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About Elf

With thanks to Kristen Leedom from Quendi Cattery for the below description of the Elf Breed...

Back in 2004, two ladies put their heads together and shared a vision. They looked at their wonderful, hairless, Sphynx and saw them with curled ears. And the foundation of the Elf was born

Kristen Leedom, of Quendi Cattery and Karen Nelson of Falmari began working towards making that dream a reality. They shared their vision with others and from the beginning until now more breeders have fallen under the spell of Elves and have joined in the venture toward their future. As the days have passed on the journey towards the kingdom of Elf, they come to a form in the road and some chose one path which others chose another. As it is in this world, people sometimes reach the same end by different means, the Elf benefited, gaining the genetic diversity of the American Curl and the Highlander through both being chosen to gain those amazing curled ears.

As an original founder of the Elf breed, I have given my heart to these cats and remained true to the original concept and Standard. At Quendi we have only outcrossed with the American Curl to bring about our wonderful Elf. I'm not a large fan of the Highlander as an outcross, but I've chosen to respect the right of others to add them to their programs if that was their choice. Ultimately, the breed benefits most through the dedication of a group of breeders working together for them and a broad gene pool to work from. I made the decision that the greater harm would come from a division in the breeders due to different choices in outcross, I understand that we share this dream, thus we have reached this compromise for the cats.

Many of the Elves are not in generations that are beginning to exhibit the traits that were envisioned in their beginning. The breeders that have devoted their years, their homes and their hearts to these marvelous cats are beginning to introduce them in TICA's showhalls. Once the introductions have been made all around, and the numbers have been mat, they hope to gain acceptance as a New Trait of the Sphynx.

As a New Trait, the Standard for the Elf is that of the Sphynx with only a modification for the Elf's curled ears. The standard for Elf appears to be a hairless cat, althought it is not truly hairles. The skin should have the texture of chamois; it may be covered with very fine down which is almost imperceptible to both the eye and the touch. On the ears, muzzle, tail, feet and scrotum, short, soft, fine hair is allowed. Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. The cat should not be small or dainty. The overall appearance of the Elf ear should be one that is aesthectically pleasing to view. The ears are large and open, with firm cartilage from the base to at lease one-third the height of the ear, curling back in an arc to the curled tips. The Elf is sweet-tempered, lively and intelligent and above all else amenable to handling.

Why Use American Curls?

In the creation of the Elf cat many people ask why should I use and American Curl instead of another curled breed of cat like the Highlander? This question can be answered in many different ways. The biggest reason that the American Curl was chosen is because of the health of this bred. American Curls have no debilitating conditions associated with the curled ear mutuation and they are not plagued by the many diseases that most purebred cats are because the curl breeders have included domestic shorthairs and domestic longhairs in their breeding programs.

Sphynx can be subjected to health problems such as HCM and because they are not an extremely hearty breed by nature the decision was made to use a cat that was hearty and healthy to improve the health of the kittens that we produce. The American Curl has only one genetic mutuation and that is the curled ear not several like many other curled ear breeds

Through the last few years of breeding Sphynx to American Curl there have been no adverse genetic anomolies reported by combining these 2 mutuations.

The Elf breed is a fully recognised registered breed in Australia with ANCATS