LaPerm Fanciers International

where the LaPerm comes first!

Q: Are LaPerm a recognized breed?
A:  Yes. In America where the LaPerm originates, it is a championship breed in CFA and TICA. These are the USA’s two largest Registries and the breed is also being promoted in some of the smaller American registries. Other registries around the world have a given Championship status to the breed and more accept them as a new breed.

Q: What other breeds were used to develop the LaPerm?
A: None.  The LaPerm developed from healthy barn cats, or an occasional purebred that happened to wandered through the Cherry orchard in Oregon.  The LaPerm breed developed on it’s own for 10 years before anyone started to develop it as a breed.  The astonishing thing was, that even without human interference, at then end of those 10 years, all the cats were very similar in type.  For a two-year period only, CFA allowed the use of non-show colored Ocicats.

Q: Are they crossed with Siamese (pointed ones)?
A: No.  Most people do not understand that Siamese are not the only pointed cats.   Other types of color points also appear in the LaPerm breed, called sepia and mink patterned. The first recorded color point litter of LaPerms were born in March 1989.  There were two pointed kittens born in a litter sired by Kloshe BB Talks Loud and the mother was Kloshe BB Little Fuzzy.  Both of these cats go back to a neighbor's Siamese named Ginger.    Color points are recessive, which means both parents must carry the gene to produce a pointed cat.

Q: What colors does the LaPerm come in?
A: The LaPerm comes in all possible colors and patterns. The most frequently seen colors come from the breed’s origins, torties, tabbies and red cats seen most often.

Q: Are they healthy cats or do they require a lot of veterinarian visits?
A: LaPerms, like any other cat, need to have a yearly healthy cat check-up and vaccinations updated.   At this time LaPerms do not have any inheritable diseases found in other purebreds.  This is the reason why LaPerm breeders DO NOT want other purebreds used as out-crosses.

Q: Do they get diabetes like a lot of other cats?
A: As far as we know at this time, there has not been a case of diabetes found in LaPerms, but this does not mean it might not happen in the future.  Diabetes is found most often in older obese cats and caused by, 1) hormonal imbalances, 2) a long-term diet that has been high in carbohydrates and 3) nutritional deficiencies.

Q: How big are they?
 A: LaPerms are medium sized cats; males are slightly larger than females, males weighing 7-8 lbs and females 5-6 lbs.  There is no such thing as a teacup LaPerm.  Any LaPerm the is over small or overly large should not be used for breeding.

Q: Do they require a lot of grooming?
 A: The LaPerm has an easy care coat and does not need much in the way of grooming to keep its coat in good condition. A brushing once a week will work just fine.  Clipping nails and cleaning ears should become a part of this weekly routine. Show cats takes a bit more preparation.  

Q: Do LaPerms mat?
A: Yes.  If the coat is neglected, it will mat.   Even shorthaired cats will mat it they are not kept clean and brushed.  Brushing once a week, will keep you short or longhaired LaPerm in good condition.

Q: Do LaPerms shed less than other cats?
A: YES! LaPerms have coats much like a poodle coat.  The curl tends to hold the coat in, making it a lesser shedding breed.  Regular brushing also reduces shedding.

Q: Is the LaPerm Hypoallergenic?
A:  No. No cat is completely hypoallergenic, not even the hairless Sphynx and Peterbalds or other Rex breeds. LaPerms have coats much like a poodle coat.  The curls in the LaPerm coat tend to hold loose hair and dander in place and stop shedding which can help to keep allergens under control. There are many people who are allergic to cats who find that they are able to live with a LaPerm. Because there are different types of cat allergies, not every allergic person reacts in the same way.  Some are allergic to dander, saliva or the hair itself.   Your best bet before acquiring any cat would be to visit a breeder at a show and try holding one first.

