American Wirehair


Basic Information

Other Name
United States
Life Span
14-18 years
Bi-color, Marbled, Mink, Mitted, Spotted, Striped Tabby, Tabby, Ticked, Tri-color, and Van
Curly, Dense, Hard, and Resilient
Black, Blue, Cream, Fawn, Silver, and Tabby and White
Medium to Large
8 - 12 Pounds



The American Wirehair is a medium-size cat with regular features and a sweet expression. This cat's wiry coat, right down to the whiskers, is thick, hard and springy. It has been described as resembling steel wool. His unusual coat comes in almost any color or pattern. The American Wirehair is medium to large in size, with a well- rounded body and large, bright eyes that are round and slant upward on the outer corners. It is found in a variety of colors and has a similar standard -- an abstract aesthetic ideal for the animal type -- as the American Shorthair.

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The American Wirehair is the product of a spontaneous natural mutation, a not uncommon occurrence in the world of cats. The first known wirehaired cat made his appearance in the mid-1960s in upstate New York. A cat breeder named Joan O’Shea took an interest in this twist of nature. She named him Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi and bred him to a neighboring cat that may also have carried the gene for wiry hair. The result was a litter of kittens with wiry coats. A second breeding established that the gene for a wire coat was dominant, and consultation with British cat geneticists, who examined hair samples from the cats, determined that they were unrelated to the Cornish or Devon Rex breeds. A breed was born! The cats were most similar in type to the American Shorthair, and that breed was used to further develop the American Wirehair. The two breeds are alike in appearance and personality, differing only in coat type. The American Shorthair has a hard coat, while the American Wirehair has a hard, dense, springy coat with twisted down, awn and guard hairs. The awn hairs are hooked at the tip.

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