15 American Cat Breeds That Define the U.S. Feline Fancy

A collage of different types of American cat breeds

Welcome, fellow cat aficionados, to the fascinating world of American Cat Breeds – a world woven with the thread of novelty, the spirit of adventure, and an unyielding love for our feline companions. In the United States, a nation of animal lovers, over 45 million households are brightened by the pitter-patter of kitty paws.

Yes, we North Americans adore our cats, cherishing them so dearly that some pioneering spirits among us have crafted entirely new breeds that reflect our diverse and innovative culture.

The breeds that have emerged from America boast a range of personalities as vast as the country itself. While exploring our thrilling list of American cat breeds, you’ll stumble across feline celebrities who rose from humble beginnings. But their unique characteristics turned them into sought-after protagonists of the American pet scene.

So, whether you’re a proud patriot of the whiskered world, or simply curious about the origins of your purring pals, join us as we shine a spotlight on over a dozen American cats – each a shining example of what happens when the undaunted American spirit meets the wild heart of nature. Let’s embark

Maine Coon

Maine Coon Cat Walking Towards Camera
  • Height: 10-16 inches
  • Weight: 12-15 pounds (females), 18-25 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Sweet, smart
  • Coat: Long, silky
  • Color: Various
  • Life Expectancy: 12-20 years

Take a step back into the rich tapestry of American Cat Breeds and discover the magnificent Maine Coon, a breed with roots as deep and natural as the history of North America itself. Often heralded as the oldest breed on the continent with minimal human interference in its evolution, Maine Coons are the gentle giants of the feline world. They’re believed to have sprung from the union of domestic shorthair cats and the longhaired breeds introduced by European settlers. These large, amiable cats are the epitome of friendly, with their loving and sociable natures, they quickly become a cherished part of any family. Proudly, in 1985, they were named the official state cats of Maine, cementing their place as a living symbol of America’s heritage—with a twist of local pride. Fondly referred to as the “poor man’s cat,” Maine Coons demonstrate that the richest companionship doesn’t come with a price tag but through heartfelt purrs and devoted affection. They show us that true treasure is often wrapped in fluffy, oversized packages with a purr that resonates like a warm, humming hearth.

American Bobtail

A collage of different types of American cat breeds
  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 7-16 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, friendly
  • Coat: Short or long
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15+ years

Are you a fan of unique and cuddly feline friends? Let’s talk about American Cat Breeds, and in particular, the charming American Bobtail. Born from that one-of-a-kind stray from Arizona with its distinctive short tail, the breed has been warming laps since the late 1960s. These furballs are not your everyday, run-of-the-mill cats, with their tails measuring between one to four inches, giving them a look that’s as adorable as it is uncommon. Not only are they real sweethearts, but American Bobtails are also known for their loving nature, making them perfect therapy and companion animals. Whether you’re looking for a feline friend to keep you company or to bring a smile to someone’s face, these kitties are just the purr-fect match!


Ragdoll Cat Breed Sitting On Sofa
  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds (females), 15-20 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Sweet, patient
  • Coat: Long, soft
  • Color: White bodies, pointed markings
  • Life expectancy: 13-18 years

If you’re in search of a laid-back companion with a soft spot for snuggles, allow me to introduce you to the serene Ragdoll, a breed that embodies the sunny disposition of its California origins. Sharing the fluffiness and gentle nature with the Maine Coon, Ragdolls are the epitome of feline sweetness and ease. These fluffy companions, with their soft, silky fur and crystal-clear eyes, exude calmness and a love for leisurely days. While they do enjoy their relaxation time, don’t be fooled – proper playtime and exercise are key to keeping these kitties in tip-top shape, bouncing with good health. With a Ragdoll in your life, expect a mix of blissful lounging sessions and playful antics, all bundled up in an incredibly lovable and affectionate package. They’re the perfect feline friends for anyone looking for a balance of tranquility and interactive fun in a pet.


