If the name of the LaPerm breed reminds you of a hairstyle, you wouldn’t be totally off-base. The breed gets its name from its curly coat and “LaPerm” means wavy or rippled. The coat of these cats can be short or long and the coat can exhibit anything from waves to ringlet curls, but perhaps one of the most distinguishing features of the LaPerm is the long, full, curly, plume-like tail.
Any color or combination of colors
Families, seniors, people with other pets
Affectionate, energetic, friendly, gentle, sociable
The history of the LaPerm breed is just as unique as the cat’s appearance is. Even though LaPerms are loved for the uniqueness of their appearance, they are just as loved for their personality and temperament. If you’re interested in owning one of these elegant cats, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the breed.
LaPerm Cat Characteristics
If you’re interested in purchasing a LaPerm kitten, the first thing you should know is that they aren’t as common as other cat breeds. The breed itself hasn’t been around for that long, only about 40 years, and it wasn’t until around 10 years after the first LaPerm cat was born that they started to be bred selectively.
With that being said, it’s always a good idea to learn everything that you need to know about the genetic history of a cat such as a LaPerm before you purchase one. We’re providing you with basic information about the breed and how to care for it, but organizations such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) or a similar organization that is responsible for developing the breed standard can provide you with more specific and detailed information about the breed and its history.
It’s always a good idea to purchase a purebred cat such as a LaPerm from a reputable breeder as well. The CFA and similar organizations can provide you with certified breeders that have a good reputation and know what they’re doing. Buying from a reputable breeder is important for ensuring that you get a LaPerm that is in the best health possible.
Temperament & Intelligence of the LaPerm
LaPerm cats have a well-balanced personality and temperament which makes them suitable for pretty much anyone. They are energetic, active, and playful but also have a very gentle and affectionate nature and will curl up in your lap for a nice, long nap. They also have a bit of curiosity and inquisitiveness about them and are highly intelligent as well.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
LaPerms make great cats for families young and old, with no kids or multiple kids. They are very social and friendly and can get along with pretty much anyone who is willing to play with them and give them attention.
With that being said, they don’t always have to have someone that is active themselves to play with. They can play by themselves with things they find around the house or with something simple such as a feather toy.
That’s why they make great pets for seniors who may not be able to play with them in a super active way, or for people who work during the day as well. They are content to be left alone to just relax and lay around as well.
LaPerms are also great cats for families with children. However, it’s always a good idea to supervise the pets and children when they are around each other and teach your children what to do and what not to do around a pet. That way, both the children and the pet can stay safe.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Due to their sociable, friendly, and playful nature, LaPerms get along really well with other pets, regardless of whether those pets are cats or dogs. Other pets can also provide your LaPerm with a source of entertainment and give him or some something to play with.
Of course, when having multiple pets of any type or breed, it’s important to properly introduce and socialize them. This is especially true if the other pet you have isn’t as friendly. Introducing the pets slowly and not forcing a relationship will help them get along better.
We should warn you that it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on a LaPerm if you have a mouse, hamster, bird, or another small animal. Since these cats are very curious and playful, they may be tempted to “play” with a small pet if they have access to them. Make sure that small pets aren’t accessible by your cat in order to keep both pets safe.
Things to Know When Owning a LaPerm:
Knowing the temperament and personality and whether or not a LaPerm will fit in with your family is important. But what’s more important is knowing how to care for your cat to ensure that he or she stays happy and healthy. Here is some additional information that you need to know about owning a LaPerm.
Food & Diet Requirements 🐡
All cats will stay at their healthiest if they are fed high-quality cat food. But with active cats such as the LaPerm, it is beneficial to feed them high-quality cat food that is high in protein in order to keep their muscles healthy and in good shape.
LaPerms aren’t particularly prone to becoming overweight, but it’s important to feed them the proper amount of food based on their age in order to help them maintain a healthy weight. The amount of food that you should feed your cat is usually based on weight and that information can be found somewhere on the food packaging.
