Snowshoes are a very attractive cats that sometimes has a bit of a grumpy look about them which adds to their endearing looks. They are nicely balanced felines that boast having muscular bodies and gorgeous blue eyes. Their coats are pointed much like a Siamese with the only difference being that Snowshoes can have lots of white in their coats. Since they first appeared on the scene, Snowshoes have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people thanks to their adorable looks and their charming, loyal and affectionate natures and today they are fast becoming a very popular breed not only in the UK, but elsewhere in the world too.
The Snowshoe was first developed in the United States in the early 1960s when a lady called Dorothy Hinds Daugherty discovered three Siamese kittens in a litter that boasted four white feet. She liked the look of the kittens so much she began the long process of establishing a new breed. As she continued to breed these charming cats, she introduced other domesticate cats that boasted having "tuxedo markings" which is how the Snowshoe came to have the lovely "V" markings on their faces.
In the beginning, many breeders were worried that "faults" were being introduced into the Siamese, but over time the accepted trademark Siamese points were seen in other breeds which included the Snowshoe. At first, these lovely cats were only bred on a very small scale and the Siamese was used as a way of ensuring there would be a large enough gene pool although the Snowshoe did not have the "look" of a Siamese other than having similar points.
Pretty soon other breeders became interested in the Snowshoe and began breeding them and eventually breed standard was drawn up by one of the breeders, a lady called Vikki Olander. It was not until 1998 that the first breeding programme was established in the UK with breeders when different lines were introduced from Europe and America with an end goal being to increase the breed's gene pool. Today, these lovely cats have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people not only because they are so delightful looking, but also because they boast having such placid, kind and loving natures which makes them perfect companions and family pets.
The Snowshoe can boast having just about any of the Siamese coat colours and points which includes tortie and tabby. However, kittens are born totally white and their markings and points don't start to show until they are a few weeks old. The breed combines the heaviness of the Shorthair and the length of the Siamese really well which when paired to their charming and unique white markings means the Snowshoe stands out from the crowd.
They have medium size heads that are nicely in proportion with the rest of their bodies. Their heads are wedge-shaped, but with lightly rounded contours. The top of a cat's head is slightly domed although their foreheads are a little flat. They have high cheekbones with rounded contours and their noses are straight, moderately long and nicely in proportion to the rest of a cat's head. Their noses have a slight slope which goes to their foreheads which creates two well-defined planes when seen in profile.
Muzzles are quite long with cats having level bites and firm chins. They have moderately large ears which are broader at the base and which have slightly rounded tips with very little inner furnishings. Their eyes are walnut shaped and moderately large slanting towards the base of a cat's ears and set nicely apart. Their eyes are a deep blue and cats always have an alert, sparkling expression in them which adds to their endearing appearance.
The Snowshoe has a long, firm body and they are heavier than they first appear. Females are slightly smaller and lighter than their male counterparts. They have moderately long necks which are nicely in proportion with a cat's head and body which adds to the overall well-balanced appearance of the Snowshoe. They have slender legs that show a good amount of bone and their paws are oval shaped and medium in size. Tails are moderately long being slightly broader at the base before tapering gently to the tip.
When it comes to their coat, the Snowshoe boasts having a short, dense, close-lying, glossy coat with not evident undercoat. They come in a variety of colours and patterns which includes the following:
Tortie Tabby Points
Like a lot of other breeds, the Snowshoe likes a routine and doesn't particularly like it when this changes for any reason. They like to be fed at the same time of the day and don't appreciate it when things get changed around the home. Snowshoe are easy going characters by nature although they adore being involved in everything that goes on in their environment. Nothing seems to phase a Snowshoe which is just one of the reasons why they have become so popular since they first appeared on the scene. They are well known for their easy-going, laid back natures.
Although they are extremely affectionate towards everyone in a household, Snowshoes tend to form the strongest bond with one person in particular which is typically the person who feeds them and who takes the most care of them. They are quite talkative and have sweet, soft "voices" with Snowshoes always being ready to have a conversation when asked to which is especially true around meal times. Some people say that Snowshoes own their families rather than the other way around. With this in mind, they are best suited to families where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house so they generally always have company.
Snowshoes are smart and quickly learn how to wrap owners around their little paws. Unlike other cats that like to follow their owners around the house, a Snowshoe does the opposite and thinks that owners should follow them around instead. This is an endearing trait that wins the hearts of many people. Because they are so intelligent, Snowshoes need to be kept busy when they are not napping, that is. As such anyone wishing to share a home with one of these cute, albeit grumpy looking felines would need to invest in some good quality toys and scratching posts for their pets to use when the mood takes them.
Snowshoes with their easy-going, affectionate personalities are a great choice for families with children and this includes toddlers. They are very tolerant around kids and put up with a lot. However, care has to be taken when very young children are around cats and any interaction should always be supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm. With this said, younger children need to be taught how to behave around cats and when it's time to leave them alone.
They also get on well with dogs especially if they have grown up together in the same household. However, care has to be taken when introducing a Snowshoe to dogs they don't already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. They are incredibly social by nature and have been known to get on with pet birds and small animals. However, it's always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets, just to be on the safe side.
The average life expectancy of a Snowshoe is between 9 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Snowshoe is known to be a healthy breed, but they are prone to suffer from one hereditary health issues which is worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these attractive and active cats. The condition that seems to affect the breed the most is as follows:
As with any other breed, Snowshoes need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. On top of this, cats need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives which is especially true of kittens and older cats.
Snowshoes boast having short, close lying, dense coats, but they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition with a nice sheen on it. Like other breeds, they tend to shed the most in the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things. The good news is that Snowshoes are not thought to be heavy shedders.
It's also important to check a cat's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections. Cats often suffer from ear mites which can be a real problem which is why it's so important to check their ears on a regular basis.
The Snowshoe likes to be kept occupied when they are not cat napping that is. They boast being quite high energy cats and love playing interactive games with their owners before cuddling up for a nap on their laps or next to them when playtime is over. Cats kept as indoor pets need to be given lots of things to do and places to hide when they want to. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them because if there is one thing Snowshoes are really good at it's taking a nap or two during the day. They do enjoy being able to explore the great outdoors, but should only be allowed to go outside if it is safe for them to do so.
If you get a Snowshoe kitten from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same kitten food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a kitten's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older cats are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature cat several times a day making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements which is especially important as cats get older. It's also essential to keep an eye on a cat's weight because if they start to put on too much, it can have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Like all other breeds, Snowshoes need access to fresh, clean water at all times.
If you are looking to buy a Snowshoe, you would need to pay upwards of £200 for a well-bred pedigree kitten and you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because not many well-bred kittens are registered with the GCCF every year. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Snowshoe in northern England would be £16.06 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £28.79 a month (quote as of April 2018). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a cat's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a cat’s life. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Snowshoe and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a cat when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £500 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Snowshoe would be between £40 to £60 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your cat, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred kitten.
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