Balinese cats… Bombay cats… Himalayan cats… Would you believe that all of these exotic-sounding cat breeds were developed in the US? You can often tell the origins of a cat breed simply based on its name, but not always. It is true that the Siamese cat is native to Thailand (formerly Siam) and the Persian was developed in Persia. However, sometimes a breed is named after its genetic predecessors and not its geographic origin.
As is true for dogs, a wide variety of cat breeds exists. While their canine counterparts are usually bred for a particular skill or temperament, felines are largely bred for their physical characteristics. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) recognizes 41 different cat breeds and The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 55 different cat breeds from all over the world. Many of these are American in origin. Here’s some of the most adorable kittens America has to offer.
Top 10 American Cat Breeds
- American Curl
The reason for its name is no mystery with uniquely shaped ears that curl backward in an arc, rather than standing straight up. This breed is very loving and affectionate with family, and they love to spend time with people. As a kitten, it is born with straight ears but the ears develop a curl within about two to three months.
- American Bobtail
This fairly uncommon white, orange, black or grey breed was developed in the U.S. during the 1960s and is named for its stubby, “bobbed” tail, which is only about 1/3 the length of a normal cat’s tail. Its defining feature though is not the result of surgery, as some may have thought, but a genetic mutation that affects tail development.
- American Shorthair
This breed of cat is thought to have been developed from European cat breeds that were brought to the U.S. by early settlers to hunt mice and rats on cargo ships. This kind of cat has a large, powerful build and it is considered a working breed by the CFA. These cats can live for fifteen years or longer and they grow up to fifteen pounds.
The Balinese is a longhaired breed that is similar to the Siamese in the fact that it exhibits color points, but it was not developed in Bali, as its name might suggest. It was bred from Siamese cats that were imported into the U.S. during the 1800s.
Known for its wild appearance, the Bengal cat bears a striking resemblance to wild cats like leopards, margays, and ocelots. This breed was developed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is generally a healthy breed, except for its risk of early-onset autosomal recessive disorder.
The Bombay breed is a type of shorthaired cat with a sleek, black coat. This breed was developed by inter-mixing sable-colored Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs. These pussycats were developed by Nikki Horner during the 1960s.
- Exotic Shorthair
This breed was developed as a shorthaired version of the Persian cat breed. The exotic shorthair is very similar to the Persian in terms of temperament and appearance, except for its short coat. This breed is gentle and playful and it usually gets along with dogs.
The Himalayan cat breed does not come from the Himalayan region – it was developed by crossing the Siamese and Persian cat breeds. The Himalayan is known for its long, thick coat and for its point coloration. These cats are smart and sweet-tempered, typically making good family pets.
- Javanese The Javanese cat is an Oriental-type cat with long hair. It was developed in the United States from longhaired Oriental kittens. This breed comes in a variety of colors and they are often very vocal.
- Maine Coon
One of the most easily recognizable cat breeds, the Maine Coon is named for its distinctive appearance. This breed has a long coat with a thick mane-like ruff around the neck. Maine Coon cats can grow up to 25 pounds for males and up to 15 pounds for females.
If you are thinking about getting a cat, there are a number of factors you need to consider. Not only do you need to think about the appearance of the cat, but also its size and temperament. Perhaps one of these homebred American cats would be a good match for you.
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