Suppose you’re looking for a “unique” looking cat that is easygoing and great around children. In that case, you will want to include the American Wirehair cat on your “short list” of options because these guys are a lot of fun to own and will be a great conversation starter for anyone meeting you and your cat for the first time.
But this doesn’t…
This means that you should just run out and try and track down your nearest American Wirehair cat breeder because there are a few things you’re going to want to know about this cat breed before you’re going to be able to decide whether or not this little guy might be right for you.
This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet have chosen to write this article so that if you ever become lucky enough to become an owner of an American Wirehair kitten, you won’t be disappointed six months later that you didn’t decide to adopt a different “type” of kitten.
So… without further ado, let’s dive right in.
American Wirehair Cat Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: United States
Size: Medium to large
Weight: 8 to 11 pounds
Head shape: Round
Life Span: 15 to 20 years
Origin of the American Wirehair
As its name suggests, the American Wirehair first originated in the United States. As it turns out, like many “new” cat breeds, the American Wirehair was first “created” when a spontaneous mutation, deriving from what many believe was a domestic shorthair, first appeared in 1966 in upstate New York.
A local breeder by the name of Joan O’Shea took the “first” little American Wirehair kitten by the name of “Adam” and chose to mate him with one of his siblings, Tip-Toe, to “capture” the recessive gene responsible for creating the unique “wire hair” that these cats are best known for. The attempt successfully allowed further “pairings” to perpetuate the breed, eventually allowing the Cat Fanciers Association to fully recognize the American Wirehair cat breed as its distinct breed in 1967, and by 1978, they could “officially” compete for championships.
The American Wirehair is the product of a gene “mutation.” It’s important to point out that the “mutation” responsible for the American Wirehair’s mutation is rather unique. While most modifications can be found worldwide, the wirehair mutation is only found in the U.S. and has not yet been replicated elsewhere. In our opinion, it adds to the mystique of the wirehair and is often a driving factor for many people’s desire to have one as a pet.
The American Wirehair is most easily recognized by its kinky, springy coat. However, in cases of less coarse fur, their whisker usually retains some curliness. Otherwise, they appear very similar to American Shorthairs. They tend to have higher cheekbones than the shorthair, which is used as a defining characteristic in competition that sets the breed apart from its ancestral breed. It also has a rounded head and ears and a medium-sized body, but in some cases, it can lean on the large side.
American Wirehair coat
The medium-length coat is “crimped” and “hard” to the touch. However, it still has a nice texture to “pet.” Their skin can come in various colors, much like the American Shorthair. And while the American Wirehair will have several “subtle” features that will give its identity away, at the end of the day, this breed is known for its crimped coat. But it should be noted that these guys also have solid and muscular hind legs, which make them agile and good jumpers.
We should also point out that…
Because the American Wirehair cat fur can be easily “damaged” by combing it, it is generally recommended that you avoid brushing it unless they are shedding excessively due to “seasonal” effects, which is why, in addition to periodically washing your wirehair (Top 10 Best Cat Shampoo’s), you’ll also want to ensure that you stay on top of your flea and tick management program.
For more information on who we feel offers some of the “best” flea and tick medications on the market, please check out our Best Flea and Tick Medications for Cats.
Personality and Temperament
The American Wirehair cat’s personality traits are similar to the shorthair’s. They are both athletic and moderately active cats. And while Wirehairs like to play and bounce around, they generally won’t be nagging you all day (which is nice… right?). They are usually pretty adaptable and typically happy and good-natured. They’re kind of like the class clown: goofy and fun. However, they do enjoy their quiet time, so don’t make the mistake that you will be able to rouse a wirehair at any time of the day for playtime. Because of their intelligence, they tend to enjoy interactive toys, such as puzzles.
For all of this reason…
And many more, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when we tell you that these little guys make a great family pet, especially since they won’t be scared off by any little kid’s craziness. Plus, you don’t need to worry if you already have pets. While a new wirehair may not love another pet, they won’t be hostile. They will get along with cat-friendly dogs. And as long as children and other pets treat the wirehair respectfully, they will return the favor. Of course, as with any other cat, the best thing to do is introduce your new wirehair to children or pets slowly and in a safe, comfortable environment. This will produce the best results for their future relationships.
Potential Health Concerns
The American Wirehair is blessed with generally good health. Of course, health issues are always possible, just as in any cat. Most problems that will arise will be familiar to the American Shorthair since these breeds are so often bred together. The most common medical condition your American Wirehair may encounter is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM. This is a heart disease that is found in almost all breeds. Essentially, this disease causes the heart muscle to thicken. This leads to a less efficient heart and could cause problems in other body areas. There is strong evidence that this is a genetic disease, so if you buy from a breeder, always get a written health guarantee.
Another major problem…
For wirehairs and all cats, it is obesity. If you don’t try to keep your cat active and eating a proper diet, you risk pushing them into obesity. The good news is nothing more preventable yet devastating to a cat’s health than obesity. So play with your wirehair regularly and feed them the proper food (Top 10 Best Cat Foods). That means no human food!
Which brings us to…
The last topic we want to discuss is pet insurance. Here at IndulgeYourPet, we always like to encourage any new pet owner to take a moment and determine what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your little guy. Because you never know if your pet will need the services of a veterinarian throughout their life. Now, will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?
No, probably not, but until you know what they will and won’t cover and how much they cost, how will you determine if purchasing one isn’t “right” for you?
We encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article for more information on who we feel is currently off the “best” pet insurance policies.