American Wirehair Cat Breed Information

Learn all about American Wirehair Cats, read about the American Wirehair Breed information, find out about the American Wirehair Breed Standard, American Wirehair behavior and lots more about American Wirehairs.

American Wirehair Cat Breed Introduction

American Wirehair Cat Picture

The American Wirehair cat breed is another one of the new cat breeds that developed in the US toward the end of the twentieth century, as a result of spontaneous genetic mutations. In this case, the mutated gene was for the characteristic wiry coat.

American Wirehair Behavior/Personality

Source: "The American Wirehair: Bad Hair Day? Or...Great Wirehair!"by Kitty Dieterich.

American Wirehairs are generally considered to be friendly, companionable cats. In fact, despite their status as a pure breed of cats, American Wirehairs are generally better as pets than as show cats, since so few of the cats possess the ideal characteristics.

American Wirehair Breed Standard/Physical Description

Here are some facts on the American Wirehair breed based on the Cat Fanciers Association's breed standard.

  • Head: round
  • Muzzle: well-developed
  • Ears: medium-sized
  • Eyes: big and round
  • Body: medium-sized or large
  • Legs: medium-long, muscular
  • Paws: rounded, with five toes on front paws and four toes on the back paws
  • Tail: tapered
  • Coat: medium-long and wiry-looking

American Wirehair History

Source: "The American Wirehair: Bad Hair Day? Or...Great Wirehair!"by Kitty Dieterich.

The first American Wirehair, named Council Rock Farm Adam, was found in an upstate New York barn in 1966 as a kitten. The farm's owner, together with a neighbor, bred the cat with his sister, and after successive close-line breedings the wire-haired breed was established. Fortunately, the original breeders did recognize the need for some out-breeding. They chose the American Shorthair as the breed to use for out-breeding, since it most closely resembled the Wirehair. As a result, Wirehairs today are largely descended from Shorthairs.

The gene that causes the wired coat is an "incomplete dominant." This means that even if two Wirehairs are bred together, some of the resulting kittens may not have the wired fur. In the early days, Wirehair-descended cats were bred even if they did not have the characteristic fur type, in order to keep the breed going and to cut down on inbreeding. Today, now that the breed is more firmly established, breeders are selectively breed only the wiry coats. However, even the not-so-wiry coats are still valued since a cat with this coat still has the wiry gene and can be bred with another wiry-coated cat to perpetuate the breed.

In short, the American Wirehair breed is still establishing itself genetically, and breeders should be aware that many if not most cats born in a litter will not be able to compete as show cats.

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