LaPerm Cat: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

LaPerm cats are a unique breed known for their dog-like personality and long, curly coat. First bred in Oregon in 1982, the cats quickly spread out to other parts of the state where their unique fur and adorable appearance made them popular with breeders everywhere.

The energetic cats do very well both in and outdoors. They love cuddling up to people and will also roam as far as you let them. That combination is unique, which is one of the reasons the breed is sought out as a great family pet.

While they do not shed as much as other breeds, they still produce enough allergens to the point where no one considers LaPerm hypoallergenic cats. They may be great for people who can tolerate a bit of dandruff, but they can create issues for less tolerant owners.

The breed is both lively and loving. While they can be a bit independent at times, the cats make perfect family pets, as well as great additions to smaller homes. They even get along with other pets.

Breed Overview

Origin: United States

Height: 6 to 7 inches

Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

Life Span: 13 to 15 years

Colors: Tortoise, Tabby, Red

1. Personality & Temperament

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LaPerm cats are lovable animals with large, caring personalities. The breed is one of the more relaxed cats around. They love to lounge in sunny spaces around the house and are often found in a comfortable spot.

However, they are extremely active as well. LaPerms love to roam and will take full advantage of a wide house or open yard.

When inside, the felines are lap cats through and through. They love to spend time lying down with their owners and will return any personal attention given to them. So much so that they will often stop their current activity to sit on your lap.

That does not mean they don’t mind being alone, they are cats after all, but they will seek out affection more often than not.

2. How to Care for a LaPerm Cat


LaPerm cats need a balanced diet to keep their skin healthy and coat fresh. Protein-forward foods are the best way to go, and you want to strive for quality wherever you can. Avoid brands marked with “added flavor.” That will ensure your feline only eats fresh ingredients.

The felines can eat both wet and dry food as long as it’s high-quality. Dry foods help keep their teeth clean, while wet food often comes with special nutrients. As such, it is usually best to give your LaPerm a mix of both.

Two small meals a day is standard for the breed, but you can shift the amount of food based on their weight.


The LaPerm’s curly coats do not need a lot of work, but they have to be upkept to reduce shedding. Short-haired LaPerms must be brushed once a week, while longer haired ones should be brushed about three times in that span.

The felines also need regular baths. A quick rinse with warm water will prevent greasy skin and keep your cat’s coat lush. Just be sure to never use a blow dryer on LaPerms, as that will cause their fur to frizz and puff.

Beyond that, the breed’s nails need to be trimmed once every two weeks and you should wipe down their large ears with cotton swabs ever week.


The breed is extremely active. Even so, they do not have any special exercise requirements that separate them from other energetic cats. Rather, they just need to get outside or play around once a day.

Though that is easy if you have a wide yard, it can be more difficult in the city. Harness walks go a long way in urban environments, as do toys or indoor climbing structures.

The breed loves having items to play with in the house. Scratching pads, towers, and chaser toys will keep your feline moving around and give them the stimulation they need to stay lean.


LaPerms are an extremely intelligent breed. So much so that they can easily learn a range of basic tricks and commands if you take the time to teach them.

As with many other active breeds, they also respond well to harness training. However, you will see much better results if you start them early in life.

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3. Common Health Issues of the LaPerm Cat

LaPerm cats have long life expectancies, which is a good indicator of their sturdy immune system. The felines are some of the hardiest house cats on Earth and they come with very few health problems, especially when coming from a good breeder.

In fact, the LaPerm cat is one of the only breeds on Earth that does not have any known genetic diseases or conditions.

Despite that, the cats can still experience certain issues throughout their lifetime, and it is always important to take note of any common feline health problems that your cat may experience.

Kidney Disease

LaPerm cats have Type A blood. That may not sound like a big deal, but it makes the breed more susceptible to kidney disease.

This issue commonly manifests in older cats, but can be present in kittens as well. Common symptoms are increased thirst, lack of appetite, and excessive urination. If your cat shows any of those signs you should take them to the vet.

Most LaPerms will not experience the condition, but ones that have other breeds in their lineage are at higher risk.

Eye Issues

All cats can contract eye problems throughout their lives, and LaPerms are no exception. The felines are prone to a wide range of problems, ranging from glaucoma and cataracts to general inflammation.

Always watch your LaPerm during grooming and be aware of any irregularities with their eyes of lid. That includes squinting, pawing at the eye, tear-stained fur, and cloudiness.

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4. Children & Other Pets

As they are lap cats, LaPerms do a great job with children of all ages. The cuddly felines don’t mind showing affection and will gladly spend time or cuddle with kids who know how to treat and respect their space.

The breed also greatly enjoys the company of other animals. While some cats dislike sharing their domain, LaPerms do not mind their owners splitting their attention with numerous house pets.

The cats get along with all felines, especially other LaPerms, and tolerate dogs of all shapes and sizes. They are so laid back and welcoming they even do well with birds.

However, it is still a good idea to keep them away from smaller rodents or rodent-like pets. They are still hunters after all.

5. The History of the Laperm Cat

LaPerm cats first came about on a barn in Oregon during 1982. From that strange beginning, the felines roamed the region and bred with other local cats.

After a while, the owners discovered that the resulting kittens, no matter what breed the LaPerms mated with, tended to have curly fur. At that point, they began to selectively breed the cats and bring them to cat shows.

The gentle felines soon garnered a lot of attention due to their unique look, active lifestyle, and playful nature. Excellent both indoors and outside, many owners began to breed LaPerms of their own.

While the LaPerm kitten first came into the world with no hair, the modern breed is born with its distinct coat. It is that look that gave rise to the cats we have today.

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a LaPerm Cat

LaPerm cat breeders typically charge between $200 and $300. However, select felines from great genetic lines can go for as much as $600. LaPerm cat adoption options are cheaper as well.


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