American Wirehair: 14 Things You Should Know

by Vivvy A
American Wirehair cat laying down

The American wirehair cat is an American native cat breed with its history dating back to the 1960s. This cat has a unique crimped coat with wavy hairs from its whiskers to the tail.

Even with the abrasive but amazing coat, the American wirehair cat is a perfect family cat, whether you live alone or in a big family.

All along with its gentle nature, this cat does well in a family with children or the elderly, as it’s not overly demanding.

Other than that, this cat is playful and affectionate to anyone. It’s a cat you will love to own! So, are you yearning to have a unique cat breed in your home?

Then stay tuned to learn more.

Gray American Wirehair cat

The American Wirehair Cat History

Like every other cat breed, the American wirehair cat has its history. The history of the American wirehair cat started in the mid-1960s.

 A farmer in New York noted that his litter had a unique kitten with a unique coat pattern.

The breeder contacted a local breeder, Joan O’Shea, who bought this kitten for $50. And she named this kitten, council rock Adam of HiFi.

Afterward, she bred this kitten with a female kitten having a similar coat pattern, and the result was a litter with kittens presenting with wiry coats.

Later on, after second breeding, it was ascertained that the wiry coat genes were dominant.

British cat geneticists A.G.Searle and Roy Robinson confirmed that the wiry genes to this new breed (American wirehair cat) were unique and not related to the Cornish Rex or Devon Rex.

Finally, the CFA registered the American wirehair cat in 1967 as a breed. And later, the cat was registered for a championship competition in 1978.

American Wirehair Overview Table

Breed information 
NameAmerican Wirehair Cat
CFA recognition1967
Weight8-12 pounds
Length9-11 inches
Coat colorsWhite, cream, fawn, gold
Temperaments and PersonalityPlayful, loyal, friendly
Relation with childrenGood
Relation with other home petsPerfect
Grooming needsMild
Exercise needsMild-high
Noise levelsLow-mild
Lifespan9-16 years

American Wirehair Appearance and Size

The American wirehair cat is a medium to large cat breed with a length range of 9-11 inches and weighs 8-12 pounds.

This cat is stocky and well-muscled.  And the body features are proportional and well balanced. The ears are medium in length and set apart from one another. Eyes are round and wide, with colors like blue, green, and yellow being common.

The tail is short compared to the body, and the tip is neither sharp nor blunt.

How Can You Tell if a Cat is an American Wirehair

The American wirehair cat resembles the American shorthair cat- the difference is that the American wirehair cat has a dense and crimped coat. The American shorthair cat has a hard coat.

To identify an American Wirehair cat feel their dense coats. They have a textured, crimped appearance. Check their ears for rounded tips and inside their ear for the same crimp coat texture. Check their ears for kinked, curled whiskers.

Are American Wirehair Rare

The American Wirehair is one of the rarest cat breeds.

American Wirehair Coat Color and Pattern

One of the eye-striking features is the coat of the American wirehair cat. The coat is crimped, with wiry hairs that have a steel wool texture.

Checking keenly, you will note every hair in its coat is springy. Other than that, the cat comes in a variety of coat colors and patterns.

Prevalent colors are white, blue, cream fawn, gold. And the unique coat patterns are solid color, bicolor, tricolor, smoke, or tabby patterns.

American Wirehair Cat Temperaments and Personality

The American wirehair cat possesses a loving, friendly, and sweet personality, identical to the American shorthair cat.

This cat relates well to every family member in the household, from the youngest to the eldest. Other than that, this cat demands less attention from you. It’s not your typical ‘let me lie on your lap, cat’ -but it will be happy sleeping next to you. The cat is independent and will thrive well with a person with a busy lifestyle.

It’s a cat that will be happy to live alone in the house without feeling anxious or causing any destruction.

Also, its playful nature is unmatched. This cat will derive fun from anything in your house and will not mind when you join it. Consequently, the American wirehair cat is tolerant and can live well with other animals, especially cat-friendly dogs.

And as a surprise, this cat can be in a position to read your mind when you are bored or feeling down- it will try its best to cheer and lighten up your spirit. Oh, what a sweet cat!

Are you still tuned?  Let’s dive into the next section.

Caring For an American Wirehair Cat (Diet, Exercise, Grooming)


The American wirehair cat requires no special diet. It’s a cat that will need a daily balanced diet specific for its age and size.

If you have a kitten, check for food structured for growing kittens. Also, remember not to free-feed your cat as it may lead to obesity.

