The American Wirehair breed is uniquely American. It
began as a spontaneous mutation in a litter of upstate
New York farm cats in 1966. A spontaneous mutation is
an uncommon, although not rare, happening. As it has
occurred among cats in the past, two ordinary cats came
together, and as a result of their mating, a kitten unlike its
parents or littermates was born. The progeny of the original
mutation, Council Rock Farms Adams of Hi-Fi, are now
in all areas of the United States. What is interesting and
unusual about this particular mutation is that it has not
been reported in any other country thus far.
The coat is the characteristic that separates the American
Wirehair from all other breeds. Just as there is a wide
variety of texture in Persians or Exotics, there is also
considerable variation among the Wirehairs. As this is a
dominant mutation, approximately half of the kittens will
be wirehaired at birth. The most readily apparent wiring
is that of the whiskers, and ideally, the entire coat will be
wired at birth. If the coat appears to be ringlets, it may be
too long and may wave or straighten with maturity. Some
of the lightly wired coats may continue to crimp during the
early life of the Wirehair. The degree of coarseness depends
upon the coat texture of the sire and dam. To produce the
best wiring, both parents must have a hard coat.
It was felt at first that, since this mutation had occurred
in the domestic American cat, the standard for it should
conform to that of the American Shorthair. However,
there were unique Wirehair qualities besides the coat that
kept cropping up in each litter and were worth keeping,
including the higher cheekbones accentuating the face
and separating it from the American Shorthair breed.
The American Shorthair is still an allowable outcross
for the breeding programs for the wirehairs. Wirehairs
were first accepted for CFA registration in 1967 and for
Championship competition in 1978.
Breeders find them easy to care for, resistant to disease,
and good producers. Pet owners delight with their quiet,
reserved and loving ways.
Pricing on American Wirehairs usually depends on type,
applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by
Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional Winning
(NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit (DM) parentage.
The DM title is achieved by a dam (mother) having
produced five CFA Grand Champion/Premier (alter)
or DM offspring, or a sire (father) having produced
fifteen CFA Grand Champion/Premier or DM offspring.
Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve
and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have
had their basic inoculations and developed the physical
and social stability needed for a new environment,
showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare
treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing
acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural
behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing
or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for
maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.
For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.