At least two cat breeds — Scottish Folds and American Curls — have atypical ears. Scottish Folds’ ears fold forward, while American Curls’ fold backward. Only the ear cartilage is malformed in American Curls, while Scottish Folds can suffer additional bone malformations and crippling osteoarthritis.
The Morris Animal Foundation is supporting research at the University of Sydney in Australia to identify genes in both breeds that may be responsible for these traits. The possible outcome could provide information on the broader problem of feline osteoarthritis.