American Ringtail

American Ringtails generally bond well with others with whom they are raised from the time they are five months of age. If you are considering purchasing an American Ringtail and you have children, find a kitten that is young enough to bond with and to grow up with your children.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 1 to 20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 16 to 25 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Severe
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

A relatively new breed that first appeared in 2004, it is currently unknown how many, if any, American Ringtails have been surrendered to shelters or rescues. However, American Ringtails may find themselves in rescue or returned to a breeder for reasons common to other pets during an economic downturn. A family may lose their home and must move to a new residence that is not pet friendly or that requires an exorbitant pet deposit. Other times an owner loses a job.


An athletic breed, American Ringtails love to climb and even to play with other pets in the family. They are also smart and loving and can bond deeply with their family members, both human and feline.


The American Ringtails have curled tails, which some people mistakenly think is the result of a deformity. In reality, nerve and muscular changes have caused the curled tail, which allows for greater balance and climbing ability in the American Ringtail. However, the ringtail may lead to confusing body language until the cat’s family gets to better know their cat.


Feed your American Ringtail a high quality cat food, which you can purchase at a pet store, to help keep him healthy and trim. Any treats should be offered sparingly. Dried liver treats and cat grass are popular treat options.


Schedule play time with your American Ringtail each day to allow sufficient time for bonding with you and for exercise. Provide your American Ringtail with a cat tree and plenty of toys that will allow them to run around. Most American Ringtails enjoy laser toys, feather toys, and toys on strings attached to poles.

Possible Health Issues

American Ringtail cats are generally a healthy breed.


Choose a digestible litter for your cat, if you prefer a litter that is easy to scoop. Some cats will eat litter which, if not digestible, can cause expensive and painful gastric problems. Non-silica litter is also a popular option among some cat owners.


Grooming with an American Ringtail is minimal. Purchase a good flea comb or a fine brush, and brush your American Ringtail daily to keep his coat looking healthy and to remove any dead hair. Trim his nails as needed.


A highly trainable cat, the American Ringtail can be taught to walk on a leash and to do other tasks if his family is motivated to teach him. For most cats, including the American Ringtail, training isn’t really a factor in their lives. However, the American Ringtails generally like to engage in activity with their families.


American Ringtails enjoy playing with their families and love climbing. To engage your cat, bring out a laser toy, or a feather or fur toy. Toys that are on poles and strings are also popular with most cats.

We want to thank Susan Manley, the founder of the American Ringtail, for help with this profile.

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