American Wirehair Description
The American Wirehair is a cat of a unique coat. Similar to the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, the American Wirehair differs as the gene responsible for this coat affects all the different hair types on the cat. With a coat that is springy, dense, and resilient while coarse and hard, the American Wirehair is a 'feel for yourself' experience. The gene that causes the unique coat is an incomplete dominant gene, which means that not all kittens in a litter will receive the coat even if two wirehaired parents are bred; however, coarseness is dependent on parents and to produce a high-quality coat both parents should be hard coated.
When born, whisker wiring should be readily apparent in those that will become wirehaired, though ideally a kitten will show an overall wiring without ringlets as these can loosen into waves and lighter wiring may tighten. While at one time breeders were breeding all kittens in a litter, the breed has expanded enough that only those who show some form of kinking are bred. It is difficult to create an ideal coat, and combined with the standard relying heavily on that of the American Shorthair, coat quality may be lost in a litter as attempts to reach the body standards are made. Individual hairs on the coat should be 'crimped, hooked, or bent', including the hairs in the ears, though preference is given to an all over appearance of wiring. Density of the hairs should be ringlets over waves with curly whiskers.
The head should be in proportion to the body with prominent cheekbones and jowls in males. Ears are medium in length and rounded at the tips. Eyes are large, round and bright. They should be set well apart and be a complimentary color to the coat. The body of the American Wirehair should be medium large, with medium legs and full, firm and rounded paws on heavy pads.
Colors showing hybridization: chocolate, lilac, the himalayan pattern or these with white are not permissible.
American Wirehair Temperament
The American Wirehair is a sweet cat that craves attention and affection but is not clingy or demanding. They will follow you around the house, desiring to be intimately involved in all you do throughout the day. Active but not hyper, they love being the center of attention and enjoy playing the clown. The American Wirehair is also a loving companion, sensing when an owner is feeling a bit down and devoting all their attention to raising the mood.
American Wirehair Care
The coat of the American Wirehair is easy to care for, however the cat itself is prone to allergies and skin irritation. Regular bathing and ear cleaning are recommended as they are very oily and this only aggravates skin conditions. They are, however, an overall healthy cat free of hereditary conditions.
American Wirehair History
The American Wirehair is one of a very small number of uniquely American cats. Originally descended from a barn cat on the East Coast, this breed is slowly gaining in popularity. To keep the gene pool large, the breed was originally outcrossed with the American Shorthair and owes much to the breed for providing such a stable pool. As the breed is descended from a barn cat, the standard has always reflected this and required that in shape and appearance they be held close to the American Shorthair standard. Breeding has been a long and arduous journey with few takers leading to long waits and high prices for this American beauty.