Are you looking for a rare cat breed full of charm, charisma, and personality? Look no further than the Snowshoe Siamese cat.
The Snowshoe is a cross between a Siamese cat and a two-colored American Shorthair which creates a unique aesthetic, complete with white “shoes”. This breed is fun, friendly, and has the affection of a Siamese cat.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a Snowshoe cat is, where it originated and other interesting facts to know about this rare and special breed.
What Do Snowshoe Cats Look Like?
A Snowshoe is a rare breed of Siamese cat crossed with an American Shorthair. Looking at the Snowshoe, the Siamese’s inheritance is clear. However, there are some distinctive traits from the American Shorthair as well.
Like Siamese color points but not quite
The color pattern of a Snowshoe Siamese is similar to that of a purebred Siamese, although generally, their bodies are darker and the color points less pronounced.
Speaking of the color points, this is also the most distinctive feature of the Snowshoe. A Snowshoe has white paws and a white nose, whereas Siamese cats have colored points that include the paws (hence their name ‘snow shoe’).
The coat pattern of the Snowshoe is more comparable to that of a tuxedo cat than that of a Siamese cat.
What color variations exist in the Snowshoe Siamese?
The color variation of a Snowshoe Siamese depends on what color Siamese they were crossbred with and often ranging from cream to tan with chocolate or blue points.
Due to the mixing of genes between the Siamese and American Shorthair parents, the colors of the Snowshoe’s body are paler, muted, and don’t contrast as much with their points as you’d expect from a purebred Siamese.
Snowshoe Siamese are tri-colored, generally white and black with either Blue Points or Seal Points, including distinctive white feet and noses as described above.
Other color points common in Siamese cats, such as Lilac or Chocolate, are difficult to produce and rarely seen.
Colors and coat patterns often depend on luck
In any case, breeding an exact color Snowshoe Siamese is difficult because the gene that causes the Snowshoe patterns is recessive. This means that a gene needs to be inherited from both parents to show up in the offspring.
Because several gene factors are involved in getting a certain result, it is difficult to consistently achieve the desired color.
What does the ideal Snowshoe Siamese cat look like?
What the ideal Snowshoe Siamese looks like depends partly on what a potential buyer likes; however, because the breed is recognized by the CFF (Cat Fanciers Federation) and ACA (American Cat Association), there is a breed standard.
Breed standards describe what a perfect specimen of a certain breed looks like. No cat has ‘perfect’ markings, but cats who match that specific standard very closely are the ones you would see in cat shows.
Snowshoe breeding standards
Those who come close to the breeding standard exhibit the following properties:
- Inverted and symmetrical white ‘V’ shape in between the eyes and over their nose
- Their paws show two white ‘mittens’ in the front and 2 white ‘boots’ at the back
- All four paws should be impeccably white with dark points separating them from the more creamy color of the body.
- White color that goes too high on the body or the face is considered a flaw
- The more symmetrical the markings over the left and right sides of the body, the better.
- A perfect Snowshoe will not have any spots, stripes or other patterns on their bodies or mix with the points.
- Their eyes should be sparkling blue, walnut-shaped, and larger than a Siamese’s eye but not as round as a Persian’s.
- Their bodies should be firm and muscular but never bulky.
Below are examples of (near) perfect Snowshoe Siamese cats, based on the characteristics mentioned above
Below are examples of what are considered imperfect specimens of Snowshoe Siamese cats. Although they will be lovely cats, they are suitable as pets but not as cat show material.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Snowshoe Siamese Cat?
|Height range||9-11 inches|
|Weight range||8 -12 pounds|
|Life Expectancy||14-18 years|
|Temperament||Loyal Sweet Affectionate Playful Cuddly|
|Good with||Retirees People who work from home Families Multi-animal households|
|Coat Colors||Black, tan, white, seal, lilac|
|Coat Patterns||Pale body with darker “points” (generally lilac or seal point). with white paws and nose.|
Where Did The Snowshoe Siamese Cat Originate?
The Snowshoe first stepped its snowy paw into the history books back in the 1960s when Dorothy Hinds-Daughtery found three kittens possessing the unique “white shoes.”
Upon this discovery, she purposely bred these cats until the CFF (Cat Fanciers Federation) and ACA (American Cat Association) recognized the Snowshoe as “Experimental Breed” in 1974.
