Snowshoe is a very beautiful and unusual breed of cats. Its peculiarity is that even qualified breeders cannot guess what kind of kitten will be born. According to the strict standards, breeding Snowshoe turns into a real Russian roulette.
The name of the breed means “snow shoe”. These cats have been isolated as a separate breed because of the white shoes. The perfect “recipe” for Snowshoe: the Siamese coat pattern, white socks of the American shorthair cat, blue eyes, long paws and a unique character.
By the way, one of the famous heirs of this breed is the Internet star – The Grumpy Cat. One of his parents was a Snowshoe. But do not judge these cats only by expressing the face of this cat.
History of the Snowshoe cat breed
The homeland of the cat is Snowshoe is the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The breeder of Siamese cats Dorothy Hinds-Doherty drew attention to the kittens that were born with white spots and socks in the 1960s.
Then she decided to improve them and brought a Siamese cat with a two-tone American Shorthair. But the kittens still lacked the Siamese color. Then they were again brought back with the Siamese and the desired result was achieved.
Hinds-Doherty named the breed a snowshoe and carried it to the exhibition. However, the cats were not recognized immediately, therefore she refused to continue their breeding.
Then the baton was intercepted by another breeder Vicki Olander. It was she who created the first standard of the Snowshoe breed and achieved that the breed was recognized as experimental in the felinological organizations CFF and ACA in 1974.
But Olander remained the only breeder of Snowshoe in the US by 1977. Then she turned to other breeders and then she achieved champion status CFF in 1983 for the breed with them.
Description of the Snowshoe cats
Female Snowshoe has average sizes, male ones can be slightly larger. The weight of an adult Snowshoe can reach 6 kg, but it is 4 kg on average.
Description of the snowshoe according to the standards of the TICA organization:
- Head is wedge shaped, more like an isosceles triangle, with high cheekbones and tender contours;
- Ears are medium width at the base, continue wedge shaped head, with slightly rounded tips, of normal proportional size;
- Nose is medium width, maybe with a small bump, a smooth bend in the bridge of the nose;
- Eyes are oval, slightly rounded and elongated. Inclined to the base of the ears, not convex. Color: any shade of blue is allowed;
- Body is proportionally folded, powerful, mobile;
- Paws are good long sports, but do not stand out against the general background, are proportional to the build;
- Tail has normal length, slightly and gradually narrowing towards the end;
- Wool is short or closer to the average length, smooth.
In general, there are Snowshoe cats with the classical color of the Siamese cats: blue point, silp point, tortoiseshell. Other colors are hard to remove.
Snowshoe are even called panda-cats sometimes. Indeed, they have dark pigmentation on the head, shoulders and hips like pandas.
There is an inverted letter V on the muzzle. And, of course, white socks on the paws are the main features of the difference of Snowshoe. In this case, the final color can be formed only to 2 years, and the kittens are born white.
The nose and paw pads can be in tone to the color, pink or even spotty. Defects are long hair, the absence of white socks, not blue eyes and a disproportionate physique.
The nature of the Snowshoe cat breed is as unique in nature as it is in color. You are not bored with them. They are inquisitive, active. Despite the direct relationship to the loud Siamese, the Snowshoe has a soft and melodic voice. Although some are almost completely silent.
Most Snowshoes are very sociable. But often they choose their master, they accompany him everywhere, but they like to communicate with other people and animals. These are extroverted cats. They will gladly learn different tricks along with the dogs.
How to determine if you are suitable for Snowshoe? If you can pay attention to this cat and do not leave home for long, if you like to be in a cat company, then this breed is for you. And if you have children, then Snowshoe is the best choice. Emotional feedback from kids is an additional confirmation. In an extreme case, you should take two kittens of Snowshoe, so that they would never be bored.
An interesting feature of Snowshoe is that most of them like to swim in the water.
Care, maintenance and health
A Snowshoe needs to be combed to clean the fur a couple of times a week . It is better to brush your cat’s teeth to prevent periodontis . If you do not get it yourself or you are afraid of damaging its teeth, go to the veterinarian regularly (once a month).
To keep cat’s teeth healthy, you need to feed your pet with a balanced diet and vitamins.
In general, Snowshoes are healthy cats, despite the fact that mixed breeds often have genetic diseases. Snowshoe has a fractured tail or strabismus in inheritance from the Siamese breed, but this is not a serious threat to health. The life span of cats of this breed is quite large – 14-19 years.
Snowshoe cat price
Snowshoe is a very rare breed. The whole problem is in the difficulty of breeding these cats with an ideal standard appearance. The bottom line is that their color is based on recessive genes.
The same pigmentation on the muzzle in the form of the letter V – also depends on the gene of incomplete dominance. Because if the kitten Snowshoe turns out the right color, then the price is rather big.