The Snowshoe Cat breed was born, like many other cat breeds, accidentally. It is still a very young breed, as it was developed in the 1960s by Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, a Siamese cat breeder from Philadelphia. Its origins are therefore American and in the United States it is a fairly well known and appreciated cat, while in the rest of the world it is almost completely unknown.
This breeder found in a litter of Siamese cats a kitten with the colour characteristics of the Snowshoe, as the main characteristic of this breed are the completely white paws, while the coat can be of various colours. From there she began a selection process that led her to create this new breed, which she named Snowshoe.
The Snowshoe is very similar to the Siamese, although its character is quite different, it is much more gentle and tame. Unfortunately, specimens of this breed are quite rare, as the gene responsible for the white paws is recessive and therefore not many kittens are born with this characteristic.
Character of the Snowshoe Cat
Compared to their Siamese cousin, Snowshoe cats are much less demanding and overbearing, being very polite and almost asking their human for permission to do anything. Like the Siamese, they are very affectionate, but are a little less suffocating and demand much less attention, and meow much less, making them more welcome in the family environment.
They seek contact with people and like to be the centre of attention, without being intrusive. They are lively and playful even in their late teens, so they are suitable for children, just let them be when they decide it is time for them to be alone and look for a quiet corner for a healthy sleep.
Even if they sometimes like to be on their own, these cats should not be left alone for a long time, as they suffer from loneliness; if you are often away from home, it is a good idea to adopt two kittens, perhaps from the same litter, to keep them company. They also get on well with dogs.
They are quite curious about strangers, so new things in the home are always welcome, although some kittens will need a certain amount of time to adapt, depending on their individual character.
They are excellent hunters, so if they have the opportunity to be outdoors, they will be happy to chase and hunt prey, they are also excellent jumpers and will happily climb trees. The only thing to be wary of is that their curiosity may drive them to try to go outside, so it would only be good to keep them outside if in a secure garden.
Appearance of the Snowshoe Cat
The Snowshoe Cat is a medium sized cat, the male can weigh around 5.5 kilograms, the female a little less. The body is muscular and longer than tall and quite stocky. It is well slender on the legs and has taken from its Siamese cousins the elegance of bearing.
The head is rounded and slightly wedge-shaped, but not sharp, on the contrary its lines are soft, the chin is well proportioned, the ears are wide at the base and with rounded tips, while the almond-shaped eyes are deep blue, very expressive. On the muzzle there is the typical white inverted V-shaped mask.
The colour of the coat is that of its Siamese ancestors, the most popular colours being seal and blue, but they can also be found in chocolate, lilac and with a coat pattern that can be colourpoint or two-tone. The coat is short, soft and without undercoat. The feet must always be white, which is its distinguishing characteristic, and white is also the patch on the V-shaped muzzle that stretches across the throat and chest.
Health and care of the Snowshoe Cat
This cat has an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, but there have been some even longer-lived specimens. In general, however, the cats of this breed seem to enjoy good health, but it is still recommended that they are visited by a vet every year, as some of these cats can suffer from the common diseases of domestic cats.
Its diet must be balanced and controlled, as it tends to eat more than it needs, with the dangers of obesity in old age.
As far as the care of the coat is concerned, this is quite simple, it does not lose much hair even during the moulting period and a brush once a week is enough to keep it shiny and clean.