Defined by White Booties and a Whole Range of Elusive Traits
Antonia Cirjek - Last Updated on January 28th, 2021
Things you Should Know about the Snowshoe
The Snowshoe Cat is a rare breed that showed up relatively recently. The breed got its name thanks to the distinctive look of its paws. The paws make it look like it is wearing snow boots.
These cats have a somewhat similar personality to the Siamese, but they also have some unique features. They are affectionate cats that form strong bonds with their owners. They are also quite intelligent, active, and confident.
One thing that is especially interesting about the Snowshoe is that they get along really well with dogs, especially gentle ones. This makes them an excellent addition to a multi-pet household. Still, you will need to focus the majority of your attention on them.
Appearance Matters. What does a Snowshoe look like?
The Snowshoe cat size is medium, and they weigh between 9lbs and 12lbs. However, females are a bit smaller and mostly weigh from 7lbs to 10lbs.
They have a muscular, rectangular body that never gets too bulky. We can compare their build to a runner instead of a wrestler, for example, although they have a lot of muscle power. When picked up, these cats will feel quite hefty.
They have medium to large ears, and their head is only slightly rounded. The cat also features medium-sized oval paws that taper to the toes. The coat and the color markings of a Snowshoe are exceptionally distinct.
Snowshoe vs. Siamese
They are a reflection of their Siamese ancestors. The Snowshoe is born completely white and starts to develop its dark features throughout the several first years of life. This is not where the similarities end.
They are both seal point or blue point breeds, but the Snowshoe has a coat reminiscent of a tuxedo. The feet are a different color, which is a trait inherited from the American Shorthair. The coat of a Snowshoe cat will gradually darken.
All of this, combined with these cats’ athletic build, makes for some incredibly gorgeous specimens. Their body and face are much more round than those of Siamese cats.
They have another striking feature, and it is their eyes. The color ranges from deep to pale blue, and they are always strikingly gorgeous, bright, and shining.
The paw pads can be either white, flesh tone, point color, or mottled. They will also darken with age.
What colors do the Snowshoe cats come in?
Snowshoe cats have a coat shade and markings that can vary greatly. It all depends on the breed since their patterns are related to a recessive gene. This makes it hard to achieve consistency.
According to the accepted standard, it is ideal for them to have distinct darker pointing on their tails, legs, ears, and the top of their face. These cats have white paws, chests, and lower parts of their faces. They will often have a v-shaped mask around where the lighter and darker parts of their face meet around the eyes.
Even though the colors are incredibly varied, here are some of the more popular ones:
- Seal Point
- Blue Point
Are Snowshoe cats rare?
Breeders have been working on producing more Snowshoe cats for more than 50 years. However, they remain rare. It is not easy to breed them mostly because their coat markings and patterns are difficult to reproduce.
It is a difficult process since these traits are connected to a recessive gene, which can be extremely hard to control.
It's all Personal. The Snowshoe Temperament
The Snowshoe cat personality makes them extremely attached to their family. They do seem to not get along well with strangers, but they won’t leave your side once they get to know you.
These cats do not like to be left alone for long periods. They can become very stressed when alone, so keep that in mind if you decide to welcome one into your family.
As far as living in a household with children, these are cats that get along with children well. They are also known for getting along well with dogs due to their tolerant nature.
Snowshoe cats are curious and intelligent, which is another trait they share with their Siamese relatives. They like to climb high places in the house and survey the surroundings. They also like playing, so make sure they have access to a variety of toys.
This will entertain them and prevent them from getting bored and start destroying things around the house.
One other exciting thing about these cats is that they enjoy an occasional dip in the water. This makes them different from most cats and offers a unique experience.
The Snowshoe is easy to train, and you can teach it simple commands and tricks without a problem. If you use positive reinforcement methods to do so, you will surely increase the bond between the two of you.
However, if you are addicted to peace and quiet around the house, a Snowshoe might not be the best pick for you. They are a vocal breed, and you will hear their voice quite often.
Caring for your Snowshoe
Snowshoe cats have a medium to short coat, without a noticeable undercoat. Their coat is bright and smooth, and an undercoat is usually considered a fault in a Snowshoe. When it comes to maintenance of the coat, there isn’t that much work required.
These cats are very clean, and they rarely shed. You should brush them with a rubber grooming brush once a week, and it should be enough to keep them nice and groomed. This way, you will take care of any dead hairs.
They are not a hypoallergenic breed, but since their shedding is minimal, you might not have a problem if your allergies are mild.
The Health and Happiness of your Snowshoe
The Snowshoe cat’s lifespan is around 12 years. They are still considered a relatively new breed, so we don’t know much about possible inheritable conditions. However, most breeders consider them to be healthy in general.
Some conditions that they are prone to include kinked tails and cross-eyes, both genetic traits that also appear in the Siamese. However, if your cat is born with any of these peculiarities, it won’t cause any health issues. The cat will just look different.
Feline History. Where does the Snowshoe come from?
The Snowshoe cat is a somewhat new breed. These cats date back to the 1960s. Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, an American breeder of Siamese cats, found three unique kittens in one of her litters. These kittens had four white paws, which gave them a unique look when combined with the typically pointed markings.
This caught her eye, and she decided to cross these cats with an American Shorthair cat with tuxedo markings. Her goal was to develop this look. In time, a new and distinct breed developed; the beautiful Snowshoe.
There was only one breeder in the 1970s in the US. However, they are becoming increasingly popular. The Cat Fanciers’ Federation recognized them in 1982, and the International Cat Association in 1994.