5 Facts Everyone Should Know about Snowshoe Cat Breed

tucker the snowshoe cat flickr

Photo by Bernie H CC

The Snowshoe cat, like its ancestor the Siamese cat has light -colored body with dark areas in either seal or blue. These areas of dark appear on the; tail, ears, legs and usually as a mask-like marking around the eyes.

Litter "C"

It is broken up with an upside down V-shaped marking between eyes that are blue and on top of the nose.

snowshoe cat breed

Photo by sha in LA CC

Their legs are dark with four white paws, the front are called “mittens” and the back “boots.”Unlike their ancestor the Siamese, Snowshoe cats have a more rounded body and shorter hair.

Colette and Claudine mon Biquet

A Snowshoe History

The Snowshoe cat breed we know today was not developed until the mid-20th century. Some do claim evidence of them appears back as early as the Victorian era with photographic images of four white pawed cats being displayed; however, others refer to those as Siamese.

It wasn’t until 1960 when a Philadelphia Siamese breeder decided to create a Siamese-type cat with four white paws and a medium body that the Snowshoe was introduced.

Claudine mon Biquet

The Snowshoe cat is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Federation, American Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association.

The Cat Fanciers Association has yet to recognize the breed. The Snowshoe cat is a distinct breed and is sometimes bred back to a Siamese in order to keep its traits.

The breed is uncommon and these are 5 things you should know about it.

 

#1 – Size

A medium sized cat, the Snowshoe normally only weighs about nine to twelve pounds. Females are smaller and normal weight for them is seven to ten pounds.

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#2 – Personality

Snowshoe cats have a unique personality and are interesting as companions to live with. They tend to be a bossy pet and will often check on their master’s whereabouts and want to know what they are doing. They can be entertaining and needy along with smart affectionate and active. These cats like to be actively engaged.

Engaging in ten to fifteen minutes of play time a day will keep them the happiest. They also have the reputation for being vocal, especially at night. While they are certain to be a good family pet, they may not warm very quickly to visitors. They are normally good pets for adults, especially seniors, and children over five.

The Snowshoe cat has no definite personality as they can be bossy, caring or worriers.

What is definite about them is their being active and affectionate which makes them unique and beautiful pets. With superb markings they can be entered into shows allowing their owners to show the world what truly beautiful creatures they can be. Owners will never feel lonely with a Snowshoe cat as they love to “talk” to their owners with soft, melodic voices.

 

#3 – Health

Many times animals will have varying genetic health issues. This is the same for the Snowshoe, but is very rare. Some genetic traits that may come through with breeding are kinked tails or crossed eyes.

Peanut

These are cosmetic flaws and will not affect the cat’s health. The Snowshoe cat is not known for any conditions or illnesses. Owners do not need to worry about long term medical costs.

 

#4 – Care

The Snowshoe cat should have its coat brushed once or twice a week. This will remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. It is recommended the teeth be brushed once a day or at a minimum of once a week.

The Snowshoe cat makes a great indoor pet. By keeping them inside they are protected from dogs, coyotes, diseases spread by other cats and traffic.

There is also the possibility of someone stealing this beautiful and unique looking cat if found outside.

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#5 – Coat color and Grooming

The smooth short coat of the Snowshoe cat is easy to care for. Kittens will be born white and their points will not begin to develop until they are a few weeks old.

Their patterns are recessive and involve several gene factors which makes it almost impossible to gain identical patterns or a look. Show ring cats come as close to perfect as it gets and they will have an upside down “V” between the eyes and on top of the muzzle.

The show cat will also have the white “mittens” and “boots.” The show ring is particular on markings and the show cat can have a blaze on the face, although it is not preferred. If the white goes to high on the legs or face this would put the kitten in the “pet” quality category.

The coat will shed moderately, but if provided the right nutrition and regular grooming it can be kept at a minimum.

 

 

Sources:

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29 Comments

  1. We were very lucky . A small snow shoe showed up in our garage five years ago. No papers but has all the markings of this wonderful breed. Short fur blue eyes inverted white v white feet. He is great friend an a good mouser. He is quite shy with strangers.

    1. I am helping a friend find a home for her snowshoe cat. She’s had allergies and could not keep the cat anymore. She is temporarily in my care. Could you help me find a home for her?

      1. Hi Michelle,
        I would suggest calling on friends and family for help finding a home – first.
        Second, have you tried posting an advertisement on Craigslist.org ? It is free. We’ve placed some foster kittens with nice people through Craigslist.
        I will post your message on Facebook, but can you let me know the location (to help us coordinate on Facebook)?
        Best regards,
        CBWP

        1. It depends on the price but my husband and I have been looking for another snowshoe. We have one his name is Prince and he has made our lives unbelievable, he is funny, loving, makes us laugh everyday. We should have called him King cause he is the king of our house. We want to get him a playmate.

