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American Ringtail

Information and Pictures


This is Soloman the American Ringtail cat, photo courtesy of Ring-tailed Housecats Homepage.



Other Names

Ringtail Sing-a-Ling


Susan Manley hopes to have this future breed resemble its founder Soloman. The muscles in the tail are both larger and stronger at the base than those found in cats without ringtails. The bones in the tail are not fused and motion of a ringtail’s tail is not restricted in any way. The American Ringtail also puts its tail to more use than other cats. Not only is the tail used for balance (held over its back, instead of behind it like in other cats), but they also curl it around someone's hand when they are being petted, and use their tail to slow their descent on the cat tree and around Susan's bottom banister when they went down stairs as kittens. Ringtails only hold their tails in a ring when they are relaxed and confident. Body Type: Long, lean muscular foreign to Oriental type. The back is highly flexible and long. The tail should equal the length of the back, have a wide muscular base and be of substantial bone and not whippy. The feet are medium sized with long webbed toes that spread wide when climbing or in play.


Shorthaired, the fur is described as "soft plush velvet". Susan anticipates adding a low-maintenance medium-length coated version of the cat to the breed standard in the future.

Colors and Patterns

It is expected that most colors and patterns will be acceptable in the breed. All eye colors are accepted.


Friendly, active, curious cat with a reserved attitude to strangers. These cats are terrific in a family setting and do well around dogs, other pets and older children. Ringtail Sing-a-lings™ tend to have a special bond with one member of the family, but will also make the rounds and create relationships with everyone. They are communicative with their owners and make small trilling greeting sounds when talked to (the source of the "sing-a-ling" in the breed name.) They are fascinated with water, toys of all sorts, bags and boxes and love to climb. These cats learn to respond to their names when called. Some wildcat traits still exist in the population, including attempting to bury their food when they are done eating, seeking out running water to drink from and a strong interest in mousing. Their toys will be found in "catches" around the house including under the couch, in the magazine rack and probably your sock drawer if you let them. An interesting side fact is that these cats are fascinated with the smells of mint and/or bleach, reacting to them as if exposed to catnip.


Males: 8-15 pounds (3.3-7 kg); Females: 7-13 pounds (3.1-5.9 kg)

Health Problems

As of this time, none.

Living Conditions

It is necessary to provide a large cat tree for this breed. Their playful nature and urge to climb require it. They respond well to leash training and will readily go for walks outside on a leash. Their curious and loving nature demands interaction with their owner on a regular basis.


The fur does not shed much though combing with a flea comb once a week brings their plush fur to a high sheen and keeps it soft and healthy.


In 1998 a two-day-old kitten was found underneath a temporary classroom of Washington High in Fremont, California. Susan Manley's niece took this kitten home with her and it was given to Susan to raise because of the care needed to hand raise such a young kitten. Fortunately, the kitten named Solomon grew into a healthy and happy cat. While Solomon was still a kitten, a remarkable thing was noted: Solomon carried his tail in a ring with the tip centered over his back. After some research Susan found that no other cats, both purebred and mixed-breed, share this trait with Solomon, particularly in the local area of Fremont, California. After consulting with Dr. Leslie Lyons, a geneticist at UC Davis and Dr. Solveig Pflueger who is on the genetics board at TICA, Susan decided to breed Solomon to a mixed-breed cat possessing the Oriental look and a loving, outgoing personality named Audrey Catburn. Audrey gave birth in 1999 to eight kittens. All eight kittens possess the ringtail trait to some degree, but none to that of Solomon. A litter born in 2000 to one of Solomon's daughters, however, contained perfect ringtails. The American Ringtail was formally called the "Ringtail Sing-a-Ling," but the name has since been changed to "American Ringtail."

Outcross Breeds

At this time no approval has been asked to use other breeds as outcrosses. This may change in the future since some breeders of other cat breeds have ringtail kittens appear within their lines, and these breeders have expressed an interest in American Ringtail breeding.


None, due to the fact that it is considered an experimental breed.

This is Soloman, photos courtesy of Ring-tailed Housecats Homepage.

This is Soloman, photos courtesy of Ring-tailed Housecats Homepage.