A close-up of a York Chocolate cat with watery eyes.
(Photo Credit: Jenar | Getty Images)

York Chocolate

The York Chocolate cat is an intriguing and relatively rare feline breed celebrated for its stunning appearance and delightful temperament. This breed originated in the late 1980s in New York State. Janet Chiefari, a dedicated colorpoint shorthair breeder, meticulously developed York Chocolates with the intention of creating a distinctive cat with a unique coat and amiable personality.

Beyond their remarkable physical attributes, York Chocolates display an amiable and affectionate nature. These cats showcase a social and interactive personality, forming strong bonds with their human companions. Additionally, their playful and intelligent demeanor makes them wonderful additions to households, as they readily engage in family activities and interact positively with children and other pets.

When considering adding a cat to your home, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable cat breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: New York, USA
  • Size: Medium
  • Breed group: Natural breed
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Coat: Medium-length, chocolate or lavender in color
  • Temperament: Friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and curious
  • Exercise needs: Moderate
  • Training: Trainable
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Health: Generally healthy
  • The York Chocolate is one of the rarest and newest breeds of cats. Because there are no registered York Chocolate cats or known York Chocolate breeders, the cat breed is considered extinct. However, ancestry may still be found in other cats. It’s also possible York Chocolate cats exist, although incredibly rare and unaccounted for.
  • This cat is also one of the breeds that loves to play with water.
  • The breed was popular in Italy, where it was called “Il Gatto Cioccolato.”

York Chocolate Pictures

York Chocolate History

The story of the York Chocolate begins in 1983 when a black-and-white feline and an all-black farm cat mated and managed to produce a litter that included a brown kitten. The owner of the farm, Janet Chiefari, named the kitten Brownie.

Eventually, Chiefari began breeding these fluffy-looking, chocolate brown kitties with long-haired coats. The York Chocolate was officially granted championship status by the Cat Fanciers’ Federation in 1995. These days, you can find York Chocolates in shelters or in the care of rescue groups.

Their coat coloration is often a rich, chocolate-brown hue, giving them their name. The coat may have some variations in shades, ranging from lighter fawn tones to darker, more intense chocolate colors. Some York Chocolates display highlights or tipping in a lighter shade on their coat, enhancing their overall appearance. Their eyes are usually large, round, and expressive, coming in various shades of green, gold, or amber.

Known for their affectionate and friendly nature, York Chocolate cats are often described as devoted companions. They tend to form strong bonds with their human family members and enjoy being involved in their activities. These cats are generally social and enjoy interacting with people, displaying an amiable and adaptable demeanor. They are often known for their playful and intelligent behavior, which makes them great companions for families, including children and other pets.

Despite their endearing qualities, York Chocolate cats remain relatively rare and are not yet widely recognized by major cat registries. In summary, the York Chocolate cat is a charming and affectionate breed known for its distinctive appearance and amiable personality. While not as widespread as some other cat breeds, those fortunate enough to share their lives with a York Chocolate often find them to be loving, interactive, and devoted companions.

York Chocolate Size

The York Chocolate is a large cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary. Most York Chocolates weigh between 10 and 18 pounds, with the females often being smaller than the males.

York Chocolate Personality

When you adopt a York Chocolate, be aware that this cat will always want to follow you around and be part of whatever action is going on! Some owners even say that adopting a York Chocolate is a little like living with a dog. The breed balances a playful side with a relaxed and affectionate side: The York Chocolate is definitely a cat who benefits from having extra people and other pets around to play and socialize with, but these kitties are also very much content to snuggle up on the couch or lounge on the bed for extended nap sessions.

On a day to day basis, the York Chocolate is a social feline who really does need company; this is not the cat for anyone who’s away at work all day and leaves behind a totally empty house. You’ll also need to keep the cat’s excellent hunting instincts satisfied, so add smart, moving, and interactive toys to the living environment, and make sure to rotate them on a regular basis.

York Chocolate Health

York Chocolates are generally considered to be healthy cats, but always schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. There aren’t any breed specific health problems associated with the York Chocolate, but make sure to keep an eye out for signs that your cat might be in distress or pain.

York Chocolate Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your York Chocolate’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy. Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your York Chocolate’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition, which is very important for a kitty with such strong hunting instincts like this breed.

The York Chocolate’s ears should be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your York Chocolate. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques. Finally, the York Chocolate will definitely appreciate a cat tree to play and interact with. This will help keep the cat active and physically satisfied.

York Chocolate Coat Color And Grooming

The York Chocolate is usually found sporting a long-haired, chocolate brown colored coat. The coat is often a lighter shade during kittenhood. When it comes to grooming a York Chocolate, you will want to make time to schedule brushing sessions three or four times a week. This will help keep the cat’s coat in good condition and also ward off the chances of mats forming, which is always something to watch out for with long-haired felines.

In terms of climate, most York Chocolates are fairly adaptable felines. Just remember to always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The York Chocolate is great for families with young kids. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides. Supervise early interactions between young children and cats. When it comes to other household pets, the York Chocolate usually fares well with most other domestic animals; although, their hunting instincts mean it might not be advisable to bring them into a house with very small pets.

Always make sure to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets. Sometimes these relationships are very much dependent on the individual pets’ personalities. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your York Chocolate for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

York Chocolate Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for York Chocolate cats because they are a somewhat uncommon breed. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including York Chocolates, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:

Life Span
13 to 15 years
10 to 18 pounds
Country Of Origin
United States
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