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Snowshoe

Snowshoe

Looking for an adorable cat that will liven up your house? A snowshoe may be the cat you need in your life! Learn more about these sweet felines here

Snowshoe cats are a unique breed that not many people know about. They are known for their beautiful markings and friendly personalities.

This cat looks very sweet with its vibrant blue eyes and cute features. This breed was developed due to the breeding between the Siamese and American shorthair cats. 

The snowshoe has several common traits with its Siamese and American Shorthair cousins, but it also has unique features. This cat is ideal for families because of its sweet and friendly disposition.

Physical Characteristics 
Height12 to 18 inches.
Weight9 to 14 pounds for male; 7 to 10 pound for female
Lifespan14 to 20 years
ColorsBlue, seal, lilac and chocolate
Suitable ForSingle owner to families, indoor, very spacious house
TemperamentSweet natured, intelligent, active, amiable, affectionate

Which Homes Are Best For Snowshoe’s

Snowshoe cats do not have wild cats like their ancestors, which means they aren’t good for the outdoors. They are amiable cats and love to engage with humans and other pets in conversations and games.

Therefore, family homes would be great for them. Also, if you are an active single who will be able to give this breed the attention it needs, you can get it as well. 

This cat is quite active, so you should have enough room for it to play around with ease. However, you don’t particularly need large spaces for the snowshoe.

Lifespan

Upon proper care and regular checkups with the veterinarian, your snowshoe cat may live 20 years. This is much higher than the average lifetime of cats. But since the cat’s lifetime depends on other factors besides its breed, there is a range. Thanks to their overall good health, they live anywhere from 14 to 20 years.

Average Size

The snowshoe is a medium-sized cat, and sometimes it does grow a bit taller than average cats, but they are still considered medium-sized. Like most cat breeds, the size will differ due to multiple reasons, and one of the largest ones is the sex of the cat. 

Male cats are generally larger and heavier, with about 9 to 14 pounds. Meanwhile, the female cats are lighter, ranging from 7 to 10 pounds. So, these cats are pretty light, making them ideal for picking up. Like their body, their bushy tail is also medium-sized.

Their bodies aren’t long either, usually 12 to 18 inches. In terms of height, they are also average, and they are usually 9 to 11 inches tall, but some of them might grow up to 13 inches.

Breed Origin

You may be surprised to hear that this breed is a relatively new breed that was not developed until much later in the 20th century. The snowshoe’s story begins in the 1960s when Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, who used to breed Siamese kittens, noticed three unique Siamese kittens.

These kittens had markings on them, and she saw that their feet were also white.  Further, these features were unusual for Siamese cats, so Dorothy started developing a new breed for them. This breed was named Snowshoe because of their distinct white legs. They were crossed with American shorthair cats with tuxedo markings on them.

Original Gene Pool

By now, it’s been made abundantly clear that Snowshoe cats are the crossbreed of Siamese and American shorthair cats. Because this breed is still new, its original gene pool is not complex. It consists of the genes of the Siamese cats with white legs and the American shorthair cats with the tuxedo markings.

Fun Fact: The white markings on the Siamese kittens were seen as flaws initially, and then they were developed into a new beautiful breed.

Breed Founder

The official breed founder of snowshoe cats is Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, from Philadelphia. Initially, she was a Siamese cat breeder who began breeding white-legged Siamese cats with American shorthair and started the first breeding program for Snowshoe cats. 

By the 1970s, Hinds-Daugherty halted her work in the program, and then Vikki Olander continued with her work. This man got the snowshoe accepted into CFF, TICA, and the ACA through his outstanding efforts and was the person to write the first breed standard for the snowshoe. 

Appearance

No two snowshoe cats are precisely identical, and their appearance differs from cat to cat. However, there are certain distinct features that all of the cats of this breed share, and their white legs are one of them. Generally, they have a masked face and bright blue eyes, making them look cute.

Description

This medium-sized cat has legs that are a bit thin and aren’t too long either and has oval paws that are also regular-sized. As mentioned before, both their hind and front feet are entirely white. Its tail has a medium length, and the tip is slightly tapered.

The snowshoe is a lean and strong cat, but it wouldn’t be right to say it’s very bulky and powerful. This cat has a wedge-shaped head with high cheekbones and a pointy nose. Since their ears have rounded tips and wide bases, it also adds to the wedge shape of the head. 

All of them will feature an inverted V on their face between their eyes, either very prominent or slightly faded, depending on the cat. They are set apart by one eye’s width and are walnut-shaped. The eyes are typically a vibrant blue, but the shade of blue may be deeper or lighter at times. 

Although the coat of the snowshoe is dense, there is no undercoat. The length of the hair can be said to be short or medium-short and is very smooth to touch. It also has a glossy shine, always there if you brush it routinely. 

While it always has its white legs, chin, tummy, and the inverted V on its face, the other parts are usually different colors. They either have color point patterns or are bi-color. The colored points are often either blue or seal color, among many others.

A fascinating fact about this breed is that they are all born white, and as they mature, their natural color starts to show gradually. 

Personality

We cannot guarantee the personality of the snowshoe cat you might get, as this breed has a range of personalities that almost entirely depends on the cat. However, we will try to give you a solid idea of some of their typical personality traits. 

This cat might be very protective and motherly, it may be very entertaining and play, or it could also be very affectionate and always want your love. Regardless of your snowshoe’s personality, we are sure that they will have a sweet nature and be intelligent, active, amiable, and loving towards you.

