In early 1982 Linda Koehl observed her Brown tabby Queen called Speedy produce 6 kittens in a barn in her cherry orchard. A new rex mutation was introduced to the cat world.
Hairless with large wide-spaced ears and a tabby pattern. At 6 weeks the kittens developed a thin, curly shorthair coat, but it was soft and wavy. As time passed more of these curly coated cats appeared.
At a local cat show she entered 6 cats to see what the reaction by the public had to the odd looking cats. Judges as well as spectators thought she had something unique and needed to be continued as a possible new breed of cats. This eventually was the beginning of we know today as the LaPerm breed.
In the early stage of the development of the LaPerm breed, approximately 90% of the kittens were born bald and slowly developed a curly coat at approximately 3-4 months of age. Those kittens that were born straight haired remained straight haired.
At some point a straight haired red point male ktiten by the name of Snow Fire dispelled that theory. His bald littermates all grew curly coats, snow Fire shed his straight coat until it became very thin. When this coat started to re-grow it came in curly like his litter mates. Curly whiskers and all.
TICA (The International Cat Club) Granted the LaPerm New Breed class status in 1995 and championship status in February 2003. For those that were exhibiting the LaPerm during the 2003 time frame there was an oversight which temporarily halted the showing of LaPerms with outcross in the pedigree. Since the only allowed outcross by the TICA organization was the domestic cat either the short hair or long hair would be recognized, there was no provision for the unknown to be listed on the pedigree which would obviously be the parentage of the domestic cat. This situation in TICA has since been rectified and the LaPerm can now be shown with unknown domestic in their pedigree.
Early on when the LaPerm was accepted in CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) the any other variety Ocicat was allowed in the LaPerm pedigree as an acceptable outcross for a period of two years only.
Championship status in CFA for the LaPerm was granted in February 2008.
CFA does offer an alternative for those that wish to use other breeds of cats in their LaPerm breeding program. It is called the CATS (Cat Ancestral Tracking Service)