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Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Snowshoe Cat is a pointed breed that is easily recognizable thanks to four white paws. This is a medium-sized cat with a rectangular and muscular body. The head has a triangular shape and is topped with medium-sized ears with rounded tips. Their eyes are large and walnut-shaped and come in vivid blue color.
These cats have a short and plush coat that comes in different colors and patterns.
This is a smart, active and affectionate breed that likes to chat in a sweet and quiet voice. These cats tend to pick their favorite person and are always close by seeking attention.
Generally, this breed gets along with everyone. However, some cats may be shy of strangers. The Snowshoe makes a docile and sweet companion and doesn’t like to be left at home alone.
Where Did Snowshoe Cat Breed Originate?
The Snowshoe was developed in Philadelphia in the United States in the 1960s. Three white pawed kittens were born into the litter of the Siamese breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty. She was intrigued by the appearance of these kittens and decided to create a Siamese-type cat with a moderate body and white paws.
Hinds-Daugherty used those three kittens and crossed them to a bi-colored American Shorthair Cat and other domestic cats. The resulting kittens didn’t have the Siamese color points. However, once she bred those offspring back to a Siamese Cat the desired look was accomplished.
Hinds-Daugherty decided to name the new breed Snowshoe because of their white paws.
When Hinds-Daugherty abandoned the Snowshoe breeding program, a breeder, Vikki Olander continued in her stead and started to promote the new breed. She wrote the breed’s standard and managed to obtain the experimental breed status in the Cat Fanciers Federation and the American Cat Association in 1974.
However, by 1977 Olander was the last Snowshoe breeder in the US and she struggled to keep the breed alive. Thus, she contacted Jim Hofman and Georgia Kuhnell who were interested in these cats
Their combined efforts paid off and the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Federation in 1983. The American Cat Fanciers Association recognized this breed in 1990, and The International Cat Association followed in 1993.
While the Snowshoe is a distinct breed, they are still sometimes bred back to Siamese and Oriental Shorthair Cats. This is mainly because it is hard to produce the desired markings and this breed is still considered rare.
What Does the Snowshoe Cat Look Like?
This is a medium-sized breed with a rectangular, well-muscled, and long body. However, they are graceful and don’t appear bulky.
The muscular legs end in medium-sized oval paws. The head is slightly rounded and has a triangular shape. Their ears can be medium to medium-large in size and have rounded tips. The large eyes have a walnut shape and are always vivid blue.
This is a pointed breed, which means that the head, tail, ears, and legs are covered in a darker color than the rest of the body. However, the four completely white paws distinguish the Snowshoe from the rest of the color pointed breeds.
As far as the size standards are concerned, the Snowshoe should combine the heftiness of its domestic shorthair ancestors with the length of its oriental ancestors. The body should be medium in size, well-muscled, powerful, and heavily built.
Snowshoe Cat Colors
The Snowshoe comes in point coloration. Meaning it has a light cream-colored body and darker points on ears, face, legs, and tail.
Depending on the association, these cats can come in the seal, blue, black, chocolate, red, cream, cinnamon, and fawn point coloration. Additionally, some organizations allow these colors in tabby, tortoiseshell, and tortoiseshell-tabby patterns.
When it comes to their distinctive look, they should have an inverted ‘V’ between the eyes and over the muzzle. Additionally, two symmetrical white mittens should adorn both front paws. The back paws should be dressed in two symmetrical white boots.
Snowshoe Cat Personality Traits
This is a people-oriented breed that will pick one person over everyone else. However, they will be friendly towards all family members. They will follow their special human everywhere and be involved in all activities.
The Snowshoe likes to check on its owner and can sometimes seem like a fussing mother around a newborn. This is an affectionate and needy cat that will demand attention with a melodious voice.
Due to their Siamese heritage, these cats love to chat. But luckily their voices are quieter and more pleasant to hear. Your cat will chat about everything and anything! She will even voice complains about her next meal or lack of toys in sight.
The Snowshoe is an active and playful cat that likes to have a high vantage point. So, get a cat tree condo and let your cat watch over you and her domain from a comfy spot.
Being a smart and intelligent cat, your Snowshoe will figure out how to open doors and drawers and will rifle around for items to play with. Hence, keep your cat busy with catnip toys in order to save your belongings from her thieving paws!