Savannah Cat Breed Standing Full Body In Living Room
  • Height: 10-17 inches
  • Weight: 11-20 pounds (females), 13-23 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Energetic, outgoing
  • Coat: Short- to medium-length, coarse
  • Color: Black and brown spotted
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

For those with an adventurous spirit and a love for the exotic, the Savannah cat brings a touch of the wild right into your living room. These extraordinary members of the American Cat Breeds list are a testament to the ingenuity of American breeders who, in the mid-1980s, crafted a breed close in kin to the majestic African servals. Housing a Savannah cat is akin to cohabiting with a pint-sized leopard. They’re the feline epitome of agility and grace, with a penchant for high perches and room to roam. Before you welcome a Savannah into your family, ensure that your home is an adventure playground, replete with vertical territories for their climbing escapades. Additionally, gear up for an active lifestyle that matches their energetic souls and be ready to provide a diet that sustains their robust carnivorous appetites. Adopting a Savannah cat is no small feat—it’s a journey filled with excitement, a bit of the untamed, and the promise of a unique companionship.

American Curl

A collage of different types of American cat breeds
  • Height: 9-12 inches
  • Weight: 5-10 pounds
  • Personality: Smart, sweet
  • Coat: Short or long, silky
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 10-20 years

Let’s shine the spotlight on the American Cat Breeds, focusing especially on the elegant and rare American Curl. These beauties are known for their distinctive ears that delicately curl back, framing their expressive faces like a well-crafted work of art. Born out of a natural genetic mutation in sunny California way back in 1981, this breed has quickly become a beloved member of the cat world. Although they do come with a bit of a price tag, American Curls are more than just their looks. These intelligent, lovable pets bring a whole lot of personality into any home, making them a treasure worth every penny. An American Curl’s company means engaging in playtime filled with smarts and a lot of heart!

American Shorthair

American shorthair cat laying pose
  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-15 pounds
  • Personality: Loyal, social
  • Coat: Short, thick
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 15-20 years

Did you know the trusty American Shorthair has a story as dynamic as its hunting skills? When it comes to American Cat Breeds, this hardy feline is a true classic! Earning their stripes, quite literally, by keeping ships free of pesky rodents, American Shorthairs have long been masters of adapting to any surroundings. Starting off as Domestic Shorthairs in the early 20th century, these intelligent cats have been selectively bred not just for their practical prowess, but also for their alluring charm. Officially acquiring the name ‘American Shorthair’ in the swinging sixties, they quickly sprang into the limelight of cat shows globally. With their combo of smarts, strength, and good looks, these cats have secured a special place in the hearts of cat enthusiasts everywhere. Whether it’s a casual couch cuddle or a lively play session, American Shorthairs are paws-itively perfect companions!

Selkirk Rex

Beautiful long-haired Selkirk Rex cat pet
  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-16 pounds
  • Personality: Even-tempered, friendly
  • Coat: Short or long, dense, curly
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

For those who adore the perfect blend of quirky looks and a mellow temperament, meet the Selkirk Rex, a breed that adds a touch of whimsy to the American Cat Breeds family with its naturally curly coat. Montana in the late 1980s saw the birth of this breed, with a curly-haired rescue cat and a Persian coming together to create these luxuriously tousled felines. Selkirks are the epitome of chill, known to be loving and as patient as the day is long – a real treat for families seeking a furry friend that embodies both unique style and a restful spirit. Unlike the more rambunctious kitties on the block, a Selkirk Rex is content to claim a cozy spot and lounge the day away in blissful serenity, making them the ultimate snuggle buddies. So, if your idea of the perfect pet includes curls that don’t quit and a temperament that’s just as laid-back, the Selkirk Rex is your curtain-call cuddler, ready to relax right alongside you.

