Do you know a cat called LaPerm? It is still not very well known in Japan, and many of you may have heard the name for the first time.
To explain briefly, it is a curly-haired cat that looks very similar to the Selkirk Rex, but there is also a photo book called “The World’s Most Beautiful Cats, LaPerm”, and some people are fascinated by its appearance.
Why don’t we go and explore the attractive features and secrets of LaPerm right away?
～ Basic information. ～
Country of origin America.
Weight male: 3-5.5kg female: 2.5-4.5kg.
It was one day in 1982. A cat kept by the Cole couple who lived in Oregon, USA, gave birth to six kittens. But when they looked closely, they found one kitten that had no hair. The couple was worried, but they were relieved when the hair grew as it grew up. And because the hair was curly, they named it “Curly” after its appearance. And this Curly is said to be the trigger for the birth of LaPerm.
And time passed, and Curly grew up and gave birth to kittens, but the five kittens that were born had no hair at first, and as they grew up, curly hair grew, inheriting the same genes as Curly when he was young.
Then, the rumor of the curly-haired cat spread rapidly and caught the attention of breeders. The Cole couple was not very interested in cat breeding or breeding activities at first, but with the encouragement of those around them, they decided to enter the curly-haired cat in a cat show. Then, the reputation of the curly-haired cat rose rapidly. The couple decided to develop a new breed based on Curly and his children, in cooperation with breeders.
In fact, before Curly was born, Cornish Rex and Devon Rex had already been discovered as curly-haired cats, but it was also found that Curly had no blood relationship with these cats and was a new curly-haired cat that mutated in a completely different place.
The breeders crossed this new curly-haired cat with Burmese and Ocicat to make it better and polished it. As a result, in 1997, a LaPerm enthusiast group was established, and in 2003 it was officially registered as a breed by “TICA”, and in 2008 by “CFA”.
Where does LaPerm get its name?
It was named LaPerm because of the Permanent, meaning that it looks like it has a perm.
What are the color variations of LaPerm?
■Types of body colors.
Blue, black, white, red, cream, fawn, cinnamon, lavender, chocolate.
■Types of patterns and color schemes.
The whole body is monochrome, such as the face, body, legs and tail.
There are stripes or spots all over.
・Silver & Golden.
Only the tips of the hair have color, and the base is white or light color.
・Smoke & Shaded.
The tips of the overcoat have color for 1/2, and the remaining 1/2 is white.
Two colors of hair are randomly mixed.
・Calico & Bi-color.
1/2 or 1/3 of the body is white and the rest is two or more colors.
・Tabby & White.
1/2 or 1/3 of the body is white and the rest is striped or spotted.
Some parts of the body, such as the head, ears, legs and tail, have color.
・Pointed & White.
Some parts of the body have color and white is mixed.
■Types of eye color.
Blue, yellow, gold, green, copper.
■Types of hairs.
LaPerm has both short-haired and long-haired breeds.
What does LaPerm look like?
It has a wedge-shaped round head, large almond-shaped eyes, large ears that are wide apart, and a semi-foreign body type. It is slender overall, but has legs with moderate muscles, and can be said to be a well-balanced cat.
And what attracts attention is the fluffy curly coat. Some people fall in love at first sight with its cute appearance that looks like a fluffy blanket. This LaPerm’s curly hair is called “gypsy jag” and has three types:
There are also individual differences, but LaPerm may have a period of thinning hair and increased sebum secretion. In that case, frequent care is necessary, so it is recommended to get used to shampooing and brushing while they are kittens.
However, if you brush too much, you may lose the important curl of the curly hair, so it is best to do the coat care while watching the situation little by little. For long-haired breeds, try brushing once a day, and for short-haired breeds, once every three days.
Is it true that LaPerm females lose their hair during mating?
It is true. But it does not mean that they become hairless every time they mate, but it is said to happen only when they become pregnant for the first time. Whether they become hairless or not seems to vary depending on the individual, but in any case, the mystery of this strange phenomenon has not been solved yet.
How much does it cost to buy LaPerm?
When keeping animals, you may need to follow the laws set by each country. This time, we will talk about keeping LaPerm at home in Japan.
You will hardly see LaPerm at pet shops. Therefore, it is common to buy them from breeders or catteries. In that case, it will cost about 100,000 to 250,000 yen.
If you buy from a breeder or a cattery, you can ask questions such as “What kind of environment did they grow up in?” and “What kind of cats are their parents?”. Also, the trustworthiness varies depending on the personality of the breeder, so we recommend that you visit them after making a reservation.
