Cat Breeds: American Wirehair
The American Wirehair cat is recognised for its distinguished crimped, wiry and springy coat, a product of natural mutation. This mutation was first apparent in upstate New York in 1966 in a litter of six kittens to two barn cats where one red and white male kitten had this unusual coat.
The owner of the cats contacted a local breeder named Mrs William O’Shea who then purchased the kitten, plus a normal female kitten for $50 in order to breed more kittens with this distinctive coat. She named the male kitten Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi and the female was named Tip-Toe of Hi-Fi and the breeding program was a great success.
Many people became interested in this new breed, especially with people from Canada and Germany who imported them into their countries. Today, the descendants of these two cats can be found in the USA, Canada and in Europe.
Although there was great interest in owning an American wirehair, this breed of cat is still considered to be the rarest breed and only a handful are actually registered; only a small number of American Wirehairs live in Europe or Canada.
The coat of the American Wirehair is the most distinctive feature of the breed; at birth, the entire coat seems wired. Sometimes the coat will appear in ringlets due to it being too long but this should straighten with time. The coat’s thickness and coarseness will depend on the parents and breeders suggest that in order to achieve the best coat, a sire and dam should have a hard coat.
Whiskers are preferred to be curly and a wide range of coat colours and combinations are accepted. The shape of an American Wirehair’s head should be broad resting on a well-muscular neck (in males). A cat should have prominent cheekbones with a strong and well developed chin. Ears should be average size with rounded tips. Eyes should be large and almost round in shape with an upward tilt to the ends. Eye colour should conform to the specific requirements linked to the coat colours.
The tail should neither be pointed nor blunt, but directly in proportion to the rest of the body. Front paws should consist of five toes on each paw and four on each back paw. The average weight for an American wirehair is around 8 – 15 lbs. Regular grooming should be done in order to keep the coat in good condition.
The ACFA American Wirehair Breed Standard: http://www.acfacat.com/american_wirehair_standard.htm