Thursday, July 3, 2008

American Ringtail

American Ringtail is one of the most recent cat breeds currently in existence that is not yet fully registered and is at the moment in an experimental stage as a breed. It originated only a few years back, when in 1998 a stray male kitten was rescued in Fremont, California. As the cat grew it was discovered that he tended to keep his tail in a curled position over his back. There was no deformity or medical problem found with the animal and he seemed to be in no discomfort as he held his tail in the particular manner. Soon other cats in the locality were seen with a similar 'ring' tail. After genetic consultation, a decision was eventually made to develop these unique cats as a formal breed. The original ringtail male was crossed with a foreign bodied female at the start. Since then several litters have been born with kittens that display the 'ringtail' trait. Originally called 'Ringtail Sing-a-ling' these pretty felids are now named 'American Ringtail' cats and are currently on the road to full recognition by cat breed registration bodies.

Relatively large in size, American Ringtails are long and muscular animals. Both genders can reach a weight of twelve to fourteen pounds at adulthood. They have a long and strong back. Fur is soft and silky and may occur in any color or pattern. Eye color is also not strictly defined at the moment. The tail is straight initially and then smoothly curls over the back, not touching it and being approximately of the same length. Paws are medium sized with webbed toes.

The famous ring tail is owing to two distinct genes that produce the 'upright' and 'curled' appearance of the tail. They are seen in certain feral and domestic cats and even in purebreds. They are not associated with any health ailment. The tail itself is broad and muscular at the base with well developed bones that are not fused together. The cats hold their tail in the ringed position when they are calm. It serves not only to balance the cats in their movement but also to decelerate them during a high speed pursuit.

American Ringtails are very friendly and affectionate by nature. They interact well with children and other family members even as they develop a strong attachment to one particular person. They are somewhat shy in presence of strangers though. Curious by nature, they explore everything in their vicinity and are particularly fascinated by running water sources, perhaps a relic from their feral days when they used to quench their thirst by drinking from natural water bodies. Another 'wild' attribute is their habit of caching their food, hiding it in various places in the house for feeding at a later time. For their unique design and beauty, these fascinating cats are sure to gain lots of attention and fame as they prosper into a distinct, widely recognized breed in the coming years.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe I have one of these cats.. adopted at the shelter he is 10 months old and arund 11 lbs.. awesome personality and has every physical characteristic mentioned. He's a great boy!

snowforest said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by and introducing your adorable Ringtail cat! Would you be kind enough to provide a few of his photos for publication here? In case you can, kindly email at: support@ofcats.com

Thanks

Amaya said...

I believe I have a Ringtail as well. He fits the physical description, not only the tail, and has the same personality traits. It's true about the food and water! He loves his baths, and prefers to drink from a running sink rather then his water bowl. And he hides his food by putting a toy over it. And he's sleek looking, but he's got wicked muscles hidden under that velvet fur! Ah, one beautiful cat!

Anonymous said...

I have a ringtail cat, he is 2 and a half years old, black and big and he loves me out of everyone. Elaine x

RMStringer said...

Mt Ringtail has most of the traits but her tail is not curled. She is an aggressive kitty and her tail never curled. She LOVES water!! and always has! She loves to climb as well. She was a family pet but loved me the most. She weighs about 14lbs and is about 6 years old. Here is a link to her photo set on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmstringer/sets/72157623250084467/

Anonymous said...

We have what we think is a Ringtail in Salem Oregon.. You can read his mood by his tail. If its curled he is happy but if he uncurls you know smething is not right.

Anonymous said...

We have one of these beauties!

Jazmin said...

I definitely have an American Ringtail Cat. Her name is Shaila and she is totally beautiful and exotic all at once. She has penetrating yellow eyes and mixed colors all over her fir. She has the webbed toe thing, and she's CRAZY!!! She's a lot of fun tho. Anything weird happens in the house, we know it was her. And she loves to hunt! Something my husband is DYING to do is breed her. We know several people who want her and would want her kittens. We've been asked several times to breed her so they can have one of her kittens. However, I don't know if they will come out with her wonderful personality if we just breed her with any cat.

Anonymous said...

I believe I have a ringtail cat. I answered a want ad about a calico kitten in the news paper that was long haired with a unique tail. When I went and picked her up, her tail curled to the left flank. My family members went online and figured out that she was even more special than what I had orgainally thought. She has all of the triats that have been described above. I got her at 5 months old and she is now over a year old and weights about 10 lbs, and had her spayed at 9 months old. I'm so glad that I called the number in the newspaper, shes everything I ever wanted and then some!
Connie
Email:mommac1975@gmail.com

Kate said...

