The Snowshoe cat is a hybrid of the Siamese and the American Shorthair, which was developed in the second half of XX century. It inherited from the Siamese ancestors its colouring with exception of its snow-white paws. This cat comes in a wide variety of temperaments but it’s always amiable and loving, with the curiosity typical for all cats.
Photo: © Skiboots Snowshoes (snowshoecats.webs.com)
The Siamese with white paws entered Cat Shows under the name Silver Lace in 50s of XX century but purposeful development of the breed began only in the 60s. The Siamese breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daughetry got an idea to invent a Siamese-type feline variety with light-coloured legs and a robust constitution.
She started her breeding experiments with three white-pawed Siamese and interbred them with her American Shorthair with distinct tuxedo coloration (black fur and white chest, belly, throat and legs with eyes encircled with a pitch-black mask). Finally Dorothy achieved the famous inverted «V» facial pattern, which became one of the prominent features of this breed.
The resulting cat was granted with the name Snowshoe because of its spotlessly snowy paws. Its appearance differs from both of its forebears but it definitely shares the quick-wittedness and the buoyant nature of the Siamese. Gradually the Snowshoe earned worldwide acknowledgment as a companion and show animal.
The Cat Fanciers Federation began to register the breeds’ specimens in 1982, followed by the American Cat Fanciers Association in 1990. The International Cat Association recognised the breed in 1994.
The Snowshoe cat has very charismatic personality so it’s fun to live with this resourceful cat. It can vary in temperament from a shy and undemanding four-legged friend to a pushy and authoritative master or mistress of your household. Nonetheless all of its members tend to be intelligent, energetic and amiable pets although they are somewhat reserved with unknown people. This cat commonly picks one person for the role of its owner and develops particularly close bond to him/her. It’s generally good with other domestic animals, including friendly dogs. Be mindful though that some of the breed members don’t like sharing your attention with other pets so they do much better as sole cats.
Being an active and inquisitive cat the Snowshoe is also smart enough to pass through a feline agility course or to learn some advanced tricks. Apart from exploring its surroundings playing fetch with the master is its favourite occupation. Expect to find this cat perching on top of your book shelf and supervise your every move. This breed is usually fond of water and can entertain itself with licking tap for several hours on end.
The Snowshoe owes its sociable nature to its Siamese heritage so it’s prone to be extremely talkative. Luckily it possesses a mild, pleasant voice that won’t pester your ears. It will address to you on millions of different occasions, asking about your day or inquiring whether its supper will arrive on time. The breed suites best for active families who enjoy devoting time to communication with domestic animals.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· kink in a tail;
· crossed eyes.
The Snowshoe needs minimal grooming. The coat of this cat should be brushed only once a week to remain shiny and neat. This breed is susceptible to periodontal disease so daily brushing of its teeth is a good way to avert problems in this area for long years.The rest is basic care. Trim the nails of your Snowshoe regularly, preferably every week. Check its ears periodically for such symptoms of infection as bad smell and redness and clean them if needed. It’s crucial to start above-mentioned procedures as early as possible so the cat will gradually get used to them and perceive such activities without fear.