American Wirehair

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Is the American Wirehair right for you?

The basics:
If you’re looking for an easy-going cat that will also make a good conversation piece, the American Wirehair might be the cat for you. Their wiry coat is unique to the cat world, though in many ways it resembles the wire coats of certain terrier dog breeds. Their personality, however, is all cat! The American Wirehair is an easy cat to get along with: affectionate but not clingy, active, but not hyper. They are as content to play as they are to curl up in your lap for a nap. Their adaptability and even-temperament make them great family pets. Unfortunately, you might have a bit of trouble finding them, as the Cat Fanciers’ Association notes that they are one of the rarest of the 41 breeds of cats recognized by their organization.

The American Wirehair is a fairly recent breed, the first one having been born to a barn cat in upstate New York in 1996. The unusual coat was the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation rather than any planned breeding program, and of the original litter, only one was born with wiry hair. The closest genetic match to the American Wirehair is the American Shorthair, and the breeds share many of the same physical features and personality quirks.

Appearance / health:
The American Wirehair is a cat of medium build and notable proportion. The face has a rounded appearance with a medium-short muzzle and a strong, square chin. Similar to their coat, the whiskers will have a crimped appearance. The eyes are wide-set and round, and most commonly a golden color. White-coated Wirehairs may have blue or amber eyes. The ears are wide-set and rounded.

Of course, the defining feature of the American Wirehair is the coat, which has a springy, somewhat course texture with a tightly crimped look. The degree and texture of the crimp varies between cats, and a lightly crimped coat may tighten early in the cat’s life. The American Wirehair’s coat feels soft when stroked in one direction, and very course when stroked the other way.

The American Wirehairs are found in a variety of colors and patterns. They come in many solids and patterns: white, blue, black, cream, red, different colored tabby and tabby-patched patterns like mackerel, silver, red, blue, brown, cream, cameo, golden, various shades of tortoiseshells, cameos, smokes, and shaded varieties.

The American Wirehair is a very healthy cat. Some cats with lighter coats may require sunblock if outdoors for very long. The hair is somewhat delicate, and may break off when the cat grooms, causing a tendency towards hairballs. The American Wirehair requires only light, occasional brushing, but may need the occasional bath because of oily build-up.

Behavior / temperament:
The American Wirehair has a well-balanced temperament. They are social and enjoy time spent with their owners, but they are not clingy or needy. They are very playful, and moderately active. The American Wirehair is slow to mature, and may remain kitten-like for 3 to 4 years! They are tolerant and gentle, which makes them good with children, and they get along well with other pets.


highly intelligent animal, gorgeous thick coat


wholly independent pet, great hunter

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