Intelligent and highly adaptable, the American Wirehair is an American original, with a completely unique wired coat.
The American Wirehair has a relaxed, loving, sweet personality, making her an ideal companion for families with children and other pets. This breed is playful, but also laid back, and keenly interested in her surroundings.
Although happy as lap cats, Wirehairs also enjoy their independence. They are considered moderately talkative and are enthusiastic purrers.
The American Wirehair is distinguished from other breeds by her wiry, dense coat, described as feeling like steel wool or lamb’s wool. There are several degrees of wiriness, varying from spiked to curly, with the individual hairs being crimped, hooked or bent.
The ideal Wirehair coat is dense, coarse and crimped over the whole body (including the whiskers). This coat is unique, and not genetically related to the rexed coats of Cornish Rex or Devon Rex cats.
7 to 12 years
American Wirehairs can be seen in all colors and patterns.
The American Wirehair is a low-shedding breed. Because of her special, delicate coat, grooming is actually discouraged—unless she is shedding heavily, do not brush or comb her.
Regular bathing can also help remove loose hair, and any greasiness from oil secreted by the skin.
The American Wirehair is a generally healthy breed. However, because these cats can be bred with American Shorthair cats, they can develop some of the health problems associated with that breed, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
American Wirehair kittens should eat a kitten food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.
The first American Wirehair was a surprise in a litter of six kittens born to normal-coated domestic shorthair cats in Verona, New York. He was a male with a sparse, wiry red-and-white coat—every hair, including his whiskers, was crimped.
Local cat breeder Joan O’Shea recognized the kitten’s potential, acquired him and bred him with a local female cat. The resulting kittens also had wiry coats.
A second breeding with another unrelated female also produced wiry coated kittens, establishing that the gene causing the wiry coats is a dominant gene. Further analysis by noted British cat geneticists A.G. Searle and Roy Robinson confirmed that the American Wirehair coat is unique and not genetically related to the Cornish Rex or Devon Rex.
Wirehairs were first accepted for CFA registration in 1967 and for Championship competition in 1978.