I think my adopted cat is a ringtail! I'm excited to discover this. He was a rescue cat, and I thought at first that his tail might have been injured. I'm glad to know it wasn't! He fits the physical and personality descriptions of ringtails, except for the running water thing (that's my other cat). He has the softest fur! And there's just something special about his sweet personality (and tail of course).

Brittney said...

My kitty Zoey is a ringtail. When we rescued her, we knew nothing about Ringtail cats, we just thought maybe she had gotten injured or something since she also had a broken leg when we found her. However, her leg quickly healed, and her tail remained curled! She is a spunky, fun, loving cat who loves to play, especially in the sink, and loves to talk. She is such a pretty girl, and I am glad we found out that she is a Ringtail and is even more special than we thought!

TTCHome said...

I never before really gave much thought to my cat that has a tail that flips over her back until she gave birth to more like her. I did some research and found out that she was called a ringtail. I knew she was special, but now she has more reason to be.

Anonymous said...

We have a American Ringtail as well. His name is Tony and he is such a joy. He's so funny and he loves to snuggle! He doesn't hide his food, but he prefers to eat it seperate from our other cats.

Anonymous said...

I have just figured out that I have an American Ringtail. I adopted 2 black cats at the age of 4 mos. and realized my girl is "normal", but her brother is an amazing example of a ringtail, from his eyes to his kinked tail. I also thought that he may have damaged it during birth,but he fits EVERY example of this flegling breed.

Lizabeth Ter Meer said...

I have a beautiful Torti cat, who I took in as a rescue, that has had several "ringtail" kittens with an unknown husband cat. Her first son to display a ringed tail I neutered and kept...he is all black, big and gorgeous. Her next litter ALL were ringtails...I still have them. Her most recent litter she had All ringtails again...one cream tabby female, one gray torti female, and one black male...all with beautifully curled tails. I am going to register them all with the International Cat Association and am VERY interested in furthering this wonderful breed! I now have a total of EIGHT Ringtail cats...in 6 different colors and all with beautifully curled tails!

Anonymous said...

I have two cats my granddaughters found that needed a home. They are father & son, Curly and Cooper. Cooper's tail didn't curl until a couple of months ago, but his Dad's was like that when I got him. I had never seen this before, nor had the girls at the vet. Both of them have beautiful body swirls and they are very affectionate. Their tails are strong, and they love to have them stroked from one end to the other.

Jane Byfield said...

I have a female cat who is now 10 years old and just found out that she is an american ringtail. I always wondered why her tail was curled upwards and how her hind legs looked different compared to my other 3 cats.I also read on another site about this breed and they mentioned about the small trilling greeting sounds they make.my cat does this too.isn't that where they also got their other title sing- a- ling?..all very fascinating.I always knew there was something special about her,I wish I had bred her now.

Anonymous said...

We picked our ringtail up at a local cat shelter in MI. He is a neutered male about 3 1/2 yrs old. He is tabby in color with beautiful fur, he has all the other physical traits mentioned. I often find him playing in the bath tub or relaxing in the bathroom sink. He doesn't hide his food, but does like to eat by himself. My vets office was not familiar with the breed. Thanks for the info!!

Anonymous said...

I have a tuxedo cat who I think is a ring-tail. I adopted her at the shelter at about the age of 6 months. Now she's always in the spotlight and always wants to be petted, ALL THE TIME!

Anonymous said...

Piccolina come into my life as a rescue kitty 3 years ago. I didn't think her tail was that unusual until my second vet visit when the vet tech said, "Here's the kitten with the tail that we love." Her tail can be perfectly straight and "normal," but most of the time it rests flat along her spine and curls to the side for the last several inches. Her very long tail is almost prehensile, like a monkey's, wrapping around my wrist when I pet her. As for her other qualities -- she doesn't hide her food but she would hardly drink any water until we bought her a fountain. She is incredibly silky, very talkative and remarkably fast.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. I think my kitty is one of these. He was a rescued kitten (they didn't tell me anything else about the actual rescue) and I had wanted a cat all my life so me and my mum adopted him. I just thought he was a weird yet very loved cat. He always tries to hide his food after eating. He came to watch me shower and started sleeping in sinks. He's athletic, quite big yet not fat. He also likes to play with my sister's dog and he's extremely nice to everyone. Later on I started paying attention to his tail and thought maybe something's wrong with it. I took him to the vet just in case. They checked his tail but there was nothing wrong with it. They said he probably just likes to keep it curled. He does relax it when lying and sometimes when sitting but when he's standing up or walking he always keeps it up curled. It still bothered me so I did some research and found this. I'm pretty sure he is one of these. Here's a link to my cat's pics.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=zoojo&s=6

Anonymous said...

Chester....The American Ringtail.
http://www.catster.com/cats/1290648

Anonymous said...

