calico LaPerm cat with short curly fur
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LaPerm Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 8 min.

If you are looking for a kind of cat with short curly fur and energy in a small, loving package, look no further than the LaPerm cat. This cat breed is instantly recognizable due to their curly hair, hence the name “LaPerm.” Their unique short curly fur stems from a naturally occurring mutation, which can be found in both long-haired and short-haired cats.

Other than their adorable mohair-like coat, the LaPerm is known for their loving and pleasant personalities. They will purr loudly and proudly all day long just to let you know how much they love their humans. 

Because this breed is relatively young, there is still more research needed regarding possible health-related issues. To learn more about the LaPerm cat, keep reading.

LaPerm cat a glance
Personality Energetic, affectionate, adaptable
Life expectancy 12-15 years
Weight 6-10 lbs
Coat & colors Short or long, curly; various colors & patterns
Energy level High
Affection level High
Friendliness High
Shedding level Low to Medium
Required grooming Low

Overview of the LaPerm cat

black and white LaPerm cat with short curly fur

The LaPerm is a small cat with dynamic proportions. These cats are often (incorrectly) deemed a hypoallergenic cat breed. LaPerms make fantastic family pets, finding a way to mesh with any human or animal they encounter.


In general, the LaPerm cat is very proportional, with fine to medium boning. Adults usually have fluffy coats, which make them appear larger than they are. Most LaPerms weigh between 6 and 10 pounds at full maturity. Male LaPerms tend to be larger than females. 


LaPerm cats can be as long as 18 inches from the tip of their noses to the end of their tails. Their tails (which can become magnificently floofy) are roughly the same length as their bodies. 


The coat of the LaPerm cat can be either long or short with any combination of color or pattern. This means you may come across a LaPerm that is white, blue, tan, red, cream, black, lilac, and so on. Solid coats, as well as tabby, calico, and tortoiseshell, are frequent in LaPerms, so every cat is different.

Young LaPerm cats tend to have shorter, sparser coats that appear more wavy than curly. Adults and long-haired cats have curlier hair like ringlets. Keeping up with proper grooming techniques can ensure your LaPerm’s coat stays as healthy as possible.

Their coats give them a rough and gruff appearance, with thicker, unkempt curls around their necks that get tighter the closer to the skin. They also have tight and long curls in and around their ears, with ear tufts present

Life expectancy 

When you properly care for your LaPerm, you’ll find that they can live a long and happy life by your side. Of course, regular veterinarian checkups are a must. LaPerm cats live for 12 to 15 years on average. 

History of the LaPerm 

LaPerm calico cat with short curly hair

In 1982, a brown tabby barn cat gave birth to a litter of six kittens. To the farm’s owners, this was business as usual—until they noticed that one kitten was completely bald compared to the others. She was smaller in size and had a very long body, unlike her littermates. 

At eight weeks old, this kitten started to grow soft, wavy fur. They named this kitten Curly, and once she was old enough to reproduce, Curly had a litter of five tabby kittens. All of them were born bald but developed the same curly coat several months after being born.

Curly continued to breed on the farm, resulting in a rapid increase of curly-haired kittens. One of her owners, Linda Koehl, entered the curly-haired cats into the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and, when registering them, came up with the name LaPerm. 

Linda then began a monitored breeding program to track the development of this breed, which helped them gain recognition all over the world. Today they are recognized by both the CFA and The International Cat Association (TICA).

LaPerm cat characteristics

two LaPerm cats with short curly fur

This cat is considered small to medium in size with an athletic build. They enjoy exercise throughout the day to meet their high activity requirements. 

Interestingly, LaPerm kittens are often born bald. Some kittens are born with a small amount of fur, which then falls out within the first few weeks of life. Over the next few months, the kittens grow back their coat, which becomes curlier (and often longer) over time.

These curls are most defined along the LaPerm’s throat, neck, ears, and belly. Both long-haired and short-haired cats have coats that stand out from their bodies, making them appear rather fluffy. This is the kind of fur that we can't help but run our fingers through. This rex coat doesn’t shed as much as some breeds.

Additionally, the LaPerm’s eye color can be any shade, including blue, brown, copper, amber, green, or odd-eyed coloration.

Personality and behavior

LaPerms are known for being highly affectionate, adaptable, and energetic. They love human interaction but won't demand that you pay attention to them. Instead, they will be happy with any little bit of love they can get! 

LaPerms have energy that needs to be burned—not entirely unlike working dog breeds. These felines love a game of cat-and-mouse, playing with interactive toys and puzzles, and following around their humans as if it's their job.

Despite all this energy, they will gladly crawl into your lap when the day winds down, in search of some good cuddles. 

How to care for a LaPerm cat

two brown LaPerm cat tails with short curly fur

The care that a LaPerm cat requires is mainly to satisfy their need for attention and play. They are a highly active cat breed; if you want them to happily curl up next to you, you’ll hope you’ve burned enough of their energy. Otherwise, you might wake up to things being knocked off your counters. 

You’ll want to keep your cat's litter box impeccable so that their fur doesn't get dirty. Ensure that their bathroom is clean by using a self-cleaning litter box. That way, you never have to worry about scooping. A clean litter box will also encourage cats to eliminate in the proper place, reducing the chance that they will pee outside the litter box


Stocking your home with a variety of entertaining cat toys can help relieve some of the requirement to make sure your LaPerm is content. Toys that involve their humans are going to be the LaPerm's favorite. They might end up bringing you toys and dropping them in your lap as a way to let you know they want your attention. 

Interactive puzzles and electronic toys can be a good way to entertain them when you aren't around. They do love a good game of fetch and chasing a toy on a string. You might notice their natural barn cat instincts as they begin to stalk and hunt their “prey” (AKA a mouse on a string).


The grooming care for a LaPerm is relatively easy. They don’t shed as much of some cat breeds because their hair tends to get trapped in the curls. If you can brush your LaPerm regularly, you won’t have to worry about matting or tangling. 

Sometimes you might notice that your LaPerm’s hair is not looking as curly as it usually does. You can mist the curls with water and gently scrunch them to enhance their wave pattern. This will help revitalize their curls and keep them looking nice and fresh.

LaPerm: Health-related issues 

LaPerm cats are generally a healthy breed, with no known breed-specific health conditions. As more research is done to understand this young breed, more information will become available.

Check your LaPerm’s ears regularly in order to ensure there is no infection. You may need to brush aside their curls to remove dirt and debris. Your veterinarian will have more information on this and how to clean your cat’s ears

Keeping up with proper dental hygiene will ensure your cat doesn’t suffer from periodontal disease later on in life. 

Loving a LaPerm cat at home

orange tabby LaPerm kitten with short curly fur

If you’re on the hunt for a unique cat that will give you lots of attention, keep you highly entertained, and be a great cuddler at the end of the day, the LaPerm might be the perfect cat for you. As long as you can keep up with their high energy, this cat will reciprocate your love and become your new sidekick. 


Photo credits:

  • © KRL-LPL / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0
  • © LaPerm2 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0