American Wirehair cat sitting on a blue pillow.

American Wirehair Cat Breed

This versatile, quiet, and friendly cat is happy indoors or outdoors and with people of all ages.

In New York State, in 1966, a wire-haired kitten appeared in a litter born to two domestic cats with normal coats. This was the founder of the American Wirehair breed, which was later developed by using American Shorthairs.

The genetic mutation that produced the distinctive coat is not known to have occurred anywhere outside the US. In a Wirehair, each hair is crimped and bends over or forms a hook at the end, resulting in a harsh, springy texture that has been likened to steel wool. In some cats the coat can be brittle, so grooming—preferably by bathing—should be gentle to prevent damage.

Origin: US, 1960s

Breed registries: CFA, TICA

Weight range: 8–15lb (3.5–7kg)

Grooming: Weekly

Colors and patterns: Variety of solid colors and shades in various patterns, including bicolor, tabby, and tortie.