Angela Westfall
Your guide to this article today is by cat expert Angela Westfall
Published 15:06 pm

Widely recognized for their characteristically springy coats. American Wirehair cats are a popular breed in the US. A fully domesticated and loving feline, they make great pets. Grooming needs are minimal, personalities are generally agreeable, and there aren’t too many health issues to speak of. So, if you are thinking of inviting one of these cats into your life, this guide gives you some more information. Or, if you have one already, hopefully this guide gives you some top tips on how to look after them that little bit better.

American wirehair cat on the rock

History of the American Wirehair Cat

While many cats have exotic histories from all over the world, the American Wirehair cat has origins from the good ol’ USA. The genetic mutation was first noticed in a litter of domestic shorthairs in 1966 in New York. A red tabby and white male survived and were shown and sold to a local breeder, who then started crossing them with more American Shorthairs. The breeding process was carefully planned, and the new breed developed popularity very quickly in the US.

Quick Facts About the American Wirehair Cat

Male American Wirehair cats are larger at 12 lbs or over, while females tend to range between 8 and 12 lbs. They come in numerous different colors, while their coat is short/medium in a distinctive crimped style, which is the main factor that distinguishes them from American Shorthairs.

Grooming needs can be described as moderate, and shedding can also be described in the same way.

As for life expectancy, it ranks lower than other felines at between 7 and 12 years.

While they are not the largest cats in the world, they are still powerful with broad chests, muscular necks, and strong jaws.

Things You Should Know

Health

The American Wirehair is a generally healthy cat, but as you may have already guessed, they tend to have some of the same health issues as the American Shorthair. One of the most common is known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a common form of heart disease that involves the thickening of the heart muscle. While no one can say definitively that a cat will never suffer from it at some point in their life, an echocardiogram is the way of confirming it.

One of the best ways that you can maintain the good health of your cat is by feeding them a balanced diet and ensuring that they get sufficient exercise. Both of these will help to stave off obesity, which comes along with a myriad of health complications.

American wirehair cat lying

Feeding

Feeding your cat a high-quality diet is obviously very important. Some owners opt for dry food, others for wet, while some give a combination of the two. If your cat only eats dry food, you need to make sure that they get enough water on the side to prevent dehydration. However, if you feed a wet food diet, it is easier for your cat to become obese, so you need to manage their portions properly. Whatever brand of food you choose, it needs to be centered on high-quality protein from animals, which is what your cat would have survived on in the wild. At the same time, they still need the right balance of carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Care

The question of whether to allow your cat outdoors is one that depends on your own personal preferences and your living situation. Keeping your cat indoors can protect against numerous common dangers such as attacks by other animals, the risk of being hit by a car, and the dangers of abduction. But the main advantage of allowing your cat outdoors is that they get more of a sense of independence and opportunities for exercise.

Cats are naturally clean creatures, so you should do your best to keep your cat’s environment spotless. If you have an indoor cat, you need to make a special effort to keep their litter box clean.

Grooming

The main grooming challenge that the American Wirehair kitten or cat presents is its unusual coat. You need to be careful with brushing or combing as this can cause damage. Much of the time, it is not necessary, though this can change during shedding season in the spring months.

Preventing periodontal disease can be done via regular teeth brushing sessions, but this is something that many owners overlook. Daily brushing is the best way of preventing issues, but weekly is better than nothing. Other commonly overlooked tasks include the trimming of nails, checking of ears, and cleaning around the eyes.

Temperament

American Wirehairs are well-known as pleasant companion cats, who are known for their easygoing and placid natures. They are known for forming strong bonds with the various members of the family. While some cats are relatively demanding in terms of their needs, this is not the case for Wirehairs, though they enjoy playing with their owners. At the same time, they can still enjoy games on their own. In terms of activity levels, they need a moderate amount of exercise to keep them in good condition and lessen the odds that they are going to become obese.

While some cats are known for their timidity, American Wirehairs tend to be quite sociable creatures. You may even notice that your furry friend follows you around from place to place. They tend to be fairly quiet, unlike some felines who vocalize to make their presence felt. Some cats are happy to sit in their owners’ laps, while others are content with just being nearby.

Their friendly and playful nature makes them a popular choice with families and children. Of course, you need to teach your kits to play with your cat with care.

American wirehair cat standing on the wall

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of reasons why American Wirehairs are such popular felines. They are friendly, playful, and relatively low maintenance. Hopefully, the above guide has given you a little bit more information about how to properly look after your furry friend.

Angela Westfall
Angela has fostered, adopted, screened and saved cats for over 15 years. She is known as one of Central Ohio’s most passionate and knowledgeable cat enthusiasts. Her rescue, Angels Assisting Felines has partnerships with PetSmart and PetSuppliesPlus to help more cats find great homes.

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