I'm not quite sure if my boy is one or not, he has all the personality traits, size webbed toes, however his tail doesn't curl quite like my huskies does it comes up and curls the opposite way. Is there somthing wrong with his tail or does he still count as a ring tail? I'm just curious I will live him the same either way.

Anonymous said...

.I'm from Adelaide South Australia I'm very sure we have an American curl. He is grey and white with mackerel markings
He has the softest glossy coat I have ever seen. His eyes are golden and his tail curles like a pigs tail. He climbs up on everything. He is vocal at feeding times and when he wants to play catch. I had my clothes falling of my coat hangers no
One else just mine and one after noon I caught him standing up on the Handel of my dresser stretched out pulling my clothes off the hangers I actually now have photos as I went to get my phone of charge thinking I might scare him away but oh no he was having a ball. And he is so long my 18 year old has him draped around his neck like a scaf and he hangs
Just like a scaf would. He hides stuff like his toys and when he wants to play he goes get them. My husband and son can get him to roll over like a dog does and when Chris tells him bed of he goes if were up later than normal and he hasn't been told to go to bed he sits on chris,s night stand till Chris tells him bed. If there are any big black ants he comes get me to kill it or he won't go in his room. We jokingly say he,s chris's dog and my cat he also love's to beat up our Labrador / German Shepard who loves it most times when
He's not trying to sleep. Never had a cat like him never ever
And to think we wouldn't have had him if my son hadn't showed us the pet shop and this poorly little runt under all the other kittens he was so lathargic he slept 3 day only waking to be feed. Then bang on the 5 day we didn't know what hit us. He was full on. My husband said that when we saw him he wasn't poorly he was tired out from beating up all the other kittens and when he sleepy they piled on him to get him back

Anonymous said...

We too, adopted a kitten from the local pet store/shelter because of his great personality. We used to laugh that Bullitt was so mischievous because his "tail was curled too tight"! He's 2 years old now, all black, small, only 7 pounds, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in personality. He is the happiest, friendliest, most affectionate, fun-loving cat we have ever owned. He bounces around like Tigger, and has a funny walk because I think, like the breed characteristic, his back legs may be a little longer than his front legs. He can be ornery and stubborn, too. We usually have to correct him several times before he stops whatever bad thing he's doing. I would adopt another Ringtail in a minute if they're all like my Bullitt.

Anonymous said...

I need help deciding if Issi is an American Ringtail, she has most of the characteristics except she's small and because she is semi feral I don't know about webed feet. She was injured and I live trapped her but haven't had.the to heart to throw her back outside. Her tail curls over her back. It's quite cute. Melissa in Idaho

Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria said...

We have an American Ringtail cat, Mr. Bean. He is the sweetest, most affectionate, and coolest cat anyone could have. One day, in our home in NC, Mr. Bean walked into our home and never left. We always wondered why his tail was curled, and if there were others like him. He is about 6years old now; years ago I found literature about the curly tail gene.. but I see now there may be an actual breed. If so, and there are other kitties like Mr. Bean, then our world is in for a treat!

Anonymous said...

Bullit is probably an American curl they come in all sizes and all colours and all degrees of curl. They are all weird wonderful animals that are a joy to own
I would be heart broken if anything happened to smokey he is Dennis the menise they do thing's my other cat's would never do but with style. Enjoy him just like we enjoy smokey. Have fun and Good luck they are a hard cat to give up once hooked.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I adopted my ringtail in Crete, Greece, three years ago, so actually she is both an Aegean cat - the world's oldest breed of cats - and a ringtail cat. She was then a semi-feral kitten, sick with cat flu, parasite ridden and the sole survivor of her litter. It took me some time to socialize her and she is now very healthy. She has a big personality and is dominant. She used to bite a lot at play and I taught her to play gently by saying 'shhh' when she was rough. I would also blow in her face and stop playing with her when she ignored my warning. She now bites for fun very gently without hurting me and is a true pet. She's very smart and affectionate. Her tail is amazing: it's very strong and almost prehensile. She curls it around my arm when I'm petting her. Like other people mentioned regarding their ringtail cat, mine is also very talkative. Jasmine even imitates me when I say 'bon-jour' to her in the morning and does 'meow-meow', like it's a two-syllable word. I'm so happy I have her! Helene

Anonymous said...

I adopted my boy Leo almost 4 years ago. I have never had a cat like this guy. He definitely is a Ringtail.. he has every characteristic mentioned. Extremely curious and affectionate personality. We like to say he walks like a penquin because his back legs are so long, and his front legs are lanky as well. webbed feet, large eyes.. sweet disposition. I don't think we will ever find another cat that is so unusual but I love him!

Anonymous said...

