We’ve recently had the pleasure of transporting a few Snowshoe cats. In this article we look into the breed in more detail and suggest a couple of UK breeders should you be interested in getting a Snowshoe cat.
Snowshoe Cat Origin
The Snowshoe cat is a relatively recent breed. It apparently dates back to the late 1960’s when a Siamese cat had some kittens with unusual white feet. Liking the look of these kittens she tried to replicate the appearance by cross breeding Siamese cats with American Shorthairs. In more recent times this combination was changed to crossing Oriental Shorthairs with the larger, older Siamese cats, resulting in the Snowshoe cat we know today. Having said this there seems to be photographic evidence of Siamese cats with white paws dating back to Victorian times. A Snowshoe’s head shape is very different to a Siamese however. A relatively rare breed, the markings are not easy to reproduce as they are the result of a recessive gene.
Snowshoe Cats – Basic Facts
Snowshoes have short coats that are a combination of white, blue, lilac, seal and chocolate. The darker shades typically appear on the tail, legs, ears and head. The paws are white and eye colour is blue. They are actually born completely white and develop their colour over the first few days and weeks of life.
Adult males typically weigh 9-12lb (4-5.5kg) whereas females weigh 7-10lb (3-4.5kg). They do shed but their grooming needs are only moderate and they are considered less allergenic than most cats. Snowshoe cats normally live to between 15-20 years. They are considered a healthy cat breed with no known breed specific genetic issues.
Their numbers plummeted in the 1970’s but have recovered since. They were first recognised by The Cat Fanciers Federation in 1982. The American Cat Fanciers Association recognised them in 1990 and The International Cat Association in 1994. At the time of writing, they are not recognised by The Cat Fanciers Association.
Snowshoes do like attention and are both intelligent and playful. They are not a breed that likes to be on their own for long periods. They do well in homes with children and are also a good choice if you have other cats. Like the Siamese, Snowshoes can be quite vocal or ‘chatty’ with their humans, though they are not as loud as Siamese. I’m told that unusually for most cats, the Snowshoe likes water, even bathing in it! Relatively active cats, they seem to enjoy being up high. Generally Snowshoes are kept as house cats.
Snowshoe Cats – UK Breeders
Being quite a rare breed there are only a handful of UK breeders. The one I have most experience with is Katy Gee in South Northamptonshire. You can find out more about Katy by visiting her website as follows:
I’ve collected a total of 3 kittens from Katy, all heading to Scotland to a lady who intends to become a breeder. She may well become the first Snowshoe Cat breeder north of the border in a year or two. If I get confirmation that she has become a Snowshoe breeder I will update this article with her details.