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In Europe, the Snowshoe cat, originally from the USA, is still very little represented, but due to its interesting appearance in combination with a unique character, it is sure to find many friends in this country too. A litter of Snowshoe Kittens is always full of sweet surprises: the young kittens are still completely white at the time of birth and only develop the various colors in the course of their development. The first color schemes are recognizable about ten days after the pretty creatures saw the light of day.

History of the Breed

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The pied beauty was originally created by chance, which was already involved in the creation of several cat breeds. At the end of the 1960s, the cat breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty in Philadelphia, USA, received a litter of a Siamese cat with “snowshoes” on its paws. The sources are controversial about the further course of events.

Some write that this actually beautiful appearance was initially viewed negatively, as a misstep by nature. After all, the opposite was desired – the characteristic dark drawn legs of the Siamese instead of the white “socks” of the Snowshoe cat. The alleged problem was solved by crossing short-haired races (two-colored American Shorthair) into the Siamese tribe. In this way, a new breed was created, which was known and coveted for its distinctive white paws and its typical “face mask” in the shape of an inverted “V” – initially mainly in the USA.

According to other sources, the breeder was delighted from the outset by this whim of nature, which was expressed in white paws – and she developed this beautiful appearance through targeted breeding. The Snowshoe cat was still presented at exhibitions in the 1960s. However, it was not until some time later that the beauty with the white paws received recognition as an “experimental breed”. It was not until 1974 that the American breeding associations CFF (“Cat Fanciers Federation”) and ACFA (“American Cat Fanciers Association”) added the Snowshoe cat to their breed register. At the end of the 1970s, it initially appeared as if the newly bred breed would immediately become extinct again because there were only four registered animals.

Fortunately, however, other breeders were able to get excited about the Snowshoe cat. After a revision of the breed standards and the registration rules, the Snowshoe was recognized by the CFF in 1982 and again in 1989 by the American breeding associations TICA and ACFA. Thanks to numerous reports in the trade press, the Snowshoe cat finally gained well-deserved attention on an international level. It is still relatively seldom represented in Europe and is an insider tip.


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The Snowshoe cat is a medium-sized, massive cat with a slim, but at the same time strong stature, which it owes to its Siamese ancestors. Her neck is of medium length, her muscles are strong, and her back is slightly curved. The head of the beautiful breed of cats sits in a wedge shape on the body. Their ears are large and pointy, and their almond to walnut-shaped eyes are an intense blue in color. Her signature face is shaped by a white inverted “V” and is characterized by high cheekbones. The tail of the Snowshoe cat thins towards the end, which underlines its elegant appearance. On the other hand, their tail is thick at the base. The beautiful strides through life on medium to long straight legs – and, if you’re lucky, maybe soon through your living room.

The white “snowshoes” on her paws, from which she owes her name, are less pronounced on the front feet than on the hind legs. Their coat color is identical to that of their Siamese ancestors. Colors that are particularly popular with snowshoe lovers are seal and blue. The Snowshoe is a white-spotted shorthair point cat and its fur is close to the body. Point cat describes a cat whose body fur is lightened, while the cooler body regions – the so-called points, such as the face, ears, legs, tail (and scrotum) – are darker in color. The Snowshoe cat is available in all Siamese colors: Red, Cream, Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Purple, Tabby Pointed, Fawn Pointed, Cinnamon, and Tortoiseshell Pointed. Female Snowshoe cats weigh between 2.5 and 5 kg, while Snowshoe males weigh between 4 and 6 kg.

Snowshoe Cat Temperant

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The Snowshoe cat is self-confident and bold, curious, intelligent, and headstrong. However, two hearts seem to be beating under her pleura. Because while on the one hand she is very sensitive and has a pronounced need for rest, on the other hand, she does not appreciate being alone. The nature of the Snowshoe cat is very related to humans. But she also loves the presence of other cats. It, therefore, turns out to be ideal if you include littermates.

The Snowshoe cat also generally gets along well with dogs. Since she likes to play, she is suitable for dealing with children under this aspect. Small children can, however, run counter to the Snowshoe cat’s need for rest. Therefore, this constellation is not recommended. Because the gentle, sensitive cat creature doesn’t like the hustle and bustle and, above all, no loud surroundings! The Snowshoe has many facets that make a life by your side exciting and, above all, very pleasant. With her, the characteristics of her first parents result in a unique mixture: She combines the curiosity and temperament of the Siamese with the calm and serenity of the American Shorthair. In terms of velvet-pawed beauty, it is very important that you, as the potential owner, deal with your requirements in detail so that they can both enjoy each other and your beloved kitty leads a life that suits her nature. It almost seems as if the Snowshoe cat feels like a highly sensitive person.

So she probably feels comfortable with an owner who has a need for rest that is as strong as she does. With all the need for rest, by the way, she also needs to be informed. Since she has a pleasant voice, this is perceived as nice. The person at the side of a Snowshoe cat should be very sensitive and develop a feeling for when the stimuli of the environment overwhelm his beloved cat – and adapt accordingly to his velvet-pawed and sensitively animated nature and his needs. Give your cat the opportunity to retreat into its cat tunnel or another sheltered place if there is too much outside stimulation.

At the same time, her human roommate should also offer her lots of stimulation through playing together and through a good company. The best way to challenge your curiosity and intelligence is to play intelligence games. In addition, the Snowshoe needs opportunities to hunt, because it is a good hunter and likes to cultivate this talent. She also appreciates climbing opportunities. A scratching post with several levels is therefore essential. When not hunting, playing, or climbing – or even then – the Snowshoe cat exudes a dignified calm that carries over to the two-legged friend at your side.

Snowshoe Diet

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As a true American, the Snowshoe likes to eat large portions of meat. It needs a fairly high percentage to get enough fat and protein. Cats can only process carbohydrates to a limited extent. She could become overweight from ingesting too many carbohydrates. These could also lead to diabetes in the further course. If in doubt, always ask your trusted veterinarian. They will be happy to give you competent advice on the Snowshoe cat’s eating habits. Your cat decides everything else.

With stimulated eating with a lot of appetites, your roommate kitty tells you in no uncertain terms that she likes it. For the size of the portions to be fed, it is important, among other things, whether your beloved cat is an outdoor cat or an indoor cat and whether it is spayed or neutered. The Snowshoe cat likes to eat throughout the day. So your cat food should always be accessible and fresh. Don’t overdo it with treats. It is important to comply with the nutritional requirements of your roommate kitty.

This is probably also due to the fact that this breed has not been around for too long and there are relatively few specimens of it. So far, in connection with the Snowshoe, the typical cat diseases, but no specific diseases that can be traced back to the special breeding, have been identified. In principle, however, it is not unlikely that the Snowshoe cat could be predisposed to similar breed-typical diseases due to its Siamese origin. You should have your snowshoe vaccinated against cat disease and cat flu when you are a kitten. Outdoor cats should also be vaccinated against rabies and leukosis. Make sure you also think about the subsequent booster vaccinations.

The Right Snowshoe Cat Breeder

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Do not buy the kittens from a “hobby breeder” who does not belong to a club. Sometimes dubious offers can be found in classified ads. They are usually characterized by a noticeably low price and come from people who breed without precise knowledge of genetic connections. Such offers are not advisable. If you want to take in a Snowshoe cat, you should definitely contact a reputable breeder. They can provide you with the cat’s pedigree. This is the only way you can be sure that you are getting a cat that is not genetically predisposed – and with a very good chance of a healthy life by your side.