About the American wirehair cat breed
‘Born in the USA’! possibly one of the most patriotic and catchy rock song to ever leave the United States, and it fits perfectly with the American wirehair.
Often described as feeling like ‘steel wool’ the American wire hair cat is as lovable and wondrous as a domestic cat as you’ll find. Mild natured and well mannered he makes a welcome addition to any home.
The American wire hair is a national treasure and the first cat breed to come about in the USA!
Quick facts about the American wire hair
- Extremely adaptable breed of cat, can adjust to new surroundings.
- High levels of affection. American wire haired cats love a cuddle!
- Great with young families.
- Dog friendly breed of cat.
- American wire hairs have moderate energy levels.
- A curious cat with moderate intelligence levels.
American wire hair breed history
The American wire hair was as much as a shock to his owners as himself when the first one was born. You may very well be thinking that this cat was the cause of a breeding program.
You would be wrong, very wrong indeed. The American wire hair is in fact a cat breed caused by a genetic mutation. The first kitten to be born with this defect, was born to two perfectly standard barn cats in the early 1960’s, upstate New York.
A red and white kitten named ‘Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi – Fi’, a name we feel is well matched.
This red and white, fuzzy little tabby was the only kitten to survive from the litter. He was later shown to cat breeder Joan O’Shea who was amazed by this fuzzy little miracle and went on to purchase him for the hopes of reproducing.
Given he was the only kitten of his kind to find the right breeding partner probably wouldn’t have been the easiest feat in the world. At first Joan bred the kitten with a neighbouring cat in the hopes that it too carried the wirehair gene.
The first litter born was a set of very healthy and very fuzzy American wire hair kittens. Eventually the American wirehair was crossed with the American short hair. The American shorthair was the closest cat to its in looks and genetics.
Virtually identical apart from the wire hair having a thick wired coat and the short hair having a hard flat coat.
American wire Hair Appearance
The appearance of the American Short Hair at first wouldn’t seem too odd. He is a standard looking cat, inquisitive and handsome. As you take a closer look you will see something a little different from your standard domestic feline though.
His hair is extremely wire like, thick and dense. Often described as something similar to steel wool you will likely feel a spring when you pet him. His coat is crimped and tight and usually grows to a medium length.
Even his whiskers and ear hair are springy, tight and curled. The American wire hair has a well rounded head, and large rounded bright, piercing eyes. His ears are of a medium size which are rounded at the tips.
He sports a medium sized body, firm and strong. Which is carried along by strong, muscular legs. His tail is of standard size and tapers to a rounded tip.
This curly cat comes in many different color variations and even different pattern variations.
American wire hair size
The American wirehair is a medium sized cat and can weigh between 12 – 15 lbs.
Females can weigh from 8 – 12 lbs.
American wirehair cat Personality and characteristics
This breed of cat is a testament to house cats everywhere. He has the characteristics of an all-round, well suited domestic house cat.
He loves attention but isn’t overly needy. He will happily follow you around to see what you’re up to or may just leave you to it whilst he finds a nice spot to chill. If you’re working at watching T.V he may find a space next to you for company.
Some American wire haired cats are lap cats and some aren’t as much. But either way they are great cats to have around. They get along great with other cat friendly pets and children. Young children may need to be taught to respect his boundaries and always make sure he has a route to his safe space.
American wirehairs are less of a talkative cat and more of a looker, you can pretty much guess his mood through his facial expressions. They were originally working cats so don’t be surprised if you find him patrolling your house to keep his dominion safe.
Females are more likely to be found wandering the house to make sure everything if ok and as she left it, whereas males have a more relaxed and chilled out mentality. They are an intelligent breed and love a puzzle which rewards them with a treat.
With them being working cats though they do love the fishing pole game, for them to hunt and chase. They are also big fans of the peacock feather so they can wrestle it about and around batting it with their paws.
American wire haired cats are considered very trainable and are always willing to learn new things like using a scratching post. They will also appreciate a window perch where they can bird watch the day away.
American wirehair health
The American wire hair is considered one of the healthiest domestic breeds of cat. The issues that could arise are few. Given that they are crossed with the American short hair though may leave them predisposed to a few of their health conditions.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common, run of the mill form of heart disease for felines. It causes the heart muscle to thicken. An ECG test can check whether or not a cat has Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
No one can ever declare that their breeds of cat won’t develop health conditions, just like humans outside factors like lack of exercise and over eating can cause a whole host of problems.
There are genetic tests available to check for most of these diseases and any good breeder should be able to tell you about their health, the best way to care for them and any defects in their parents or siblings.
Don’t forget cat insurance is a great way to keep your feline friend covered for any accidents or diseases they may get. For minimal monthly payments you will be covered for what could be expensive treatments.
American wire hair Cat Life Span
The AWH has an average life span of 14 – 18 years.
American wirehair Cat Grooming
Grooming an American wirehaired cat is relatively easy, his short, springy and dense coat requires minimal intervention. This unique coat doesn’t require combing or grooming.
During shedding season though it may be advisable to undergo a once weekly brushing to remove dead skin cells and knotted fur.
Remember to visit your vet for regular check-ups and regularly check your cats’ ears and eyes.
Adopting an American wirehair
If you adopt an American wirehaired cat be sure to give him plenty of space and time to adjust to his new surroundings. Don’t over crowd him and you will soon see his loving side emerge. America wire hair breeders will be able to give you advice on how to welcome them into your home.
If you buy an American wire-haired kitten then always ask about the parents and any diseases or illnesses in the litter and family genes.