In the 1960s, a Siamese belonging to Dorothy of Philadelphia gave birth to three kittens with white feet and color points. In an attempt to develop the unusual trait, Hinds-Daugherty began crossing seal point Siamese cats with bicolored American Shorthairs. The first generation did not have Siamese points, but they were bred back to Siamese and the Snowshoe look was achieved. Vikki Olander took over working with the new line from Hinds-Daughterty. The Snowshoe received “experimental breed” status from both the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association (ACA) in 1974. Through the efforts of Olander, Jim Hoffman, and Georgia Kuhnell, the Snowshoe was awarded championship status in 1988 by the CFF, and then by the American Cat Fancier’s Association in 1990. In 1993 it was recognized by The International Cat Association. The Snowshoe remains extremely rare today. The desired marks are created by recessive genes for color points. Due to other complicating genetic factors, predicting the outcome of a pairing is difficult.
The Snowshoe has a reputation for being a mellow cat with a sweet, affectionate personality.
The Snowshoe has a reputation for being a mellow cat with a sweet, affectionate personality. They like being with people and other pets, and do fine with children. They do not like to be left alone for long periods, but generally tolerate the hours when their humans are away at work if another cat is present. In testament to their Siamese heritage, the Snowshoe is quite vocal when they have a complaint to register. Thankfully they are not as loud as a Siamese, but they still make themselves heard. The Snowshow is intelligent, and deft with its paws, learning quickly how to open any type of door. They are receptive to learning tricks, and like to play in running water. Some individuals will even swim. Overall, they are active cats with a fondness for finding the highest spot in the room as their personal observation post.
The Snowshow is a medium to large cat with beautiful blue eyes, a pointed coat, and white markings on legs and paws. They can have either a triangular or “apple” head, with medium to large ears rounded slightly at the tips. The tail is medium in length. The overall effect is a pleasingly solid cat with a definite Siamese look, but in a somewhat fuller, and rounder form. These cats are, however, every bit as muscular and athletic as their Siamese ancestors.
A Snowshoe can have a variety of coat colors, but must have the distinctive white feet and other white markings, which are typically on the stomach, chest, and face in addition to the paws. Since the breed is new and unique, its standards vary by registry. Popular colors include blue, lilac, lynx, fawn, chocolate, and seal points.
Snowshoe cats have a medium to short coat that is smooth and bright. There is little undercoat, so although these cats do shed seasonally, the amount of loose hair is not excessive. Little grooming is necessary, but the outgoing Snowshoe is always ready for a good brushing because it means more time with its person.
Photo credit: Jan S./Shutterstock; Dave440/Wikimedia Commons
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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