The American Wirehair is medium to large in size, with a well- rounded body and large, bright eyes that are round and slant upward on the outer corners. It is found in a variety of colors and has a similar standard – an abstract aesthetic ideal for the animal type – as the American Shorthair.
The breed comes in a variety of colors and patterns including solid, tabby, calico, tortoiseshell, bicolor and particolor.
The American Wirehair’s coat is clearly the most important characteristic of this breed. It is tight, coarse, resilient and springy, but often soft to the touch. By some comparisons, the hair of a Wirehair is like lamb’s wool. The individual hairs are hooked at the ends, and throughout are crimped or kinky, sometimes forming tight ringlets. The look of the hair can be spiky or curly, and it is important that the hair in the ears and the whiskers follow this form as well.
Personality and Temperament
Owners report that the Wirehair is an easy cat to live with and care for, with its gentle and affectionate ways, and small, unobtrusive voice and demeanor. It is both humorous and playful, reveling in attention. The Wirehair is also the perfect cat for those who have other pets, including dogs, or those who have visitors over often.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Although the breed is an easy-keeper, there are grooming details that must be kept in mind. Because the hair inside the ears are coarse and curly, the ears may have wax buildup, although regularly cleaning should prevent any clogging problems in the ear canals.
IDEAL LIVING CONDITIONS
The American Wirehair is an overall people-oriented cat. It bonds with all of the members of the family, and is known to be sensitive to people’s moods and will stay close, even following family members around the house or laying close by.
Some Wirehairs may also have oily skin. But rather than brushing them, many breeders suggest gently bathing the cat with a mild shampoo. This avoids any damaging of the hair. When drying the hair, it is best to use a gentle towel or air drying; it is particularly important that the hair not be brushed or combed while it is wet. Always ask your cat’s breeder the best method to take care of your Wirehair, as not all are alike, and some hair traits can be carried from the parents.
The Wirehair does not have any inherent genetic problems. Through careful breeding, a strong and vigorous hybrid has come to the fore, making the Wirehair resistant to disease, and one of the healthiest and easiest to care for domestic cats.
Some breeders have reported that their Wirehairs have had hair and skin problems related to stress or weather changes, and that the hardest coats are most delicate and prone to breakage.
History and Background
The first recognized American Wirehair was born in Verona, NY in a barn on the Council Rock Farm. It was the Spring of 1966, and Nathan Mosher, the master of the farm, knew he had a unique cat.
In 1967 the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) granted registration rights for the American Wirehair as a separate breed, and in 1978 the CFA accepted the Wirehair for championship competition. Although a Wirehair has not yet been awarded the CFA’s Best Cat, they have consistently been able to garner winning positions in the top 25 best cats. The Wirehair came closest in 2002 and ‘03, when Brillocatz Curley Sue won 3rd place Best Kitten, and in 2006 through 2007 with Cameroncats Christina of Kaw at 2nd place Best Cat.