Cat Breeds 101: Snowshoe

Cat Breeds 101 - Snowshoe
Cat Breeds 101: Snowshoe – Image To Repin / Share
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The Snowshoe cat is a rare cat breed that directly descended from the Siamese. It was first discovered in Philadelphia in the 1960’s by Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, when her Siamese cat gave birth to three kittens all with pure white paws – snowshoes! Daugherty went on to develop the breed from there.

Finally, in the mid-1970s, the Snowshoe was accepted as an experimental breed. However, it did not gain much interest from breeders for a long time because it is notoriously difficult to produce.

To have a cat accepted as a genuine Snowshoe, it needs to have (1) four pure white feet, in accordance with its name; (2) a white inverted V pattern that goes from its mouth to the whiskers above its eyes; (3) a body as long as a Siamese’s but as hefty as an American Shorthair’s; and (4) a blue point or seal point color, to make its markings prominent. Its coat should be short, and its eyes should be blue. The eye shape is oval, not narrow like the Siamese. To top it all off, the gene that determines the whiteness of its paws is a recessive gene.

In other words, an acceptable Snowshoe is rather difficult to produce. (And if you did not believe then, perhaps you believe it now!)

Nevertheless, in recent years, the Snowshoe has grown in popularity, and more people are taking on the challenge of producing this complicated breed. One of the reasons for the Snowshoe’s growing appeal is its immense sociability. Some snowshoe cat owners swear their cat thinks it’s human.

In truth, while it’s hard to know exactly what the Snowshoe thinks, it is easy to observe that, in general, this breed does love being with people. It enjoys being touched, caressed, and talked to. And it does talk back, in its own cat way. In fact, the Snowshoe can be quite talkative. Fortunately, its voice is more modulated than its Siamese ancestor’s. [1]

Aside from its sociable temperament, another thing that makes the Snowshoe a good family pet is that it is rather easy to groom. Because the Snowshoe has smooth, short hair and very little undercoat, it generally sheds very little and does not need a lot of grooming outside of its annual shedding season. Nevertheless, it’s not a bad idea to give your Snowshoe a good brushing whenever possible, not because it needs the brushing but because it truly enjoys being held.

The Snowshoe is good with kids. In fact, it thrives in the presence of children – or any other human being that it considers family, for that matter. (It does discriminate against strangers, though.)

What this cat sorely hates the most is being left alone. Remember that the Snowshoe is an intelligent breed. If you leave it alone for too long, it will likely figure out a way to get out of the place where you left it. And then it is likely to hunt you down, find where you are, and then scold you noisily for your careless neglect. [2]

[1] “Snowshoe,” Cat Breed Directory. Animal Planet.
[2] Snowshoe.

Snowshoe Cat Video: