American Wirehair

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The American Wirehair tends to be a calm and tolerant cat who takes life as it comes. They are a medium-size cat with regular features and a sweet expression. A favourite hobby is bird-watching from a sunny windowsill, and their hunting ability will stand you in good stead if insects enter the house.

If the American Wirehair is well socialized as a kitten, they should be happy to meet and interact with your guests. This six to 11 pound cat can be a good choice for families with older children who will treat them respectfully, but younger children and toddlers should be supervised so they don’t manhandle them. They also get along with cat-friendly dogs in the household.

You may hear that the American Wirehair coat is hypoallergenic because of the texture of their coat, but that is not correct. Allergies are not caused by a particular coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all cats (and people, for that matter). American Wirehairs look like their fur is made of steel wool, but are really quite soft and cuddly. This cat’s wiry coat, right down to the whiskers, is thick, hard and springy and comes in almost any colour or pattern.


American Wirehairs are good at entertaining themselves, but they also appreciate interactive play that involves “hunting” the lure at the end of a fishing-pole toy, batting at a big peacock feather or figuring out how to release treats from a puzzle toy.

They’re smart, trainable, and willing to learn things — like using a scratching post in place of your couch. A windowseat where they can birdwatch will be much appreciated.

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The American Wirehair is generally healthy, but because they can be crossed with the American Shorthair, they may develop some of the problems that affect that breed, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is always wise to buy from a breeder who provides a written health guarantee.

Other Quick Facts

  • This cat’s coat may look high-maintenance, but it requires almost no brushing or combing except during the spring, when old growth sheds
  • The American Wirehair has a crimped coat with a thick, coarse texture. It can come in just about any colour or pattern.
  • The American Wirehair is closely related to the American Shorthair and the two breeds are frequently crossed.

The American Wirehair is well suited to any home with people who will love them and give their unusual coat a weekly combing. Keep them indoors to protect them from cars, diseases spread by other cats and attacks from other animals.