American Wirehair

American Wirehair cat sunbathing by the window
  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 8-15 pounds
  • Personality: Adaptable, even-tempered
  • Coat: Short, wiry
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

If you’re intrigued by rarities in the feline world, let’s delve into the fascinating realm of American Cat Breeds and meet the American Wirehair—a true gem among cats. Recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association as one of the rarest breeds, these cats boast a distinct wiry coat that makes them stand out from their American Shorthair cousins, yet they share a similar body size and an equally endearing personality. Like a surprise gift, the wirehair trait made its spontaneous debut in a litter of farm cats from Verona, New York, capturing the hearts of cat lovers everywhere. With their friendly demeanor, these kitties aren’t just purr-fectly suited as family pets; they’re also champs at mingling with other animals. Adopting an American Wirehair means welcoming a unique and loving new member into your home—one who’s sure to attract admiration and spark conversations about their extraordinary looks and delightful character!


Balinese cat laying down near window
  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 5-12 pounds
  • Personality: Alert, outgoing
  • Coat: Long
  • Color: A variety of colors in the pointed pattern
  • Life Expectancy: 10-20 years

Dive into the world of American Cat Breeds and discover the dance-like elegance of the Balinese! Though whispers of its kind were heard in China back in the 1870s, the Balinese as we know it today twirled its way into the limelight thanks to the dedication of Siamese cat enthusiasts in New York and California during the 1950s. Their goal? To gift the beloved Siamese with a gorgeous, flowing coat. Voilà, the sociable and graceful Balinese was born. With a personality as vibrant as their active nature, these smart cats quickly pirouetted into the hearts of many. The breed’s mesmerizing movements and silky fur struck a chord with breeder Helen Smith from New York, reminding her of the graceful dancers from Bali, which inspired their poetic name. The Balinese is more than just a pretty face; they’re a lively addition to any family, ready to engage and charm you with every step.


Stunning blue Bengal cat posing for a portrait
  • Height: Medium to large
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds
  • Personality: Adventurous, intelligent
  • Coat: Short
  • Color: Spotted, marbled tan and brown
  • Life Expectancy: 9-15 years

Amidst the buzz of the vibrant 1970s in California, a new star emerged in the world of American Cat Breeds: the exotic and athletic Bengal cat. Born from a visionary cross between various domestic cats, such as the Egyptian Mau, and the wild Asian leopard cats, Bengals are a breathtaking spectacle of agility and spirit. They boast a striking, leopard-like coat that’s an absolute show-stopper. But it’s not just their looks that capture attention; Bengals are high-energy entertainers who love to climb to new heights and embark on little explorations around their homes. If you’re looking for a companion who is as curious and vivacious as they are stunning, the Bengal cat is your purr-fect match, ready to bring a touch of the wild right into your living room!

Related: 14 Asian Cat Breeds with Captivating Histories and Origins


A collage of different types of American cat breeds
  • Height: 9-13 inches
  • Weight: 9-11 pounds (females), 11-14 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Active, loyal
  • Coat: Thick double coat, Long- and short-haired varieties
  • Color: Brown, tan, tabby
  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Set off on an adventure and you might just find a Pixiebob keeping pace alongside you! Known as one of the dog-like felines within the American Cat Breeds, these robust and athletic cats are true companions at heart. Coming from the lush green landscapes of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, Pixiebobs are the epitome of domestic wild charm. It was in 1994 that The International Cat Association gave them an official nod, after breeders dedicated nearly ten years to refining this captivating breed. Don’t let their wildcat looks fool you; Pixiebobs are all about affection and crave being part of the family hive. They’re the purr-fect pals for those who love their feline friends with a side of loyalty and a dash of the great outdoors. Whether you’re chilling at home or embarking on a backyard exploration, a Pixiebob is ready to join in and share every moment with their beloved humans.


Bombay cat sitting in the living room
  • Height: 9-13 inches
  • Weight: 8-15 pounds
  • Personality: Curious, lively
  • Coat: Short
  • Color: Black
  • Life Expectancy: 9-13 years

If you’re captivated by the sleek, mysterious allure of black cats, then the Bombay cat is a standout star in the American Cat Breeds lineup. Radiating with an obsidian gloss, the Bombay cat’s exclusively black coat is the work of thoughtful breeding. In the 1970s, an artistic vision took shape in Kentucky when Nikki Horner set out to blend the best of Burmese and American Shorthair cats to craft this stunning new addition to the cat world. With their panther-like charm and rarity that might make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure, Bombays are still a unique sight, even in the U.S. So, if you happen to cross paths with one of these majestic creatures, consider it a stroke of good fortune—after all, many cultures celebrate black cats as bearers of luck. Embrace the chance to meet a Bombay, a living, purring symbol of charm and serendipity!

