American Wirehair History
The American Wirehair is another uniquely American cat breed that began as a result of a spontaneous genetic mutation on a farm in upstate New York. In 1966 one of a litter of six American Shorthair kittens exhibited an unusual sparse and wiry red and white coat. The aberrant male kitten, named Adam, was bred with other American Shorthair cats. It soon became obvious that the wirehair gene was dominant as litters sired by Adam were half Wirehair kittens. An analysis of Adam’s coat by geneticists showed that this was a previously unknown coat type. A selective breeding program was started with the only out-crosses being to carefully selected American Shorthair cats. Wirehairs were first recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967 and accepted for championship competition in 1978. There are sufficient numbers of Wirehairs now to indicate that they have some significant differences, apart from the coat, to distinguish the breed from the American Shorthair. Breeding programs are now trying to preserve these differences. All American Wirehairs can be traced back to Adam.
- Dense coat with crimped hairs
- Crimped whisker hairs
- Playful and affectionate
What They Are Like to Live With
The American Wirehair is generally considered an affectionate, people-oriented cat that loves to play but is not hyperactive or clingy. Wirehair cats shed in the spring and fall like other cats, but due to the delicate nature of the coat, they not be brushed. They may require bathing due to oily skin.
Things You Should Know
The unusual coat of the American Wirehair is delicate and hairs can easily break or fall out with brushing or stress. Occasional bathing may be necessary due to their oily skin. Some of these cats may suffer from skin-related allergies.
Temperament Of American Wirehair Cat
It is difficult to generalize on the temperament of the American Wirehair breed because the numbers are still small and we get individual owners comments on their particular cat. However, the personality seems to be similar to the American Shorthair with the caveat that this is a more active breed and can be more impatient with children. American Wirehairs are affectionate and playful but have an independent streak. The Wire seems to adapt well to existing pets and children. This easy-going and affectionate cat is people-oriented but doesn’t need constant attention. The Wirehair likes being by your side but doesn’t want to be in your lap. The Wirehair does like to be let outside into the garden. The Wirehair is sociable and easily trained but will enjoy playing alone.
American Wirehairs are very healthy and can live from 15 to 20 years. The wire coat is easy to groom and a once per week light combing with a steel comb will suffice. Be careful not to damage the wirehair coat when grooming.