Speaking of their age, it’s also a good idea to feed your LaPerm appropriate food for kittens, adult cats, and senior cats as your cat ages. Each of these types of food is specially formulated with nutrients that your cat needs at a certain age. Plus, kittens and senior cats may have a harder time eating and digesting adult cat foods. Kitten and senior cat foods also contain smaller kibble that is easier to digest.
Being active and playful cats, you don’t necessarily have to worry about your LaPerm not getting enough exercise. However, it is important to provide him or her with plenty of toys and other equipment that allow him to play and exercise even if you aren’t there.
Cat trees, scratching posts, and plenty of cat toys can help encourage playfulness and exercise. It’s also important that you take the time to play with your LaPerm frequently. In addition to providing the cat with exercise, playing with them also encourages bonding and can help you build a relationship with your cat as well. This will encourage plenty of snuggles and affection when your cat isn’t interested in playing.
Cats can’t really be trained in the same way that dogs can, but you will have to train your LaPerm to use the litter box or to have his or her coat or teeth brushed, for example. Thanks to their intelligence, you should have no problem training your LaPerm. Just make sure to provide positive reinforcement, treats, cuddles and love when your LaPerm is successful at whatever you’re training for.
Even with their curly hair, LaPerms don’t usually require a lot of grooming. However, regularly brushing your cat’s coat can help keep it looking its best, especially if the fur is super curly. Essentially, you just want to run a brush or comb through it about once a week to keep tangles and matting at bay.
LaPerms also don’t shed too much. However, they may “molt” at times, in which some of their fur falls out in clumps. Don’t be alarmed if this happens, as the coat will grow back. But this mostly has to do with the fact that some of them are born bald. When the fur does grow back, it will be just as healthy as it was before.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Since they are a newer breed, there isn’t a lot known about what health conditions, if any, are more common in LaPerms than other cats. Being descended from barn cats makes them a very hardy breed. They are generally very healthy, as long as they are provided with the proper care and have a lifespan of 10-15 years.
However, one reason why it is so important to buy from a reputable breeder is so that you can be made aware of any potential health conditions that your particular cat may have early on. Responsible breeders generally have the kittens checked out after they are born to ensure that they are healthy, and you should be made aware of any conditions that your LaPerm may have.
In addition to feeding a healthy diet, taking your LaPerm for regular vet checkups and keeping him up to date on vaccines can ensure that he or she stays healthy. And in the event that your LaPerm does develop some sort of health condition, regular checkups can help you and your vet get out in front of it so that your cat can still live a long and healthy life.
Male vs Female
The only major difference between male and female LaPerms is that males weigh slightly more than females. Males tend to weigh closer to 8-10 pounds, while females are closer to 7-8 pounds. Other than size, there is no difference in the temperament and personality of a male vs. female LaPerm.
What is important in both male and female LaPerms is having them spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering can cut down on undesirable behaviors such as spraying or aggression. But, another benefit of spaying or neutering your cat is that it can reduce the risk of certain health problems such as cancer.
3 Little-Known Facts About the LaPerm Cat
1. LaPerms are sometimes born bald.
The breed originated from a “barn cat” kitten that was born bald in a litter in which the other kittens weren’t bald. The cat didn’t begin to grow hair until several weeks later. Kittens being born bald increased in several randomly bred litters around the same farm, at which point selective breeding started with these cats in order to discover more information about them.
2. Curly hair is the result of a genetic mutation.
After the original owner of the curly-haired cats started breeding them selectively, it was discovered that the curly-haired gene was dominant and carried by both males and females.
3. There is a lot of variation in their coats.
Each LaPerm cat is truly unique in appearance because there are so many variations in their coat. LaPerms can be found in pretty much any color or pattern you can think of. Their curls can be anything from wavy to ringlets and everything in between. Some have short coats, while others have medium or long coats.
LaPerms are a unique but still rare cat breed that is loved for their curly hair and playful but also affectionate and laid-back temperament. They are also very intelligent and are generally very healthy as well. If you’re wanting to own a LaPerm, you can expect to pay a lot of money. But once you get one and spend some time with him or her, you’ll see that LaPerms are worth every penny.
Featured Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock