Let’s Celebrate Our State Cats and Dogs on Fourth of July!

Bet you didn’t know this, but three states have officially declared different (breeds of) cats as “state cats”. And there are even more states that have state dogs (11 states to be exact!). In honor of those state cats and dogs and the Fourth of July, we salute you!

So what kitties are appreciated and honored by certain states? Those lucky felines are:

Maine named the Maine Coon as its state cat of Maine in 1985. America’s native longhair, Maine Coons were well established over a century ago as a hardy breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters. Maine Coon owners enjoy the breed’s characteristic clown-like personality, affectionate nature, and willingness to “help” with any activity. They make excellent companions for large, active families that also enjoy living with dogs and other animals.

This gorgeous calico cat is a "tortiseshell" pattern.

Maryland named the Calico Cat their state cat in 2001. Its separate blocks of colors – orange, black, and white – are shared with the Baltimore oriole (State bird) and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (State insect). Calico is not a breed of cat, but an unusual coloring occurring across many breeds, including Domestic Short-hair, Maine Coon, Munchkin, British Shorthair, American Wirehair, Persian, and Manx. Virtually all calico cats are female.

Massachusetts 1n 1988 made the Tabby Cat its official state cat in response to the wishes of the state’s schoolchildren. Tabby cats are often mistakenly thought of as being a particular breed of cat, but it is the coat pattern which resembles the striping on a “tiger” cat that is known as “Tabby”. The tabby coat pattern is a gene carried by all breeds of domestic cats so it can occur in all short- and long-haired breeds even if it’s “masked” and cannot be seen.

Last year the AKC polled Americans and uncovered the inner dogs and cats of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut based on the unique character and personality of each state.  Want to guess who they are?

  • New York CityAmerican Curl (because it represented the Upper East Side’s affluent, high-society stereotype)
  • New JerseyAmerican Shorthair (because of the state’s misunderstood identity)

    The American Shorthair is unofficially a "Jersey cat".

  • Connecticut –  Persian (which represents the state’s stereotype of the state known for having a large population of affluent families who have been wealthy for generations)

Oh, and what about the dogs? State dogs are:

Unofficial dogs are New York City – the Dachshund;  New Jersey – The Yorkshire Terrier; and Connecticut – the Golden Retriever.

To read more about the state breeds read AKC’s press release. You’ll be able to see all of these breeds in person at Meet the Breeds held in New York City on November 19-20, 2011.

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