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York Chocolate

York Chocolate

The world first got a glimpse of the York Chocolate cat back in 1983, almost 40 years back. Since then, feline lovers all around the world have been smitten by this unique cat breed.

If you love playful, docile, and smart cat breeds, you’ll fall in love with the York Chocolate. With its strong build and glossy coats, the York Chocolate is truly a charmer. Developed by breeding between longhaired barn and tomcats, this large-bodied cat has captured thousands of hearts with its amicable personality.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous pet to be your everyday companion, you can’t go wrong with the York Chocolate.  

Which Homes Are Best

York Chocolate cats are wonderful creatures and are known to get along with everyone. Starting from the different members in the family, children, other pets, and dogs — there's no one that a York Chocolate cannot befriend. 

This is why family homes or homes with many pets are more suitable for such cats. Since these cats are social cats, they can feel anxious when left alone for a long time. So, they need homes where these cats can always find company.


York Chocolate cats can live up to 13-15 years on average, but some cats are known to survive for more than 20 years. Although the chances are pretty slim, it is not entirely impossible.

Average Size

York Chocolate cats are large bodied cats with a strong muscular build. They weigh around 9-18 pounds and grow as tall as 8-12 inches on average. These cats also measure about 12-14 inches in length and take almost 5 years to grow into a full-size mature York cat.

Breed Background

Breed Origin

The name ‘York Chocolate’ came from the combination of two words — New York and Chocolate. Since it was first recognized in New York and had a distinct chocolate brown coat color, this name was finalized as the cat breed name. 

Its history began 39 years back in 1983 in New York, United States, and was accepted in 1990 after undergoing a lot of experiments. It achieved CFF Championship status along with Canadian Cat Association Championship status by the year 1995.

Original Gene Pool

The York Chocolate breed was first discovered a crossing was carried out between a longhaired black-and-white spotted female barn cat named Blacky and a longhaired black tomcat called Smokey. 

Smokey had a Siamese lineage which had an impeccable result in the litter of kittens. The litter consisted of a rich brown kitten, which was named Brownie. Brownie later had a litter of gorgeous kittens which exhibited the deep brown coat.

Breed Founder

This wonderful cat breed was founded by a cat breeder from Grafton, New York- Janet Chiefari. The rich chocolate brown coat of the kitten produced from the breeding between a tomcat and a barn cat caught her attention. 

She decided to cross another cat with this brown cat and succeeded in developing more kittens with this gorgeous brown coat. As a result, an entirely new generation of York Chocolate came into existence with her efforts.


The York Chocolate is a beautiful and graceful cat when it comes to physical appearance. From its beautiful eyes to lustrous fur — everything about this attractive feline speaks elegance.


Compared to many cat breeds, the York Chocolate is quite large and muscular. It almost looks like a farm cat with the exception of the gorgeous undercoat.

The undercoat is a rich chocolate brown with a soft and thick texture. The thick texture is more prominent in the upper portion of the body. It has a shiny and sleek fur that feels smooth and light.

York Chocolate cats have stunning almond shaped eyes that come in hazel, green, amber, and golden colors. It bears ears with a rounded tip and a plumed tail. Apart from the solid chocolate color, it also comes in rare colors like lilac or bicolor white and brown.


York Chocolates have an even temperament and a friendly personality. Not only do they have an affectionate side, but they also have excellent hunting skills. They are highly active and enjoy chasing their prey. 

These felines enjoy being lap cats to their owners. They like being cuddled and carried by their preferred person and share a warm bond with them. York Chocolates also enjoy playing games and goofing around the house.  

Indoors or Outdoors

York Chocolate cats are mostly indoor cats, and they love staying cooped up in sofas by their favorite human’s side. You can take these cats on occasional walks, but their favorite corner will always be within the household among the members of the family.


York Chocolates are vocal cats, and you can expect some purring and meowing during their playtime and especially when they want your attention. If your cat is making a question-like “purrrt?” sound, there’s a high chance that your cat is hungry and wants some food.


York Chocolates love interacting with people. They can easily bond with children and other family members as well as strangers! Your guests will fall in love with this smart and playful cat once they get to pet it. These cats love petting and look delighted when they are held or cuddled.


York Chocolate cats are curious and intelligent cats. Through their different forms of vocalization, they like to communicate with their owners. You can teach them different tricks, and they will learn them in no time. They also make great partners for playing with puzzle toys. 


York Chocolate cats are very fond of their playtime with their favorite humans. They like playing more with humans than other fellow cats. Rather than playing by themselves, they enjoy the company of other playmates.

They will constantly remind you when it's time to play through purring. York Chocolates love all sorts of activities and don’t shy away from trying new games.


Most cat breeds take time to open up to humans or other pets, while some don’t open up to people at all. None of this applies to York Chocolates as they are sociable and warm towards people. They enjoy the company of others more than solitude.


These gorgeous cats easily bond with children in no time. If your children are well-behaved, these cats can become great companions for them. These cats can be seen spending more time and engaging in fun activities with children. 

Children can also become fond of these cats because of their striking appearance and affectionate behavior.

Other Animals

These cats are very playful towards other felines in the household. Even if you have cat-friendly dogs in the house, these cats will still maintain an amicable relationship with them. 

Breed Predisposed Ailments

York Chocolates are a relatively new breed, and there haven’t been instances of any genetic disease in these cats till now. These cats are also not prone to any major health issues, which is perfect. 

They may develop a few medical problems like periodontal issues, fleas, tapeworms, and diarrhea, which are completely curable. It's still a good idea to visit your vet once every few months for a routine check-up. Early diagnosis can cure any kind of disease in York Chocolates. 


York Chocolates don’t require a lot of grooming like other cat breeds. Their coats are self-cleaning, which is why you can attend to them once in a while only. They also don’t shed much like other cats, so that’s a plus point too. Grooming them once in a few weeks can be helpful for their circulation and skin elasticity. 


York Chocolate cats shed moderately, so you don’t have to brush their coats every day. You can just do it once or twice a week to promote blood circulation, maintain the health of the skin and keep the coats smooth and shiny.  


Ear health is very important in the case of all cats, and it is no exception in the case of York Chocolates as well. You can set up ear cleaning routines for your cats and attend to their ears according to the routine. Make sure you clean all the corners of their ears properly to get rid of any impacted wax.


York Chocolates can be quite expensive to purchase, and their rareness is responsible for the high price. Although they fall on the pricier side, the bright side is that they do need many medical fees or maintenance costs in the long run. If you can obtain one of these beauties, you can consider yourself a blessed soul.  

Cost of Kittens

York Chocolate cats can cost from 800$-1200$ on average, and the prices will rise depending on the breeder. You can find York kittens for 800$ from lesser-known breeders. 

With the more reputable breeders, the prices can exceed even 1500$. The cost of obtaining one of these kittens also depends on your location. These kittens are found in the United States and some parts of Europe, so if you live outside these countries, the cost may be unusually high for you.

Pros & Cons


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  • This is a con
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Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 9-18 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: Solid chocolate brown, black, white-brown spotted, lilac
Suitable For: Families, seniors, apartments
Temperament: Doting, inquisitive, playful, active, sociable

Final Thoughts

York Chocolate cats make amazing pets for any household because of their good adaptability, high affection level, and friendliness. From children to pets, there's no one who will not enjoy the awesome company of York Chocolates. 

Although they are a rare breed and can be expensive to obtain sometimes, having them as pets can be still worth it.