Appearance and features:
A LaPerm’s fur is curly (hence the name “perm”), with the tightest curls being on the belly, throat and base of the ears. They have an elegant and athletic build and are affectionate, active and outgoing in character. They are reputed to be hypoallergenic cats, provoking a significantly lower level of allergic response in humans than normal cats. Their most significant feature is their coat, which is made up of soft waves, curls and ringlets, resembling a shaggy perm. In many ways, they are a cat of moderation with no extremes and is still true to its original type. The breed standard describes a muscular foreign-type body, which is medium in size with longish legs and neck. The head is a modified wedge with rounded contours and a muzzle which is slightly broad of the wedge. In profile, the straight nose leads into a break between the eyes up to a flattish forehead. LaPerms also have rather broad noses, flared ears and medium large almond shaped eyes.
This is a smaller-size cat weighing about 8 pounds.
The LaPerm is a rex
breed which originated in the United States and is now present in many other countries worldwide. The breed is genetically unique and not related to any other rex cat varieties, having a dominant gene causing their curly coats.
Like other rexes, all colors and patterns are acceptable, although tabbies, reds and torties are quite common due to their origins. Also the unusual colors from the early days of the breed have been selected for, so lilac, chocolate and colorpoints are popular. Newer varieties such as ticked tabbies, shadeds and darker points are also being bred.
The LaPerm emerged around the early 80’s as a spontaneous mutation of cats bred for pest control. The breed founders were Linda and Richard Koehl from The Dalles, Oregon, whose cat Speedy gave birth to a curly-coated kitten, named Curly, from whom all LaPerms descend. The Koehls allowed a free-breeding colony of curly-coated cats to develop over a period of ten years before making contact with members of the cat fancy and initiating a formal breeding program. The breed was named after their curly coat which bears resemblance to a shaggy perm. The name follows the Chinookan tradition of adopting French words while incorporating the definite article to create a new word; for example, in Chinook Wawa, ‘pipe’ is lapeep and ‘apple’ is lapom, (la pipe and la pomme, respectively, in French).
The clever LaPerm is well suited to life with families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He has a pleasant sense of humor, often described as clownish. He is fond of riding on shoulders or sitting on top of your computer or a cat tree right near you, observing you as you work. He can be a lap cat and is a fairly quite, but moderately active pet.
They have no known health issues, but with other approved breeds being introduced to the pedigrees. Ask your breeder about the newest information on the health testing being done.