Monday, November 12, 2012

The Characteristics of the American Wirehair

Like many breeds, the American Wirehair is the result of what is assumed to be a spontaneous mutation. In the state of New York a litter of 6 kittens were born, one of which had a short, wiry coat and crimped whiskers. This kitten was purchased by a local breeder and bred to 2 different females with normal coats. When the kittens from these crossings all had wiry coats, it was determined that the gene was dominate. Genetic testing confirmed that the hair was unique and unrelated to the stiff coats of either the Devon or the Cornish Rex. And so the American Wirehair was born.

The American Wirehair is very like the American Shorthair in term of conformation, size, and body type. Its body is muscular and firm and its head is longer than it is wide. The eyes are full and round and the ears are slightly rounded at the tip. They are, all in all, a fairly standard cat.

Except for the little thing that makes them unique. The wiry coat is distinctive, but it's not identical on all cats. It can range from spiked (where your cat looks like you've applied gel to spike his fur) to curly, and the individual hairs might be anything from slightly hooked or bent to truly crimped. Regardless of these variations, all American Wirehairs should have a dense and coarse coat, one that is preferably crimped, over the entire body. The whiskers are always crimped. The coat, which comes in virtually all colors and patterns, should spring back into place when disturbed by petting or otherwise being ruffled.

The only real problem with this type of coat is that the cat will be prone to skin ailments. These could include allergies or simply sensitive skin. To reduce these problems, bath the cat at least once a month and groom him daily. These cats also suffer from excess earwax, so clean their ears on a weekly basis.

The American Wirehair is similar in temperament and personality to the American Shorthair. They are friendly with people and like attention, but they are rarely demanding. They are also independent and like to have time alone. They are quick and intelligent and get along well with most people. They are playful and enjoy older children, though they merely tolerate younger children.

This breed of cat makes a loyal and fun companion for many families and individuals. They are also a great conversation starter whenever friends and family meet your feline companion for the first time.

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