The Enigmatic American Ringtail Cat: A New Breed on the Horizon

Mar 21


Omer Ashraf

Omer Ashraf

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Discover the American Ringtail Cat, a new and unique feline breed characterized by its distinctive ringed tail. This breed, still in the experimental phase, is known for its friendly nature and muscular build. With a history that traces back to a stray kitten in California, the American Ringtail is on its way to becoming a recognized breed, captivating cat enthusiasts with its unusual tail and charming demeanor.

Origins and Development of the American Ringtail

The Discovery of a Unique Trait

The journey of the American Ringtail Cat began in 1998 when a stray male kitten was found in Fremont,The Enigmatic American Ringtail Cat: A New Breed on the Horizon Articles California. As the kitten matured, it displayed a peculiar behavior—curling its tail over its back without any signs of discomfort or deformity. This trait caught the attention of cat lovers and experts, leading to the observation of similar tail characteristics in other local cats.

The Path to Breed Recognition

After consulting with geneticists, it was decided to pursue the development of these distinctive cats into a formal breed. The original male with the ringed tail was mated with a female of a foreign body type, producing several litters with the ringtail trait. Initially named 'Ringtail Sing-a-ling,' these cats have since been renamed 'American Ringtail' and are progressing towards full recognition by cat breed registries.

Physical Characteristics of the American Ringtail

Size and Build

American Ringtails are relatively large cats, with both males and females reaching weights between twelve to fourteen pounds in adulthood. They possess a long, muscular build and a strong back, contributing to their agile nature.

Coat and Color

Their fur is soft and silky, and they can exhibit any color or pattern. Eye color is also varied and not yet standardized within the breed. The defining feature, the tail, starts straight and then curls smoothly over the back without touching it, maintaining a length proportional to the body. Their paws are medium-sized and feature webbed toes, which may aid in their agility.

The Genetics Behind the Tail

The signature ring tail is the result of two distinct genes that create the 'upright' and 'curled' appearance. These genes are present in some feral and domestic cats, as well as in certain purebreds, and are not linked to any health issues. The tail is broad and muscular at the base, with well-developed bones that are not fused, allowing for the characteristic curl when the cat is relaxed. This tail positioning is not only a unique visual trait but also aids in balance and deceleration during rapid movement.

Temperament and Behavior

A Friendly and Affectionate Companion

American Ringtails are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are sociable with family members, often forming a special bond with one person in particular. While they may exhibit shyness around strangers, they generally interact well with children and integrate seamlessly into family life.

The Road to Recognition

The American Ringtail Cat is still on its journey to official breed recognition. Cat breed registries, such as The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), have specific processes for recognizing new breeds, which often involve tracking the breed's development and ensuring a consistent standard is met.

As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, the American Ringtail has not yet achieved full recognition from major cat registries. However, the breed continues to gain interest and support from the cat breeding community and enthusiasts who are drawn to its unique characteristics and endearing personality.

For more information on the recognition process and the current status of the American Ringtail, you can visit the official websites of The International Cat Association and the Cat Fanciers' Association.


The American Ringtail Cat is a testament to the diversity and adaptability of feline breeds. With its distinctive ringed tail and amiable nature, it stands out as a promising addition to the world of domestic cats. As it moves closer to official recognition, the American Ringtail continues to charm and intrigue cat lovers around the globe.

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