Snowshoe cats originated as a cross breed between Seal Point Siamese and American Shorthair cats, and earned their name from their adorable white paws. They are available in seal blue, chocolate, and lilac and have beautiful sapphire blue eyes.
The Snowshoe cat is typically gentle, loving, and affectionate with a sweet temperament somewhere in between the Siamese and American Shorthair. They have a soft, melodic voice but as a result of their Siamese heritage they are considered more talkative than other breeds. If you have a Snowshoe cat be prepared for many conversations as you go about your day and especially during dinner time.
Snowshoe cats are active, intelligent and inquisitive and play fetch as well as any dog. They’re also the cat who will learn to open doors, walk on a leash or learn and perform any tricks you choose to teach them. They tend to like to view the household from above, so a Snowshoe cat will be the one perching on the top of the fridge or some other high point in the house to watch what is going on around him.
Sociable by nature, they tend to form a stronger bond with one member of the family but will still be friendly and affectionate with other members of the household. Snowshoe cats are particularly suited to children and will also get on well with other pets in the family.
Did You Know?
The Snowshoe cat breed came about when American Siamese cat breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty noticed four kittens with white paws in a litter of Siamese kittens. She set about to recreate the look by breeding Seal Point Siamese with bi-colour American Shorthairs. The breed almost became lost when Dorothy abandoned the program, but was saved when Vikki Olander, owner of the Furr-Lo Cattery, took over. Vikki eventually convinced the cat associations to recognise the breed, where it was granted experimental status in 1974.
At birth Snowshoe cats are pure white and only develop their colours once they have reached a few weeks of age. Their white paws are referred to as mittens and boots, and must not cover more than one-third of their body in order for them to be of show quality.
Snowshoe cats have been increasingly popular since Grumpy Cat became an internet superstar in 2013, although the scowling face is nothing like the Snowshoe breed’s true personality.
Caring for Your Snowshoe Cat
The Snowshoe cat’s coat is short, smooth and easy to care for. Grooming them once or twice a week is enough to ensure even distribution of skin oils and removal of dead hair.
They are a generally healthy cat, but may have some genetic health issues as a result of their mixed-breed and Siamese heritage, two of the most common issues are a kink in the tail or crossed eyes but both of these are cosmetic flaws rather than major health issues.
For cats that are going to be frequently left alone it is best for your Snowshoe to have a feline or canine companion to keep them company.
If you have a Snowshoe cat in your life, please share your experiences below.
Image: Bernie H via Flickr