12 Cat Breeds That Originated in the U.S.
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12 Cat Breeds That Originated in the U.S.

Est. read time: 5 min.

It goes without saying that we love cats of all nations, heritage, and pedigree. But in honor of All-American Pet Photo Day, we’re highlighting 12 cat breeds that originated in the grand ol’ US of A!

American Curl

American Curl Cat - US Cat Breeds

© Heikki Siltala / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0

The American Curl cat is one of the youngest cat breeds.

  • 5-10 lbs
  • Lifespan: 10-18 years
  • Unique ears that curl back offer a happy, alert expression
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Very affectionate toward family; good choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs
  • Moderately active, curious, and smart

American Shorthair

American Shorthair - US Cat Breeds

© Heikki Siltala / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0

The American Shorthair is a descendent of the cats that came over with the Mayflower colonists.

  • 7-12 lbs
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Moderately active but not demanding of play or activity
  • Calm, sociable nature; good choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs
  • Skilled hunter, but may learn to get along with birds or other small pets

Balinese

Balinese Cat - US Cat Breeds

The Balinese cat is named after the dancers on the Indonesian island of Bali.

  • 6-11 lbs
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Longhaired version of the Siamese; colors vary
  • Highly intelligent, agile, and athletic; loves to play fetch and walk on a leash
  • Demanding and social cat, needs attention. Extremely fond of his people. Will always follow you around (often underfoot) and will always be in your lap or on your bed
  • Good choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority

Bengal

Bengal Cat - US Cat Breeds

© William Crochot / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Bengal cat is a cross between an Asian Leopard cat and a domestic shorthair.

  • 8-18 lbs
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Highly active and intelligent; good at learning tricks
  • Confident, talkative, and friendly. Loves to climb and be involved in your life
  • Good choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs; nothing scares him, certainly not dogs

Bombay

Bombay - US Cat Breeds

© Bombaycats / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Bombay cat was created by crossing breeds to resemble a panther.

  • 8-15 lbs
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Solid black
  • Loves people and is very adaptable. Needs to be top cat. Will thrive with a family who wants to teach him tricks and play with him
  • Often found hogging the warmest spot in the house

Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair - US Cat Breeds

© Melv_L - MACASR / Flickr / CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Exotic Shorthair cat is called “the lazy man’s Persian.”

  • 6-13 lbs
  • Lifespan: 15+ years
  • Came from breeding American Shorthairs with Persians for the purpose of having a cat that looks like a Persian but without the difficult coat
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Playful and enjoys games. Similar in temperament to Persians, although Exotics are reported to be livelier
  • Quiet, sweet, and affectionate; very loyal and wants to be involved in his owner's life

Javanese

Javanese - US Cat Breeds

© Nickolas Titkov / Flickr / CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Javanese loves to chat and is very vocal.

  • 5-10 lbs
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Extremely fond of his people and loves to be helpful. Highly intelligent, athletic, and easily trained
  • Loves to play and always needs some form of entertainment; he may pout and whine if given no attention

LaPerm

LaPerm Cat - Cat Breeds

© KRL LPL / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The first LaPerm was born on a farm as a spontaneous mutation in an otherwise normal litter of kittens. 

  • 5-8 lbs
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Unusual, curly-coated rex
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Very clever with a sense of humor; often described as clownish. Mischief-maker with talented paws
  • Moderately active and enjoys fetch

Maine Coon

Maine Coon - Cat Breeds

The Maine Coon is the state cat of Maine and is one of the world's largest and most popular cats.

  • 10-25 lbs
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • Good-natured and easily adaptable. Not extremely fond of children
  • Enjoys being around people and following them around. Likes attention but is not demanding. Content to observe you. Not typically a lap cat
  • Very good mouser. Can climb as well as any cat but prefers ground level

Nebelung

Nebelung Cat - Cat Breeds

© Nebelung / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Nebelung was bred when a domestic shorthair mated with a Russian Blue and produced one long-haired, blue kitten. 

  • 5-16 lbs
  • Lifespan: 11-16 years
  • Name is German for "creature of the mist"
  • Reputation as shy and gentle. Reserved nature but still loves to play and enjoys jumping and climbing
  • Guests will not receive immediate attention. Towards family he is very loyal

Ragdoll

Ragdoll Cat - Cat Breeds

© BlackIceNRW / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Ragdoll cat is known to collapse into the arms of anyone who holds him, even if he is on his back.

  • 10-20 lbs
  • Lifespan: 13-17 years
  • “Puppycats” - often learns to come when called and loves cuddling
  • Colors and patterns vary
  • First developed by Ann Baker in Riverside, California in the 1960s. Selected for gentle, placid personality. She made many unusual claims about the breed, including alien influence, CIA experiments, and inclusion of human genes
  • Can easily pick up tricks and behaviors. Nice manners and easy to live with
  • Prefers to stay on the same level as his people, and not the highest point in the room

Savannah

Savanah Cat - Cat Breeds

The Savannah cat was developed after a domestic cat crossed with a serval gave birth to a kitten in 1986.

  • 8-25 lbs
  • Lifespan: 17-20 years
  • Breeds that contributed to the Savannah's development were spotted cat breeds such as Bengals and Egyptian Maus, Oriental Shorthairs, and some regular domestic shorthairs
  • Active and adventurous. Can jump very high places, and takes well to walking on a leash and playing in water. Will thoroughly explore his surroundings
  • Confident, alert, curious, and friendly; also clever (will play tricks on you)
  • Not extremely fond of children

Interested in learning about other cat breeds? Check out our blog posts on hypoallergenic cat breeds, the calmest cat breeds, the highest-energy cat breeds, the smallest cat breeds, and the largest cat breeds.

Cat Breeds from the U.S.

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