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York Chocolate Cat: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

York Chocolate Cat

Height: 8 – 10 inches
Weight: 10 –18 pounds
Lifespan: Up  to 15+ years
Colors: Chocolate brown, lilac
Suitable for: Families or singles able to spend time and attention on their cat
Temperament: Independent, friendly, affectionate, loving, playful, intelligent

The York Chocolate cat came into being in 1983 in New York State, which is partly how they got their name. The other part of their name comes from the gorgeous deep chocolate-colored coats that they sport.

Their ancestry started with a black longhaired cat and a black-and-white longhaired cat, one of which had Siamese in their background. One kitten in the resulting litter was the first of the York breed, which was given the appropriate name of Brownie.

York Chocolates have long coats that are completely chocolate brown, though sometimes they can be a dark lilac color, with or without white markings.

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York Chocolate Kittens


York Chocolates are energetic and always up for a play session and have the potential for training. They are an overall healthy breed with a good lifespan. They can be friendly and social but might be a little shy around strangers.

3 Little-Known Facts About the York Chocolate Cat

1. The York Chocolate might be extinct

They were initially granted experimental status by the Cat Fanciers’ Federation, but they were never recognized by the more prominent cat associations like the CFA and TICA. It’s possible that if they had been ultimately recognized, we might have more Yorks around, but for now, they are possibly extinct.

2. The York Chocolate originated from barn cats

When the pairing of the black longhaired male and the black-and-white longhaired female gave us the first York, the parents were owned by Janet Cheifari, who owned a farm in New York State.

3. The York Chocolate had Italian fans

They were initially popular in Italy, where a club was formed, the International York Chocolate Federation (IYCF). But the club has been inactive since 2004.

York chocolate cat on box
Image Credit: Ciprian Gherghias, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the York Chocolate Cat

York Chocolates are loving cats that tend to explore, particularly high places. They do have an independent streak, but they are more likely to follow you around like your own personal shadow. They enjoy a good cuddle session, and they are said to purr like engines, with soft little meows to gain your attention.

While they are friendly and social for the most part, some Yorks might be shy around strangers. They are inquisitive, intelligent cats that will be okay when left alone, as long as it isn’t too often or for too long.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Yorks are great with families! They enjoy a busy household and get along with children of all ages, particularly since they are sturdy and playful cats. But they also pair well with quiet single people.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Yorks do fine with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. However, like most cats and given their barn cat background, they shouldn’t be left around small pets. But if they have been socialized well, they should get along with all creatures, great and small.

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Things to Know When Owning a York Chocolate Cat

Food & Diet Requirement 🐡

The kind and amount of food that you give the York will depend on their size, age, and activity level. You need to be careful how much you feed them in addition to any treats, as obesity can creep up on any cat.

Many cat owners feed their cats dry food and canned food for the extra moisture content, which is important for cats. You might want to also consider getting a cat fountain to increase your cat’s water intake.

Exercise 🐈

Most cats are good at exercising themselves. But it’s important that you provide your cat with plenty of playtime and interactive toys. You should also invest in a good cat tree and maybe even a few cat shelves so the York can be active at all different levels.

Training 🧶

The more curious and intelligent the cat is, the more likely that they can be trained. But cats will be cats. It is possible to train the York, but they might decide not to comply.

Grooming ✂️

York Chocolates are medium-longhaired cats that do need grooming about two times a week to prevent mats and tangles. They don’t need baths because they are good at doing it themselves. You’ll want to make sure you always have a cat scratcher in addition to keeping your cat’s nails trimmed. You’ll also need to brush your cat’s teeth, but there are dental treats for those who don’t want to do it the traditional way.

Health and Conditions 🏥

There isn’t much known about any hereditary health conditions for York Chocolates, but they would be susceptible to the same health conditions as any other cat.

Minor Conditions
  • Vomiting
  • Internal parasites
  • External parasites
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye problems
Serious Conditions
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Obesity

This is not to say that the York will experience any of these problems, however; these are simply relatively common health conditions that all cats can be susceptible to.

Male vs. Female

Male York Chocolates tend to be a little larger and heavier than females, which is a common trait among cats.

Unless you plan to breed your York, it’s a good idea to have your cat sterilized. Spaying the female York will not only prevent pregnancy, but it can also help reduce unwanted behaviors and stop several serious health issues from occurring. Neutering the male is mostly about stopping pregnancies in other unspayed females, but it can also prevent them from spraying.

Sometimes it’s thought that a cat’s temperament can be determined by their sex, in that female cats tend to be more standoffish and males more affectionate. But anyone who has owned cats knows that a cat’s temperament is determined more by the breed and how the cat has been raised and treated throughout their lifetime.

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The York Chocolate cat is difficult to locate these days. But if you post your interest in one of these cats online through social media, you might be one of the lucky few to get one of these beautiful cats.

You’ll know that you’re looking at a York Chocolate if they have a soft, medium-haired, deep chocolate-brown coat. Owning a York gets you not only a physically gorgeous cat but also one that you’ll enjoy spending time with.

Featured Image Credit: Ciprian Gherghias, Shutterstock

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