The LaPerm is a cat breed that has proven popular to a wide range of people for a wide range of reasons. For example, some people are fascinated by their curly hair, which is what provided them with their name. Meanwhile, other people are fond of their gentle, affectionate personalities. Whatever the case, the LaPerm has become much sought-after for very good reasons.
1. Not French
When one sees “le” or “la,” it is natural for one to think of the French because those are definite articles in said language. However, it is important to note that the LaPerm isn’t a French cat breed. Instead, it traces its roots to the United States of the 1980s.
2. Named for a Hairstyle
The “Perm” in LaPerm refers to the perm. This is because the cat breed has curly hair, which is tightest on the throat as well as the base of the ears. Of course, this means the curly perm rather than the straight perm.
3. Has the Rex Mutation
LaPerms are one of the numerous cat breeds with the rex mutation. For those who are unfamiliar, the rex mutation is a mutation that causes fur to become soft and curly. On the whole, it is rare. However, the rex mutation is still common enough for it to have shown up in multiple species that include cats, dogs, and rabbits. It is interesting to note that the rex mutation is complicated enough to produce a number of potential appearances. Thanks to that, there are known examples of cats with the rex mutation that were never turned into the founders of new cat breeds because their appearances weren’t appealing enough to their owners.
4. Not Related to the Other Cat Breeds with the Rex Mutation
Speaking of which, LaPerms aren’t related to the other notable cat breeds with the rex mutation. Generally speaking, there are four notable cat breeds with the rex mutation, which would be the LaPerm, the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex, and the Selkirk Rex. Every single one of these cat breeds came into existence on their own, meaning that they are not related to the other three. Besides these, there are a number of other cat breeds with the rex mutation that are either extinct, in the process of being developed, or not so well-known for some other reason.
5. Sometimes Said to Be Hypoallergenic
Sometimes, LaPerms are said to be hypoallergenic. This should come as welcome news to people with a fondness for cats in spite of their cat allergies. However, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic cat. Instead, hypoallergenic cat breeds are those that have lower chances of triggering an allergic reaction from people who are sensitive to the relevant protein. As such, even if LaPerms are hypoallergenic, this doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to be problem-free for interested individuals in this regard.
6. Descended from Pest Control Cats
Generally speaking, when people think of cats, they think of pet cats. However, it is important to remember that there are still plenty of cats that see use as pest control cats, which is a time-honored practice. After all, the current speculation is that the wild ancestors of cats started hanging around human communities because of the rats and other vermin attracted to the latter’s food stockpiles, meaning that one could say that this is the practice that turned cats into cats. In any case, LaPerms are descended from pest control cats.
7. Originated in the State of Oregon
To be exact, the original cat with the rex mutation was a curly-coated kitten named Curly. For those who are curious, a couple named Linda and Richard Koehl brought a couple of barncats with them when they moved to the state of Oregon, where they had purchased a cherry orchard situated close to The Dalles, OR. One of the barncats gave birth to Curly, which proved to be exceptional-looking from the very start. Unfortunately, the cat disappeared one day before never returning. However, Curly already had a number of descendants by that point in time, which served as the foundation of the LaPerm cat breed.
8. The Koehls Didn’t Set Out to Create the LaPerm
The Koehls were quite open about the fact that they weren’t very knowledgeable about cat breeding. Linda Koehl ran a business for theatrical costumes. Meanwhile, her husband Richard was the maintenance manager for a child care center. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that they didn’t set out to create the LaPerm cat breed. Instead, they became curious about what was going on when more and more of their cats were born with curly hair, so much so that they decided to seek out answers from the attendees at a cat show. That made it clear that they had something special on their hands, thus putting them on the path towards the creation of the LaPerm.
9. Affectionate But Sometimes Mischievous
LaPerms have been described by a number of words when it comes to their personality. For example, they are often called affectionate, though they stop short of actually being clingy. However, it is interesting to note that LaPerms also have a reputation for being clownish and mischievous. Fortunately, these cats tend to be gentle and good-natured, meaning that it tends to be easy to get along with them. Something that is particularly true when they have been properly socialized from a young age.
10. Don’t Need a Lot of Grooming
Conveniently, LaPerms also have a reputation for not need a lot of grooming. When their coat is short, they should be fine with being brushed one to three times on a weekly basis. However, those with longer coats might need more grooming than that. As for energy levels, LaPerms are somewhat active creatures, so it is a good idea to make sure that they are getting all of the activity that they need to remain happy and healthy.