  2. We have a snowshoe cat as well. He’s about 11 pounds, and extremely intelligent (all pet owners say that). So far we’ve taught him to fetch, jump through hoops, and play “soccer” with his sister who is not a snowshoe. We’ve had them both a year and have found them to be very low maintenance companions, even if one of them isn’t a snowshoe by coloring.

    Maggie,
    Snowshoes can vary. Pedigree breeders can want up to 10 grand for a single(fixed) kitten, and even more for one that isn’t fixed. Finding a snowshoe to adopt shouldn’t be too hard. The siamese is a common enough pet that I’m sure someone out there has one with kittens. A snowshoe is a cross between siamese and domestic shorthairs.

  3. We rescued a snowshoe kitten at our local humane society. He was found in a field all alone. He has been with us for 2 1/2 years. He loves his rescued sister and also the dog. He is a real lover and sweetheart!!!!!! He does like to talk alot. We don’t mind. :-))

  4. Our snowshoe also appeared in our garage one morning, the day of my brothers funeral. We called the humane society, posted pictures of him, no one ever claimed this beautiful loving cat. He has been with us for 2 years and we loved every minute he has been with us.

  5. We also have a snowshoe that came from a no-kill shelter in Tennessee. He came from a litter of 11 (eleven!) and he was the last one. His name is Rudy (“Roo-Roo”) and although he doesn’t talk much he has been a great companion for us and our other two (15 yo Persian/Norwegian cross and 6 yo Siamese/Am Shorthair) – he is loving and funny and has gorgeous markings. We would love to have another one. He bonded with the oldest cat (Rusty) and is very affectionate. Rudy will be a year old in March.

  6. I have a wonderful 10 year old snowshoe that I’ve had since she was 7 weeks old. She was raised with a Maine coon and a tabby who passed away over the last few years of old age. Then, 8 months ago I adopted a ginger tabby from our county shelter and a few weeks ago lost him to cancer. She is social and needs another companion while I’m not home. I would absolutely love another snowshoe. They are definitely sweet cats. I live in Georgia. Please let me know. Thanks.

  7. We have an adorable female kitten (now 6 months old and just spayed). Her name is “Topaz” for her beautiful topaz blue eyes. She came from a very mixed litter of 6 but has all the markings (seal point) and traits of a snowshoe, Quite the most affectionate cat we have ever had and very entertaining. We spotted her likeness on a chart at our vet’s office and having read up all about ‘snowshoes, cannot doubt that she is somehow related

  8. my friend asked me if I would adopt another cat. She said someone was giving a kitten away on Facebook. She said the ad said that many ppl said they wanted it but would never show up to get him. I hummed and hawd until she send a pic. I fell in love instantly. Picked him up that same day. I never knew what breed he was. I just knew he looked like Grumpy cat’s little brother …… Puzzled cat. lol. My other friend said she looked it up and said I have a Snowshoe Siamese. ( never heard of them ) When I researched it, he is everything they described, and then some! A wonderful source of affection and entertainment. His name is Masey

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Please check out our Facebook page and leave a comment. There are a lot of people on there that might be able to help you.
      Also, your local craigslist may have a lot of beautiful cats and kittens that need a home ASAP. Remember, cats are like family members – so keep them in it, as you would a human being.

  9. My snowshoe is now 10 years old. Her name is “Star”. I’ve had her since birth. Everything that was said about the breed above is very true with my “Star”. She doesn’t really like alot of people. She loves me most of all but she allows my wife to have time with her too.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jimmy!
      That’s nice to hear about Star. We like all our cats : ), but especially those that come to cuddle us.
      CBWP

  10. I have a snowshoe boy from a rescue centre. they had a whole litter rescued from a back yard breeder. they advertised them as ragdolls but they are certainly snowshoes. My boy is hyper intelligent, bossy and very active. He’s a true companion. I’m in England by the way 😊

  11. I rescued a nine year old male Snowshoe Siamese last July not even realizing what I had. He is a joy to be around and is so tolerant of my two younger females… they’re five and seven. He is definitely a “momma’s boy”! He’s just now warming up to my husband, but is my constant shadow.

  12. There are at least two Snowshoe kittens at the Portland, OR, Humane Society today, June 22, 17. They are beautiful and I would have loved to have them but I’m maxed out on pets right now. 🙁

    They are a little light colored if I remember right, but I read that they darken in color as they grow older.

  13. Does anyone have an opinion as to Snowshoes and Bengals being good companions?
    We are considering a Snowshoe friend for our Bengal, but he has a strong personality and kind of rules the house, which sounds much like many descriptions I’ve read about Snowshoes. Too much alike maybe?

    1. Susan, thank you for the comment. You know your Bengal best, if you think he can learn to get along with another pet then go for it. But if you feel he is too dominant, then you might have a hard time with a pairing like this.

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