The Snowshoe is a relatively new breed of cat originating in the United States of America, in the late 1960s. It has been made by crossing seal point Siamese with bicolor American Shorthairs. First breeders were Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty who began a breeding program (her Siamese cat gave birth to first three kittens with the pattern consisting of white points and feet) and Vikki Olander who worked towards full recognition within cat associations and wrote the first breed standard for the Snowshoe. In 1974 CFF and ACA accepted the Snowshoe as an experimental breed; Championship status from CFF was obtained in 1983; the ACFA granted Championship status in 1990. Snowshoes are also fully recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline, the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, and the Cat Fanciers Federation.
The Snowshoe is very rare breed of cat due to the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings, the difficulty to predict the appearance of offspring. The coat coloration recognized by registries and associations is point coloration, and it comes in a variety of colors. The genes are difficult to control, and many cats' boots extend too far up the leg, do not reach far enough up the leg, or the cat completely lacks white. As such, pet-quality Snowshoes usually have too much white, too little white, or white features are mismarked. On top of everything, the Snowshoe standard calls for a body type that combines the heftiness of the American Shorthair with the length of the Siamese. Although the conformation is easier to perfect than the pattern, getting just the right head shape and ear set further complicates the already complicated. With this exacting standard, it's no wonder that creating the perfect Snowshoe is a tricky task.
The Snowshoe is a medium-large cat, face shape is somewhere between that of a Traditional Siamese and an American Shorthair. The adult male Snowshoe weighs typically weights 4-7 kg and females are 3-6. Ears are medium to large and broad at their bases, with the tips slightly rounded. The blue eyes are walnut-shaped and slanted. The head may be triangular, however can be an "applehead" shape with a traditional cat look. The short-haired coat consists of solid and white patterns. Points (ears, tail, face-mask and sometimes legs) are solid black-based colors. The body is an even coloration, subtle shading to point color on back, shoulders and hips; toning to a lighter shade near chest and stomach. Paw pads may be white, point color, flesh tone, or mottled. Their color will darken with age, even to the point of turning a chocolate brown shade. The tail is medium-sized Fédération Internationale Féline recognizes seal, blue, black, chocolate, red, cream, cinnamon, and fawn point coloration The preferred pattern is a symmetrical inverted V on the face and white boots and mittens, though many Snowshoes have a white moustache or blaze rather than a V, as well as additional patches of white on their bodies.Snowshoe kittens are born white, and markings appear within 1 to 3 weeks. Each Snowshoe has a pattern unique to the individual cat.
Snowshoes are generally affectionate and sweet-tempered, yet still mellow. They enjoy the company of humans and being petted, and are compatible with children and other pets. Snowshoes are very social and docile, and show great devotion and love towards their owners. Consequently, the breed dislike being left alone for long periods of time and are able to cope with working hours more if they have another cat companion. Snowshoes may express themselves and their complaints vocally, though their meows are not as loud as the Siamese. These felines are not only possessed of great beauty but great intelligence as well; they can learn to open various types of doors, and can be taught tricks, especially fetch. Snowshoes also enjoy water, particularly running water, and may on occasion swim. Though very active, they are not restless or easily agitatable, and they have a fondness for perching and high places.
The Snowshoe is a breed of cat with personality aplenty, famous for providing their humans with constant amusement. They don't realize that they're cats; they consider themselves people. Although they are affectionate with their families, Snowshoes may be timid with outsiders and slow to accept strangers.
A home loving cat. Providing they have company, most Snowshoe cats are content to spend their time inside, making them an ideal choice for being kept as indoor only cats.
Snowshoe Cat Health
There are no health problems specifically associated with the Snowshoe. This is unsurprising, given that Siamese cats are known for their impressive longevity, and the American shorthair is a healthy, hardy breed.