The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

American Ringtail Cat

Information and Pictures

A tiger patterned cat with gray, black and tan coloring standing on a black stool. The cat has a thick soft coat and a long tail that curls in a ring tightly up and over its back. She is wearing a yellow tag shaped like a fish.

Zoe Bird the Ringtail cat at 14 years old—"This is Zoe, I got her from a reserve, she lived under a shed with the rest of her litter. She was the only one with a curled tail and I'd never seen anything like that before so I knew I had to have her! I couldn't have picked a more awesome cat, even cat haters love her! She has always been so well mannered, very obedient. She never tries to leave our yard to go to the neighbours or on the road. She knows the boundaries and never crosses them. She plays like a dog, her favourite game is to get you to chase her so she can chase you back. She loves conversing with you, she'll talk and talk as long as your talking back. She is increadibly loyal, but very needy, she does not like to be alone for more than a day or she'll cry bloody murder! But that's what makes her Zoe Bird and I love her to the moon!"

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.

Soloman the American Ringtail Cat is standing on a green stand and looking to the left. There is a person standing behind it.

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

Side view - a black cat with a shiny coat and yellow eyes looking over at the camera. It has a very long tail that curls in a circle over the top of its back like the letter O. The cat is squinting.

Casper the American Ringtail cat at 10 months old—"He is very talkative, loves attention and head butting. He always has a curly tail and sometimes it lays almost flat along his back. He is a sweet boy with very shiny, soft hair."

Side view - a black cat with a shiny coat and yellow eyes looking forward. It has a very long tail that curls over its back almost laying flat over the top.

Casper the American Ringtail cat at 10 months old

Side view - a black cat with a shiny coat and yellow eyes looking forward. It has a very long tail that curls over its back almost laying flat over the top. There is a square plastic white empty food dish against the wall in front of it. The cat is wearing a black collar.

Casper the American Ringtail cat at 10 months old

Left Photo - Soloman the Ring-tailed Cat is walking up a pile of hay; Right Photo - Soloman the Ring-tailed Housecats is laying in a cat bed and looking to the left

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

Left Photo - Soloman the Ring-Tailed Cat is standing in dirt and looking to the right and there is a hand poking a hole in the dirt; Right Photo - Close Up - Soloman the Ring-Tailed Cat is standing on a machine and looking towards a camera holder

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

Patches the calico Ringtail cat is standing on a hardwood floor with a chair behind it

"This is my ringtail cat named Patches. I answered a want-ad about a calico kitten in the newspaper that was long haired with a unique tail. When I picked the cat up, her tail curled to the left flank. My family members searched online and figured out that she was even more special than what I had originally thought. She has all of the traits that have been described above. I got her at 5 months old and she is now over a year old and weighs about 10 lbs. I had her spayed at 9 months old. I'm so glad that I called the number in the newspaper. She's everything I ever wanted and then some!"

Side-view of Pepsi the black American Ringtail cat laying in front of a bookcase

"This is my American Ringtail cat named Pepsi."