Even if they are the same breeder, it is different in the case of a “cattery”, because they need to be certified by “CAF” or “TICA”, which are pedigree issuing organizations, so they can be said to be top breeders. Cats raised in such catteries tend to be more expensive than those purchased from general breeders.
By the way, here are some factors that cause the price to vary.
・Being a kitten.
・Having curly hair.
・Having excellent pedigree.
・Having rare colors or patterns.
There are other conditions, but especially if they meet the above conditions, they tend to be more expensive.
Learn more about LaPerm’s personality and traits!
①Curious and very active!
It has ancestors who were active as rat catchers and were also called “working cats”, and it still inherits that personality, so it is a very active cat. It also has a curious side, so it may be interested in various places and things, and sometimes it may go to dangerous places. To avoid danger, it may be necessary to take measures to prevent intrusion into places where you do not want them to enter.
②Friendly and clever LaPerm!
It also loves exercise, so it will be happy if you prepare a cat tower or play with toys sometimes. It will bring back the toy that the owner threw, or chase after you from behind, and its loyalty is similar to that of a dog and cute. Sometimes it will ride on your shoulder or purr on your lap, and it also has a clingy side. It is basically friendly, so it can live with small children or other animals.
③Cats that are not prone to allergies.
LaPerm is said to be a breed that is less likely to cause “cat allergies”. These cats are called “hypoallergenic cats”, and there are also other breeds such as “Devon Rex” and “Russian Blue” that are hypoallergenic cats. In the case of LaPerm, the coat is curly, so there is less hair loss, which is the cause of allergies, and as a result, it is less likely to cause allergies.
However, whether or not allergic symptoms occur depends on the individual, so we cannot say for sure that it is absolutely okay. It is more like “it is less likely to cause allergies than other cats”, so if you have symptoms of cat allergy, we recommend that you consult a doctor before keeping one.
※When keeping animals, you may need to follow the laws set by each country.」 Please translate this sentence into English.
What are the diseases that LaPerm is susceptible to?
Some of the diseases that LaPerm is prone to are “hairball disease”, “cat cold”, and “pyruvate kinase deficiency”.
Hairball disease is a disease that causes symptoms such as vomiting when the hair swallowed during grooming accumulates in the digestive organs such as the stomach and intestines. Normally, the swallowed hair is excreted with the feces if it is a small amount, but it becomes difficult to excrete if the amount of hair increases.
As a result, the hairballs that cannot be excreted can only be vomited out. Cats usually vomit hairballs once a month or every few months. This is a phenomenon seen in healthy cats, so you don’t have to worry too much, but if you observe that “the number of times you vomit hairballs has increased. Or the behavior of trying to vomit has increased.”, there is a possibility that you have hairball disease, so you should see a doctor.
Especially long-haired LaPerm needs to be careful because they swallow a lot of hair.
Also, hairball disease can be prevented by brushing by the owner. It also leads to important skinship, so please try to brush regularly. However, some cats may hate brushing, so in that case, it is better to do it little by little while watching the situation.
It causes symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose and eye discharge. It often occurs when infected with bacteria or viruses, and the possible situations that cause it are outdoor breeding, during cat walks, or after the owner touched another cat and did not wash their hands well and touched their cat without disinfecting the virus.
Especially LaPerm is said to be prone to cat colds, so be careful. Vaccination can prevent it to some extent, but it seems difficult to prevent infection 100%.
③Pyruvate kinase deficiency.
The specific symptoms are fatigue, loss of appetite, etc., and if it progresses, it often causes anemia in 2 to 3 months, and in mild cases, it may die without noticing the onset.
The cause is said to be the destruction of red blood cells due to the lack of an enzyme called “pyruvate kinase”. But the possibility of developing this disease is low, and not all LaPerms have pyruvate kinase deficiency.
However, no specific prevention method has been found yet, and bone marrow transplantation is one of the treatment methods, but it is a difficult treatment method to recommend considering the cost and the burden on the cat’s body.
What is the lifespan of LaPerm?
The lifespan of LaPerm is said to be 11 to 14 years. The average lifespan of a cat is 12 to 16 years, so it can be said to be slightly shorter. But if you take care of them from diseases and injuries, they have a good chance of living longer.
まるごとわかる猫種大図鑑 監修：CFA公認審査員 早田由貴子
世界中で愛される美しすぎる猫図鑑 監修 今泉忠明
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