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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > York Chocolate Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

York Chocolate Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

York chocolate cat backyard

If you’re looking for a companion, the York Chocolate cat breed is an excellent breed that loves to communicate and connect with their owners. They find pleasure in being with you, playing with you, and cuddling up with you—and you’ll know by their meows, purrs, and happy tail wagging. York cats typically bond with one person and will become their shadow; however, they will still be affectionate towards other family members too.

Breed Overview


8–10 inches


10–16 pounds


13–15 years


Chocolate brown, lavender, or a mixture of both

Suitable for:

Owners that work from home, families, households with children and other pets


Friendly, sociable, interactive, intelligent, affectionate, playful, easy to train

Chocolatey and rich in color is what these long-haired, silky-smooth kitties are known for. They also boast the most beautiful almond-shaped big eyes, large, pointed ears, and a long, muscular body. They’re great family cats that need a lot of mental stimulation and physical exercise, so if you’re up to the task of providing an interactive and loving lifestyle for this breed, they’re a great option to consider.

York Chocolate Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


York Chocolate Kittens

Dark gray york chocolate cat_de_zla_Shutterstock
Image By: de_zla, Shutterstock

The price of a York Chocolate kitten is pretty affordable when compared to many other cat breeds. More and more cat lovers are becoming aware and interested in this breed due to their striking appearance and exceptional personalities.

Although you’re going to fall in love with these adorable kittens from the moment you lay your eyes on them, remember that they’ll only be ready to go home with you from around 8 weeks of age once they’ve been taught basic skills by their mother and have been fully weaned.

It is likely to find a York Chocolate in a local shelter, so before seeking them out from breeders, rather visit the different shelters in your area and find a York in need of a home. Not only will you be making space for another cat, but you’ll also save money this way.

Temperament & Intelligence of the York Chocolate Cat

Many people describe their York Chocolates as being a “two-in-one” pet because they’re so dog-like. They love to swim, play fetch, and lap up the attention their owners give them. They’re friendly to the people they love and the pets they share a home with. They’re hardy, independent, affectionate, and a well-rounded breed overall.

York Chocolate Cat_Ciprian Gherghias_Shutterstock
Image By: Ciprian Gherghias, Shutterstock

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The York Chocolate cat breed is excellent for families because it takes great joy in being around people and welcomes cuddles due to its affectionate personality. They do well with children and will join in on any activity or game they might be playing. York cats are incredibly intelligent and easy to train, so you can teach them tricks such as fetch to help stimulate their minds and get their energy out.

Although this breed is independent, they love attention and will demand it from you by thoroughly getting in your way! They make great companions for singles, families, and seniors and will greet you when you come home and curl up on your lap for a nap as soon as you sit down. They’re also known to be quite shy towards new people but will warm up to them with a bit of time.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Thanks to their social personalities, the York loves not only human interaction but also interaction and play with other cats and dogs. They’re pretty easygoing and aren’t likely to be aggressive to new additions; however, you should always introduce new cats and dogs to each other in a controlled environment and under supervision.

Pets that are smaller than your York may have a slightly different opinion of them. York Chocolates are farm cats by nature and have the instinct to hunt and capture, so never leave smaller pets, such as birds, hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs unsupervised with them as it may have a disastrous outcome.


Things to Know When Owning a York Chocolate Cat

The York Chocolate is a relatively easy cat to maintain. They have a lot of energy that can be used up through training and exercise. They don’t require a unique diet or grooming regiment and are healthier than many other cat breeds. If you can keep up with the York Chocolate breed and can handle their constant need to vocalize just about anything, you’re going to have the best time raising this furball.

Food & Diet Requirements

York Chocolate cats don’t require a unique diet and can eat kibble and other types of high-quality nutritional cat foods. Because all cats are obligate carnivores, it is important to provide them with plenty of animal protein, such as meat and fish.

York cats have a high level of energy and require food portions that will sustain them. However, you need to be careful of overfeeding them as too large a portion size on a daily basis will lead to obesity and serious health problems down the road. Make sure that your kitty has a bowl of clean, fresh water at all times of the day.

Exercise 🐈

York Chocolates need a lot of exercise. If they don’t have enough space to run, climb, and play, they may become destructive because they need to release their energy. Cat trees, brain games, and toys will greatly benefit these cats. They’ll also do well in yards where they can run, jump, climb, and play with other pets or alone. However, make sure you supervise these outdoor activities as there are many plants that are toxic to cats.

