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Although she originated in the United States, the American Wirehair is one of the most popular pedigree cats in the UK. Considered the rarest of the American breeds, she is a medium-sized domestic cat with a strikingly wiry coat due to a natural mutation.
American Wirehairs are adaptable and very affectionate. They possess a sociable nature that allows them to easily forge friendships with children and other pets.
However, the American Wirehairs cats’ hunting instinct is quite strong. So housing them with smaller animals is not a good idea.
The American Wirehair cat breed requires less grooming to preserve her natural coat. She is a highly intelligent feline that loves to explore and play. Thus, she should be given lots of toys and playtime.
The American Wirehair is generally healthy and can live up to 15–16 years.
Are you interested in owning an American Wirehair? Here is a brief background of this well-known cat native in Upstate New York.
The American Wirehair cat breed originated from New York farm cats in the 1960s. She was a product of a spontaneous mutation. 2 cats were brought together and had 6 kittens.
Unfortunately, due to a weasel attack, only 2 kittens, a male and a female, survived. The ginger and white male kitten caught the attention of the farmer since he has a unique wiry coat.
Joan O’Shea, a breeder of Rex cats, developed an interest in the kitten’s unusual coat. She decided to purchase the cat, who she named the Council Rock Farm Adams of Hi-Fi.
This ginger and white male kitten became the progenitor of the American Wirehair cat. To replicate his wiry coat, Joan, along with other breeders, soon opened an outcross into a hybrid breeding programme.
To achieve the same quality of wiring, both parents must have a hard coat. At that time, the American Wirehair cat was closest in type to the American Shorthair cat. Thus, it was the breed that was used to develop the American Wirehair cat.
The American Wirehair cat’s breeding programme was a success, and it became the only outcross that was completed since then.
With the hard work of devoted and determined breeders, the American Wirehair cat breed was recognised by the Cat Fanciers Organisation in 1967. This cat breed was allowed to be registered in a championship competition in 1978.
The body of the American Wirehair cat breed is muscular, especially the males. It is slightly longer than her height. Male American Wirehair cats weigh about 5–6 kilos (12–15 pounds). Female American Wirehair cats measure around 3–5 kilos (8–12 pounds) in weight.
The breed’s wirehair coat is often associated with steel wool texture. She has crimped whiskers, and the fur in her ears is curly and springy.
If kept too long, the American Wirehair’s coat may appear to curl into ringlets and could vary from spiky to curly. It may become wavy or straight as the feline matures.
The wired coats come in various patterned tabbies. Taken from the approved standards, here are the recognised solid colours for the American Wirehair cat breed:
The American Wirehair breed’s wiry and crimped coat requires less grooming. Constant brushing or combing can damage her natural fur. Regular bathing is recommended to remove dead hair and avoid oiliness.
The American Wirehair breed has a distinct type of coat compared to other cat breeds. Her medium-length coat has a very hard and springy texture, but it’s surprisingly nice to the touch.
Unlike other cat breeds with curly coats, the American Wirehair possesses all 3 types of hair namely the down, awn, and guard.
Yes, American Wirehairs do shed moderately. Hence, these curly-haired felines are not the best option for cat lovers with allergies. It would be better to try to find another cat breed that is hypoallergenic such as the Sphynx, Cornish Rex, or Balinese.
The American Wirehair cat breed loves attention and enjoys joining interactive activities. She is a great choice for everyone, from singles to seniors.
American Wirehairs make great family companions and good playmates for children because of their playfulness and tolerance. They are affectionate felines who love to cuddle.
The American Wirehair breed is considered a social cat and certainly adores the company of other animals, including well-mannered dog breeds.
However, the American Wirehair cat has strong hunting instincts. For this reason, it is not advisable to leave her with small pets like hamsters and birds.
The American Wirehair cat is smart and highly curious about the world around her. Providing her with enriching interactive cat toys and lots of playtime will keep her mind sharp and inquisitive.
The American Wirehair cat breed's diet should be composed of premium-quality protein-rich meals. Also ensure that her cat food provides balanced nutrition of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The serving portions should depend on the cat’s weight, age, and activity level.
As American Wirehairs are prone to obesity, owners should consistently follow the same food and amount recommended for these cats. Make sure to follow a regular feeding schedule and avoid free feeding to prevent unnecessary weight gain.
If there are changes to their diet, they must be done gradually to prevent digestive problems.
American Wirehairs are considered robust cats with a few health problems. The major health concern in this cat breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
It is a cardiovascular disease that causes the abnormal thickening of the heart's walls. As HCM is an incurable condition, the treatment is centred on easing its symptoms.
American Wirehairs are agile and energetic, which means they need lots of exercises to keep them from getting bored. They love to play with interactive toys, which help them stay in shape.
As the American Wirehair is an intelligent breed with strong hunter instincts, let her do some activities like playing chase, or play with lasers or fish pole toys with her. These activities will not only hone her intelligence but can also help maintain her weight.
The average lifespan of an American Wirehair cat breed is around 15–16 years. Some can even outlive these ages because they are well cared for.
To prolong the life of your American Wirehair cat, make sure that she has healthy daily meals, enough exercise and playtime, and a warm and loving home. Getting her checked by the vet regularly should not be forgotten.
Caring for your American Wirehair kitten includes feeding her with high-quality cat food daily. The overall cost for her food is around £10–£15 per month.
For a young kitten, it can be overwhelming to move into a new home. Help her feel safe and comfortable by furnishing your house with cat essentials such as a cat bed, litter tray, toys, and scratching post. Set aside approximately £50–£400 for these items.
The American Wirehair is one of the healthiest cat breeds. However, she is not entirely impervious to diseases. Bringing her to the vet for regular check-ups will keep you updated on your kitten's health. Each check-up session will cost you around £30–£60.
Kittens are highly at risk of contracting deadly and infectious ailments. Vaccinations are important to prevent these dangers from occurring. Prepare to pay approximately £40–100 for your American Wirehair kitten’s vaccinations.
Parasites are very common in young kittens, and medications are needed to get rid of them. The cost for flea and tick treatments is around £60–£120 each year and £50–£60 annually for heartworm treatments.
Veterinary care is one of the most costly aspects of raising an American Wirehair kitten. You may want to sign up for pet insurance as it can help in reducing your kitten's medical bills.
Choosing a time-limited pet insurance will set you back £6–£15 a month. Getting a lifetime pet insurance coverage has a monthly cost of £10 and upwards.
The American Wirehair is rare and hard to find, as she is a relatively new breed with only a few dedicated breeders. This means they are only able to produce a meagre number of kitten litters every year.
American Wirehair cats cost around £700–£900. They are some of the most expensive cat breeds because of their rarity. Beware of illicit breeders who will try to pass off a cat of a different breed, like a Domestic Shorthair or a Moggie, as an American Wirehair.
Make sure to find a reputable breeder, and always double-check their credibility before purchasing your American Wirehair kitten.
Are you sure the American Wirehair is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Cat Breed Selector Quiz