Some of the breeds of cat that originate in the USA are fairly obvious, as they have the name of their country or state of origin in their name, such as is the case with the American shorthair. Others are not as easy to spot, but the USA is in fact the point of origin for several breeds of cat, many of which are very popular over here as well. In this article, we will provide a basic introduction to five popular breeds of cat that originate from the USA. Read on to learn more!
The Maine Coon is perhaps the best known American cat breed that is also popular in the UK, and the clue is in their name, as they are named after the state of Maine, from which they originate. The Maine Coon is known as one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds in America, and they are very popular in the USA as well as in the rest of the world too.
The Maine Coon is a semi-longhaired cat that has silky fur in great quantities, and which can be seen in virtually any colour combination, with over 64 colour/pattern combinations being recognised within the UK. They are a large breed that produces cats that are both long and tall and sturdy, and their tails in particular are long in relation to the body, as well as being very thick and fluffy!
It is thought that the appearance of today’s Maine Coons is very similar to that which the breed had during its earliest days, before human intervention.
The ragdoll cat is hugely popular, both over here and in America, but not everyone knows that the ragdoll breed actually originated in the USA! The ragdoll breed also has a rather interesting history, and was only formed as a breed in its own right during the 1960’s. The founding queen of the ragdoll breed was a domestic cat named Josephine, who was a Persian/Angora cat, living in California.
Josephine was involved in a car accident from which she successfully recovered, and when she later had a litter, the kittens within it were particularly placid and affectionate, and would go completely limp when picked up, giving the breed its name, the “ragdoll.”
The ragdoll is an incredibly kind natured and very loving large breed of cat, but they don’t tend to be particularly streetwise, and in some cases, may need to live an indoor-only life.
The Savannah cat may be named after the wilds of Africa, but they actually originate in the USA! That being said, the Savannah cat is actually a hybrid breed, with the first generations comprised of the crossing of a serval (a type of wild cat) with domestic cats. The breed was developed in the USA, and the first generation crosses of Savannah cats were highly in demand and very expensive to buy. Later generation crosses that were further removed from the serval side of their ancestry tend to be more reasonably priced.
The Savannah is a large, exotic looking breed that has a very distinctive coat, which is smooth and very silky and often patterned like the wild serval.
The Tonkinese cat is a recognised breed in its own right that was originally developed from the crossing of a Burmese cat with a Siamese cat. The first Burmese cat to be imported to the USA is the likely father of the breed overall, and the Tonkinese breed itself was later developed in both the USA and Canada.
The first cats of the Tonkinese breed were brown in colour, but today, the Tonk can be seen in a wide range of colours and colourpoints such as can be found on either the Siamese or Burmese cat. They tend to be playful, inquisitive and very loving, sharing many of the same personality traits that the Siamese cat is famed for.
The American curl is a cat that is best known for its unusual ears, which appear to be inside out, or curled towards the back of the skull! The American curl first occurred in 1981 in California, when two stray kittens were taken in that had the distinctive ear shape, caused by a genetic mutation. One of these two kittens became the founder of the breed, which is born with straight ears that gradually take on their final curl over the first four months of the cat’s life. After four months, the curl becomes established, and will not become any further developed.
The American curl is generally reputed to be a healthy breed that is not affected in any negative way by the unusual shape of their ears, however, care must be taken when handling the cat to ensure that the ears are not harmed, as their unusual shape and position does make them rather vulnerable.