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 American Wirehair
Characteristics, History, and Health

American Wirehair

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The American Wirehair is a highly affectionate and sweet-natured cat known for its even temperament. They make great family pets and tend to be chatty kitties who like to converse with everyone in the household.

Main Info
Coat Pattern
Variety of tabby patterns
Coat Length
Health Issues
  • No strongly associated genetic conditionsNo strongly associated genetic conditions
  • Generally healthy breedGenerally healthy breed

Main Characteristics of the American Wirehair

The American Wirehair is recognizable by its uniquely "steel wool" looking coat that comes in all colors and patterns, with tabby patterns one of the most commonly seen. Even their whiskers are beautifully crimped! This medium-sized cat is balanced in appearance, with a well-proportioned muscular body, rounded head, square-like chin, and wide set eyes over its medium-short muzzle.

American Wirehair Origin

The American Wirehair history traces back to Council Rock Farm in Verona, New York. The farm was owned by Nathan Mosher, who had a male cat with a wiry coat and crimped whiskers. He gave the cat to his neighbor Joan O'Shea, who named him Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi and bred him to female cat owned by O'Shea's neighbor. The resulting kittens had wiry coats, as did kittens from a second breeding with a different female cat. O'Shea sent the kittens' hairs to a genetics lab run by A.G. Searle and Roy Robinson, who determined that the down, awn, and guard hairs of the coat were all twisted and hooked at their tips. This analysis also confirmed that the cats had coats unlike those of the Cornish or Devon Rex breeds.

American Wirehair Personality Traits

American Wirehairs are typically known for their easy-going, quiet nature. They are highly affectionate and like to be active, so they tend to enjoy time cuddling and playing with you in equal measure. Some enjoy learning a game of fetch, but they're an overall versatile kitty suited to a range of households with pets and people of different ages.

American Wirehair Common Health Issues

The American Wirehair is a generally healthy breed. The hairs of their wirehair coats can break easily, so it's recommended that you leave them to their own grooming habits and only brush when necessary. Their skin can sometimes be sensitive, so bathing may be needed from time to time, which can also help to gently remove loose hairs. As with all cat breeds, oral health is very important, so it's important to establish both at-home brushing routines in addition to taking them to your veterinarian for regular wellness exams and professional dental cleanings.

American Wirehair Fun Facts

  • A familiar in the American Shorthair breed. The American Wirehair was further developed via selective breeding with the American Shorthair, and the modern examples of both breeds today differ only in their coats.

  • Registration and Championship status. The American Wirehair was accepted for registration by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) in 1967 and went on to be awarded Championship status two years later in 1978. The breed gained Championship status with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979.

American Wirehair Characteristics

Up to 15+ years
Good with
Families, children, some cats and dogs
Shedding amount
Affection level
Activity level
Tendency to vocalize
Exercise needs


The International Cat Association (TICA) “Introduction to the American Wirehair”

Cat Fanciers' Association "About the American Wirehair"

FETCH by WebMD "What to Know About American Wirehairs" American Wirehair Cat

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