Exotic Shorthair

Purebred Exotic Shorthair sitting near window looking outside
  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-12 pounds
  • Personality: Gentle, sweet
  • Coat: Short
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Calling all cat enthusiasts who adore peace-loving furballs with plush, low-maintenance coats! The Exotic Shorthair, a treasured member of American Cat Breeds, is like the Persian cat’s laid-back cousin, boasting a snuggle-ready, short coat that’s a breeze to care for. Born from a cross between the majestic Persian and the classic American Shorthair, the initial aim was to craft a feline that radiated Persian elegance in a silvery white coat without the grooming demands. Mission accomplished, and with a delightful twist—the Exotic’s coat evolved to celebrate a palette of dazzling colors and patterns! These felines are the epitome of cuddly companions, with their peaceful personalities making them ideal buddies for those serene lapsits. If ever you’re in search of a four-legged dose of tranquility, the Exotic Shorthair will curl up and deliver just that, with a purr that whispers of contentment and a heart full of warmth.


Beautiful LaPerm breed
  • Height: 6-10 inches
  • Weight: 6-12 pounds
  • Personality: Adaptable, doting
  • Coat: Curly, short or long
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Got a thing for curls? Then say hello to the LaPerm, a uniquely charming addition to American Cat Breeds straight out of Oregon. With fur that looks like it’s ready for the red carpet with its natural ringlets and waves, the LaPerm is all about standing out without even trying. Their signature curly coat isn’t the work of a salon—it’s pure, unstyled feline genetics at its finest. Although the breed came into being in the 1980s, those delightful curls take a little time to make an appearance, typically unfurling about six weeks after a kitten is born. Patience is key, as it can take a LaPerm cat up to three years to fully develop their crowning glory. If what you’re looking for is a pet that combines a playful, loving nature with a head-turning look, the LaPerm is a walking, purring bundle of joy that shows off the quirky side of cat fanciness!


A collage of different types of American cat breeds
  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 6-12 pounds
  • Personality: Outgoing, smart
  • Coat: Sparse, short, soft
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns, most often black roan
  • Life Expectancy: 12-17 years

Get ready to meet one of the newest sensations in the American Cat Breeds universe: the intriguing Lykoi. Known for their distinctive, partially hairless appearance that seems straight out of a mystical tale, Lykois are the modern-day descendants of naturally unique feral felines. Carefully bred to preserve their singular look, these cats officially pawed their way into the breed register in 2010. Although still a rare sight, Lykois have begun to captivate the hearts of cat aficionados far and wide with their rapidly growing popularity. Originating from the creative breeding grounds of Tennessee, these affectionate and social kitties are much more than their werewolf-like mystique. With their friendly disposition and love for companionship, Lykois are proving to be much-coveted family members, ready to enchant and engage with their human pals.

A collage of different types of American cat breeds


As we wind down our coast-to-coast discovery of American cat breeds, it’s clear that the U.S. has given the world more than just jazz and apple pie—it’s also home to some of the most remarkable feline friends you could hope to meet. These breeds, from the luxurious fur of the Maine Coon to the novel coat of the Selkirk Rex, and the wild allure of the Savannah, remind us of the rich tapestry of American innovation and diversity in the world of pet companionship.

These cats are the product of not just selective breeding but also of cherished accidents and serendipitous genetics, illustrating the beauty that can arise from an embrace of the unexpected.

Remember, whether they’re lounging on the sun-kissed sands of California or braving the crisp breezes of the Northeast, these American originals carry with them a piece of the nation’s heart—a heart ready to be warmed by the gentle purr of a loving pet. So, salute these stars and stripes of the feline realm; they’re more than just pets, they’re a paw-some part of our homegrown heritage.

Related: 15 Cool Cat Breeds to Adorn Your Home With