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The Snowshoe cat is a crossbreed between the Siamese and the American shorthair, originating from the USA in the 1960s. They were given their unique name because of their distinctive white paws that make them look like they are wearing snow boots.
The breed was selectively bred for its stunning colour markings, but their personality is just as beautiful. Snowshoes are kind, affectionate and playful and love being around humans and other animals. Even today, they are a rare breed outside the USA. Still, their uniquely beautiful markings make them a desirable domestic feline amongst cat lovers.
Meet the Snowshoe cat
The Snowshoe is a medium to large feline weighing between 7 to 14 pounds. They have inherited a good mix of the Siamese and American Shorthair appearance traits. For example, they have the length of the Siamese and the slight stockiness of the American Shorthair. This gives them an athletic structure with a more rounded look than the Siamese. Males will have significantly muscular bodies than females, too.
Their heads are usually triangular shaped but sometimes can be more rounded. They have long, wide-set ears and striking walnut-shaped eyes, which can be any shade of blue. Some Snowshoes have pale blue eyes, whereas others have a deep ocean blue shade. However, regardless of the tone, they always look bright and shiny. Another distinctive facial feature of this breed is their upside-down “V” marking.
Their short, single-coat fur has point colouring that resembles a tuxedo. It consists of a light body with darker patches on the ears, face, legs and tail. Their chest, paws, and some parts of their face will usually be white. The shading can differ but is typically a seal point or blue point.
Although Snowshoe cats have been around for some time, they remain rare because of the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings. It’s also hard to predict how a Snowshoe’s coat will look, and their markings tend to darken over time, too.
The temperament of a Snowshoe
Snowshoe Cats can have varying personalities, but they are always very kind, loving and affectionate. They adore being around humans, children and animals, seeking attention from everyone. They can be a bit needy, though, and will make their presence known to you at all times. When they want attention, they’ll tell you either by rubbing against your leg, sitting on your lap, or even just watching you.
Snowshoes can be pretty vocal, but they are not as loud as their ancestors, the Siamese. They love to climb and jump and will seek out high spots to perch on. Therefore, a tall cat tree always goes down a treat with this kitty, but they will love it if you clear a top shelf for them, too.
Snowshoe cats are very smart, and they are eager to learn tricks to show off to everyone they meet. Their intelligence makes it easy to teach them commands, too. However, this also means they need interactive play and challenging puzzle toys to keep their brains active.
Snowshoes are known to be devoted, loyal companions and some will even act as the protector of their favourite human. This close bonding does mean that they don’t like to be left alone for too long, though, and they are certainly at their happiest when the entire family unit is at home together.
10 reasons to add a Snowshoe to your family
- They have beautiful colouring - The Snowshoe’s incredible point colouration gives them a gorgeous pattern and unique shading.
- They have cute white “socks” - Of course, one particular reason to consider this breed is because of their adorable white feet, resembling socks or shoes.
- They love people - They are social felines that will effortlessly fit in with their new family and quickly become the centre of attention.
- They are friendly to other animals - Snowshoes prefer to be around other animals rather than be a “solo pet.”
- They are obsessed with water - One of their unique quirks is their love for water. Many Snowshoes will splash their paws in their water bowls, dip their head under the tap, or even follow you into the shower.
- They like to learn tricks and commands - As they love human interaction, they will welcome any training session, whether you’re teaching them an important command or a cool trick.
- You won’t need to groom them - Most Snowshoes don’t require any brushing or combing as they take excellent care of their short coats. Plus, they don’t shed much, either.
- They will be your protector - Snowshoes take their role in the family seriously and will watch over you to ensure you come to no harm!
- They will always greet you at the door - Whenever you return home, your Snowshoe kitty will be eagerly waiting for you at the entrance to welcome you home and check that you are ok.
- They are one of a kind - Not only are they an exclusive breed that is hard to find, but every Snowshoe has unique markings and colouring.
Best homes for a Snowshoe cat
Snowshoe cats do well with young families as they enjoy the attention of children. However, some Snowshoes will choose a favourite human so bear that in mind if you’re getting a Shoeshoe for a particular child. Because of this, they can make the ideal pet for someone who lives alone and works from home.
The only requirement they have is that they receive plenty of attention and love. Therefore, they will be much happier with someone who is at home frequently and has the time to cuddle and play with them, as opposed to someone who lives a busy life and is often out and about. These kitties also tend to thrive with furry friends to keep them company, so they make an excellent addition to multi-pet homes.