parents should have folded ears so that the offspring could get them also. Also it was found that if you breed two folded ears you get also cats with straight ears. In 1966 the cats were introduced at the GCCF (Gouverning Council oft the Cat Fancing), at this time with the name „Lop Eared Cat“. Later the name was changed into Scottish Fold.
However after accepting the cat the breed was already forbidden in 1973. As reason was given problems wíth ear mites and deafness. Deafness was not because of the ears but the white fur color and mites are a care of health problem, so both "problems" are not real. Interestingly that the breed survived is because of a real problem. A breeder recognized that there a bone changes. Tails and long bones were shortened and thick, claws were ingrown. Three animals were send to Dr.Todd, a geneticist in the USA. Although he couldn't get more information about the genetics of the cats, it was a lucky coincidence that another breeder, S.W.Peters, took some of the cats and used them for further breeding. The cats were introduced in the „Cat Fanciers Association“ and the breeding went on. Other breeds were used to mingle with the Scottish Fold, so that the health of the Folds were stabilized. It was now obvious that heterozygous animals were healthier than homozygous. As a breeding partner Scottish Straights (kitten without folded ears coming from a fold to non-fold breeding) were now preferably taken. By the end of the 1970s there were already 20 breeders in the USA who took care of the Scottish Folds.
On the left: A Scottish Straight, a cat that derives from a mating between a Scottish Fold and a British Shorthair. It has no Fd gene (Fd= fold, fd=straight). The ears are long and sharp. There are also longhaired fold, named Highland-Folds who needs daily grooming and special care.