The American Wirehair is a purebred variant of the widely known and popular Domestic Shorthair. This multifunctional and adaptable cat exists in lots of colours and patterns, including traditional silver tabby. It still remains an effective exterminator of household rodents although currently it primarily enjoys the life of a family companion.
Photo: © Vibrations Cattery (vibrations-cats.de)
The American Shorthair is a direct descendant of felines that arrived to America with passengers and crew of the Mayflower in 1620. These first American colonizers treasured their pets for their ratting talents, and there is a good chance, that cats were brought to the New World much earlier. For example, they may have accompanied Spanish explorers on their way to Florida or Vikings on their way to Newfoundland. Some of these seafaring felines were used for the development of the today’s American Shorthair.
Cats were reckoned to be invaluable helpers of shopkeepers, farmers and house owners who entrusted them to protect their supplies of provision and goods from rats, mice and other small vermin. The early American Shorthair stood out for sturdy physique, unpretentiousness, outstanding hunting drive and could easily put up with severe conditions of this unconquered and dangerous continent.
At the dawn of the XX century the shorthair cats that were then referred as Domestic Shorthairs entered the show ring. At that point other shorthair breeds were brought to the U.S. so loyal breeder of the domestics decided to selectively breed a feline with specific characteristics. On the whole the American Shorthair was predominantly shaped through natural selection but the efforts of breeders led to stabilization of its conformation and temperament. It was recognized under its current name in the early 60s of the XX century and quickly became a highly successful participant of Cat Shows.
The American Wirehair owes its appearance to the accidental mutation that first occurred in 1966 in a litter produced by a domestic shorthair female in upstate New York. With the exception of the one red tabby and white male all kittens from this litter perished. Because of the unique texture of its coat its owner decided to demonstrate it to a local cat breeder, Joan O’Shea. She bought this kitten with shaggy and wiry hair for 50 USD, nicknamed it Rock Adam of Hi-Fi and subsequently began to selectively breed it with American Shorthairs in an attempt to replicate it.
The American Wirehair gained complete acceptance from the Cat Fanciers Association in 1978. In order to ensure the sufficient diversity of its gene pool it can be outcrossed to the American Shorthair.
The sociable and joyful personality of the American Wirehair makes it an almost ideal companion animal for any type of household. It’s usually equally interested in exploring every miner corner of its home and sprawling peacefully beside its master on the sofa. Lots of the breeds’ specimens grow into classic lap cats while others prefer to just stay close-by. Although the American Wirehair absolutely loves being in the centre of your attention it has unobtrusive nature and can entertain itself with some puzzle toy for several hours. It’s always eager to frisk with familiar kids but it can’t stand being carried around too much.
The American Wirehair is a good-natured and brave cat that will cordially greet any newcomer and invite him or her to play with it. This breed also gets along with other animals in the house (including dogs) as long as they don’t bother it. However it still retains powerful hunting drive and should never be left alone with such pets as hamsters or household rats.
Be mindful that the busy mind of the American Wirehair requires regular stimulation so make sure to buy your pet various interactive toys and one or several tall cat trees. This calm and gentle cat adapts well to any living situation as long as it’s surrounded by love and care of its masters.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The American Wirehair needs very standard care. Its distinctive coat should never be brushed on a regular basis because such rough impact may damage its natural texture. Nonetheless more frequent brushing is usually required in the spring when the cat blows out its winter hair.
Weekly or daily dental hygiene bears an outmost importance in maintenance of good health in this area. Ears and eyes of the cat should be regularly cleaned with a soft moistened tissue to remove earwax and other allocations. Trim its nails every two to four weeks. This breed is notable for exceptional cleanliness so keep its litter box perfectly clean at all times.