American Ringtail Cats

American Ringtails are friendly and love people. They are outgoing, a trait they are bred for since Ringtails who are scared or aggressive do not hold their tails over their backs as a Ringtail should.

American Ringtail

American Ringtail Pictures

  • American Ringtail cat named Whiskers
  • American Ringtail cat named Cree
see American Ringtail pictures »

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families with older children
    • Singles
    • First-time cat owners
    • Retired seniors

American Ringtails on Catster

81 cats | see profile pages


Trademark Traits

    • Curled tail carried over the back
    • Athletic and muscular
    • Friendly and outgoing

What They Are Like to Live With

Ringtails with medium-length coats need at least twice weekly grooming.

Things You Should Know

The tail of the American Ringtail is not deformed, but is like the tail of other cats. The only difference is in the way the Ringtail carries the tail.

Ringtails are a new breed, and kittens may be hard to come by.

American Ringtail History

The American Ringtail breed originated with a male kitten named Solomon. Bottle-fed by rescuer Sue Manley, Solomon had a tail that curled over his back. In 1999, Manley began a breeding program to reproduce the curled tail, which also showed up in feral cats in her northern California neighborhood.

By 2005, several breeders were working with Manley to produce these cats, crossing them with Domestic Shorthairs and some pure breeds. In 2005, The International Cat Association (TICA) gave the breed Registration Only status.

The Look of a American Ringtail

American Ringtails are large- to medium-sized cats that carry their tails curled over their backs. They have a graceful, alert and athletic appearance.

The breed comes in both short and medium-haired varieties, and can be found almost all colors and patterns.

Talk About American Ringtails 

A cat who wags his hoop

We adopted Sammy at 3 months old from San Francisco SPCA. His hind legs seemed longer and then had a bunnylike walk, but after a couple months his tail started to curl. It now goes all the way up over his back in full circle. When relaxed it is straight. Otherwise he carried it like a hoop and delighfully wags his hoop.

It also wraps around my arm when I'm petting him. He has a high, melodic singing voice and is the most delightful, funny, surprising cat ever.

~David Z, owner of an American Ringtail

Carries his tail like a husky

We were lucky enough to have found our American Ringtail, Whiskers, at the local animal shelter. I didn't know what this breed was until I saw the information in a search about an abnormal tail. I thought something was wrong with our new kitten, but the way he carries his tail is normal for this breed. It reminds me of the way a husky would carry its tail.

We love that our cat is very people-oriented and follows me around like a dog. He will come when called, too. He is very affectionate and loves to sleep near us especially at night. I have been successful in training him to sit, shake, high-five, lie down, and roll over. We are still working on toilet training!

~M.R., owner of an American Ringtail