American Wirehair Cat

The American Wirehair Cat is an ‘All American’ breed known for its unique wiry coat. The unusual looks are accompanied by an affectionate and tolerant personality. This is a social and playful breed that's devoted to its owner without being overbearing and fits nicely into any home.
American Wirehair Cat

American Wirehair Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Medium. Average body.

Intelligence: Medium.

Exercise Needs: Needs decent exercise.

Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.

Shedding: Low shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 7-12 years.

Price: From $800 to $1200.

Weight: From 8-15 lbs.

Playfulness: Ideal playmate.

Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Once a week.

Health: Excellent. No health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: No.

The American Wirehair Cat is best known for its unusual springy coat. The wiry coarse hairs are the result of a spontaneous mutation that separates the American Wirehair from other cat breeds.

So far, this mutation was only noticed in America, making the Wirehair a truly American breed. Physically the Wirehair resembles the American Shorthair Cat and has a muscled body, round head with large and round keen eyes.

This is a good-natured, adaptable, affectionate, and playful breed that gets along with people and other pets. The Wirehair doesn’t require constant attention and is more than capable of entertaining itself if left at home alone.

Highly intelligent, and playful, this breed is easy to train and requires toys that will stimulate its mind and keep it busy. You should get a Wirehair if you are looking for a friendly and low-maintenance cat that won’t require frequent vet visits.

Where Did American Wirehair Cat Breed Originate?

The breed’s trademark, its springy coat, is the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation. Although these mutations aren’t uncommon in cats, this is the only breed in existence with this coat type.

The first recognized American Wirehair was born in Verona, New York in 1966 in a litter of a domestic shorthair. The only surviving kitten was a red tabby and white male with an unusual wiry coat and coiled whiskers.

The local cat breeder Joan O’Shea was intrigued by this unusual kitten and wanted to see him. However, the owner Nathan Moser was at first reluctant to give the kitten away.

After O’Shea explained to him the importance of getting this new breed properly matted, he let her have the kitten for the price of $50.

Joan named the kitten Council Rock Adam of Hi-Fi and was determined to establish a new breed.

Adam was bred to a neighboring cat who produced a litter of two wirehaired kittens.

O’Shea bought these two kittens from her neighbors and that was the beginning of the new breed. Being a Rex breeder herself, Joan sought help from colleges Bill and Madeline Beck who started a breeding program.

The American Wirehair as we know it today was mostly developed from crosses to the American Shorthair Cat. Its standard played a great role in establishing the standard for the Wirehair.

Even now, the American Shorthair is the only acceptable outcross for the Wirehair breed.

In 1978 the Cat Fanciers Association officially recognized the American Wirehair. The breed is also recognized by American Cat Fanciers Association, the Canadian Cat Association, and the World Cat Federation.

On the other hand, The International Cat Association considers the Wirehair to be a type of American Shorthair.

What Does the American Wirehair Cat Look Like?

The American Wirehair is a medium to large cat with a well build muscled body. They have broad heads, prominent chins, and well-developed cheekbones.

The medium-sized ears are widely set and slightly rounded at the tip. Besides its wiry coat, this breed is easily recognizable due to its pronounced muzzle.

The short, coarse, and wiry coat comes in various colors and patterns, making every Wirehair unique.

Considering size standards, the American Wirehair should be medium-large cat. The breed must be proportionate and have a well-rounded torso with shoulders and hips being of the same width.

American Wirehair Cat Colors

When it comes to the coat the American Wirehair can be found in a variety of different colors and patterns. With so many variations future owners won’t have problems finding a cat according to their liking.

Some of the most common colors include White, Blue, Cream, Blue-cream, Golden, Brown, Seal, Cameo, and Red.

The American Wirehair can also come in Chocolate and Lilac colors. But these cats aren’t allowed to participate in competitions.

With a variety of colors comes a variety of patterns, and this breed covers the whole spectrum. Still, the most common patterns you will see include Tortoiseshell, Tabby, Bicolor, Solid, Smoke, and Calico.

American Wirehair Cat Personality Traits

The American Wirehair personality is easy going, affectionate, tolerant, and well behaved. These traits make this breed ideal for families, singles, and seniors.

The Wirehair is affectionate towards its owner and all other family members without being overbearing. When this cat wants attention, it will look at you or gently bite you to indicate her desires.

These are friendly and social cats who aren’t afraid of guest and strangers. Their tolerant nature allows them to get along well with children, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs.

Depending on a cat, some Wirehairs are lap cats, others aren’t. However, this breed loves to spend time with its owner and likes having a spot close by where it can curl and nap.

The Wirehair is also very intelligent and easily trained cat. Hence, you won’t have problems teaching your kitty to use scratching posts instead of your sofa.

This breed possesses excellent hunting instincts and can spend hours watching birds. Consider installing a cat window perch hammock that will become a designated bird watching area.


The Wirehair has a good-natured temperament and is a real pleasure to live with. These friendly and social cats won’t hide when guest arrive and will great them confidently lying on the sofa.

