Cat Breeds

American Wirehair

Isabel Hartley

The American Wirehair cat is a unique breed known for its distinct coat that sets it apart from other feline breeds.

Native to upstate New York, this breed first appeared as a spontaneous mutation within a litter of kittens born in a barn. The characteristic that defines the breed is its wiry, crimped fur which is the result of a natural genetic mutation.

This gives the cat a somewhat shaggy appearance that is unusual when compared to the sleek coats of other domesticated cats.

American Wirehairs are generally medium in size with adult cats weighing between 8 to 12 pounds.

They have a durable constitution and a playful yet affectionate nature, making them suitable for families and singles alike.

Their coat, which may look tough, is springy, dense, and surprisingly soft to the touch.

Care for their distinctive coat tends to be minimal, with excessive grooming discouraged to preserve the natural qualities of their fur.

This breed is known for being adaptable and laid back.

With a lifespan ranging from 7 to 12 years, they make for long-term companions that fit well into various living situations.

Despite the rough texture of their coat, American Wirehairs are not known to be hypoallergenic.

They are, however, a low-shedding breed, which might be a consideration for potential owners concerned with cleanliness and allergens.

Breed Overview

The American Wirehair cat is recognized for its unique coat and robust build. Its rare, wiry fur gives it a distinct appearance, while its history and friendly temperament make it a fascinating breed.


The American Wirehair made its first appearance in the United States in 1966, thanks to a spontaneous genetic mutation in a litter born on a farm in upstate New York. They are one of the newest cat breeds and are still relatively rare.


Coat LengthShort to medium
Coat TextureWiry, crimped, coarse
Body TypeMedium to large, muscular
WeightMales: 8-12 lbs, Females: slightly less

Their distinctive coat can come in a variety of colors and patterns, and they might exhibit some straight hairs among the predominantly crimped ones.


These cats are known for their friendly and adaptable nature. They typically enjoy spending time with their human companions and can be quite playful.

Despite their robust appearance, American Wirehairs have a gentle demeanor.

Care and Grooming

The American Wirehair cat breed is relatively low-maintenance with a distinct coat that demands specific grooming practices. Alongside regular grooming, owners must pay attention to their health to ensure they live a vibrant life.

Grooming Requirements

The unique, wiry coat of the American Wirehair doesn’t require frequent grooming as it tends to resist matting.

A weekly combing with a rubber brush or a grooming glove should suffice to remove any loose hair and distribute natural skin oils.

It’s essential to be gentle during grooming sessions to avoid damaging the distinctive coat texture. Bathing is rarely necessary unless the cat gets particularly dirty.

Health Considerations

American Wirehairs are generally healthy, but they share common genetic health concerns with other breeds.

They should have regular veterinary check-ups to monitor for signs of heart conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and common feline illnesses.

A balanced diet and proper dental care are paramount to maintain their overall health and wellbeing. Regular vaccinations and parasite control are also crucial in keeping them healthy.

Adoption and Ownership

When looking to adopt an American Wirehair, potential owners should consider breeders and the unique aspects of living with this distinct cat breed.

Finding a Breeder

When searching for American Wirehair kittens, it’s important to find reputable breeders. They should prioritize the health, temperament, and genetic qualities of their cats.

  • Health Guarantees: Confirm that kittens come with health clearances.
  • Breeder Reputation: Seek out breeders with positive reviews from previous buyers.
  • Visit in person: If possible, visit the cattery to see the conditions and meet the kittens.
  • Ask Questions: Inquire about the kitten’s lineage, health history, and socialization.

Living with an American Wirehair

American wirehairs make a lively addition to any home. Here’s what to expect:

  • Coat Care: Their wiry coats are low-maintenance but may require occasional grooming.
  • Playfulness: These cats are typically active and enjoy interactive play.
  • Health: Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to maintaining their well-being.
  • Environment: They thrive in loving environments and can adapt to various living situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to common inquiries about the American Wirehair cat breed, from their physical characteristics to their care requirements.

What are the characteristics of an American wirehair cat?

The American Wirehair cat is known for its distinctive wiry coat, which is the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation.
They typically measure 10 to 14 inches and weigh between 8 and 15 pounds.

How much does an American wirehair cat typically cost?

An American Wirehair cat’s price ranges from $800 to $1,200. The cost could vary based on the breed’s rarity and the breeder’s reputation.

What are the personality traits of American wirehair cats?

American Wirehair cats are gentle, sociable, and affectionate companions. They’re sensible and do not require constant attention, but they will play when in the mood.

How can one determine if a cat is an American Wirehair?

An American Wirehair cat can be identified by its wiry coat and medium- to medium-short hair. They trace back to a genetic mutation that first appeared in upstate New York in 1966.

Are there any special care requirements for American wirehair cats?

Care for American Wirehairs is similar to that for other breeds, focusing on regular grooming to manage their unique coat, a well-balanced diet, and routine veterinary checkups.

Is the American Wirehair considered a rare breed?

Yes, the American wirehair is still relatively rare. It is a breed that developed from a mutation that occurred in the mid-1960s. It’s most notably native to upstate New York.