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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.
Snowshoe Cat Personality
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.
Have you ever met a Snowshoe cat? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
Image: Bernie H via Flickr
Domino, our previous wild cat, is a Snowshoe, and I’ve done a lot of study on the breed. Three kittens with white mitted feet were spotted by Dorothy Hinds Daugherty, a Siamese breeder. She crossed them with a Tuxedo shorthair, which gave them the breed’s distinctive inverted V face markings. The breed standard was written by Vikki Olander, and the CFF and ACA recognised it as an experimental breed in 1974.
Cathy Keisha says
They’re beautiful cats. I never knew about them until one befriended me on Twitter.
Such a beautiful breed. Thank you for sharing this information — so much of it was new to us!
Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom 101) says
Our former feral Domino is a Snowshoe and I’ve done extensive research into the breed. Here’s a few tidbits. Dorothy Hinds Daugherty a Siamese breeder noticed three kittens with white mitted feet. She bred them with a Tuxedo shorthair which produced the breeds inverted V facial marking. Vikki Olander wrote the breed standard and it was accepted as an experimental breed by the CFF and ACA in 1974. Two other breeders in 1974 joined Vikki to promote the breed. Snowshoes were accepted in TICA in 1982 but are still not recognized by the CFA. British breeders in the ’80s made changes to the breed and was accepted to FIFe and has championship status ANCATS in Australia.