While they don’t seek or demand attention, they like to be close to their people and will follow them around the house. Your cat will show a keen interest in everything you do but won’t try to meddle in any way.

Being a calm and tolerant cat, the Wirehair takes life as it goes and is a great option for first-time owners or people who are looking for a quiet and friendly companion.

American Wirehair Cat Behavior

The laid back and patient Wirehair rarely develops any behavioral problems when cared for properly.

And if by any chance you manage to push your cat’s buttons, she may end up peeing on the carpet once or vocalizing more than usual.

The Wirehair doesn’t ask for much attention form their owners. But they do not like to be neglected altogether either.

So be sure you have some time to spend with this cat if you are planning to get one.

And if you meet all your cat’s basic needs like regular meals, play sessions, and cuddles, she won’t develop any behavioral issues.

Are American Wirehair Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

The Wirehair is a highly adaptable breed that adjusts quickly to changes and new environments. It adapts to the needs of its family, which is a great trait in a cat.

Your cat will retain this quality during her whole long life. Hence you don’t have to worry if the changes in scenery or your lifestyle will have a negative impact on your cat.

This is a moderately active breed, that loves to play but can benefit from more activities.

Thanks to excellent hunting abilities the Wirehair loves chasing after feather teasers, which are great toys that can keep this breed entertained and at an ideal weight.

Try to intrigue your kitty with cat wands and interactive play sessions every day.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

Being an affectionate and friendly breed, the American Wirehair gets along nicely with children and other pets. Thanks to its immense patience, tolerant and easy-going nature, your cat will become fast friends with children who know how to play nicely.

The Wirehair gets along with cat-friendly dogs if they are introduced properly.

This breed is famous for its excellent hunting skills. Hence all smaller birds must be kept in cages. Otherwise, your feathered pets won’t stand a chance against the Wirehair’s mighty paws.

Being very smart, the Wirehair enjoys puzzle toys and can spend hours playing alone. Still, this friendly breed likes to interact with people so spend some time every day playing with your kitty.

General Health and Potential Risks

Thanks to diligent breeding programs and diversity in the bloodline, this breed doesn’t have any known genetic health problems. However, make sure that your cat goes to regular vet checkups and keep her vaccinations up to date.

The American Wirehair can suffer from the following conditions:

  • Sensitive Skin: Many Wirehair cats are prone to having sensitive skin that can become oily. It is best to use cat shampoos that will relieve discomfort. Furthermore, some cats can develop sunburns if left outside. So, invest in proper sunscreen.
  • Ear Infections: The thick hair growing inside the Wirehair’s ears leads to waxy buildup. This means that the ears need to be cleaned regularly with ear cleaners. This will prevent the wax buildup and frequent ear infections.

American Wirehair Cat Lifespan

The American Wirehair has excellent health and an average lifespan of 7-12 years. But with proper care and regular vaccinations, some cats can live over 20 years.

Remember to manage food portions with an automatic feeder and be diligent with skin and ear care and your cat will do just fine!

Grooming Needs

As we already said, the American Wirehair has a unique coat that comes with unique grooming needs. The coat is springy, coarse, and resilient but soft, and by touch resembles the lamb’s wool.

All hairs are hooked at the ends, kinky throughout their length and sometimes form tight ringlets. This breed is bred to have a dense and short fur and it is uncommon to see a long-haired Wirehair.

However, since they tend to have oily skin, regular bathing is a must. Cat shampoos like this one will soothe your cat’s skin problems and make the coat clean and shiny.

To get your cat used to bathing introduce this routine from a young age.

American Wirehair Cat Shedding

When it comes to grooming, your Wirehair can be brushed only once a week. Keep in mind that frequent grooming can damage the hair, so the less you groom your cat, the better.

The Wirehair doesn’t shed much except in the spring when all cats lose their winter coats.

If your cat is shedding heavily use a soft brush that won’t damage the coat but will remove loose hair.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the American Wirehair Cat. Read on to learn more about this laid-back and friendly cat!

How Much is American Wirehair Cat Price?

The exact price of an American Wirehair kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay from $800 to $1200 for a purebred Wirehair cat.

Keep in mind that show quality kittens are on the higher end of the price spectrum and that you may even spend more if you are set on a specific coat color.

How Big Do American Wirehair Cats Get?

As with all other cat breeds, male Wirehairs are slightly larger and weigh from 12-15 pounds. Females are smaller with an average weight of 8-12 pounds.

The powerful body gives off the impression of stockiness and this breed seems heavier when picked up. Since Wirehair is moderately active it is important to invest in a proper diet to keep the cat at the ideal weight.

Are American Wirehair Cats Hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat breed, but some are less allergenic. You may have thought that the Wirehair is one of these breeds due to its strange coat, but that isn’t the case.

Basically, there is no evidence that suggests that the American Wirehair is any less allergenic than any other regular cat.

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