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
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.