Snowshoe cats are one of the world’s most unique and attractive cat breeds. They have striking blue eyes, white feet, and color points that contrast with their white background. They are also very friendly, intelligent, and playful cats that love to be around people. This article will teach you more about the snowshoe cat’s physical characteristics, history, personality, care needs, and some interesting facts.
|Coat Colors||White, black, brown, tan|
|Coat Patterns||Color points, white feet, eye mask or inverted “V”|
|Personality||Friendly, intelligent, playful, vocal, loyal, social, curious, energetic|
|Good with Kids||Yes|
|Good with Pets||Yes|
History of the Snowshoe Cat
The Snowshoe cat had a rocky, almost non-existant history. It is a relatively new breed that originated in the United States in the 1960s. Created by Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, a Siamese breeder who noticed that three kittens from one of her litters had white feet and markings. She decided to start a breeding program to develop this new variety of Siamese.
She crossed her Siamese cats with American shorthair cats that had tuxedo markings (white chest and paws). She also used other Siamese cats with white feet that she found in shelters or from other breeders. She named the new breed “snowshoe” after their distinctive paws and proceeded to promote the breed at local cat shows.
The Snowshoe cat was initially not very popular, as many people preferred the traditional Siamese look. Eventually, the breeding program was taken up by Vikki Olander, after Hinds-Daughtery abandoned the idea. She constructed the Snowshoe’s first breed standard and successfully obtained “experimental breed” status by the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association (ACA) in 1974.
Over the next 3 years other breeders of the Snowshoe had dropped out leaving Olander as the last remaining breeder. After struggling to keep the breed alive, instead of relegating it to a footnote in history, she was joined by Jim Hoffman and Georgia Kuhnell who wanted to help continue working on the breed. In 1983 their work paid off, the Snowshoe Cat was granted “Champion” status by the CFF.
Unfortunately, Olander quit the breeding program in 1989 due to her fiancés allergies to cats. The Snowshoe cat had already gathered a solid following by this point and went on to receive “Champion” status from the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1990 and 1993 respectively.
Few other cat breeds have had such a rocky history in such a short period of time. Fortunately due to the persistant work of the Snowshoe’s early breeders, we have a chance to have this cool cat around for a long time to come. They are still considered a very rare breed, but it exists and that’s awesome!
What Do Snowshoe Cats Look Like
The snowshoe cat is a medium-sized breed that weighs between 6 and 12 pounds. They have a muscular and athletic build, with a triangular or round head, long ears, and a medium-length tail. Their coat is short, smooth, and single-layered, which means they shed less than some other breeds.
The most distinctive feature of the snowshoe cat is its coat coloration. They are born all-white but develop dark areas on their tail, legs, ears, and sometimes head as they grow older. Depending on their genetic makeup, these dark areas can be black, brown, or tan. They also have an eye mask or inverted “V” facial marking that contrasts with their white muzzle.
The snowshoe cat’s name comes from their white feet, which look like they are wearing snow boots. These white feet can vary in size and shape, but they should be symmetrical on both sides. The white feet are caused by recessive genes that are inherited from their Siamese ancestors.
The snowshoe cat’s eyes are another stunning feature of this breed. They are always blue, ranging from deep to pale shades. They are also almond-shaped and set one eye’s width apart.
Hybrid Cats With The Snowshoe breed
The snowshoe cat is a hybrid itself that originated from crossing the Siamese and the American shorthair. However, this is not the only mix that involves the snowshoe cat. There are some other breeds that have been crossed with the them to create new and interesting varieties. Here are some of them:
- Snowshoe Ragdoll: This mix is a combination of the Snowshoe and the ragdoll cat, both of which are colorpoint breeds with blue eyes. The Snowshoe Ragdoll inherits the large size, fluffy coat, and laid-back personality of the ragdoll, as well as the Snowshoe’s white feet, color points, and vocal tendencies. This mix is very affectionate, gentle, and loyal to their owners, but they can also be very curious and playful. They need regular grooming to keep their coat mat-free and healthy.
