Being a US-based site, we think it’s important to acknowledge our American heritage, cat breeds included. With most breeds originating from other parts of the world, those made in America hold a special place in our hearts. While we can’t go through them all (there are quite a few!) we can certainly introduce you to some of them. Enjoy!
#1 – American Bobtail
The American Bobtail was created in the United States back in the 1960s from a spontaneous mutation, although some like to tell the tale of them being half domestic cat and half Bobcat. They are social and energetic, but have a completely domestic history.
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#2 – American Curl
The American Curl comes from sunny Southern California and is unique because of its curled ears. The ears curling backward is also the result of a spontaneous mutation and the two original kittens with curled ears were found as strays in 1981. Shortly after they were bred purposefully and the breed became what it is today.
#3 – American Shorthair
Although this breed’s ancestors are thought to have been brought over to North America by early European settlers, the standard was created and bred for by breeders in America. They are intelligent and playful cats that enjoy watching their surroundings.
#4 – Balinese
The Balinese has a heritage that goes back to imported Siamese cats that carried the gene for long coats. Because long coats in Siamese is a fault, a woman named Helen Smith worked to create a new breed of long-haired Siamese cats. The first registered Balinese cats were done so in 1928. Further down the road breed enthusiast Sylvia Holland had developed a standard to be used in the 1960s and 1970s.
#5 – Bengal
The Bengal is a hybrid between the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic cat. While the first mention of the cross was made in 1889, breeders worked to create more specimens in the 1970s and 1980s. They worked to fully domesticate the breed so we have the tame but beautiful cats we have today.
#6 – Bombay
The Bombay was created by breeding Burmese cats to American Shorthairs to create the stunning black cat we have today. The breed is very social and enjoys spending time with its family and therefore does not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
#7 – Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair was originally intended not to exist, as American Shorthair breeders crossed their cats with Persians to improve certain aspects of their breed. While this didn’t work so well for the American Shorthair, it brought about the creation of the Exotic Shorthair.
#8 – Himalayan
The Himalayan is a seal-pointed Persian cat that was actually created at Harvard University in the 1930s. They did this specifically for the cat fancy and it took a long time before breed associations recognized Himalayans as a separate breed.
#9 – Javanese
The Javanese cat is a long-coated variety of the Oriental cat. This breed and its name was developed by breeder Helen Smith in the 1950s (you might recognize her name from the Balinese). They are intelligent and vocal cats that love to play with their owners or other feline companions.
#10 – Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is the official state cat of Maine, where it originated. One of the largest cat breeds in existence, they have been popular in cat shows since the late 19th century. The full history of the Maine Coon is unknown, but there are many folk tales about the breed.
#11 – Munchkin
The Munchkin is a dwarf cat known for its adorably short legs. Because their unique dwarfism is the result of a genetic mutation, there have been plenty of short-legged cats in the history of the cat fancy. That said, the Munchkin wasn’t introduced as a specific breed until 1991.
#12 – Ragdoll
The Ragdoll was developed in the 1960s by American breeder Ann Baker. Baker bred these cats for their unique temperament. They are very social, gentle cats that are known for going completely limp when picked up, just as a rag doll would.
#13 – Savannah
The Savannah is a large hybrid cat created by crossbreeding Servals and domestic cats. The first Savannah cat was born in 1986 and the breed jumped into popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. While fairly wild-temperamented cats are still found, many are much more domesticated.
#14 – Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex differs from the other Rex breeds in that it has all of its coat, but is unique because its coat is very curly. The breed comes from Montana, USA out of a stray cat’s litter in 1987.
#15 – Singapura
The Singapura is one of the smallest cat breeds. The Singapura’s history is dramatic, because the pedigrees of the original breeding cats were likely misinterpreted. While the initial breeder claimed the first cats were imports from Singapore, their fake papers likely mean the cats were actually from the United States and had no relation to Singapore or any cats there.