Snowshoe cats are excellent pets for various reasons, ranging from their endearing personality quirks to their distinct physical characteristics. There’s more to these friendly felines than meets the eye, aside from being known for their distinctive markings, piercing blue eyes, and lovable personalities.
What exactly is a Snowshoe cat? Do they like the snow? We’ve compiled a series of facts about Snowshoe cats so you can learn more about them.
What Is a Snowshoe Cat?
The Snowshoe cat is a recent hybrid of the American shorthair and Siamese breeds, both of which originated in the United States. The cat’s four distinct white paws inspired the name “snowshoe.” Its other colorpoint markings are similar to those of a Siamese, as is its personality.
This friendly kitty is a medium-sized, healthy purebred who would make an excellent family pet. Snowshoes are known for having a personality similar to the Siamese half of their ancestors. They are typically affectionate and form strong attachments to their owners.
They are intelligent, self-assured, and friendly and utilize their loud voices to “talk” with their owners and demand attention. Snowshoe cats can thrive in a multi-pet household because of their willingness to make friends with friendly dogs and other cats, but they will probably “speak up” to get the cuddles or play time they deserve.
The Snowshoe is a relatively new cat breed compared to many other cat breeds that have existed for hundreds (even thousands) of years. A Philadelphia Siamese cat breeder was taken aback in the late 1960s when she found three kittens in a litter with strange markings. The kittens’ bodies had the expected Siamese pattern, but their feet were unexpectedly all marked white, giving them the appearance of wearing socks or white mittens.
The Philadelphia breeder was smitten with this new coat marking right away. They started crossing American Shorthairs with Siamese cats with the assistance of another cat breeder in the hopes of producing more cats with white feet. However, because this coloration was recessive, they soon realized it was difficult to reproduce.
Various cat breeders became interested in Snowshoe cats over the next few decades. Some even began crossing Siamese with Oriental Shorthairs to preserve specific traits in the Snowshoe breed.
These cats are still most common in the US today, but there is evidence that they’ve found homes worldwide. Despite having the highest population in the United States, these cats are still uncommon—don’t be surprised if you’ve never seen one!
Their white feet are perhaps their most distinguishing feature. It’s easy to see how these cats got their name because they appear to be wearing mittens and white socks or have just stepped in a pile of snow.
Snowshoes can be identified by their beautiful colors and signature white markings. Snowshoes, like Siamese, have coat point coloration, which means their body is a lighter color with darker legs, face, ears, and tail. Body colors are typically a light cream or tan, but they can also be lilac, blue, seal, or chocolate.
Snowshoe cats are hypoallergenic because of their low shedding tendencies and short coat. However, Snowshoes aren’t a hypoallergenic cat breed, so if you’re allergic to cats, this may not be the breed for you.
These athletic, medium-sized felines have a solid build and typically weigh 7-12 pounds, with males weighing more than females. They have beautiful blue eyes that can vary in shade, and they frequently have an inverted V-shaped white fur in between the eyes.
Because these cats are uncommon, many people wonder how long Snowshoe cats live. On average, a Snowshoe cat’s lifespan can range from 14 to 20 years.
Snowshoe Cat Care
In grooming, this breed requires very little. They have short hair and are known for being exceptionally clean. They will shed a little, but a once-weekly brush with a rubber grooming brush could also keep dead hairs at bay.
Dental disease is among the most typical health issues in cats of all breeds, and it is completely avoidable. Feed a high-quality diet; if your feline is tolerant enough, work on incorporating teeth brushing into the weekly grooming routine. Getting them used to get their mouth examined at a young age and associating it with positive aspects can help.
Like their Siamese relatives, Snowshoes are intelligent and curious. They enjoy observing their territory from high vantage points, like the tops of cat trees, in search of an adventure or someone eager to play. To avoid boredom, your Snowshoe will enjoy an environment brimming with willing game participants and toys.
Snowshoes are relatively simple to train due to their intelligence. Teaching simple commands and tricks to your cat with positive reinforcement training techniques can strengthen your bond and keep your feline mentally and physically stimulated.
Common Health Issues
Snowshoes have proven to be relatively healthy cats in their brief breed history. Due to their Siamese genetics, crossed eyes and kinked tails are common in Siamese litters, but they are not debilitating or painful.
Nutrition and Diet
As obligate carnivores, snowshoes, like all cats, thrive on a high-quality meat-based diet. Taurine, an amino acid seen in animal proteins, must be in sufficient quantities in the food. If your cat becomes taurine deficient, which can occur from eating plant-based foods or dog food, it may develop potentially fatal eye and heart problems.
Snowshoe cats are undeniably fascinating and distinctive, so there’s always more to discover.
- Snowshoe cats have a high level of intelligence. They can frequently figure out ways to open doors or be taught tricks.
- These cats enjoy being near water. Unlike most cats, who dislike water, many Snowshoes will happily splash around in a shallow water bin or jump in the bathtub while playing.
- Grumpy cat, everyone’s favorite frowny-faced feline, was a mixed breed cat. Many people, however, have little skepticism that she had a Snowshoe in her ancestry based on her coat markings.
- Though the Snowshoe was formally born in the 60s, there’s evidence that they may have existed for years before. A kitten with four white feet is depicted in an old Victorian portrait of a purebred Siamese litter. Another cat with nearly identical markings, including white feet, is illustrated on an old Japanese silk screen.
- These cats were initially named ‘Silver Laces’ before being given the name ‘Snowshoe.’