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