Indoors or Outdoors

As none of the cousins of the snowshoe are wild, they don’t have the genetic composition that makes them very suitable to live outdoors. They are much more comfortable and pleased when indoors with their family. You may certainly take them out to play, but beyond that is not a good option. 

Noisiness

Snowshoe cats are very interactive and vocal animals. They love to be included in family conversations and can have long talks with you through their meows. Often, talkative cats can pester many because their voice is very high-pitched, which may bother household members and neighbors. 

However, the snowshoe has a soft and sweet voice that doesn’t hit the ears hard. Sometimes if you don’t give any attention to the cat, it may become noisier, which may be bothersome

Interaction

Intelligence

Having a cat that can easily learn how to do things is always very entertaining. Fortunately, the snowshoe is a very intelligent animal and can learn various tricks. It can even learn to open the door with its paws, which is rare among cats. 

You should try your best to keep this cat breed entertained and teach it tricks to satisfy it. If you buy or adopt this cat, you may see it often on top of your refrigerator or cupboard, just quietly sitting and observing everything.

They can form very understanding relationships with humans, and they will respond to you most of the time when you call them by their name.

Playfulness

The snowshoe loves to play with toys and likes to perform many tricks for its family members. They enjoy learning tricks because they want to keep you engaged with them. However, you should know that they do not like to play alone for a long time; it makes them easily bored. 

Moreover, the great thing is that they also learn these tricks quite fast because of their intelligence. Upon getting a snowshoe cat, you should purchase some good interactive cat toys, such as a multi-level cat tree that will keep the cat busy.

What’s more entertaining is that you can train your snowshoe to walk with a leash on, and then you can talk it out for afternoon strolls.

Friendliness

As we have said before, this cat loves to be around people and even likes to play around with animals. This is why it’s great if your home has other pets to play with. It will be bothersome if you leave it alone and can easily develop separation anxiety. 

Children

Some snowshoe cats may like children more than others, but they enjoy being children’s companions. Since it likes a lot of attention, it will usually love to be with children because children love playing with pets.

Although they are pretty adaptable and friendly, it would be best if you could get the cat exposure to your child at an early age. This helps form an even stronger bond and makes the cat more of a loyal friend. 

These cats will not only play with your child but will also want to be petted by them. They often sleep on their owners’ beds and even snuggle with them while they fall asleep. Some snowshoe cats may also become very protective of certain family members and don’t like when others get too close.

Other Animals

As they are very social and active, snowshoe cats don’t face any problems with other pet animals. If you have cats, dogs, or rabbits in your house, they won’t get into fights with the snowshoe cat. When you take this breed of cat on walks, you will notice that they’re also very gentle with outsider cats and dogs. 

Breed-Predisposed Ailments

Snowshoe cats usually have very long lives with very few health complications. However, there are some genetic issues that it inherits from its Siamese ancestors. They may have kinked tails or crossed eyes.

However, these aren’t anything that will keep you up at night because they are just cosmetic problems and don’t affect the cat’s physical health. 

Besides those, you should do regular checkups to see if it has developed any common cat illnesses such as kidney and heart diseases. 

  • Crossed Eyes
  • Kinked Tails

Grooming

If you are one of those who despise doing a lot of maintenance, then the Snowshoe cat will be an excellent match. These shorthair cats need very little grooming and do most of their cleaning independently.

Brushing

Because this breed has a single coat, it doesn’t shed a lot of furs. Because the hairs are not long, it’s very easy to brush the snowshoe, and it takes very little time. One brushing session a week should be enough for this cat, and sometimes you will have to do it twice a week. 

Never skip brushing because it distributes the oil of the cat’s skin, which reduces shedding, and the brush picks up dead and broken fur. Thus, making the coat always look glossy.

Ears

Some snowshoe cats are prone to developing dental problems, so you should start brushing their teeth from an early age. You may have issues with getting it close to water, as it doesn’t like it.

Finances

They have very high demand because of how beautiful and unique the snowshoe is. As a result, the price is a bit high, but it isn’t one of the most expensive cats.

It is a relatively new breed, so fewer breeders are also a reason for the higher price. Also, because many of its traits come from recessive genes breeding them can be difficult. 

Cost of Kittens

Snowshoe kittens can cost anything from $700 to $2000. The price range is quite large because many factors come into play for the price of the kittens, including location, quality of the kittens, etc. If you’re ordering your kitten from another country, you must be aware that the shipping costs can be extremely high. 

You can look at cat adoption shelters for snowshoe cats, but the possibility of finding one will be very slim because they are a rare breed.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very long average lifespan
  • Has an adorable face with bright blue eyes
  • Sheds very less, so maintenance is low
  • Highly intelligent cat which learns tricks quickly
  • Friendly with human guests and other animals
  • Performs many tricks and likes to play with its family members

Cons

  • They need to be given enough attention, or they may develop separation anxiety
  • It is a unique and rare breed, which is why it is more expensive

Final Thoughts

There are countless reasons to get the snowshoe cat as your new pet! This cute, friendly cat is playful and active but will also let you pick it up and pet it for a long time with no obligation. You will have a blast playing with it and teaching it new tricks every other day while also having the best nap snuggling. 

The snowshoe will be an excellent addition for family homes with children where the cat will not lack any attention from humans or other pets. Don’t make any more delays and get this sweet and friendly cat as your new family member!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Snowshoe cats hypoallergenic?

No, they are not hypoallergenic. Although they have short fur and don't shed much, they can trigger allergies.