The American Wirehair has a distinctive and unusual looking appearance. This breed has hair that looks like colored steel wool, although it doesn't feel quite so coarse to the touch.
The breed started with a litter of kittens born in a farmer's barn. When he noticed one of the kittens had an unusual coat, he consulted a cat fancier, who decided to try to breed cats with the wirehair trait.
Photo By: Heikki Siltala, Lisenced under Wikipedia Commons
Unfortunately, this trait was not truly dominant, so there was quite a lot of inbreeding, and any cat who showed even the slightest tendency to be a wirehair was used for breeding. Concern that the breed would become susceptible to hereditary diseases and weaknesses led the people working with the American Wirehair to cross it with the American Shorthair, one of the other cat breeds to be developed in America.
Eventually, this breed developed a body type that was very similar to the American Shorthair, although the Wirehair has a slightly more rounded head and higher cheekbones. Despite the coat inconsistencies that still plague this breed, he is still a part of the Cat Fancier's Association Championship Class.
However, only shorthair Wirehairs with thick coats are used in the show ring. Longhair coats are considered to be a disqualification because Wirehairs with long coats look as though they are suffering from an extremely bad hair day, while Wirehairs with thin coats are not shown because they are prone to shedding their hair if they are stressed.
The Wirehair is one of the few breeds that is required to have one eye color. Unless your Wirehair is silver, he should have deep gold eyes. This breed's standard calls for large cats, but many Wirehairs are currently on the small side. Ideally, your Wirehair should be close to fifteen pounds, but these cats can weigh in at anywhere from eight to fifteen pounds.
While this cat is not a vocal cat, he can be a bit overbearing and demanding at times. However, overall, this breed is very sweet and affectionate. The friendly, sociable nature of the Wirehair makes it a good choice for families. These cats are playful, so be sure you have plenty of toys to entertain your pet.
While the American Wirehair is a fairly healthy breed, it does have a few quirks. Most of these cats have a greasy coat, which means they tend to need bathing more frequently than other cat breeds. Luckily, most Wirehairs enjoy being bathed. Also, these cats also frequently need to have their ears cleaned.
While you do need to groom your your cat to keep his coat healthy, you should do so carefully to avoid breaking off the fragile hairs. After all, Wirehair cats have hairs that are weaker and thinner than traditional cat hair.
If you want a cat with a very unique look, then this cat may be the perfect breed for you.