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American Wirehair

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American Wirehair
Country of origin
United States
Breed standards (external links)

The American Wirehair is a breed of domestic cat that originated in upstate New York. The first wirehair cat appeared as a random coat mutation among a litter of six born to two barn cats. This single red and white male had odd wiry fur. The owner of the cats called a local breeder of Rex cats, Mrs. William O'Shea, to take a look at the kitten. She bought the kitten for $50, along with one of his normal coated female littermates, to start a breeding program. The wirehaired male was named Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi, and the female Tip-Toe of Hi-Fi.
Breedings between the two produced wirehaired kittens, many of which were sold off to other interested breeders. As the population grew, cats were exported to Canada and Germany. the breed did well, and in 1978 they were accepted for Championship competition.
As of 2003, though the breed is well known, they are ranked as the most rare of the 41 CFA breeds, with only 22 registered, down from 39 in 2002.
The unique wirehair coat is genetically dominant over a normal coat, unlike the gene that creates rex fur. The fur is springy, dense and coarse, and even their whiskers are often curled. Many find it pleasant to the touch. It is unusual in that this coat has not appeared among other cats (most mutations occur in various places), and all wirehairs can trace their ancestry back to Adam. Apart from the wiry coat, they are strong, muscular cats, built similarly to American Shorthairs. They come in a variety of colors.
Their personality is described as intelligent, and affectionate. They are said to be adaptable cats resistant to disease, and have been described as both cool and reserved, and wild, playful and inquisitive cats.


Cat World, a Feline Encyclopaedia, by Desmond Morris, 1996

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