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The York Chocolate Cat is a new American breed of show cat, with a long, fluffy coat and a tapered tail and most of them are chocolate. The first part of its name is taken from New York state, where it was bred in 1983. This breed was created by color-selecting domestic longhaired cats, and as the name suggests, all members of this breed are solid chocolate or lilac, chocolate and white, or lilac and white (see bicolor cat). The breed is not yet widely recognized by breeders and the Cat Fanciers' Association.
The York Chocolate cat is a medium to large cat with a rounded head and a moderately long muzzle. They have large, almond-shaped eyes that are either gold or green. Their bodies are slender and mid-way between the Oriental and foreign types, with long necks. The cats have full, tapered tails, tufted feet, and sometimes ruffs. The coat is semi-longhaired and very fine. It is either solid chocolate, solid lilac, white and chocolate, or white and lilac. The kittens are much lighter, and tabby markings and tipping is acceptable until the kitten reaches eighteen months of age.
The York Chocolate Cat is a very friendly, even-tempered breed that is very content as a lap cat. They love to be held and cuddled. The cats are intelligent, energetic, and curious, happily following their owner around. They are good companions and good hunters. They seem to be enamored with water.
The breed was created by Janet Chiefari in 1983. The father was a black longhaired cat and the mother was a longhaired black and white cat. Their Siamese ancestors created the brown coloring in one kitten: Brownie. Brownie had a litter that subsequent summer with a black longhaired tom. There were two kittens in the litter: a chocolate male and a white and chocolate female. Upon noticing similarities in coat and body types, Chiefari began her own breeding program.
In March 1990, the Cat Fanciers Federation and the American Cat Fanciers Association recognized York Chocolates as an experimental cat breed. In March 1992, the breed was also given CFF Championship status. It was granted Champion status by the Canadian Cat Association in March 1995, as well.