Snowshoe cat is one of the rarest cat breeds in the world. They are famous for their unique features with a point coloration coat and four all-white paws as if they are wearing white mittens the whole time. They have light body color and the color gets darker on their ears, legs and tails. Snowshoe is such a fun-loving cat, she is nothing more than a mellow. Therefore, if you are a pet-owner who loves pretty and friendly kittens, Snowshoe is the perfect fit for you. And now, let’s find out more about this amazing cat breed.
Snowshoe Cat Breed History
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The Snowshoe cat is originated in the United States in 1960s. They first appeared inadvertently when a Siamese cat breeder, Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, produced a litter of the Siamese kittens and surprised to find out three of them had unique markings, with white points and feet. Amazed by their beautiful unique features, she immediately started a breeding program to produce the kitty with features like them by combining seal point cats (Siamese cats) with bicolor American Shorthairs and other cat breeds.
The result came out successfully. The offspring obtained four unique with paws although the lacked some features of Siamese cat. Because of this distinctive feature, Hinds-Daughtery decided to name the newly breed “Snowshoe” because they looked like they’re wearing white socks or shoes. However, people didn’t pay much attention to them at that time and Hinds-Daugherty finally stopped the program.
However, the program was continued by Vikki Olander. She kept working with cats to produce snowshoe breed and recruiting new breeders, as well as trying to attain full recognition from cat associations. All the hard work paid off, she finally got the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association’s (ACA) recognizing “experimental breed” status for the Snowshoe in 1974. Moreover, Snowshoe were fully recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) and American Cat Fanciers’ Association (ACFA) in the ‘90s.
One of the most famous cats resembling Snowshoe’s feature is Tardar Sauce, also known as Grumpy Cat because of her interesting face expression. This grumpy cat breed is actually a mix of Persian (one of the most beautiful black and white cat breeds), Ragdoll, or Snowshoe, according to her owners.
Although it has been around for 45 years since Snowshoe first appeared, it is still a rare breed due to the difficulty in reproducing the rigid fur pattern (the result of recessive genes) like the original model.
One of the most difficult traits to maintain is the “white boots”. Some cats have the boots extend to far up to the legs or not far enough to reach the legs, some even completely lack of white features on their paws. Therefore, until today, this kind of breed is still considered to be rare.
Physical characteristics of snowshoe cat
The Snowshoe is a medium-large cat. Typically, male cats weigh from 9 to 12 lbs, while female’s weight is from 7 to 10 Ibs.
It takes longer time for Snowshoe to grow up than other cat breeds. Usually, crossbreds and domestic cats only takes 1 year to fully develop. But with Snowshoe, cats can take up to 2 years to produce offspring for the first time.
One interesting fact about this kind of breed is the offspring are born with white or very pale fur. The points (dark areas) will appear in the first few weeks and get darken over the time.
The coat of the Snowshoe is pretty short and really smooth. They have impressive coat color recognized as point coloration. Their body color is light, varying from one to another. It can be white, cream or cinnamin color. Therefore, you can have a brown and white cat or a cat with black and white. The fur gets darker on areas like tail, legs, ears and face.
Snowshoe always look like they have a “tuxedo” one their face due to the dark inverted “V” facial marking. And of course we can’t miss the most important feature making their name, which are white paws. Thanks to this distinctive feature, Snowshoe has become famous and loved by many cat lovers. The color of paw pads and nose leather can be pink or it can be the same color with the points. Sometimes, it can be the combination of both pink and points color.
Although categorized as short-hair breed, Snowshoe has longer hair than that of Siamese. Their coat should be of medium to short in length and they shouldn’t have an undercoat.
🐈 Eye color
The purebred cats always have blue eyes. However, their eye color can range from pale to deep blue depending on different individuals. A Snowshoe can steal your heart at once just by glancing at you with the large, wide and sparkling blue eyes. They have walnut-shaped eyes, which are larger and rounder than those of Siamese cat, however, they are not as round as the eyes of Persian cat.
The Snowshoe has a firm rectangular body shape. They also have medium-large ears on top of a fairly rounded head and medium-sized paws. Don’t be fooled by its precious appearance, it is a natural runner and is more powerful than it looks. You’ll be surprised by how strong it is when you hold it.
The Snowshoe cat is a playful and intelligent creature. They are also extrovert and really active. Frankly speaking, with those personalities, they are pretty much like dogs.
