Scottish Straight: A More Robust Version of the Scottish Fold

Portrait of a Scottish Straight cat on a green screen
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

If you’ve been following news about celebrities like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran on their Instagram accounts, you’ll know that they like posting photos of their Scottish Folds. The Scottish Fold is very popular, but they can be difficult to take care of. Their ears are very sensitive, so they are not suited for households with children that may unknowingly hurt them by pulling on their ears. You don’t have to give up on this cat breed entirely if you live with children, though. Simply opt for a Scottish Straight instead.

Aside from the parallelisms with the popular Scottish Fold cat, there are many things you’ll love about the Scottish Straight. Apart from their cute appearance even without the folded ears, Scottish Straights are well loved because of their personality.

a Scottish Straight mother cat feeding her kittens

They are intelligent and easy to train. Although they can be playful like most cats, these felines are also smart enough not to cause destruction in the household. They have the unique ability to stay away from trouble. While moderately active, they can be obedient and gentle, which makes them a great pet for most people.

Do you want to learn more about the Scottish Straight? Continue reading to find out more about this cat breed’s history, physical and personality traits, as well as how to take care of them properly.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Moderate

  • Health: Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good; friendly but not a lap cat

  • Exercise Needs: Moderate

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired / Semi Long-Haired, Natural Breed
SizeSmall to Medium; 8 to 10 inches tall
Weight8 to 13 pounds
Lifespan12 to 15 years

Scottish Straight cats have normal and upright ears while Scottish Fold cats have ears that are folded forward and down. That’s the only difference between the two cat breeds. In terms of physical characteristics and personalities, the Scottish Straight and the Scottish Fold are pretty much the same.

Just like its sibling, the Scottish Straight is intelligent, loyal, and inquisitive. They are not shy and would not turn their backs on most human guests. They are also playful and would follow their masters from one room to another.

A Scottish Straight cat sitting at the window

While Scottish Straight cats like being around people, they are so independent they displease being carried. Thus, Scottish Straight cats are ideal for pet lovers wanting a feline that can be loyal and loving but not too clingy.

One other thing you will appreciate about Scottish Straights is their obedience. These cats are gentle when playing and thus won’t spoil your furniture or wallpaper. But make no mistake about it—this is still a cat who can be playful and curious. However, they know when to behave.

Main Highlights

  • Scottish Straight cats are medium-sized felines which are blessed with a round face and body. They are cute cats who have widely-spaced round eyes and straight ears that give them a very endearing look.

  • Scottish Straight cats are blessed with short legs and a compact body which give them a unique look. In fact, many pet owners compare them to a teddy bear, which further enhances their appeal.

  • They are very loyal to their owners. They will follow their masters around the house.

  • They are not shy cats at all. These confident felines won’t hide when there are guests in the house.

  • Scottish Straight cats are moderately active. They like to play with their masters, but they don’t like to be carried around.

  • They are easy to take care of because of their short and silky hair (although some Scottish Straights come with long hair).

Breed History

The Scottish Straight and the Scottish Fold are part of the Scottish Breed Group which trace their roots to Susie—a white barn cat which was spotted by a shepherd called William Ross. Born and raised in Scotland, Susie had folded ears facing downward which made her look like an owl.

Two of Susie’s kittens bore folded ears. One of those kittens was acquired by Ross—who then started to breed the first of Scottish Fold cats. His breeding program yielded 76 kittens in three years. Those kittens were then bred to various breeds like American Shorthairs, Exotic Shorthairs, and Persians.

Scottish Straight cat looking at something

Ross then registered the two sister breeds in Great Britain in 1966. Today, every Scottish Straight and Scottish Fold trace their ancestry to Susie.

Scottish Straights and Folds were then introduced to breeders in the United States in the next decade. Soon, major associations like the Cat Financiers Association and the International Cat Association granted recognition to both breed types.


Scottish Straights are medium-sized cats who can grow up to 13 pounds in weight. In terms of physical features, there’s one word that is often associated with them: spherical.  They are blessed with a round body and face. Their whisker pads are also rounded as well as their eyes. The latter are widely-spaced, too. The tips of the ears of Scottish Straights are also rounded.

As mentioned earlier, the ears of Scottish Straights will remain upright—unlike the ears of their siblings, Scottish Folds, which bend forward and downward. The latter is an occurrence caused by a genetic mutation affecting cartilage development.

two scotish straight kittens sitting in a cat tree

These cats also have a compact body and short legs—which complete a frame akin to that of a teddy bear. They have long tails that narrow at the tip. Their nose is often short and wide with a noticeable dimple coming from the forehead.

Many cat lovers often mistake Scottish Straights with the British Straights. But if you look closely, Scottish Straights have a more elongated body and a rounder head. They also weigh less than their British counterparts.

Personality and Character

Scottish Straights can be described as loyal, amiable, affectionate, smart, and playful. They are loyal to the point where they would follow their masters wherever they may go. They can also be very affectionate although they are not usually clingy with their humans. They don’t make the best lap cats.

See Also: Best Lap Cats

Although they don’t like to be picked up, Scottish Straights love to be around people. These are confident cats that won’t hide whenever there are guests in the house. Clever and dexterous, Scottish Straights are smart enough to learn how to open cabinet doors. They are also intelligent enough to learn new tricks very quickly.

