American Curl Longhair - ACL

This is a preliminary standard. 
Final version is to be approved by the Standard Commission, and will soon be published.


The distinctive feature of the American Curl is their attractive, uniquely curled-back ears. The original American Curl, a longhaired female named Shulamith, was found in Southern California in 1981. Selective breeding began in 1983. Curls are elegant, well balanced, moderately muscled, slender rather than massive in build. They are alert, active, with gentle, even dispositions 





Top of head 

Modified wedge without flat planes, approximately 1-1/2 times longer than wide. Top of the head is flat. 

Muzzle and chin 

Rounded with gentle transition, no whisker break. Chin is firm, in line with nose and upper lip. 


Straight nose with gentle rise from bridge of nose to forehead which then flows into arched neck without a break. 


Walnut in shape; oval on top and rounded on bottom. Moderately large in proportion to head. Set on a slight angle between the base of the ear and the tip of the nose, one eye-width apart. Colour clear and brilliant.   



Any arc of curl between 90 and 180 degrees is correct, none is preferred, provided that the ears look harmonious on the head. Firm cartilage from ear base to at least one-third of height of ear. 
Wide at base and open, curving back in an arc when viewed from the front, side or rear. The surface of the curved portion of the ear should be smooth. Tips rounded and flexible. 
Moderately large in proportion to head. Erect, set equally on top and side of head. Lines going through the curve to the tips preferably point to the centre of the base of the head, and not higher than to the centre of occiput. Furnishings are desirable. 



The body is elongated and slender.  


Size and boning 

Medium size, "semi-foreign" type, neither fine-boned nor heavy-boned. Moderate strength and muscle tone. 


Rectangular, length to be approximately 1-1/2 times the height at the shoulders. 


Medium long. 

Legs and paws 

Length medium in proportion to body; set straight when viewed from front or rear. Medium boning, neither fine nor heavy.
Paws medium and rounded. 


The tail is long, broad at the base and tapers to a slightly rounded tip. 






Semi-long with tail coat full and plumed. 


Fine, silky, laying flat. Minimal undercoat. 



All colours and patterns are permitted. Any amount of white is permitted.  


See General part. 





Special breed faults 

Stocky body. 
Excessive size without proper conformation.
Oriental type. 
Deep nose break or totally straight profile.
Abrupt change of direction of the ears without gentle curve (sharp bend) 
Heavy undercoat/heavy ruff. 
Coarse, cottony or fluffy coat texture. 
Dense or plush coat. 


Without certificates 

Extremely curled ears in adults, causing the ear tips to touch the back of the ears or the skull. 
Interior surface of the ears appears corrugated. 



Straight or severely mismatched ears.
Lack of firm cartilage in base of ear. 
Ear tips that are not flexible.
Thick or calcified ears. 
Vertical crimp (narrow base. Beginning at the base of the ear and continuing along some or all of its height, the outer edge of the ear bends or rolls vertically in toward the center of the ear)
horizontal crimp (ears in which the lower portion of the ear is abnormally flattened, has compressed ridges of cartilage and does not have a normal, visible ear cavity). 



Balance/proper proportion is more important than overall size. 


Outcross with other breeds 

Domestic longhair/shorthair, not a member of a recognized breed.