Being a playful feline, a Snowshoe can do everything to have your attention. She has a strong attachment with her owner, therefore, she likes to be with you, lie down beside you and of course, she loves to be petted. You might not notice but your hairy buddy always observes what you do and she considers it to be her pastime. If you can’t stand loneliness and like to take care of things or people, a snowshoe can be your perfect companion because they are not a loner either.
The snowshoe loves to be surrounded by family members, and it has a warm and friendly relationship with everyone in the family. However, it usually picks a favorite one to stick to. The cats also have interest in perching in high places so you should consider buying your little companion a cat condo.
Snowshoe is an extrovert cat and she is also very curious about everything, just like her Siamese relative. If you have guests in your house, your cat might feel a little bit shy at first, but she will soon get along well with your guests. She is quite friendly with other cats, dogs or children. Therefore, you can take her to the park, they like to explore things and make friends with other people and animals. You should make sure that you offer your cat a lot of toys to keep her out of boredom and remember to play with her. That can help to enrich the bond between you and your cat.
As said earlier, Snowshoe cat is very smart. Therefore, you can train them many tricks, especially fetch. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your cat can learn those games and tricks. Another interesting fact about them is they like water. Not like many of their fellow cats, Snowshoe enjoys playing in the water, particularly running water and some even like to swim. They like to open your faucet and play with it. So be careful if you leave them alone and they know that trick.
Snowshoe can be considered as “talkative”, this trait if from their Siamese heritage. Having a snowshoe, you’ll never feel lonely cause she will “talk” to you all the time. And trust me, you’re not going to have a headache from the conversation with your cat because snowshoe has a really soft and melodic voice.
How to take care
Diet and Nutrition
Like other carnivores, you should feed your Snowshoe cat with high-quality animal protein to keep her in optimal health. The most important ingredient in the cat food is meat-based product. If you are not sure which cat food products you should buy for your cat, you can ask for advices from the veterinarian. They can examine your cat’s health status and give you the most suitable food for the cat.
Many people assume cat loves fish. This is true, however, it is not good for your cats if you use fish for their daily feeding because your cats can suffer from a deficiency in vitamin E resulted from high level of fatty acid in fish.
You should also combine dry food and wet food together to ensure the variety in your cat’s diet, which helps to keep her in the best health condition. If you also have dogs in your house, make sure you don’t feed them the same food. The nutrition demand of cats and dogs are different, letting them eat the same food can lead to health problems related to eye and heart.
Common Health Problems
Since the Snowshoe cat is still a quite new breed, there hasn’t been a lot of information about their inheritable conditions, but snowshoe is considered to be healthy in general.
However, they sometimes can take genetic traits from their Siamese relative like cross-eyes and kinked tails. Although they don’t cause any health problems or discomfort for your cat, they really affect your cat’s appearance.
It is inevitable for a snowshoe to have common cat diseases. One of the most-seen diseases in cat is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). It is not until many years after the first infection of FIV that your cats show symptoms. Infected cats will suffer from weak immune system, which makes your cats easily to get various secondary infections. You should offer your cat supportive medical care and stress-free environment.
Another common health problem in cat is dental diseases. But you don’t need to worry because this disease is absolutely preventable and curable. To help them avoid from having dental problem, you should make sure you feed them with high-quality diet and add teeth brushing to their grooming routine. Also, remember to have them examining their teeth in a veterinary clinic.
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If you are a lazy pet owner, you must love having a Snowshoe cause this breed doesn’t require much care to maintain the coat thanks to their short-haired heritage known as very clean. However, you should rub over your cat’s coat once a week to remove dead hair and keep the fur clean. Little grooming for your cats is necessary too although they don’t shed much hair.
Snowshoe Cat Lifespan
The Snowshoe cat can live from 12 to 15 years, this is one of the longest lifespan among cat breeds.
Take a good care of your cats, offer them high-quality diet and loving environment can help prolong their lifespan. And don’t forget to take your pets to veterinary clinic to examine health regularly to make sure they’re in the best condition.
Children And Other Pets
Snowshoes are always described as affectionate and friendly cats. They are also really active and sociable, therefore, they would be a best choice for households with children and cat-friendly canine guys. Snowshoes will become good friends with your dogs since they share some similar personalities.
This kind of cat breed also love having people around, therefore, it can easily get on well with children.
The price of Snowshoe cats is not very high compared to other cat breeds. It can range from $300 to $500 with limited registration. However, cats with full registration are much more expensive. Snowshoes from infamous breeders cost from $500 – $800/ kitten, while the cost of Snowshoes from well-known breeders can reach up to $1200/ kitten.