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American Wirehair Cat – Cat Breed Guide


The American Wirehair cat breed is a domesticated feline breed that originates in the United States, specifically in the state of New York during the middle part of the 1960s. It is a well-known breed that is being bred across the world. It is an even-tempered cat breed that shares very identical traits to its closely related cousins, the American Shorthair cat breed.

The Cat Fancier’s Association ranks it as the rarest of all recognized cat breeds in their official listing. The International Cat Association includes this breed’s standard with the American Shorthair Cat Breed Group.

Official Name

American Wirehair Shorthair or simply The American Wirehair


The American Wirehair cat breed is one of the domesticated feline groups that are native to America. It can trace its origins back in the 1960s, in the upstate portion of New York State, United States of America.


The American Wirehair is a cat breed that originates in Vernon, New York in the United States and can its precise origins in the year 1966. This American cat breed came directly out of the American Shorthair. It is a result of a spontaneous and random genetic mutation that happened to a litter produced by a pair of American Shorthair cats. The litter produced one tomcat or male cat that is wire-haired and colored with red and white fur. This was the first known incident of a wire-haired variety produced between two American Shorthairs. The owners of the litter showed it to Mrs. Joan O’Shea, a New York breeder of Rex Cats. Mrs. O’Shea brought the wire-haired tomcat together with a female that has a normal coat from the same litter for $50. From this pair, Mrs. O’Shea started a selective breeding program. The first litter from the pair produced two wire-haired kittens which were sold off to a couple of breeders who helped in the breed program. More wire-haired specimens were produced and soon the population of this type of American Shorthair cats grew. The population of these cats grew significantly that it was recognized in the US as a separate and distinctive breed from the American Shorthair.

American Wirehair cats were soon exported to Canada and some pairs even reached Germany where they gained instant popularity. Today, this very young cat breed has yet to reach Britain and Australia but is very popular in North America and various parts of Europe.


The American Wirehair cat breeds share very similar personalities with their American Shorthair cousins. They are easy-going cats that are known for being somewhat humorous. These cats are also known to display affectionate behavior towards people. They are very sociable, so much so that these cats will be friendly towards their family as well as strangers!


American Wirehair cat breed is very similar to American Shorthair cats. After all, this breed did come originally from the American Shorthair breed. The distinctive difference is the American Wirehair cat’s springy and wiry coat. The two American cat breed also differs when it comes to the ear fur and whiskers area. The overall appearance of the American Wirehair’s coat can be likened to the wire-coated dog breeds, specifically the wire-coated terrier types.

The American Wirehair cats are distinguishable from the American Shorthair as well as other cat breeds from their dense and very resilient wiry coat.

The American Wirehair cats have medium to large bodies with a leveled back area and shoulder and hip bone structure that shares the same width of the cat’s back. The American Wirehair’s torso should be well-rounded in structure and appearance.

Head, Ears and Eyes
The American Wirehair cat breed has a round head with cheekbones that are prominent, muzzles and chin that are well-developed as well.
The American Wirehair’s ears are medium in size and rounded slightly at the tip area. The areas are set wide and will not be unduly open at the base area.

The American Wirehair cat has large and round-shaped eyes that can be described as clear and bright. These cats’ eyes are set well apart and color depends on the coat color. The ideal eye color should be golden or amber.

Coat and Tail
The American Wirehair cat has a tail that is tapering towards a rounded tip.
The American Wirehair’s wiry coat is springy and tight in appearance and medium in length. The wiry coat is coarse and resilient and very dense. When it comes to the whiskers, the hair is curly.

The American Wirehair may come in any color and pattern. The unacceptable coat colors are chocolate, lilac or lavender. When it comes to pattern, Himalayan or anything that indicates hybridization is not accepted.


The American Wirehair cat breed is generally a very healthy cat breed showing no alarming health issues or genetic mutations that is considered unhealthy.



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