Q: Where can I go to see one?
A:  The LaPerm is still a rather rare breed.   Your best bet to get to see one in person is to contact one of our breeders <insert link to our breeders’ page> and arrange to meet them at a cat show or make arrangements for you to visit them.

Q: Do they like people because I have friends that when people come over their cats run and hide?
A: As a general rule, LaPerms are people lovers.  But if any cat is not exposed to a variety of people from a young age might become frightened by strangers in their home.
 
Q: How long do they live? 
A: Given proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary visits, a cat kept in-doors can live as long as 21 years or more. (The average age of cats is 12-15 years)

Q: How do they get along with dogs?
A: If raised around dogs, they get along just fine.  Many of our breeders have dogs as well as LaPerms.

Q: Are they lap cats?
 A: Some are, some aren’t, but they are always people oriented cats.  They like to be close to where you are and be involved in what you are doing. LaPerms do have a tendency to want to sit or ride on your shoulders.

Q: If I get one, do they fight with other cats?
A: Not generally, especially if they have been spayed or neutered.

Q: How vocal are they?
A: LaPerms are not a vocal breed, like Siamese or Abys or Bengals. 

Q: Do they need company all the time?
A:  No, no more than any other cat.   Make sure that their home-alone space is safe and you supply them with plenty of toys, a cat-tree or scratching post.

Q: Do they need outside time or will they are all right in an apartment?
A: LaPerms that are indoors-outdoors usually don't last to the average age because of traffic accidents, fighting with other cats, intentional acts of violence, poisoning (accidental or intentional), diseases caught from other cats, being picked up by animal control and subsequently euthanized if not claimed, and death caused by predators.

Q: Are LaPerm single coated?
A: NO!!   Contrary to what is being said on some foreign LaPerm sites, LaPerms coat comprises all three hair types (down, awn and guard hairs) all of which are curled. The LaPerm also MUST have long curly whiskers.  Devon and Cornish Rexes often times have very short broken whiskers because of their single coats.

Q: What breeds should NOT be bred to the LaPerm?
A: Since the LaPerm was a natural mutation that developed on a farm of regular domestic barn cats; domestics are the ONLY allowed out-crossing for the LaPerms. Cornish Rex, Selkirk Rex, Devon Rex, Sphynx or any other Rex breeds, Manx, American Curl, Scottish Folds, Munchkins, Himalayans & Persians, nor any cat with extra toes (polydactyl) or short tails are cats that should NEVER be used to breed to a LaPerm. 

Q: Is the LaPerm related to the other curly coated breeds?
A: No.  The LaPerm is not related to any of the other curly coated breeds. While the breeds can be classified together as they are all rex breeds (that is, breeds which have curly coats) there should NEVER be any interbreeding to the LaPerm. The original colony of curly coated farm cats had a new spontaneous occurring natural mutation; these are the cats that are the base of the LaPerm breed. Only these cats and other domestics (non-pedigree) with straight coats have been used to develop the breed.  The gene responsible for the LaPerm coat behaves in a different way to the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and Selkirk Rex genes.

Q: Why do we see BB, BC & BS in so many LaPerm names? What does BB, BC, & BS stand for?
A: BB stands for a kitten that is Born Bald. Kittens that are born bald will develop their curls anytime between 2 days old and 4 months. BC stands for a kitten that is Born Curly. These kittens may go bald anytime from birth to 1 year of age and coats will come back in most often curlier than before. (Often with a BC coat it will become almost straight coated before going bald). BS stands for a kitten that is Born Straight. These kittens 99.9% of the time remain straight coated, but in rare cases, can be born with curly whiskers and go bald to grow in curly coats.
 
