The result of a genetic mutation whereby a unique kitten was born hairless before developing a curly coat, the La Perm is like no other Rex breed. Born in a litter belonging to a Mr and Mrs. Koehl from Oregon, United States, the kitten delighted and intrigued many visitors to the couple’s home, prompting Mrs. Koehl to enter it into a cat show, along with some of the cat’s later offspring. The judges were again wowed by the appearance of the cat and encouraged a selective breeding program in order to develop the new breed and retain its unusual characteristics. The La Perm derives its name from its apparently perm-like resemblance, and was granted championship status by the International Cat Association in 2003.
As the gene for curly coat is dominant in the La Perm’s case, whatever a curly-coated cat was to breed with, the offspring would still display the curly characteristic. This particular breed is distinctive for a number of reasons. Firstly, the La Perm boasts a rustic, almost feral appearance, with a dense coat of tufts, waves and tight curls. The head is typically wedge-shaped and usually has feathered furnishings around the face. Their striking almond eyes are endearing and handsome and are usually coloured in correspondence with the coat. All colours and patternings are permissible with the La Perm, like all the Rex breeds, although tortoiseshell, tabbies and reds are most common.
Outgoing, energetic and sometimes mischievous, the La Perm is guaranteed to be the jester of your home! Content to play inside or out, the La Perm enjoys plenty of companionship from its human family throughout the day, communicating softly when it wants your attention. Because the breed is highly intelligent and inquisitive, it is essential that a variety of interactive toys and playthings are provided if your cat is exclusively housed indoors. A bored cat is often a destructive cat and the La Perm is no exception. Inherently gentle and affectionate, the breed is compatible with children and other house pets when introduced gradually and will display unceasing love and loyalty. Generally speaking, a La Perm will weigh in the region of 8-10 pounds, with a typical life expectancy of 10-15 years.
Relative rare, determining any breed-specific health conditions is difficult. Having said this, the La Perm is not known to suffer from any genetic complaints or diseases. Always buy from a reputable breeder that can guarantee (to some extent) the health of their cats.