If you want to know a little bit about the Snowshoe cat you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’ve heard about this breed and just curious or want to adopt, I hope you find this article useful.
Brief history of the Snowshoe
The Snowshoe is actually a cross between a Siamese and American Shorthair. If you’re looking for a cat with high intelligence and sweet nature this could be the breed for you.
It was during the 1960s when Dorothy Daugherty from Pennsylvania discovered 3 kittens in a Siamese litter with white paws. Each of the kittens had white paws on all four legs.
Dorothy loved the cute appearance so much she decided to try and create a new breed. In order to do this she crossed the white pawed kittens with an American Shorthair.
As the Shorthair had tuxedo markings the result was pretty tri-colored kittens with white paws and blue eyes. You’ll be surprised to hear the breed wasn’t recognized though until the 1980s.
Although there’s not a lot of information on the exact history, it seems Classic Siamese became the preferred choice for breeding due to their stockier build. Also, Oriental Shorthairs were a common choice.
If you live in America and want to get a Snowshoe cat you’re in luck as they’ve fast become a popular breed. However, if you’re living in Europe you’ll find this breed is still quite rare.
Would you believe, I was actually offered a Snowshoe cat by a neighbor a few years ago, shortly after my cat passed away. However, at the time I hadn’t even heard of the Snowshoe, and was more keen on adopting a rescue cat.
Anyway, back to the breed’s history! Part of the reason the Snowshoe is quite rare in many countries is difficulty reproducing the exact markings required as they’re the result of recessive genes.
A true Snowshoe has an upside down V marking on the forehead, and all four legs must have white paws. In addition, the back legs should have the appearance of long white socks
You can’t mistake the Snowshoe by her dainty white paws and stunning blue eyes. These are her trademarks and what makes her unique.
Interestingly, all Snowshoes are born white just like their Siamese cousins. There’s no way of knowing how your kitten’s coloring and will develop until she’s at least a few weeks old.
The body color can vary from light cream to a darker beige, or tan. However, you won’t see the true depth of her colored patches until she’s a few years old.
These will be point colors varying from chocolate, teal lilac, and blue. Darker colors will appear around the face, tail, and back.
In addition, you’ll find those cute white paws have tinted pads. These are often a mix of point color and pink. Sometimes though, they may be completely pink.
The Snowshoe cat has a stocky, muscular body. It’s also very agile and athletic with the ability to jump up on to high shelving.
While most have triangular shaped heads, some may be rounder in appearance. You’ll also notice the ears are longer than that of an average moggy.
Of course, the most striking feature are those beautiful piercing blue eyes. These can vary from pale blue to deep azure. Unlike the Siamese though they’re rounder in shape and quite large.
A little bit about the Snowshoe cat personality
If you’re looking for a cat with a loving, gentle nature, the Snowshoe could be your ideal choice. Although similar in many ways to the Siamese, you’ll find Snowshoes are quieter.
You won’t get the same loud, raucous noise that vocal Siamese are so renowned for! Though Snowshoes are chatty, their voices are softer and more melodic.
These cats are highly intelligent and easy to train. You may even find yourself having a game of fetch with your feline companion!
Just like their Siamese relatives, Snowshoe cats are very sociable. They hate being left alone for long and crave company.
You shouldn’t get one of these cats if you’re out all day. However, providing there are other pets for company you should be ok.
My advice would be to get two Snowshoe kittens as they’ll have each other to play with while you’re out. You should also provide plenty of toys to keep them entertained
These can include interactive cat toys for mental stimulation, as well as feather teasers. In addition, puzzle toys can provide hours of fun for your cat.
Also, as Snowshoes love jumping and climbing you could invest in a cat tree. This will give your cat her own private space. Plus, if you have two cats, each could have their favorite perch.
Do Snowshoe cats get on with children or other pets?
Due to the Snowshoe’s outgoing and friendly nature most will have no problem with children or other pets. In fact, their dog like nature makes them ideal companions for your canine family.
Always make sure you supervise any cat around small children though no matter what breed. The same rule applies to dogs.
Although most Snowshoe cats are sociable and happy to share their lives with other furries, not all are the same.
It’s possible you could end up with one that prefers being an only cat. In this case it prove difficult if you already have other pets.
Are Snowshoe cats a healthy breed?
Before deciding on any breed of cat you should always consider any potential health problems. This is because some pedigrees are prone to certain diseases or conditions.
Generally speaking the Snowshoe is a healthy breed, however PKD is something you need to be aware of. Though more commonly found in Persian cats, it’s also found in Exotic Shorthairs and occasionally, the Snowshoe.
Other than that, the usual tips on caring for a cat apply. These include ensuring your Snowshoe gets her annual vaccinations and health check.
In addition, weight management is very important as Snowshoes are prone to weight gain. This means feeding your cat a healthy diet and making sure she gets plenty of exercise.
Many owners of Snowshoe cats decide not to let them wander outside. This is because they’re very attractive as well as being valuable.
However, you’ll be pleased to hear they can be leash trained. This means you can let her exercise outdoors in safety.
Grooming a Snowshoe
As Snowshoe cats are a short haired breed this makes grooming much easier. In addition, there’s very little undercoat, so you won’t get excessive shedding.
Grooming should be a regular part of your cat’s care, and allows you to check for any problems before they become established. Once a week should be fine, but seasonal shedding may require daily grooming sessions.
A good choice of brush is the FURminator. This is because it claims to reduce shedding by up to 90% and removes any loose undercoat.
Although Snowshoe cats don’t have a lot of undercoat, it’s still a good idea to use a brush or comb that reaches beneath the topcoat.
Fun facts about the Snowshoe cat
There are a few fun facts you may like to know about Snowshoes.
These include a surprising one that goes against a common dislike of most cats.
This strange fact is Snowshoe cats love water! In fact, many enjoy a swim or even joining their owners in a bath!
The only other breed of cat I know of that likes water is the Turkish Van. However, there are probably a few more to add to the list.
Another fact I’ve already mentioned is all Snowshoe cats are born white. This same trait also applies to their close relative the Siamese.
You’ll be amused to hear about a Snowshoe cat named Dusty who earned the nickname Klepto! Apparently he was a one cat crimewave, stealing hundreds of items in his neighborhood!
These included underwear and even Frisbees! I’m sure his owners must have been shocked to discover Dusty’s stash of ill gotten gains lol!
Grumpy, the famous cat we all knew and loved was often mistaken for a Snowshoe. This was because the markings were so similar. In actual fact, Grumpy cat’s parents were a calico and tabby!
Finding a breeder
Though Snowshoe cats are not a common breed in many countries it doesn’t mean you won’t find one. Before you start looking though, there are a few things you need to consider.
Firstly, do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to ask for certificates. Also, make sure the breeder is registered.
There are websites such as the snowshoecatsociety with a list of breeders. Also the TICA and GCCF have plenty of information that may be of use to you.
I hope this post has helped you understand more about the Snowshoe cat. Whether you’re keen to get one of these beautiful kitties, or just curious, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.
There are so many different breeds of cat and I aim to cover quite a few here. From Orientals to Persians, all have their unique characteristics.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)