Named after its place of origin and dark, rich chocolate brown or lavender coloring, the York Chocolate cat is an incredibly stunning cat, with a lustrous coat, further enhanced by its flexible and elegant body movement. This feline may be nearly black, but being with this furball is far from being dull. It is a sweet, affectionate, playful, and highly intelligent breed that will add color to any loving home. And while it is a relatively new breed, it is gaining popularity with its glamor and adorable personality.
Origin of the York Chocolate Cat
The York Chocolate is a relatively new feline breed that only emerged in 1983 on a farm. This cat first appeared in a litter of kittens of a black male and black-and-white female cat pair. The kitten sported as a semi-longhaired coat in a dark, rich chocolate brown tone, quickly catching the attention of farm owner Janet Cheirfari. She named the kitten Brownie with reference to its color.
Soon, Brownie also gave birth to her own litter of kittens the next summer. Fortunately, a male with the same qualities as Brownie was included in her offspring. It was then bred back to Brownie, and the two became the progenitors of the new generation of the feline breed. Chiefari then named the breed as York Chocolate, citing her hometown, New York, and its distinct color.
In 1990, the York Chocolate was accepted as an experimental breed. While other cat registries still consider them as such, the York Chocolate has already received full championship status from the Cat Fanciers Federation and Canadian Cat Association.
Physical Characteristics of the York Chocolate Cat
Height: 8-10 inches
Weight: 10 to 16 pounds
Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Coat Color: Chocolate, Lavender
Type of Coat: Medium Long
Eye Color: Gold, green, hazelnut
The York Chocolate is a fairish-sized to a largish type of cat, with a nicely muscled but not hefty body. Their body appears to have a balance between the Oriental type and the American feline breeds. It has a round wedge-shaped head, with large pointed, forward-tilting ears sitting atop. Its muzzle appears to be mid-long. Meanwhile, their almond-shaped eyes can come in gold, green, or hazelnut color. Its tail is long, fluffy, becoming narrower at the tip. Their distinct coat is semi-long, very fine, and comes in rich chocolate or chocolate lavender color.
York Chocolate Cat Personality
Despite their blackish overall color, the York Chocolate cats are never dull in terms of personality. This feline breed is a highly-gregarious furball that thrives in human companionship. They would follow its owners around the house and jive in whatever activity they do.
Highly affectionate, these cats enjoy being held and snuggled, but under their own conditions. Often they choose a favorite person and would be happy to curl on his lap for some petting and purring sesh. This doesn’t mean they are selective, as they are pretty much capable of extending their love to other family members.
Moreover, the York Chocolate cats find a perfect balance with their fun-loving and relaxed sides. While they may love to have some playtime and interaction with people or their furry friends, they would also relish lounging around or getting extended nap periods. They are excellent hunters but not as hyper as the Bengal or Abyssinian.
While not vocal, the Yorks are renowned for being ardent purrers. They will not hesitate to communicate when they have something important in mind or have urgent issues, such as their empty food dish.
Lastly, York Chocolate cats have a big heart for water. These cats will grab any opportunity to get in the sink as their owners wash the dishes, join them in their baths, or enjoy a puddle in the backyard. Fortunately, they are generally hardy and healthy, allowing them to participate in the beloved aquatic adventures.
Caring for the York Chocolate Cat
Given their medium-length coat, any owner should keep in mind that the York Chocolate cat will require extra grooming. Inserting two to three times of brushing sessions in a week can help prevent mats and keep their coat in its tip-top condition. Fortunately, they don’t lose much hair in regular seasons but may need extra care during their molting periods.
Other parts of their grooming routine include primary care. Trimming the nails every 10 to 14 days will keep their paws and claw healthy. A scratching post can also help in keeping their nails tidy and avoid them from damaging furniture. Cleaning the ears and eyes weekly will help remove dirt build-up and prevent infection. Meanwhile, brushing the teeth weekly will boost their oral health and prevent periodontal disease.
While they are a fairly active breed, these cats will still enjoy having a cat tree or high perches where they can climb safely. Interactive toys and puzzles are also excellent investments that will make them both physically and mentally satisfied.
In terms of other pets, Yorks are amenable to live with dogs and most cat-friendly animals. However, since they have great hunting instincts, it is advisable to keep away from super small pets for both their protection. Children won’t also be an issue for them as long as these toddlers are taught how to handle them with respect.
In general, York Chocolate cats are pretty sturdy and don’t suffer from any significant breed-related condition. The health issues they encounter are also common with other breeds, such as obesity and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As with other feline breeds, regular checkups and proper nutrition can help ensure that they live a long, healthy life.
York Chocolate cats are ideal for families looking for fairly active and loving companions. They may be black, but their wonderful personality is never lacking in color, making them a terrific addition to any home.