Many definitions had been written about catboats, anyhow I feel the need to add some comments  for the clarification. The term "catboat" has actually two meanings: 

In Europe it is being used to categorize all cat-rigged boats, for cat-rigged dinghys, as Optimist and Laser, for catboats as Seezunge but also for cat-yawls, for cat-ketches and cat-schooners. In the country of its origin, the USA, the big catboat association defines clearly the catboat as having only one mast postioned well forward in the bow. That means that cat yawls, cat-ketches and cat-schooners  are excluded. This indicates very clear that with the term "catboat" in America a particular type of boat is meant which has its origin at the american new England coast. And the term is not or much less being used to categorize catboats. 

It can easily be understood that the reason is the relatively large number of "real" catboats in America in relation to the category of cat-rigged boats in the USA. In Europe the number of "real" catboats is in difference relatively small. Therefore the term catboat is used more in a way to categorize all cat-rigged boats. In order to avoid misunderstandigs between the "real" catboat and the category of cat-rigged boats on this page the term "american catboat" is used in addition to describe the particular boat type.