American Domestic Cat Breed

The American Domestic has always held a special place in the American home, regardless of its size or color.
By: PawCulture Editors
American Domestic Cat Breed

About This Breed

No one knows for certain when the first domesticated felines came to the U.S.. However, American paintings and needlework from the 1600s and 1700s often depict domestic cats. Some believe the first cats arrived with European fishing boats. Others suggest that the first cats came to America with Christopher Columbus in 1492 (cat bones have been found on the sites visited by Columbus). Either way, it is idle speculation. The Domestics have, however, undoubtedly proven their usefulness to the American people.

Physical Characteristics

Most American domestics are built proportionately and have firm muscles.

COLOR(S)

The basic ground colors for the Domestic are orange and black, and many can be safely referred to as Tabby’s, which mean simply that they have a pattern of color that falls into one of four groups: Agouti, also called a ticked coat, with bands of color on each individual hair; Classic, with whorls of color; Mackerel, the most common Tabby pattern (think Garfield the cat), with stripes along the tail legs and body; and Spotted, which brings about a wilder look, with its leopard like pattern of contrasting spots on the coat.

COAT

It may be sleek and long, or small and fluffy. Its may also be short or long, can be dense or sparse.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

POSITIVES

Mixed breed Domestics are generally mild mannered, but if they happen to come from a line of cats that have been living feral for some time, it may be next to impossible to tame them for indoor living. Many, however, have happily entered family life, attaching strongly with its human family and providing excellent companionship, and doing double duty as the organic household pest control.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

It is can be difficult to determine the personality your Domestic will be, and this is one of the few drawbacks to bringing a mixed breed Domestic into your home.

Care

IDEAL LIVING CONDITIONS

Most American Domestics are easily trained for home life, as long as it is given affection, good food, and a warm, safe place to sleep.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Taking a kitten of mixed breed into your home is a venture into the unknown, since you will not know its true personality until it has reached its full potential. Making sure that the basics, like vaccines and neutering, are taken care of will go a long way to ensuring a cat of even temperament.

Health

The Domestic makes up 95 percent of the U.S. cat population, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It usually has a healthy mixture of genes, making it vigorous and resistant to disease.

History and Background

The American Domestic has always held a special place in the American home, regardless of its size or color. This homely cat has not won any laurels and does not come from pure breeds, but has kept Americans company for thousands of years, much before purebred cats began appearing. Many are even ancestors to some of the current pure breeds.

Early American settlers used cats to effectively deal with rodents, which were damaging important crops. The early ancestors of the American Domestic were hardy creatures, making their homes in barns and fields and demonstrating their worth repeatedly. Over the generations their instincts for survival and hunting have been sharply honed.

Besides acting as a natural rat killer, the American domestic provided much needed company to the new settlers. In the late 1800s, these cats began to be sought after as prize animals and were exhibited in shows. In 1895, the first large cat show was held in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The American Cat Association – the first American cat registry – started in 1899 and helped to popularize the cat as a member of the family. The American Domestic is now frequently used in advertising to sell products, and has made cat breeding a large enterprise. Today, the random bred American Domestic can even compete for awards in some cat fancy associations. They are judged in these competitions more for their overall attractiveness, uniformity and temperament than by a set standard. When an American Domestic is content, and properly groomed and trained, it can rival any championship breed.