A LaPerm's fur is curly (hence the name "perm"), with the tightest curls being on the belly, throat and base of the ears. LaPerms come in many colours and patterns. LaPerms generally have a very affectionate personality
The LaPerm is a rex breed from the USA whose popularity has increased worldwide steadily since it was introduced. These cats are genetically unique and not related to any other rex breeds, having a dominant gene causing their curly coats. They have an elegant and athletic build and are affectionate, active and outgoing in character. Their most significant feature is their coat which is made up of soft waves, curls and ringlets, resembling a shaggy perm
The first LaPerm was born in 1982 and was a spontaneous mutation in an otherwise normal litter of kittens. Linda and Richard Koehl owned a cherry farm in The Dalles, Oregon, and had obtained some farm cats to keep the farm clear of mice. One of these was a plain but hard-working brown tabby shorthair called Speedy who gave birth to a litter of kittens which included a rather bald, long skinny kitten with a blueprint of a tabby pattern on her skin. Linda wondered if something was wrong with the kitten but as she grew she developed a soft curly coat which everyone liked to touch. Perhaps this was also why she turned out to be so affectionate and a favourite of everyone on the farm.
Curly grew up and also worked as a farm cat. One day Curly, and the whole LaPerm breed, were almost wiped out when she climbed into the warm engine of a pick up truck and was injured by the fan when it was started up. She survived and became a house cat for a while convalescing from her injuries, but she managed to find her way out and became pregnant to one of the farm’s toms. An inexperienced first-time mum, she gave birth under a tree in the middle of a rainstorm one night. Linda heard strange noises and took a torch outside to find Curly fiercely staving off barking dogs while straddling her newborn babies. Linda put the kittens into her pockets and took them into the warmth of a barn to make them a nest in the hay. The next day when Linda was able to look at them in daylight she realised that all five kittens had the same appearance as their mother had at birth. All five were male and grew up to have the same soft curls. None of the five were neutered and their breeding activity led to many more curly coated kittens being born.