About the York Chocolate Cat
Also known as “Il Gatto Cioccolato,” the York Chocolate cat was a registered cat breed with deep brown, almost black fur. These kitties had luxurious fluffy coats thanks to their ancestors, who were primarily domestic long-haired cats of different breeds.
The York Chocolate cat was a friendly breed, happy to spend time with its people and fond of cuddling. These kitties were described as being playful, energetic, and intelligent, with a curious streak and an appreciation for being part of daily life. Mice didn't stand a chance in homes where your Chocolate cats were present as these beautiful felines also happened to be excellent hunters.
The York Chocolate cats did not have any special nutritional needs, however like most other cats, it's likely that members of the breed thrived on high-quality food that incorporated real meat or fish as the main ingredient.
Thanks to their long, plush coats, York Chocolate cats needed routine grooming to prevent mats from forming.
Described as playful and energetic, it's more than likely that the York Chocolate cat enjoyed all the same activities that most other cats do, including climbing to the very top of its favorite cat condo, stretching on a scratching post, chasing laser beams, and hopping up into a window seat for a comfortable view of the great outdoors.
As these kitties were of mixed heritage, it's quite likely that they enjoyed good health overall, probably with a tendency to exhibit some common health issues that we see in most domestic breeds today. Obesity and periodontal disease are two of the most prevalent, along with communicable diseases that can be prevented with routine vaccinations.
The York Chocolate cat enjoyed a short burst of popularity. Developed in 1983 by a breeder named Janet Chiefari, the first York chocolate cat came from a litter that was sired by a black long-haired cat. The mother was a black and white cat, also with a long coat. At least one of these cats had Siamese ancestry, which contributed to brown coloring in a single member of the litter, a female kitten that was aptly named Brownie.
When Brownie reached maturity, she was bred with a black long-haired male. This pairing resulted in a litter of just two kittens including a chocolate mail and a female with a white and chocolate coat.
In March 1990, the Cat Fanciers' Federation of the New England region granted the York Chocolate cat experimental status, which was ultimately expanded to championship status in 1992. A few other breed clubs and small registries accepted York Chocolate cats as well, however no registered individuals are known to exist, and the breed is officially considered to be extinct.
It is completely possible that cats with similar DNA, personalities, and appearances exist; the label "extinct" applies due to the disappearance of registered York Chocolate cats.
Did You Know?
York Chocolate cats are named after New York, where the breed was developed.
Even though York Chocolate cats were incredibly affectionate toward their family members, they were often shy with strangers.
A club dedicated to the breed was developed in Italy. Known as the International York Chocolate Federation (IYCF), it has been inactive since 2004.
The Breed Standard
No breed standard exists for the York Chocolate cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a York Chocolate cat cost?
York Chocolate cats cost between $600 - $1000.
How big do York Chocolate cats get?
York Chocolate cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown York Chocolate cat might weigh between 10-16 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 8"- 10" inches tall.
How long do York Chocolate cats live?
The Average lifespan for York Chocolate is 13-15 years.
Do York Chocolate cats shed?
York Chocolate are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.