Cat Breeds


Isabel Hartley

The LaPerm is a cat breed of unique charm, primarily recognized for its unusual, curly coat that sets it apart from other felines.

Emerging from a spontaneous genetic mutation, the LaPerm developed its signature coat, which ranges from wavy in short-haired varieties to ringlets in long-haired cats.

Originating in the 1980s in Oregon, USA, the breed exhibits a wide array of patterns and colors, reflecting its diverse genetic background.

Medium in size, LaPerms take their time to reach full maturity, often not fully grown until they are two to three years old.

They are agile, active, and enjoy engaging in playful antics, showcasing their curious and affectionate nature.

Weighing between 5 and 10 pounds, these cats are generally gentle and sociable, making them fitting companions for many households.

Their one-of-a-kind coat is not only a visual treat but is also typically known for being low-shedding, which could be a boon for those concerned about allergens.

Owners of LaPerms enjoy the breed’s friendly disposition, making them great pets for families and individuals alike who are looking for a feline friend with a distinctive appearance and loving personality.

Breed Origins

The LaPerm is a distinct cat breed known for its curly coat, resulting from a natural genetic mutation. Here’s a glimpse into its genetic background and development as a breed.

Genetic Background

The LaPerm cat’s standout feature is its curly fur, attributed to a spontaneous genetic mutation. This mutation affects the structure of the hair follicle, giving the fur a uniquely textured appearance.

It’s important to note that this is a dominant gene, which means that only one parent needs to carry the mutation for offspring to potentially inherit the curly coat.

History and Development

It all began in 1982 on an Oregon farm, where a barn cat named Speedy unexpectedly gave birth to a litter that included a curly-coated kitten.

This kitten, named Curly, was the first of the LaPerm lineage. Breeders Linda and Richard Koehl took notice, and, realizing the uniqueness of Curly’s coat, they started a breeding program to promote and preserve this characteristic.

The LaPerm was officially recognized as a breed in the late 1990s, and they’ve been charming cat enthusiasts with their gentle and affectionate nature ever since.

Physical Characteristics

The LaPerm cat is notable for its distinctive coat and physical build, which distinguish this breed from others. These characteristics include a curly coat, a well-proportioned build, and a variety of color options.


LaPerm’s coat is its most striking feature, characterized by soft curls and waves. It varies in length, with some cats sporting a shorthair look while others have long, luscious locks.

The curls are particularly tight near the stomach, neck, and ears but may be looser elsewhere.

Size and Build

Height10-14 inchesMuscular
Weight5-10 poundsMedium-sized

They presume a medium-sized stature, with a strong and muscular build providing them with agility and a graceful appearance.

Color Variations

LaPerms come in a wide array of colors and patterns. They can display any genetically possible color or pattern, including, but not limited to:

  • Solid
  • Tabby
  • Calico
  • Tortoiseshell

Such diversity in coloration means that nearly every LaPerm cat is visually unique.

Temperament and Behavior

The LaPerm cat is often recognized for its unique curly coat, but their temperament is just as notable. They’re friendly, sociable, and show a delightful affinity for human company.

Personality Traits

The LaPerm is affectionate and gentle, typically exhibiting a warm and engaging personality.

They have an energetic and playful side that shines through in their behavior.

It’s not unusual to find a LaPerm showing curiosity about their surroundings, making them fun to watch and interact with.

They are sociable cats.

  • Affectionate: A LaPerm is often quick to show love to their owners.
  • Energetic: They enjoy a good play session with toys or interactive games.
  • Curious? Expect them to explore every corner of their home.
  • Sociable: They tend to get along well in a lively household.

Compatibility with Humans and Pets

LaPerm cats are typically referred to as “people cats” due to their strong desire for interaction and companionship.

This breed adapts well to living with humans and often gets along well with other pets.

Their sociable nature means they usually integrate well into a household with other animals. However, individual personalities can vary, and a proper introduction is always recommended.

  • Human Interaction: LaPerms often seek out human attention and enjoy being involved in family activities.
  • Other Pets: They usually coexist peacefully with other household pets, including other cats and dogs.

Care and Health

Caring for a LaPerm cat involves a blend of grooming, monitoring their health, and ensuring they receive proper nutrition. They are a generally healthy breed, but they do have specific needs because of their unique coat and genetic background.

Grooming Needs

LaPerms have a curly coat that requires regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles.

While their coat is low-shedding, it’s not entirely maintenance-free.

They typically need brushing once or twice a week, with long-haired varieties possibly requiring more frequent attention. Bathing is rarely necessary unless the cat gets particularly dirty.

Common Health Issues

Even though LaPerms are a robust breed, they can be prone to some genetic health issues, such as:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common heart disease in cats.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): less common but worth screening for.

A responsible breeder will screen for these conditions to reduce the likelihood of passing them on.

Diet and Nutrition

LaPerms should eat a balanced diet rich in animal protein. Their diet should include:

  • High-quality dry or wet food: Choose a brand that lists meat as the first ingredient.
  • Life stage-appropriate food: Kittens, adults, and seniors have different nutritional needs.

It’s also essential to monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, which can lead to other health issues. Regular check-ups with a vet will help ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

The LaPerm is a unique breed with its curly coat and friendly nature. This section digs into some common queries about LaPerms to help prospective owners understand what to expect.

What’s the typical personality of a LaPerm cat?

LaPerm cats are known for their outgoing and affectionate behavior. They enjoy being around people and display a curious and playful nature.

Can LaPerm cats be considered hypoallergenic?

No cat is truly hypoallergenic, but LaPerms often shed less than other breeds, which may reduce allergenic proteins in the environment.

How much would you usually pay for a LaPerm kitten?

The price of a LaPerm kitten varies, typically ranging from $800 to $1,500, depending on the breeder and pedigree.

Are LaPerm cats known for being particularly affectionate?

Yes, LaPerm cats are recognized for their loving disposition, often seeking out human companionship and enjoying cuddles.

What should you know before adopting a LaPerm cat?

Potential owners should understand that LaPerms require regular grooming to maintain their curly coats and thrive on social interaction.

What are the breed standards for a LaPerm cat?

LaPerm cats are medium-sized with a distinct, curly coat that can come in both long and short hair.
Breed standards emphasize proportions and texture over color.

Do LaPerm cats shed?

Yes, LaPerm cats do shed, but typically less than many other cat breeds. Their unique curly coat traps shed hairs, reducing the amount of hair that falls out. Regular grooming is important to remove loose hairs and prevent matting.