Snowshoe cats are medium-sized cats that look like they are wearing a mask with darker markings on their ears, legs and tail. It is the striking blue eyes of the Snowshoe that really sets them apart from other felines. Their coat is short and usually a white/grey colour. Snowshoes are normally born all white and it’s not until they are about three weeks old that their colour and markings become visible and no two kittens have the same colouring. Just like the Siamese the Snowshoe comes in a variety colours including chocolate, blue, seal and lilac. The most popular colour for this breed are the blue and the seal.
The Snowshoe cat is a Siamese and domestic short hair mix with a short, smooth coat. This cat sheds a moderate amount of hair and is a bi-colour cat with point colouring. The cat’s white socks feet are one of its most distinctive features and that’s where the cat got its name because their feet resemble snow shoes.
The Showshoe cat has become popular recently thanks to Grumpy Cat the social media sensation because Grumpy cat has Snowshoe colourings.
Snowshoes weigh between 2.5 and 5.5 kg with males large and more solid than the females. The average lifespan of the Snowshoe cat is 14 to 19 years.
The Snowshoe Cat is a people’s cat and that means they love to be around children. They are likely to follow their owners around the house ‘talking’ to them. They don’t like to be left alone all day so if you already have other animals in the house it would be ideal, or two cats might be a good idea.
These cats don’t mind the company of dogs and they can also be taught to fetch. They love to play games which makes them a great interactive pet.
The Snowshoe is an active, engaging and affectionate cat that will easily fit in with family life.
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The Snowshoe cat was developed in the United States as a breed in the late 1960’s by Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, who was a Siamese cat breeder from Philadelphia. When three of Dorothy’s kittens were born with white feet she set about developing the breed. She also involved another breeder, Vikki Olander from Virginia. Together they set about developing the breed by mixing Siamese cats and American Shorthairs.
In 1974 the Snowshoe Cat was accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Foundation as an experimental breed. The Snowshoe’s popularity did not take off straight away but over the years Vikki Olander was joined by other breeders who worked hard to continue to develop the distinctive markings of the breed. In 1982 the Cat Fancier’s Foundation updated the status of the breed from experimental to provisions and in 1982 the Snowshoe cat accepted to be eligible for champion status by the Foundation. The first Snowshoe cat to be awarded the status of Grand Champion was BirmackLowansa of Nishna in 1990.
The Showshoe cat has developed to an extent that it is not usually crossed with American Shorthairs anymore.