In fact, just like their sibling the Scottish Fold who has become somewhat of a celebrity in the online world, Scottish Straights are known to perform funny tricks like sitting up like a Buddha. Their propensity to assume many awkward yet silly positions further endear them to their masters and the public. Scottish Straights like to be the center of attention.

Scottish Straight Male looking up

While Scottish Straights are fun-loving like most cats, they are gentle even during playtime. It is very unlikely for them to cause damage to your favorite home furnishings. They are also always willing to play a game of fetch.

Another standout trait of Scottish Straights is their ability to adapt to their environments. They won’t have any problem playing with children and other pets. They can live in a noisy household the same way they can thrive in a house with only one to two adults. They won’t give you problems in case you decide to bring them along on your holiday.

See Also: How to Travel with a Cat

Health and Potential Problems

Like all cat breeds, Scottish Straights are susceptible to certain health issues. However, if you take good care of her, a Scottish Straight can buck those health concerns and live up to 15 years.

See Also: How Long Do House Cats Live

A few health issues you’ll have to watch out for include:

  • Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disease that could lead to congestive heart failure. Aside from being life-threatening, congestive heart failure can lead to blood clots which can be very painful and may paralyze the rear legs of the cat. The cause of cardiomyopathy is still not clear—although it is believed that hereditary factors may play a role in the development of this disorder.

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: A type of kidney ailment where cysts are formed in the kidneys. Those cysts gradually grow in size as the cat ages. While it can lead to terminal kidney failure, it can be managed by providing the cat with special diets.

  • Bone and Joint Degeneration: As Scottish Straights enter the latter stages in life, they may become vulnerable to this condition. Fortunately, you can help your Scottish Straight deal with the pain and discomfort during her golden years by encouraging her to perform low-impact exercises. Daily gentle play may also be helpful as well as adding ramps or steps to the areas she frequents to minimize strain on the joints.

See Also: How to Calculate Cat Years

Care Features

Scottish Straights aren’t as demanding as other cats. They can take care of themselves as long as they have food and toys within reach.


You can leave them alone for long periods without worrying about them—within reason, of course.

See Also: How Long Can a Cat Be Left Alone

Unlike their Scottish Fold siblings, Scottish Straights are not prone to ear wax buildup precisely because of the upright nature of their ears. As such, they won’t need frequent ear cleaning the way Scottish Fold cats do—although you still shouldn’t neglect their ears entirely.

Feeding Schedule

Scottish Straight cats can eat a combination of wet and dry foods. However, most veterinarians recommend that these cats be given fresh meats. Scottish Straight kittens love eating raw chicken, turkey, beef, and chicken liver.

Scottish Straight Kitten on the ground

Microwaving raw meat is ideal when feeding these cats as warm food is a lot more appetizing for them. They can also be prone to food poisoning, so make sure the food you give them is still fresh.

See Also: How to Make Homemade Cat Food

Limiting their consumption is suggested as these felines are quite susceptible to weight gain. Scottish Straights like to eat small meals throughout the day so you can leave half of their daily portion of food in their bowl just before you leave for work. You can then fill the bowl again with food when you return. Don’t leave the bowl empty for too long.

See Also: How Long Can Cats Go Without Food

Coat, Color, and Grooming

These cats come in various patterns and colors—ranging from solid, parti-color, bicolor, tabby, to white. Their grooming needs would largely depend on the length of their coats.

A Scottish Straight cat with long hair should be brushed more frequently and regularly to remove dead hair as well as to prevent matting and tangles. On the other hand, Scottish Straights with shorter hair can get away with weekly brushing to reduce shedding and prevent hairballs.


Scottish Straights who are allowed to go outdoors may also require more frequent brushing because they tend to shed more during spring and fall. Indoor Scottish Straights are known to shed evenly all-year long, so it is best that you maintain a regular grooming schedule.

See Also: How to Stop a Cat from Shedding

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The laidback Scottish Straight is a perfect fit for any pet-loving household. They are very good at adapting to their environments. They will feel comfy whether they are in a raucous household teeming with toddlers or with an owner living on his/her own.

SSS ny 2264 - Scottish straight gold marble with green eyes

They get along well with children and toddlers. However, parents should take note of the cat’s dislike for being carried around and advise children accordingly. A highly sociable cat, the Scottish Straight will also have no problem co-existing with other pets such as dogs.

See Also: How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog

Wrap Up

Scottish Straight cats are just as cute as their more high profile sibling—the Scottish Fold. They also have a lovable look that you will find hard to say no to. Spherical is the best word to describe the physical traits of Scottish Straights. They have rounded eyes, face, body, and even whisker pads.

Their short legs and compact body complete a frame similar to that of a teddy bear. No wonder many cat lovers are willing to spend their hard-earned money to purchase their own Scottish Straight kittens.

Scottish Straight female kittens lying on the couch

With their adorable personality and cute looks, Scottish Straights are definitely on the shortlist of the most endearing felines today.

Do you own a Scottish Straight? How’s your experience with them so far? Let us know by writing in the comments section below. If you like the Scottish Straight’s calm temperament, but you’d prefer a lap cat, you don’t want to miss out on this other breed.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.