- Snowshoe Siamese: This mix is a combination of the Snowshoe and the Siamese cat, both of which are colorpoint breeds with blue eyes. The snowshoe Siamese inherits the slender body, wedge-shaped head, and elegant appearance of the Siamese, as well as the Snowshoe’s white feet, color points, and vocal tendencies. This mix is very intelligent, active, and sociable but can also be demanding and needy of attention. They do not need much grooming, but they do need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy.
- Snowshoe Maine Coon: This mix is a combination of the Snowshoe and the Maine Coon cat, both of which are large breeds with long coats. The snowshoe Maine Coon inherits the massive size, bushy tail, and friendly personality of the Maine Coon, as well as the white feet, color points, and vocal tendencies of the Snowshoe. This mix is very loving, gentle, and adaptable to their owners, but they can also be very adventurous and playful. They need regular grooming to keep their coats tangle-free and healthy.
These are just some examples of known mixes with the snowshoe cat. There may be other mixes that are not yet recognized or documented. However, it is important to remember that mixing breeds can be unpredictable and risky, as it can result in health problems or unwanted traits. Therefore, it is always advisable to do your research before getting a mixed-breed cat or adopting one from a reputable shelter or rescue group.
Personality Of The Snowshoe Cat
The snowshoe cat is a very kind and intelligent creature with a playful personality. They are very affectionate and loyal to their owners, often following them around the house or jumping on their laps for cuddles. They also enjoy being around other people and animals, as they are very social and outgoing.
The snowshoe cat is not a quiet breed, as they inherit their vocal tendencies from their Siamese ancestors. They will often communicate with their owners with various sounds and tones, expressing their needs and opinions. They can also be very curious and adventurous, exploring every corner of their environment or finding new ways to entertain themselves.
This is not a lazy breed either, as they have a lot of energy and agility. They love to play games with their owners or with toys, especially ones that challenge their intelligence or physical skills. They can also be very athletic and acrobatic, jumping high or climbing on furniture.
The snowshoe cat is not a good choice for people who are away from home for long periods of time or who prefer a quiet and independent cat. They need a lot of attention and stimulation to be happy and healthy. They can also become bored or lonely if left alone for too long, which can lead to behavioral problems or depression.
- The snowshoe cat is a very beautiful and unique breed, with striking blue eyes, white feet, and color points that contrast with its white background.
- The snowshoe cat is a very friendly and loyal breed that bonds strongly with its owners and enjoys being around people and other pets.
- The snowshoe cat is a very intelligent and playful breed that loves to learn new tricks, play games, and explore their environment.
- The snowshoe cat is a very rare and expensive breed that can be hard to find and may cost a lot of money to buy or adopt.
- The snowshoe cat is a very vocal and needy breed that can be loud and demanding of attention and may not do well if left alone for long periods of time.
- The snowshoe cat is a hybrid breed that can be unpredictable and risky in terms of health problems or unwanted traits.
Common Health Issues In Snowshoe Cats
The Snowshoe cat is a relatively healthy breed with no major genetic health issues. However, they can still be prone to common health problems affecting most cats, such as dental disease, urinary tract infections, or obesity. They should have regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations to prevent or treat any potential health issues.
Caring For A Snowshoe Cat
Snowshoe cats are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short coat does not require much brushing or trimming, except during shedding seasons when they may need more frequent brushing to remove loose hair. They also do not need frequent bathing unless they get dirty or smelly. They should have their nails trimmed regularly and their ears and teeth checked and cleaned as needed.
As an indoor breed, they should not be allowed to roam outside unsupervised. They can face many dangers outside, such as predators, cars, diseases, or parasites. They can also get lost or stolen, as they are very rare and attractive cats. If you want to provide your Snowshoe cat with some outdoor stimulation, you can use a harness and leash to walk them safely or build a secure enclosure (like a Catio) for them to enjoy.
