Initially, breeders decided that cats with lowered (folded) ears were especially valuable and unique. That was the reason for the breeders of the 60s of the last century to mate the same type of cats for having offspring with surely folded ears.
The result wasn't long in coming. After all, the Fd mutation gene, which is responsible for folded ears in the homozygous state FdFd (when both dad and mom are with folded ears), leads not only to the birth of folded ear kittens in the litter but also to the appearance of disorders associated with the musculoskeletal system, such a disease as osteochondrodysplasia. Kittens were born weakened, impaired, and not even viable. Such experiments influenced not only the type of the head but also the entire skeleton, making it prone to various bone anomalies based on gene mutations.
How was the Scottish Fold breed preserved?
Experts began to suspect the gene, responsible for the special shape of the ears, to cause frequent illnesses and even deafness. In order to prevent the folds from degenerating and mutating to the end, it was necessary to resort to mating first with the British Shorthairs, and then with Scottish Straights for preserving the purity of the breed. Kittens turned out to be strong, healthy, and viable. The Scottish Fold and Scottish Straight have a lot in common up to direct parents because the same pair can give birth to both types of cubs in an approximate proportion of 50 to 50. Scottish Straights don't have this mutation, their genotype contains the fd gene, and when a Scottish Fold is mated with a Scottish Straight, the kittens' genotype will have only one active folding gene (Fdfd is a heterozygous formula).
However, kittens with straight ears are important for the development of the breed. At the same time, Scottish Straights themselves modestly remained only carriers of the necessary, healthy genes, and nothing more. They weren't recognized as an independent breed and could not participate in exhibitions.
Recognition of the Scottish Straight breed
In 2004, the golden opportunity for Scottish Straights appeared: they received recognition in Russia, not as material for improving the exterior, but they were registered as a breed of Scottish Shorthair. That was the starting point for them to be recognized and loved in other countries. Nowadays Scottish Folds and Scottish Straights take part in exhibitions on an equal footing, receive titles, win in rings according to the WCF and MFA systems.
And now these systems have a clear breed standard both for Scottish Folds and Scottish Straights. Our owners can buy a Scottish Fold kitten, as well as a Straight one, and any of them will carry all the breed qualities and character traits of the Scottish cat breed.