Q: Why are some LaPerms born with straight hair? Does this mean that they do not breed true?
A: The LaPerm does breed true, but like some other breeds recessive genes will always be a part of the breed. Straight-hair is recessive to curly-hair in LaPerms.  To keep the gene pool healthy and to increase the numbers of cats.  However the LaPerm breeding program makes use of some cats which are straight haired and many curly cats which carry the recessive gene for straight hair (called heterozygous LaPerms), as well as homozygous LaPerms which do not carry straight hair. This means that sometimes the recessive straight hair gene can surface when breeding from heterozygous LaPerms, and when a heterozygous LaPerm is mated to a straight haired cat about half the kittens are straight haired or LaPerm Variants. These straight haired cats are very beautiful with extremely soft silky flat coats and the same loving natures as their curly brothers and sisters. They can also play a valuable role in the LaPerm breeding program.

Q: Can Straight Coated LaPerms produce curly coated kittens?
A: NO. But straight haired LaPerms are useful in LaPerm breeding programs to help have fully pedigreed cats to qualifying for showing in TICA.

Q: Why are there both longhaired and shorthaired LaPerms? Why are they not different breeds?
A: Most breeds are developed and then established in one hair length and if another hair length is developed later down the line it is seen as a new departure and given a new breed name. Some breeds, such as American Curls, Japanese Bobtails, Selkirks, including the LaPerm, originated and were developed in both hair lengths so there was no need to divide them into two breeds and kittens of both hair lengths can happily occur in the same litter.

Q: Why do some LaPerms sometimes go bald?
A: As part of the LaPerm coat phenomenon some cats will shed very heavily leaving them with sparse coats or bald patches. After a heavy shed the coat tends to come back in thicker and curlier. This can be affected by the cat’s hormonal cycle and often the coat becomes stable after neutering. Also nursing queens tend to have bald tummies which makes it easier for the kittens to find the milk.

Q: What are the BB, BS and BC abbreviations in LaPerm pedigree names?
A: These abbreviations stand for Born Bald, Born Straight and Born Curly and describe the three coats types of LaPerm kittens. LaPerm breeders put these abbreviations into their kittens’ names in order to keep track of the way that the LaPerm gene is manifesting itself so that the best coats can be selected. BB kittens are less common than they were in the early days of the breeding program and may possibly have less stable coats as adults. Those kittens which are born bald go on to develop their curly coats. Many kittens will have a heavy molt at some point in their development. A kitten born with a straight coat is almost always a variant without the LaPerm gene, but there have been very occasional exceptions where what appeared to be a straight coat has been molted and grown back curly.

Q: Are LaPerms good with children?
A: LaPerms are very sociable and people-oriented cats so they are good for children who want a companion. They are affectionate and interact well with humans. They are also very playful so if you have a LaPerm buy plenty of interactive toys that your child can use to play with the cat. Any young children who are not old enough to know how to treat a cat properly should be supervised during contact.

Q: How much grooming does a LaPerm need?
A: For showing, nails, ears, brush, bath, towel dry and go.

Q: What out crossing to other breeds has been used in the LaPerm breeding program?    
A: NONE!!! In America the principle outcross to develop the gene pool of the LaPerm has been the domestic cat or non-pedigree. This is because these are the cats which are closest to the original colony where the LaPerm arose. The Ocicat was also used in America for two years only.   In other some countries where out crossing to non-pedigree cats is not fully understood, there have been pedigree breeds used, but it is hoped that this will be discouraged as it introduces health and blood-typing issues not found in the LaPerm at this this time. 

Q: How much might I expect to pay for a LaPerm?
A: For CFA & TICA registered LaPerms, the average is about $300-$800, some breeders have taken advantage of the LaPerm being a rare breed and are known to charge up to $1200. Some breeders are stating their LaPerms are homozygous (has two dominant genes for curly hair), but until there is a DNA test to prove this as a fact, they are still guessing.  Simply because a particular LaPerm has produced all curly kittens, does not prove it is homozygous.   Straight-haired kitten will cost less.  We are aiming to keep the prices of LaPerms as low as possible to encourage individuals to take an interest in this breed.
It should be noted that pricing will be at individual breeder’s discretion.  A higher price does not guarantee a high quality cat.