The American Keuda came into existence from a study conducted in the 80’s to determine a superior barn cat.
Kittens bred for survival with limited human intervention have turned out to be a most delightful breed of cats!
The name comes from the acronym KEUDA – Kitten Evaluation Under Direct Assessment – a study that took the most physically strong and hardy barn cats of the southern states and bred them to create the ultimate in cat strength and ingenuity. Excellent hunters and fast runners, the American Keuda is now also a very loving and loyal cat to own.
Physical: strong and agile with a belly flap allowing for a larger range of motion.
Color: any color, any fur length, any markings, with no undercoat.
Temperament: Smart and outgoing, playful and adaptable.
History: Brought to America by the Spanish to keep the rodent population in check.
Physical – Energetic and Active
American Keuda cats enjoy running and playing. They have a medium, athletic build with good muscle development. They love to play and will remain active and energetic well into the later years in life. Don’t be surprised if your outdoor Keuda brings home gifts for you! They love to hunt small rodents, and they can be excellent birders.
Their distinguishing feature is the belly flap of skin that folds at the base of their stomach and folds down over their elbows. All this extra skin is helpful for when the cat needs to make a fast getaway or attack – they are able to stretch to take a longer stride, making them the fastest domestic cats.
Color – bred for strength not for color.
The American Keuda breed comes in all colors, and fur lengths although most have short hair. A true American Keuda will not have an undercoat so they don’t do well in colder climates.
Temperament – outgoing and social cats, who get along well in colonies
American Keuda cats originated from barn cats, so they rely on each other rather than their human kind. They have been known to work together to hunt or protect the weaker members of their colony. An unusual trait with the Keuda is that they love water. They like to play with floating objects, catch drips of water from the faucet and some have even tried to shower with their humans! They are very affectionate, but also very independent. They will befriend all members of the family, even the dog!
History – Descendants of Spanish Cats
The American Keuda is said to have descended from the cats brought to America from Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Conquistadores brought the cats to take care of the rodent population on their ships. These cats were meant to protect the stores of food that was to last the conquistadores the entire time they traveled across the sea. The cats were only fed water and had to rely on their hunting skills to survive. This is how they learned to work well in groups. They had to take care of each other, hunt with each other and learn to protect each other with little human contact.
When they arrived on the land, their services were no longer needed so they were set free. But the skills they had developed made them a welcomed gift from the Spanish. They kept rats and mice away from stores of food and became barn cats.
Throughout the years, these cats survived, and in the 1980’s researchers tried to uncover the characteristics that make a good barn cat. They ran a study called the Kitten Evaluation Under Direct Assessment to determine superior qualities in a barn cat.
Today, the breed is still under development, they are carefully bred to keep the strength of the cat, the belly flap and the intelligence. Not only for the barn, but for the home as well. These cats make excellent companions.
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