The Snowshoe cat is a very active and intelligent breed that needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy. They should have access to a variety of toys and games that challenge their skills and keep them entertained. They also need a lot of human interaction and attention, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time. If you have a busy schedule or travel frequently, you may want to consider getting another cat or pet to keep your snowshoe cat company.
Fun Facts About Snowshoe Cats
- The snowshoe cat is one of the few breeds with a fondness for water. These kitties typically jump at the opportunity to get their paws wet and will often join their people in the shower or play with running faucets.
- The snowshoe cat is one of the rarest breeds in the world, as it is very difficult to breed them successfully and maintain their unique markings. There are only a few hundred registered snowshoe cats in the world.
- The snowshoe cat has some famous representatives in the media. One of them is Dusty the Klepto Kitty, a snowshoe cat who became famous for stealing items from his neighbors’ homes and bringing them back to his owners. Another one is Grumpy Cat, a snowshoe mix who became an internet sensation for her permanently grumpy expression.
- Originally, the Snowshoe cat was almost named the Silver Laces or the American Longhair, but these names were changed to avoid confusion with other breeds.
Where to Buy
The snowshoe cat is a very rare and expensive breed, that can be hard to find and may cost a lot of money to buy or adopt. The average price of a snowshoe kitten is $600 to $1200, but it can be higher or lower depending on the breeder, location, quality, and availability. You may also have to pay for additional costs such as shipping, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and registration fees.
If you want to buy a kitten, you will need to do some research and find a reputable Snowshoe cat breeder who specializes in this breed. You can look for breeders online or through cat associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) or the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF).
If you want to adopt a snowshoe cat, you may have to wait longer or travel farther to find one. Since this breed is very rare, there are not many snowshoe cats available for adoption in shelters or rescue groups. However, you may get lucky and find one that needs a loving home. You can check out online databases such as Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet to see if there are any snowshoe cats near you. You can also contact local shelters or rescue groups and ask them if they have any snowshoe cats or know of any that are looking for homes.
The snowshoe cat is a rare and beautiful breed that combines the Siamese and American shorthair features. They have striking blue eyes, white feet, and color points that contrast with their white background. They are also very friendly, intelligent, and playful cats that love to be around people. They need a lot of attention and stimulation to be happy and healthy, as well as regular grooming and veterinary care. They are one of the most unique and attractive cat breeds in the world, and they make wonderful pets for anyone who can provide them with enough love and care.
More Cat Breeds
If you’re interested in learning about similar cat breeds, check out:
What is a snowshoe cat?
A snowshoe cat is a hybrid breed that originated from crossing the Siamese and the American shorthair. They have striking blue eyes, white feet, and color points that contrast with their white background. They are also very friendly, intelligent, and playful cats that love to be around people.
Are snowshoe cats hypoallergenic?
No, snowshoe cats are not hypoallergenic. They have a short, single-layered coat that sheds moderately, and they produce dander and saliva that can trigger allergies in some people. If you are allergic to cats, you may want to consider another breed or consult your doctor before getting a snowshoe cat.
Are snowshoe cats rare?
Yes, snowshoe cats are very rare. They are difficult to breed successfully and maintain their unique markings. There are only a few hundred registered snowshoe cats in the world, and they are not recognized by some major cat associations. If you want to get a snowshoe cat, you may have to search for a reputable breeder or adopt one from a shelter or rescue group.
How long do snowshoe cats live?
Snowshoe cats can live long, healthy lives. The average lifespan of a snowshoe cat is 14 to 19 years, but some can live even longer with proper care and nutrition. They are generally healthy cats that do not have any major genetic health issues, but they can still be prone to some common health problems that affect most cats.
How much is a snowshoe cat?
The price of a snowshoe cat can vary depending on the breeder, location, quality, and availability. The average price of a snowshoe kitten is $600 to $1200, but it can be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above. You may also have to pay for additional costs such as shipping, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and registration fees. If you adopt a snowshoe cat from a shelter or rescue group, you may pay less or nothing at all, but you may have to wait longer or travel farther to find one.