- The American Wirehair is very similar to the better-known American Shorthair except the Wirehair has a “steel wool” coat.
- In terms of overall body confirmation the American Wirehair looks similar to the American Shorthair but it does not have the pronounced square muzzle which is a distinguishing feature of the American Shorthair.
- Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat writes that she believes that this cat breed is not as robust as the American Shorthair.
- The defining characteristic of this breed is the texture of its coat. Its “wirehair” characteristic is due to a spontaneous dominant genetic mutation.
- This cat has the three hair types (not all purebred cats do): guard, awn and down hairs which provides this cat breed with a nice dense medium-length coat.
- The spontaneous genetic mutation referred to above was noticed in a litter of upstate New York farm cats in 1966. It’s worth also noting that this might not have been the first time the mutation occurred. It’s just the first time that somebody spotted it and decided to create a new breed through selective breeding from this mutation.
- The breed was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) at the time that the association began in 1979.
- This is a rare cat breed and I would argue surprisingly unpopular relative to the other breeds available because I think this cat has a charming appearance. The rareness is supported by the fact that Gloria Stephens, a show judge, writes that, “In all my years of judging, I have only seen one American Wirehair”. The cat’s name was Frizzie Bowden owned by Vickie Shields. She says that the cat looked like and American Shorthair except for the coat.
- This is a medium-sized cat with a fairly regular appearance. The cheekbone should be high, the eyes are round and medium-sized. The ears are also medium-sized as is the body. The body is described as “rather boxy in appearance”. The cat is slightly less substantial than the American Shorthair.
- The coat comes in a range of traditional category colours and patterns as do the eye colours.
- It appears that the temperament of this cat breed is similar to that of the American Shorthair. There are playful affectionate and loving cat. Owners describe them as muscular, active, agile and independent. Gloria Stephens says that they take no nonsense from other cats. That points to difficulties in multi-cat households but we must remind ourselves that the best way to judge a cat’s character is on a cat-by-cat basis and not looking at the entire breed.
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