Furthermore, these cats easily learn tricks and will know how to pass an obstacle course with flying colors. They will happily walk on a cat leash just to spend more time with you. Unlike other breeds, they also love to play with water and will dab their paws into water bowls or learn how to open faucets just to have fun.
The Snowshoe has a unique temperament but is always fun to live with. These cats are masters of disguise and can be several things depending on the situation.
Generally, the Snowshoe will be your best friend, if you don’t mind having a nosy cat that will investigate your every move. They are affectionate and attention-seeking creatures that know how to make their owners do their bidding and provide them with lots of cuddles.
With that being said, keep in mind that this breed wants to be the center of your world and won’t appreciate staying alone at home. Thus, get your cat a companion animal if you have long working hours.
Snowshoe Cat Behavior
The attention-seeking and bossy Snowshoe can develop certain behavioral problems if left alone or if it feels unappreciated.
In most cases, they develop separation anxiety or become depressed which can lead to apathy, loss of appetite, peeing outside the litter box and an array of other issues. However, all of these problems can be avoided if you spend time and interact with your cat daily.
Are Snowshoe Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Snowshoe is a happy go lucky cat that adapts well to any change. These cats may be a bit shy when meeting new people. However, early socialization will help your cat warm up to visitors more quickly.
Generally, these cats react well to change in scenery and will adapt to a new home in no time. Just make sure that your cat is receiving the same amount of attention as before.
This active and playful cat stays in shape chasing after feather teasers and other cat toys. Generally, this breed knows how to stay in great shape if provided with lots of toys.
However, these social cats crave human interaction. Therefore, spend 15 minutes a day throwing toy balls that she can chase after and retrieve.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The sweet-tempered and playful Snowshoe is an ideal pet for families with children. These cats enjoy playing with kids and will ecstatically run to retrieve catnip toys.
They also get along with other cats and dogs if introduced properly.
The active and fun-loving Snowshoe loves to interact with its owner and will happily chase after mice toys. However, they also know how to entertain themselves.
So, get your cat a puzzle toy to keep her busy when you aren’t around. This is an affectionate cat that will thrive if you spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with her.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Snowshoe doesn’t have any known genetic health problems and is considered to be a healthy breed.
However, you should still take your cat to regular check-ups and keep her vaccinated. Additionally, use flea and tick prevention and don’t forget to deworm your cat regularly.
Snowshoe Cat Lifespan
These cats have an average lifespan of 14-19 years. Generally, this is a healthy breed that stays vigorous and agile well into old age.
Feed your cat with high-quality cat food and keep her at a healthy weight and to avoid any health problems related to obesity.
The Snowshoe has a short and smooth coat that is easy to maintain. Hence, you will only have to brush your cat twice a week.
Use a grooming glove to distribute skin oils and to remove loose hairs and dander.
Snowshoe Cat Shedding
These cats shed moderately, and regular grooming routine will help you remove all hairs that would otherwise end on your carpets.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Snowshoe breed. Read on to learn more information about this gorgeous and interesting cat!
How Much is Snowshoe Cat Price?
The exact price of a Snowshoe kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average, you can expect to pay from $750 to $1800 for a purebred Snowshoe.
The price may increase or decrease depending on a cat’s gender, color markings, lineage, birth order, and demand for kittens.
How Big Do Snowshoe Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, male cats are slightly larger and usually weigh from 9-12 pounds. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-9 pounds. However, some female cats can be large as males and weigh slightly less if not the same.
Despite having a muscular body, these cats shouldn’t look bulky. That’s why you need to monitor your cat’s nutrition and feed her with grain free food. This way you will prevent unnecessary weight gain and at the same time keep your cat’s muscles strong.
Feed your cat according to her age and activity level to keep her at an ideal weight.
Are Snowshoe Cats Rare?
The Snowshoe is a rare breed mainly because breeding cats with markings and patterns which conform to the breed’s standard is rather difficult. As a result, pet quality Snowshoes usually have too much white, too little white, or don’t have the right markings.
Are Snowshoe Cats Hypoallergenic?
Although there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat, some breeds are less allergenic than others. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the Snowshoe has any hypoallergenic traits. Thus, you may need to reconsider getting a Snowshoe if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies.
Are Snowshoe Cats Good Pets?
Being an active, vibrant, fun, and intelligent breed, the Snowshoe makes an excellent pet to people of all ages. They love being around people and get along well with children and other pets if introduced properly.