The Scottish Fold is a breed of domestic cat with a natural dominant gene mutation that affects cartilage throughout the body, causing the ears to "fold", bending forward and down towards the front of the head, which gives the cat what is often described as an "owl-like" appearance.Originally called lop-eared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit, Scottish Fold became the breed's name in 1966. Depending on registries, longhaired Scottish Folds are varyingly known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold and Coupari.
All Fold cats are affected by osteochondrodysplasia (OCD) a developmental abnormality that affects cartilage and bone development throughout the body. This condition causes the ear fold in the breed and studies point to all Fold cats being affected by it. Fold cats therefore have malformed bone structures and can develop severe painful degenerative joint diseases at an early age. Due to these health conditions, breeding Fold cats is prohibited in several countries and some major cat registries do not recognise the cat breed.