Years ago, breeders crossed the Siamese cat or Oriental Shorthairs with American Shorthairs to create the Snowshoe.
Today, the most common breeding is Snowshoe to Snowshoe, and outcrosses are mainly utilized for expanding the gene pool.
The other reason a breeder may use an outcross is to improve a specific trait of the Snowshoe or introduce new colors.
Snowshoe Cat Versus Siamese Cat
The name “Snowshoe” derives from the white markings on their feet. And these white markings are also present on the chest and face.
The body of a Snowshoe Siamese cat is small to medium size with a sturdy and muscular build.
The ears of a Snowshoe are medium to large, and the vivid blue eyes make their face quite striking.
For breed standards, the head should be as broad as long with a slightly triangular shape that is in reasonable proportion to the rest of the body.
The coat is short-haired with points on the ears, face, and tail (plus sometimes the legs); and the body should possess an even coloration with subtle shading.
Snowshoe cats come in blue, chocolate, fawn, lilac, lynx, and seal points. And their paw pads can be the same color as their points, flesh-colored or white.
What Do Snowshoe Siamese Cats Look Like At Birth?
The Snowshoe Siamese cat is born with a completely white body, just like all other Siamese cats.
You will not know exactly which color or pattern you are getting until the cat matures fully after about 4-6 weeks.
What Are The Personality Traits Of A Snowshoe Siamese Cat?
The Snowshoe Siamese has a gentle and melodious voice that it uses to communicate with its humans. While the Snowshoe is a friendly breed that settles well into groups and family homes, they often select one person as their “favorite.”
This person will gain most of the Snowshoe’s love and affection, and the attachment between cat and human will be strong.
Like many other variations of the Siamese cat, the Snowshoe does not fare well if left alone for long periods. Instead, they’ll require plenty of companionships, plus an enriching environment to stay at their happiest and healthiest.
But, the Snowshoe has the sweetest personality, so it’s easy for humans and other animals to get along with them.
They will play with adults, children, and other pets, and their fun-loving nature is infectious to everyone around them.
This breed is intelligent, so you can teach them tricks; thanks to their friendly nature, they will love learning new skills they can use to entertain their owners.
And while many cats hate water, the Snowshoe is happy to get a little damp and may even take the odd bathtime swim!
What Are The Common Health Issues Of A Snowshoe Siamese Cat?
There are no known genetic diseases that the Snowshoe Siamese cat is susceptible to, though they do experience the odd genetic defect such as crossed eyes or a kinked tail.
Most “issues”’ with the Snowshoe Siamese are aesthetic and don’t cause any problems to their general physical health.
How Do I Look After A Snowshoe Siamese Cat?
When you’re looking at adopting any cat breed, it’s essential to do your research and ensure that you can provide everything the feline needs before making a purchase.
Like many other Siamese cats, one of the most vital components of looking after a Snowshoe adequately is ensuring that you can give it the full time and attention it deserves.
These felines are incredibly social animals and will feel lost if left to their own devices for a long time.
To properly look after a Snowshoe cat, you must provide the right environment. This means one where people are often home, where they can interact with humans and other animals, and where they have plenty of enrichment to satisfy their energetic and curious nature.
Like all cats, Snowshoes are obligate carnivores who rely on meat for most of their dietary intake. You can combine wet and dry food in an average of 2-3 meals per day, though the exact amount depends on the size of your feline and how active their lifestyle is.
Does The Snowshoe Siamese Cat Make A Good Pet?
Thanks to its extremely high need for attention, the Snowshoe Siamese breed is most suitable for retired people, busy families with kids, or those who work from home or have at least one family member continuously at home.
Snowshoe Cats love affection and like to be touched and stroked regularly by their owners.
If you’re looking for an independent cat who is happy to spend time alone, this is not the breed for you.
But even though they can be demanding of your time, these cats will reward you by being the sweetest, most loving companion you could ask for.
Our Final Thoughts.
The Snowshoe is a rare breed of Siamese cat crossed with an American Shorthair. These playful and curious little creatures love to interact and socialize with their humans, and if you have time to invest in one of these blue-eyed wonders, they’ll reward you by being a friend for life.
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