The history of the American Wirehair cats began in 1966 at a farm in Verona, New York. There an American Shorthair cat gave birth to an exceptional young animal. The little red-white cat had a strange, wire-like coat.
The farmer who owned the litter consulted the experienced cat expert Joan O`Shea, who bought the animal for $ 50 and gave him the significant name "Adam". Together with a sibling from the same litter, the cat lover began to work on breeding a new cat breed. A whole series of wirehairs was born and by 1969 the breed had gained a wide range of lovers. Crossing with American Shorthairs is still permitted today, in order to avoid a too strong inbreeding. The American Wirehair has been officially recognized as a breed since 1977, but has always remained rare.
Although the breed is popular in the USA and Canada, elsewhere there are only a few breeders in Germany and Japan. In the rest of the world the race is almost unknown.
Appearance of the American Wirehair
At first sight, an American Wirehair resembles a Rex cat. It is medium-sized, supple and elegant. The legs are strong and muscular, also the paws are strong and of oval shape. The chest is round and well developed. Typical characteristics are a rounded oblong head, a slightly concave curve to the nose, full cheeks with a broad squared muzzle and a back that is broad, straight and level. The large, expressive eyes are wide apart and slightly oblique. The ears are medium-sized and slightly rounded, often also ear tufts are to be found. The tail is medium and wide with a rounded tail tip. The coat of the American Wirehair is elastic, dense, resilient, coarse and crimped with an overall springy appearance. It feels like a young lamb. The top hairs are also hook-like and curved at the tips.
Character of the American Wirehair
American Wirehairs are intelligent, trustworthy and good-natured animals. They have the same positive temperament as the American Shorthair. They are very sociable, friendly and loving and can easily get along with children and other animals. They are quite robust and are also called "Punk cats". What the active, playful animals claim for themselves is the possibility to be able to live out their urge for movement and new discoveries. An American Wirehair must be able to spend time letting off steam. If you respect this need, you will have a solid, quiet animal, which is a lot of fun.
Breed Standard of the American Wirehair
The body of the American Wirehair should be rounded and have the same width at the hips and shoulders. Each hair of the fur should be bent and curled and bent over at the ends. The general impression is given a lot of importance. The side profile should show a curve with a modified stop. The colour of the eyes should be in harmony with the colour of the coat. Silver cats should only have green eyes, but a brown tabby should only have gold-coloured eyes. The colours chocolate, lilac and colorpoint are not recognised.
Specialties of American Wirehair
The greatest peculiarity of this breed is doubtless the fur. Originating from a spontaneous mutation of the Wirehair gene "Wh", which is dominant to normal hair. The coat texture can feel more coarse in male American Wirehairs than in females. Some animals also short or broken whiskers, similar to Devon Rex cats. The kittens are easily recognised by their crinkled fur and whiskers.