York Chocolate cats are natural hunters. To avoid them preying on birds and rodents, you can get interactive toys for them to chase and catch. Not only is this fun and a great form of exercise, but it’s a great way to bond with your cat.

Another form of exercise, one that is quite unique to York Chocolates, is swimming. These cats love water and perform well in water that they can swim in. However, all water activities should be supervised to avoid any dangerous situations.

Training 🧶

As we mentioned above, this breed is very dog-like—they love to play fetch, swim, and walk on a leash. You just have to train them to do those tricks and activities first, but it is possible. As much as York cats crave your attention and are incredibly intelligent, they’re also very independent, which creates difficulty when training as they’re likely to lose interest and walk off. Try encouraging them to focus with treats and praise.

Grooming ✂️

These cats boast the most beautiful thick, glossy, and silky-smooth coats that are medium to long in length. However, the length of the coat differs over different parts of their bodies, with the hair around their back, sides, upper legs, and neck being a bit longer. To maintain their gorgeous coat, you should brush through it at least 2–3 times a week to prevent knotting and matting. Frequent brushing also removes any dirt, dead hair, and skin flakes while stimulating blood flow to their skin. It also reduces shedding, which means less cat hair on your clothes and furniture. York Cats are good groomers, but a bit of help from you is necessary—plus, it’ll improve your bond.

On top of brushing, you should also check and clean their ears once a week to stay on top of wax buildup and infection. Brushing their teeth with cat-friendly toothpaste will aid in dental hygiene and prevent tartar buildup. For a smoother, easier process, start brushing their teeth and cleaning their ears when they are kittens so that they get familiarized with it. This will prevent stress in adulthood.

Although you shouldn’t trim your cats’ nails unless you’ve been trained to do so, they should be trimmed by a groomer once a month. A scratching post will aid in keeping their nails trimmed, so invest in one of those. Your furniture will thank you!

If your cat is particularly dirty, you can give them a bath. Thankfully, bath time is typically pretty relaxed with a York Chocolate because they love water. However, don’t bathe your cat too frequently as the shampoo can dry out their skin.

Health and Conditions 🏥

All cat breeds are predisposed to certain health issues, with some being more serious than others. The York Chocolate is a generally healthy breed, making them an excellent choice for cat lovers who don’t want to worry about large medical bills. However, this breed is still relatively new, and future health concerns relating to this breed may still arise.

Of course, just like any breed, the York is at risk of common health issues, such as obesity from overeating, gum disease from poor brushing, diseases that are preventable with routine vaccinations, urinary tract infections, fleas, and worms.

Regardless of the breed, you should take your cat to the veterinarian on a yearly basis for a checkup to detect any health conditions before they are serious and receive the necessary care. Keep up to date with vaccines and take them to the vet immediately if you notice any unusual behavior, along with blood in the stool or urine, diarrhea, or vomiting.

divider-catMale vs Female

Both male and female York Chocolates share similar appearances and personalities. However, one clear difference is their size, as is the case with most breeds. Male cats can get as big as 16 pounds, whereas females tend to stay around 10 to 12 pounds.

3 Little-Known Facts About the York Chocolate Cat

1. They’re a Modern Cat Breed

If you think of ancient Egypt, you might have pictures of cats sitting next to royalty come to mind. Although many cat breeds do date back hundreds of years, the York Chocolate cat breed does not. In fact, they’re considered a modern breed because the first York Chocolate was born in 1983, less than 40 years ago.

2. Kittens Have Lighter Coats

You may be a bit confused if you’ve been expecting a dark, rich, chocolaty York and are handed a light brown kitten. Don’t worry; you’ve probably got the right breed. York kittens start out their lives with light coats that darken as they get older. By the age of a year or so, they should have that chocolate brown coat you’re familiar with.

3. They’re Named After New York

The “Chocolate” part of this breed’s name is pretty obvious, but have you ever wondered why there’s a “York” in front of it? Well, it’s short for New York, the city this breed originates from.


Final Thoughts

York Chocolate cats are great partners to have as they’ll chat to you and cuddle up on your lap at any given opportunity. They are great with children, seniors, and other pets as they’re social and eager to play. They’re trainable and dog-like, ready to play fetch or walk on a leash if taught correctly. These cats love water, making bath time easy and adding to their exercise activities.

York cats are a generally healthy breed, and if you provide them with a nutritious diet that is well portioned, lots of exercise, stimulate their brains, take them for checkups, and groom them regularly, your York Chocolate cat is likely to live to the ripe old age of 15.

Featured Image Credit: Ciprian Gherghias, Shutterstock

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