The York Chocolate Cat has a long, fluffy coat and a plumed tail. The first part of its name is taken from New York state, where it was bred in 1983. This breed was created by colour-selecting domestic longhaired cats, they come in solid chocolate or lavender, solid chocolate and white, or lavender and white see bicolour cat. The breed is not yet widely recognised by breeders and the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

The York Chocolate is a medium to large cat, big-boned and muscular. Some Siamese ancestry is assumed, as the head is a rounded wedge, longer than it is wide. The large, pointed ears tilt forward; the almond-shaped eyes may be green, gold, or hazel. Yorks are solid or bi-coloured in chocolate or lilac. The medium-long, glossy coat is silky and close-lying, with a thin undercoat that is not prone to matting. Yorks have a plumed tail, toe tufts, and a modest neck ruff.

The York is a true lap cat, one that is happy to be held and cuddled, though not sedate and docile; in fact they are active, intelligent, and curious, constantly monitoring the activities of their owners.

The owner of a New York State goat dairy had a farm cat named Blackie that in 1983 presented her with a litter of kittens. One of these kittens, named Brownie, had her own litter of kittens, and so appeared a longhaired black male named Minky. Minky and Brownie produced Teddy Bear and Cocoa. Their owner, who was running out of names for brown cats, noticed a consistency in body and coat type among the kittens and initiated a breeding program.

Breed Description:
Head: Nearly round. Rounded skull. Slightly domed forehead. Moderately long muzzle. Nose without break. Chin in line with the tip of the nose.
Eyes: Fairly large, well-spaced, slightly oval, lemon-shaped. Colour: gold to green.
Neck: Long, thin.
Body: Long, midway between Oriental and foreign types. Should not be heavy. Fine-boned with slender muscles.
Paw: Long and fine-boned with firm muscles. Small, rounded paws. Long hairs between the toes.
Tail: Long, thin, straight, tapering to a slender tip. Well-furnished.
Coat: Semi long, fine, soft, silky hair. Very fluffy tail. May have a ruff. Colour: solid chocolate, solid lilac, and these same colours in a bicolour version n. Kittens are much lighter than adults. Tabby markings and tipping are acceptable up to 18 months.
Fault: Head too Oriental in type. Weak chin. Oriental-type eyes. Heavy body. Disqualify white spots or lockets.

These lively, energetic cats are good hunters so a bell is required if they are to venture outdoors, and even then, don’t expect this to be overly effective. Playful and affectionate, they are good companions.