Table scrapings may be nice once in a while but not daily. Also, don’t bargain when it comes to the diet of your cat. Go for quality.

Regular hydration will also be essential. If your cat cannot drink from still water, invest in a water fountain- as most cats like that.

Overall, you can consult your vet on the best feeding guideline suitable for your cat.


The American wirehair cat has a crimped and wiry coat, so I must brush it daily? Is that true? You could be wrong, as the American wirehair cat needs infrequent sessions of coat brushing.

As a surprise to you, regular brushing may damage your cat’s unique and fancy coat. It’s during the shedding sessions that you can perhaps brush it regularly. Also, regular baths are not a must.

Also, remember to trim the nails short twice per month. And don’t forget the ears and the eyes.

In the ears, look for anything out of the ordinary. Check for an abnormal buildup of wax. Also, check for any foul smell emanating from the ears.

Clean the corner of each eye with a clean towel to remove discharge. And use a different piece of towel when cleaning each eye. Brushing the teeth is vital. Use a veterinary-approved toothbrush and toothpaste.

Regular brushing of the teeth will limit the frequency of periodontitis on your cat. If you note any abnormality when grooming your cat, remember to contact the veterinarian.

Exercise and Attention

The American wirehair cat needs less attention. It’s a solitary feline that can thrive alone- provided the cat is well-fed and given enough exercise.

Also, regular playtime daily with your cat will be vital. You can get interactive toys like puzzle toys or any pet-friendly toy.

The cat will be happy when you play with him. However, if you are not around, the American wirehair cat will make a toy from anything around your house.

Over and above, 10-15 minutes of play daily will prove to be sufficient for your cat’s exercise needs.

Also, the American wirehair cat is an indoor cat. Don’t let the cat go straying away on the road as it risks getting knocked over by cars or harassed by dogs.

However, you can get this cat a stand near the window, where she can do bird watching around the yard.

American Wirehair cat laying down

American Wirehair Training and Socialization

The American wirehair cat loves learning new experiences. Also, this cat is intelligent, and it never takes time to train it on how to use a litter box or a scratch post.

Also, socialization is essential if you want a happy and lively cat in your house. Expose the American wirehair cat to lots of sights and sounds. Let the cat come across other cats and people. With that, you will get an all-around pet who is well acceptable and friendly.

Health Issues of the American Wirehair Cat

No breeder should cheat you that the American wirehair cat is resilient to diseases. If a breeder tells you that this cat is free of diseases, they are probably cheating you or lacks knowledge about the American wirehair cat.

The American wirehair cat is not prone to many diseases. However, one of the conditions that this breed is susceptible to is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs after the thickening of the heart muscles. Another condition is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a joint disorder that causes excruciating pain to the cat.

Where To Find The American Wirehair Cat?

You can get your cat from a breeder or an animal shelter.


Look for a reputable breeder from your area, and don’t be in a rush.

Reputable breeders will have websites where you can check on their reviews. Similarly, make sure you visit the breeding area of every breeder.

How to spot unscrupulous breeders;

  • The breeding area is filthy, and the kittens in there look emaciated and unhealthy.
  • Some kittens are secluded from the others.
  • A breeder who always has his kittens available- a reputable breeder should always ensure that the mothers are not breeding robots- at least the breeder should ensure the queen gets to rest and gain health.
  • The breeder refuses to show you the cat’s parents.
  • A breeder with no paperwork showing the kitten is free from diseases.

Overall, when getting a kitten from a breeder, ensure you get a written guarantee that the cat is free from genetic disorders.

Check these sources for reputable breeders.

Animal Shelter

You can also get an American wirehair cat in an animal shelter – although sometimes it can be hard to get one, as this breed is rare.

However, if lucky, you will get this cat at a much lower cost. And often, these cats are vaccinated, dewormed, and microchipped.

How Much Is An American Wirehair Cat

An American wirehair cat can cost from $800-$1200. The price may go down if you are to get your cat from an adoption center.

Are American Wirehair Cats Good With Children

Yes, the American wirehair cat will do well in a family with children. However, kids under the age of 13 should learn how to handle them.

American Wirehair Cat Summary

The American Wirehair is the perfect family cat. If you need an affectionate, lovely cat with clownish behavior, then consider this breed.

Hoping by now, you have learned everything regarding this breed. The good thing is that this breed is not overly demanding, but it will love your pettings quite often.

So, are you considering having this cat breed? Or do you have one in your house? Or do you have any additional information regarding this breed? Kindly drop it here in the comment box.

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