American Wirehair Cat: appearance, character, care, breeding

In the animal world, so-called “nature’s jokes” appear more and more often, which appear unexpectedly in litters whose parents are perfectly normal; we do not know the reasons which cause these spontaneous mutations, but some of them, thanks to the interest of attentive breeders, have given birth to new breeds.

This is precisely the case with the American Wirehair, the American wirehair cat whose main characteristic is the very dense coat, wavy and rough to the touch because, unique in this case, each hair that composes it is curly and its end is curved into a hook.

The origins of the American Wirehair cat

The ancestor of all American Wirehairs was called Adam and was the first cat to present an example of this characteristic hair. It was born in 1966 on a farm in New York State and was the only one, in a litter of four, to have a short, rough coat, giving an impression of spiciness to the touch. Joan O’Shea noticed this peculiarity and through a patient work of crossbreeding and selection, she created the new breed which began to compete in championships from 1978.

In fact, this mutation had already appeared in England, during World War II, and it had been noticed by a few keen cat lovers in a colony of stray cats in the ruins of central London. Unfortunately, breeders did not care to properly fix this mutation which dispersed and was not recovered.

The ideal cat

The American Wirehair cat is a medium-sized cat, its head is round and proportionate to its body. Its muzzle and nose are medium-short, its chin is moderately developed; the cheeks are high and the nose has a slight concave curve. The ears are medium, slightly rounded at the top, wide and not sloping too much outwards, without being vertical either. The eyes, shining, luminous and large, are slightly sloping and round, quite apart; their colors are bright and totally different from the color of the dress.

The body is medium in size, rectangular and with a straight back, well balanced and compact in appearance; the thorax is rounded and the shoulders are as wide as the hindquarters. The musculature is fine but strong and the bone structure moderate. The legs are of medium length and bone structure, strong but in proportion to the body; the feet are compact. The tail is of medium length compared to the body and, from a well rounded base, it tapers to a rounded tip which should neither be truncated nor pointed.

The hair is short and micourt, the coat, very thick, presents the three types of hair: the topcoat, the secondary and the undercoat; the whiskers and the hairs of the ears are frizzy.

Hair color

As with other American breeds, all colors and designs are recognized except chocolate, lilac, fawn and cinnamon.

The character

The American Wirehair cat is a very lively, athletic and nervous cat. Very independent, he is also a good furry cat. They can live with other cats without worry. They love children. Perfect companions, except with mice, rabbits and other voles.

Living with them is like living with a Fox Terrier dog disguised as a cat; a talkative, agile, intelligent, curious cat, which has the peculiarity of hiding in hard-to-find places in the house or in the garden.

Hug: They are extremely affectionate cats, but they remain well-balanced.

Toys that it can hunt on their own will keep this player in shape. Another “game” that it particularly likes? This rascal likes to be untraceable, in the house or the garden!  

Very patient, this hunter characteristic makes them a calm cat, but interested in their surroundings.

Like its ancestors, the American Wirehair is resourceful, alert, curious, and intelligent.

Fearful / Suspicious of Strangers:
While this characteristic varies greatly from individual to individual, the breed is reported to be very sociable and curious, rather than suspicious.

The Wire-haired American likes humans to take care of him, but it is also able to take care of themselves.


Talkative: They are not very talkative cats, in general. There are still some individuals who are more talkative than others.

Gourmand / glutton:
It will be preferable to offer them their food in interactive stations, because this cat is subject to gluttony.

Need for exercise:
The wire-haired American needs to satisfy his need to hunt, but also to move simply to prevent being overweight.

First an outdoor cat, his curiosity may make them want to explore the neighbourhood. But many people will prefer the peace of their apartment!


The American Wirehair with Dogs:
It will easily tolerate the family dog. A good introduction and a little time will be needed.

The American Wirehair with Other Cats:
Its sociable side allows it to coexist with other cats  without worry, or almost.

American Wirehair with Children:
The wirehaired American is known to love children, but supervision is still required.

American Wirehair with the Elderly:
As long as the individual is chosen based on the character of the human for whom they are intended, they can easily be suitable for a calmer person.  


Special coat, special grooming. For the American Wirehair, weekly brushing is appropriate, but great care must be taken not to damage the bristles while doing so. A bath once a month, or even grooming by an experienced groomer, is also recommended to remove dead hairs that could irritate them, because of their hook shape. The bath also helps to remove the excess oily secretions coming from his skin, which sometimes accumulates in his hair. As it also tends to produce a lot of earwax in the ears, a good cleaning of the latter, with a dry cloth, is also recommended once a week, and with an ear solution once a month or as recommended by the doctor. veterinary.

Hair loss:
The wire-haired American loses little coat, except perhaps during the changing seasons.


It needs a balanced and quality diet in order to stay healthy and without excess weight. With their diet, it is necessary to combine a good daily exercise.


Life expectancy:
It lives on average 14 to 18 years.

Tough / Rugged: 
It adapts quite easily to cold and hot climates, but perhaps a little less easily than its short-haired American cousin.

Tendency to gain weight: 
It has a small tendency to become obese, especially after being sterilized. It will therefore be necessary to pay attention to his diet and exercise.

Frequent diseases:
It can contract, like all other domestic felines, all pathogens and pathologies that exist in cats. It is advised to vaccinate and deworm them well as well as to watch for external parasites, especially if his adventurous side pushes him to wander outside.

The feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease causing thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle, is perhaps a bit more common in the American Wirehaired, although it is present in all cats, they are race or not.

The American Wirehair can be married with another American Wirehair or with an American Shorthair. 

Good to know

Ancestrally programmed to hunt, cohabitation with small animals, corresponding to the definition of prey for the cat, such as birds, mice, etc., can possibly be very difficult for these small animals … but very tempting for the snack of the kitten !


According to several criteria, an American Wirehair can cost between 950.21 USD and 1425.32 USD, approximately. It is, however, a breed that is still extremely rare in Europe and this can increase its price. For the budget to be expected to meet your needs, you can count around 47.51 USD / month .

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