There are many lovely breeds native to the United States that have found their way over here to become some of the most popular family pets around and one of the more unusual felines to do so is the American Wirehair. The reason this particular cat stands apart from many other breeds lies in the fact their coats are so unusual because they are beautifully wiry.
The breed first appeared on the scene back in the mid sixties when what is known as a “spontaneous mutation” occurred in a litter of kittens born to people who owned a farm in upstate New York. Although this sort of thing is not considered as being rare, it is however not that common for a spontaneous mutation to take place. When the kittens are born, they look nothing like either of the parent cats and often there's just one kitten that's different even from their other littermates. The one very interesting thing about this particular mutation is that it has only ever been reported to have happened the once which is in the States and nowhere else in the world.
The American Wirehair, much like quite a few other breeds namely Exotics or even Persians, boast a variety of coat textures, but as the dominant mutation is wiry, around fifty per cent of kittens will have wirehaired coats. It’s their whiskers that are particularly striking and which adds so much appeal to the breed. However, if a kitten has a slightly longer than usual coat, the hair will form ringlets and as they reach maturity this may change to being wavy or it could straighten altogether. The prettiest of the coats has to be when they look as if they have been expertly crimped although any of the curlier or ringlet coated cats are adorable too.
When it comes to texture, it depends on the parent cats as to how a kitten's coat will eventually turn out. If the sire or dam boasts a coarser coat, their kittens will also have coarse albeit wiry coats. However, breeders like to use parent cats that have “hard coats” because this tends to produce litters with the most desirable wiring.
It was first thought that the American Shorthair may have been involved in the creation of the first Wirehair to appear on the scene, but over time people have come to realise there are many unique differences between the two breeds. One very noticeable physical characteristic is that Wirehairs have much higher cheekbones than their Shorthair counterparts and it’s this that gives them their unique and special look. It was only later that American Shorthairs were introduced into the breeding programme. In the late sixties the breed was recognised by the CFA and allowed to register before later competing in Championship shows in the mid seventies.
These lovely, laid back cats are easy maintenance and compared to other breeds, they are known to be robust and healthy. People who have come to know the breed and shared their homes with a Wirehair, love the fact these feline companions are so loving yet quiet and nicely reserved which in short means they are never very demanding. When it comes to keeping their coats looking good and in great condition, a weekly brush is all it takes to keep things tidy and it certainly helps strengthen the bond an owner has with their pet.
As previously mentioned, the American Wirehair is a pretty laid-back cat that's never too demanding. They are known for their loving and affectionate natures, yet there is nothing they like more than playing interactive games with the kids. Although not your typical lap cat, an American Wirehair also enjoys a cuddle or two in the evening on the sofa. Whenever you sit down for a break, you'll find your feline friend ready and willing to join you.
They are also known to be quite independent by nature, which means they are quite good at keeping themselves entertained, although as with any other cat or pet, it is never a good idea to leave them for long periods of time. If you share your home with other animals and this includes a dog, the American Wirehair as long as they have been well socialised when young never objects to being around a canine counterpart and will happily share their space with one – as long as the dog is not too boisterous that is.
One of the main health issues that's been seen in the breed is a condition called cardiomyopathy, but most reputable breeders would never use a cat known to have this condition in their breeding programmes. It’s the best way of reducing the chance of kittens inheriting the disorder. However, there is never a guarantee that a cat won't develop cardiomyopathy, it's just that responsible breeding reduces the chances of it happening. For this reason you should always ask a breeder if their breeding cats have been tested for the condition before buying a kitten from them.
The American Wirehair is native to America, but over time the breed has become one of the most popular over here in the UK too. It’s not only their lovely wiry coats that people love about the breed, but also the fact they boast very kind and affectionate natures which means they are a great choice as a family pet. Health-wise, the breed is known to be quite robust although they do have a tendency to suffer from a condition known as cardiomyopathy which is something worth making a note of if you decide to share your home with an American Wirehair.