Although it is referred to by various names, including Longhair and Highland Fold, Coupari was the name given to the long-haired version of the Scottish Fold by British breeders. Its large eyes and folded ears make this affectionate cat a wonderful pet for both children and adults.
The appearance of this medium-sized cat has been compared to a wise owl: large, rounded eyes, sweet expression, full cheeks, and a short nose. Its most remarkable feature, however, is its folded ears, which do not fold forward until the cat is three months old. Its soft, resilient single coat, meanwhile, is long and comes in a variety of colors and pattern.
The Coupari is extremely docile and affectionate. It loves interacting with humans and is saddened if left alone. In fact, the cat will become vocal and demand for attention on occasion, even rubbing against a leg for a quick pet.
Usually, the cat will attach itself to one person in the household. However, it is gentle and kind toward others and will get along well with children or other pets.
Extremely intelligent, the Coupari can even be taught to walk on a leash or play a game of fetch.
Because of its long hair, the Coupari should be groomed at least three times a week (preferably every day). Therefore, it is best to initiate a grooming ritual early. This includes de-tangling its hair with a wide-toothed comb and removing excess wax from its ears with a wet cloth (at least once a month).
The Coupari, which has an average lifespan of 15 years, should receive regular vaccinations and routine check-ups twice a year. It is prone to cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease, a condition that often leads to kidney failure. This breed of cat also tends to suffer from diseases of the joints, of which many are treatable but not all curable.
The history of this breed can be traced to the village of Coupar Angus -- 13 miles northeast of Perth, Scotland -- when a white barn cat named Susie was discovered with unusual ears in 1961. Suzie passed this unusual trait to her offspring, though some were long-haired while others were short-haired. However, when a standard was establised for the Scottish Fold, only the short-haired version was mentioned. The long-haired version, meanwhile, was rebuked by many because of it sported an “earless” look.
It was not until the 1980s, when an American exhibitor by the name of Hazel Swadberg began displaying long-haired Scottish Folds in exhibitions and cats shows, that the orphaned type began to garner fame and recognition.
By 1986, it was officially recognized as a separate breed by TICA (The International Cat Association), though it was given the name Scottish Fold Longhair. And by 1991, the CFF (Cat Fanciers' Foundation) bestowed it Championship status, but with the name Longhair Fold. Meanwhile, the ACFA (American Cat Fanciers' Association) refers to the breed as the Highland Fold.
While there is no internationally accepted name for the breed, this cat is beloved by all who encounter it.