American Wirehair is a relatively new and rare breed. Theia cat is named for its distinct springy, ruffled, and resilient coat, which goes “sproing” as their owners pet them. It is native to northern New York and is related to the American Shorthair. While its coat is wiry, her temperament is soft and lovely. This furball is renowned for its laid-back, affectionate, and gentle personality, making them great family pets beyond their bristly fur.
Origin of the American Wirehair
American Wirehair’s introduction stems back to 1966 when a barn domestic shorthair in upstate New York gave birth to four kittens. Only two of the offspring survived, but one of them showed an unusual, strange coat. The ginger-and-white male kitten sported a distinctive wiry fur.
After hearing about this, a local cat breeder took a look and was also astonished by the feature. The unique coat type was deemed to be a particular dominant mutation, wherein half of the litters born from the parent’s with this feature will also possess the fur.
She bought the kittens, incorporated them into her breeding program, reproduced the wiry coat, and started the American Wirehair breed. Only a year after, the breed was accepted in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and was allowed to join the championship competition in 1978.
Physical Characteristics of the American Wirehair
Height: 12 to 15 inches
Weight: 12 to 15 pounds (Male), 8 to 12 pounds (Female)
Life Expectancy: 7 to 12 years
Coat Color: A variety of colors and patterns
Type of Coat: Short, Medium
Eye Color: Green, blue, gold, odd-eyed
American wirehair cats are sturdy, medium-sized muscular cats, resembling the built of American Shorthairs. This breed is heavily-muscled, with strong boning, making them powerful cats. Adding to this is their broad chest, well-developed muzzle, and prominent jaws. Legs are thick and robust, the same as their ancestors.
Their most conspicuous feature is their wiry coat, which is crimpy to touch. The fur is thick and dense, becoming longer in winter. It is hard, seemingly serving as the breed’s protection. These furballs come in a wide array of colors, from white, blue, black, calico, tabby, and bi-color.
American Wirehair Personality
American Wirehair cats are placid, good-natured cats, and easy-going cats, making them popular among many families and owners. They are loving and will quickly bond with each member of the household. As a tolerant breed, they also get along well with toddlers and other pets. Occasionally, they get involved with the activities done by the people around them.
These cats love playtime, but would not require much attention. If they are in for some engagement, they will bring toys to their parents. Otherwise, they are satisfied playing by themselves. Expect that they are athletic but have fairish energy levels. They are also blessed with smarts and enjoy toys that stimulate both their bodies and minds.
Some of these cats also retain the hunting instincts of their ancestors. They will catch any insects in the house or simply enjoy watching birds and squirrels from the windowsill.
American Wirehair cats are sociable and wouldn’t hide under the bed should unexpected visitors arrive. But while they relish other people’s company, they also enjoy independence and may prefer to just stay near their owners.
Caring for the American Wirehair
American Wirehair cats’ distinct coat is easy to maintain. They do not shed a lot and brushing out dead hair and debris once a week is enough to keep it in great, shiny condition. However, extra caution is needed as combing or brushing out harshly may damage their fur. Bathing is rarely necessary for this breed.
Other weekly routine activities include brushing to avoid periodontal disease and ear inspection to prevent any infection. Nail trimming must be done every few weeks or when necessary to keep their paws healthy.
As a fairly energetic, these cats don’t like sitting in their owner’s lap throughout the day. They require ample amounts of exercise and playtime to keep them from being baffled. Interactive and puzzle toys are excellent investments to get both their body and mind busy.
With their barn cat roots, some of them have strong hunting instincts. Use bells on their collars to keep track of them when they go outside, but it should not be a surprise if they return with “little presents.”
Typically, living with birds and other small pets should not be an issue as long as they are introduced at an early age. However, there are instances when separation is the best resort to avoid mishaps to any of the creatures.
When it comes to health, American Wirehairs are generally healthy and resistant to many conditions. However, they can be prone to feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which leads to heart failure in most cats. If cared properly, they can live for more than 12 years.
American Wirehair is perfect for families looking for a playful and easy-going cat. While its coat can be wiry and hard to touch, it has a good-natured personality and a soft heart.