American Wirehair

This breed of cats is considered to be an ideal human companion as it is one of the most adaptable breeds of cat; be it a household with kids, or one with old people, a pet for a first timer or a household with other pets, this cat is sure to adapt to all kinds of places. A spontaneous coat mutation of the American Shorthair, this natural breed of cats originated in upstate New York. While the American Shorthair has a hard coat around it, the Wirehair has a spongy and dense coat with crimped hair around it.

American Wirehair Breed Information

This breed of cats was first discovered in 1966 in a litter of 6 kittens born in Verona, New York. A local cat breeder, Joan O’Shea identified this scruffy looking red-and-white male cat as a new breed of cat. The kitten was named Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi and was then bred with a straight-coated cat in the neighborhood which produced two more similar wirehairs who were then named Amy and Abby by O’Shea. O’Shea then sold one of these two wirehairs, Amy, to his Rex Breeder friends Bill and Madeline Beck. They played a very important role in getting recognition for these cats in the world of cat fanciers. In some time, Amy gave birth to many Wirehairs amongst which was Barberry Ellen, the first homozygous Wirehair born. In 1967, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) were granted a petition for registration. In 1978, the wirehairs gained the CFA Championship status.
These wirehaired cats are found to be good-natured, calm, playful and people-oriented cats. They bond well with all members of a family and are sensitive to the moods and feelings of people. This breed of cats is easy to live with and easy to take care of as it is quite gentle and affectionate with a shy and self-effacing voice and behavior. Since wirehairs are very friendly and gentle cats, they make good pets for families who have children.
  • Activity Level: 4/5 (very playful)
  • Intelligence Level: 5/5 (brainy and sharp)
  • Curiosity: 4/5 (highly curious)
  • Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly)
  • Vocal: 3/5(can be quite vocal)
These sweet and sensitive breeds of cats that originated from New York have a medium sized body with a plush and sensitive coat over their bodies complimented by their unique large eyes that seem to be wide-set apart from each other. They have a lifespan of around 14 to 16 years. The main characteristics of these cats are as follows:
  • Fur: They have an unusual coat around their body which is mild and its hair can break and start falling out with harsh brushing or stress.
  • Eyes: They have huge eyes that look wide-set apart from each other.
  • Body structure: These cats have a muscular body with legs and tail of a medium size. Their coat is usually short, solid and rough with wavy whisker hairs. It has a well-balanced body.
  • Facial features: This breed of cats have a round head, mainly obvious cheekbones and well-defined nose and chin. They have medium-sized ears that are slightly curved at the tips.
  • Weight: They are medium in size and weight around 8 to 13 pounds.
Health and Care
These calm cats do not have any inherent genetic problems and are quite resilient to diseases. Although the American wirehair is not a difficult breed to take care of, there are a few important things that should be known to all those interested in petting this cat. They should be given a bath with a mild shampoo every now and then as they have an oily skin. After a bath, their hair should be dried with a soft towel or an air drier. It is advisable that their hair not be brushed or combed when they are wet as they can fall out easily. The hairs inside the wirehair’s ears are rough and curly. Therefore, they build up wax which needs to be cleaned up regularly with a cotton swab so as to avoid problems such as blockage in the ear canals. In case you suspect any trouble with your cat’s hearing, an Ear Canal Examination (ECE) by your vet can easily diagnose the issues.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at
American Wirehair Breeders: