American Wirehair

If you want to get a really rare cat, you will love learning a bit more about the American Wirehair. This is an American original, and it is not a breed you can easily come across. It might be surprising these cats are so rare because they have a wonderful temperament. They make fantastic family companions and pets, and all cat lovers could be fortunate to have one at home. Here’s what you should know about the amazing American Wirehair.

American Wirehair


12 - 15 in

American Wirehair


8 - 15 lb

American Wirehair


Upstate New York, USA

American Wirehair

Life Expectancy:

14 - 18 years

Breed History

The American Wirehair’s wiry coat is a result of a genetic mutation. This is certainly not an isolated case, and cats with different coat mutations appeared worldwide. However, the mutation for wiry hair only appeared in the US, as far as we know. American cat lovers and breeders made an effort to establish a breed and a breeding line. The first time this mutation appeared, only two kittens survived. In 1966, a litter was born with kittens that had wiry coats. This was very unusual to the cat’s owner, so she introduced the surviving kittens to a cat breeder called Joan O’Shea. O’Shea immediately purchased the kitten and decided to create a breed with unique coat characteristics. The breed got first recognition in 1978, and international recognitions followed. However, some registries consider it a variety of the American Shorthair.

Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health

There are different characteristics that will define a cat breed. These cats have a moderate but sturdy build, and they have pronounced muzzles and high cheekbones. Most American Wirehairs have golden eyes, but some cats can have blue or amber eyes. Here are the most dominant characteristics we will focus on.


The first thing we need to mention is American Wirehair’s coat. These cats have a wiry coat, much like some Terriers. The coat is springy, and even the cat’s ear fur and whiskers are wiry. They are easy to groom, but these cats will require sunblock if they are often outside during summer.

American Wirehair

Coat color

Another characteristic that will define a breed is its coat color. However, cats usually have loads of colors their standard allows. That is precisely the case with the American Wirehair. These cats come in all sorts of colors and patterns. However, Himalayan, lilac, and chocolate are not allowed in show rings.


Future owners should know how large these cats get. You don’t want to end up with a cat that is too much for your home. Luckily, the American Wirehair is a medium-to-large cat. Most adults are 8 - 15 pounds, and females are slightly smaller than males.


Because the American Wirehair came to life by a mutation, these cats were outcrossed with the American Shorthair. One of the things they have in common is their temperaments. The American Wirehair is affectionate, playful, curious, and adaptable. These cats make fantastic family pets, and they can even be your traveling companion. They are somewhat energetic, so make sure you provide your cat with plenty of activities throughout the day. They are also reasonably intelligent, so make sure their minds are engaged as well.


Unfortunately, most pureblooded and mixed cat breeds are prone to specific health issues. Since this breed is pretty rare, vets and owners haven’t studied it well enough to notice all of the potential health issues. Two things we know this breed can develop is;

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - This is a heart condition sometimes seen in this breed. The genetic component has not yet been confirmed.
  • Mouth and gum disease - These cats seem prone to issues with their mouth, teeth, and gums. Oral hygiene is crucial from an early age for these cats.

World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at09.01.2022.