American Wirehair Cats

Curiously Furry Cats are a National Treasure

American wirehair cat

A breed of domestic cat known for their wiry, crimped coat, American wirehair cats are considered a national treasure, having naturally mutated in the United States.

American Wirehair History

The American wirehair cat first appeared as a random mutation in a litter of barn cats in upstate New York in 1966. Hearing of the unusual coat, a local cat breeder bought the one wiry, male kitten and decided to reproduce the look, later breeding it to his sister, successfully starting what is now the American wirehair breed.

A year later they were accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, and were permitted for championship competition in 1978.

American Wirehair Characteristics

A strong, muscular cat, American wirehair cats have a body structure is similar to American shorthairs. They come in a variety of colors ranging from black, white and blue to tabby, calico and bi-color. In fact, all colors and patterns are acceptable to the breed except those showing evidence of hybridization, resulting in chocolate, lavender, the color point pattern or those combinations with white.


American wirehair cats are known for their distinctive wiry, kinky fur.

American wirehair cats are known for their distinctive wiry, kinky fur. Their coat is springy, coarse and dense, and distinguishes them from all other cat breeds.

American wirehair cat

American Wirehair Temperament

Wirehairs are inquisitive, people-oriented cats that like to be involved with the events taking place around them. They enjoy play time, are extremely gentle and affectionate, and make wonderful companions.

American wirehair cats get along with both children and other household pets. In fact, some cat fanciers say that wirehairs tend to be in sync with their owners or other family members’ feelings, offering their love and companionship should a member of the family be “down in the dumps” or feeling blue.

American wirehair cat

American Wirehair Health

American wirehair cats have few major health problems and are generally resistant to disease, making them overall healthy cats. However, since American shorthairs have been used in wirehair breeding programs, that may put some wirehairs at risk for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a significant cause of heart failure in cats.

Wirehairs can live approximately 15 years in age, if not more, if cared for properly.


If you liked this story and would like to read more about unusual-looking cats, you may enjoy Bengal catsSiamese cats and Sphynx cats.


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