I adopted my Ringtail named Salem 12 years ago from a NYC kitty rescue. Salem has all of the classic Ringtail features, including the big body (she's currently 12 lbs, down from as high as 16 when she was younger), and the Ringtail that has a thicker "base" at the bottom. Her tail flops to the right and she raises it up when she's happy, lowers it when she's more defensive (or eating). She likes to chirp, too, which I didn't realize was a breed specific habit. She loves to cuddle, but isn't really fond of our other cats. We love our Ringtail kitty!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I adopted from an owner of a pet shop a pair of ART (American Ring Tails). We thought they were the typical tabby kittens. However they possessed many behavioral issues that caused us to get ready to pull our hair out. We took them to the vet for a check up and to ask about the behavioral issues and she said that she could tell that they were an exotic breed and that would explain a lot of it. She said they appeared to be a Bengal mix but couldn't be for sure..and to do research on that breed. Almost all of the same personality traits including playing in the water etc would have qualified them to be a Bengal. However they had a lot of physical traits that were similar to a Bengal but off a bit. The girl (Nala) is a tortie with polydactyl toes. She has yellow green eyes, short silky fur, and curls her tail over her back when she is excited or confident. The male (Simba) feels as though he is the king of the house. He is a bit larger and heavier than her and his fur is tabby rosseta points, he doesn't arch his tail too much, but keeps it straight up a lot with a kink in it. Both are long and lanky cats with large ears and small webbing in between the toes. In order to understand their behavior, I follow along the guide lines of a Bengal cat and it has helped a lot. They need a lot of attention...not just toys thrown at them but you playing with them. Ours tear up the toys quickly. Laser dot pointer is your friend. They need a place to perch and climb...cat tree. They bond with you. You can train them with a clicker....I have Simba doing sit, come, jump jump, and working on stay and up up when I want him on a surface. They are awesome and beautiful but can be a handful.

Anonymous said...

Believe I just identified my boy! Bud is a rescue cat. Currently weighs in at 19 pounds. When he stands, looks like his back legs are longer than his front legs. And his tail has that amazing "rotatability" - very thick at the base, and can bend all the way up over his back - tip can just about reach his head! And his favorite thing is riding on my shoulders / around my neck like a scarf. Sweetest little big boy!

Barbara said...

Last year a very strange looking cat suddenly appeared in my neighborhood, apparently abandonded by his former owner. He was totally unapproachable and appeared to be quite feral. We decided to trap him for TNR (trap/neuter/release). To our surprise, when he was sedated and examined at our spay/neuter clinic, he had already been neutered. They estimated his age to be between 3 & 5 years, gave him a flea treatment and all his shots and sent him home with us. We housed him in a large cage on the porch for two weeks before releasing him. He knew where to come for food and water and was a daily visitor on the porch. We began calling him Curly because of his unusual tail and he soon learned and responded to his name. Over the next few months, he started to trust me and would approach when I called him. I was shocked when he head butted me one day and decided to sit in my lap on the porch. He became so affectionate and always wanted to be right in my face and rubbing against me. When he was petted, he'd wrap his tail around my wrist and arm. That's when I noticed how muscular his tail was. This continued for a few months until one day when it was raining hard and he looked so pitiful on the porch,so I invited him in. That was the day he adopted me and has become my closest companion, lap cat and snuggle partner. Although I am his preferred human companion, he has begun to warm up to others. He fits the description of an American Ringtail in every aspect. He's such an amazing and intelligent cat. He's learned how to give me a "high five"; comes when called; and gives "love nibbles." I'm still amazed at how he changed in such a short time from acting so feral and nasty to the lover he's become. He gets along well with my other rescued cats and is a wonderful (and unusual) addition to my furry family. I love this sweet gentle boy more every day and feel so blessed that he has come into my life.

Anonymous said...

We had a wonderful grey striped ringtail (with some markings similar to an ocicat but darker). Max was my best friend then became my husband's companion for the last 7 yrs. I had him for a total of 16 yrs, but sadly he went to heaven on July 3rd of this year after an unknown illness. While we are still grieving and can never replace him, we are hoping to adopt another ringtail kitten that may help to fill the void. We are on the East Coast and trying to find someone who may have this type of kitten. If any of you have a kitten like this, please post to this site and we can discuss further. Thanks, A Sad Kitty Mommy

Anonymous said...

We have an American Ringtail named Curley! She was a stray that showed up at my husband's office in the country outside of Buffalo, Wyoming. She came right to me and had ticks and worms and pretty thin. We took her home and it was like she had lived there her whole life. She is 'Crazy' about her fuzzy mice and it's a game she hides them under the couch and we have to use a yardstick to get them out for her. She also likes to hide them and search for them in the magazine rack! We would like to breed her but having a hard time finding a male in Wyoming...she is gray and white and rings on her tail...absolutely beautiful!

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