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American Wirehair Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

american wirehair cat sitting

Height 9–11 inches
Weight 8–15 pounds
Lifespan 7-12 years
Colors White, blue, red, cream, platinum, silver, chestnut, chinchilla, seal, brown, cameo, golden, fawn, blue-cream, tortoiseshell
Suitable for Active families, families with children, single people, seniors, those looking for an easy cat to care for
Temperament Loving, intelligent, affectionate, easy-going, friendly, independent

The American Wirehair is a medium-sized cat originating in the United States and has a unique wiry coat. This rare breed came about in New York in 1966 from a spontaneous natural mutation that is believed to have come from an American Shorthair litter. Two kittens, a male and female, were born into a litter of five but were the only two to survive a weasel attack. The kittens’ owner was amazed at the male’s wiry coat and named him Council Rock Farm Adam. The male and female were bred in an attempt to carry on the genetic mutation of the wiry coats, and the American Wirehair was created.

The American Wirehair is muscular with strong legs, strong jaws, and strong necks. They can have blue, green, or golden-colored eyes. This cat loves to play but will also be happy to take a nap and do its own thing. They do well being left alone but will bring you a toy if it wants to play. Affectionate, loving, and laid-back, this cat can make an excellent addition to any family or single person.

American Wirehair

american wirehair kitten
Credit: Kitti_Kween, Shutterstock


If you choose to buy from a breeder, ensure the breeder is a reputable cat breeder. A reputable breeder will be able to answer any questions you have, and they should give you a health guarantee. The parent cats should have a clean bill of health from diseases prior to mating, and you should be able to meet the parents and see where the breeder keeps the cats and kittens (usually in their own homes).

Steer clear of a pushy breeder who wants the entire purchase price upfront.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Wirehair

1. They are often mistaken for the American Shorthair.

These cats look almost identical to the American Shorthair; however, what sets the two breeds apart are their coats. The American Shorthair has dense and thick fur, while the American Wirehair is, of course, wiry. Their builds are similar—both have sturdy, muscular, and strong bodies.

2. Their coats feel like steel wool.

The coat texture is thick and coarse, unlike most cats. The coat is of medium length and crimped, and the hair seems hard to the touch, which is a characteristic that makes these cats unique.

3. They are true companions.

The American Wirehair loves its humans and makes excellent companions for anyone. They love to interact and play but are also independent. They are content being left alone, which makes them perfect for busy families or a single person. They also love to cuddle in your lap and purr away, making them wonderful companions for seniors, too.

american wirehair cat sitting on chair
Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Wirehair Cat

As mentioned before, this breed is playful, affectionate, and loyal. They are also keenly interested in their surroundings. Whether you want a happy lap cat or something to keep your children company, these cats make ideal pets.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes! These cats are naturally laid back and love to spend time with their humans. On the other hand, they can be independent and do fine being left alone. They adapt quickly to their environment and are easy to care for with cheerful and fun personalities. They can attach themselves to pretty much anyone within the household, and they do well with children. If you have children, ensure they respect the cat and are not rough during playtime.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The American Wirehair is friendly, easy-going, and genuinely cool around other pets in the home. These cats are muscular and strong and can hold their own with other cats and dogs. It’s wise to slowly introduce the American Wirehair initially to ensure all animals in the house get acclimated comfortably.

two american wirehair cat
Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

Things to Know When Owning an American Wirehair:

Food & Diet Requirementscat emoji

The American Wirehair, like all cats, are obligate carnivores that require a high-protein, high-quality diet complete with the necessary nutrients that cats require to be healthy. Ensure you’re feeding according to the guidelines from the food, and when in doubt about how much to feed, consult your veterinarian.

Exercise 🐈

These cats love to play but are also content with being lazy. They are intelligent, which makes having toys and puzzles a must for this cat. They don’t demand your attention and are content entertaining themselves, especially if they’re alone, but don’t be surprised if your American Wirehair brings you a toy when it wants to play, as this cat usually plays on its own terms. Cat trees are excellent for your cat to climb, which helps keep their muscles in shape.

Training 🧶

These cats are intelligent and will participate in a game of fetch. They are easy to train and are curious about all things. Training these cats can be a fun activity for you both.

american wirehair cat on the roof
Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The American Wirehair’s unique coat does not require regular brushing. In fact, brushing their wiry coat too much could damage it, so occasionally brushing should suffice. They tend to shed a little more during the fall and spring months, making a weekly brushing reasonable.

Dental hygiene is important for any cat, so try to aim for weekly brushings at least three to four times a week. Daily brushing is ideal but often not realistic, so aim for as often as your American Wirehair will let you.

Check the nails often for length. If they get too long, a clipping will be in order. Having a scratching post is ideal for keeping the nails in shape.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The American Shorthair is prone to certain health conditions that you should be aware of. They are as follows.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A thickening of the heart muscle. Symptoms may include lethargy or labored breathing.
  • Polycystic kidney disease: An unpredictable disease where cysts form in the kidneys. In some cats, the disease may result in kidney failure.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A defect in the hip socket. A cat with hip dysplasia may not jump, which can be a tell-tale sign.

Male vs. Female

There’s not much difference between males and females. Size is one difference, with the females being slightly lighter in weight than the males. However, both sexes have the same muscular and sturdy build.

Spaying and neutering play a huge role in a cat’s behavior. Females may become more affectionate while in heat, and males may become aggressive by spraying when sexually mature. Spaying and neutering your cat will help avoid certain health issues, making this procedure important for their overall health.

Final Thoughts

The American Wirehair is an easy-going and fun-loving cat. They do well in any type of household because they adapt easily to their environments and are intelligent. They make excellent companions and will bond with anyone within the home. Grooming requirements are low, and they are a joy to add to any family.

These felines get along well with children and other pets in the household, as long as the other pets are cat friendly. If you have children, ensure they know how to be respectful to the cat and avoid roughhousing. Unfortunately, they are not easy to find, but it is not impossible. There are American Wirehair breeders out there, and with persistence , you may be in luck.


Featured Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

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