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10 Surprising Snowshoe Cat Vet-Reviewed Facts

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

snowshoe cat on gray background

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Just from their name, the snowshoe cat seems to have a magical quality. But this living plush hides many other secrets, ones known only to their most fervent admirers.

If you want to know where the adorable name of this breed came from and many other fascinating facts about this magnificent feline, keep reading!

The 10 Surprising Snowshoe Cat Facts

1. Their Name Comes From Their Unique Markings

Snowshoe cats didn’t actually get their name because they love to play in the snow. They are born with unique markings that give the impression that they have “little snowy feet.”

2. Their Origin Story Is Distinctive

Compared to many other cat breeds with histories spanning hundreds or even thousands of years, the snowshoe is a relatively new feline variety. It was in the late 1960s that Dorothy Hinds-Daughtery, a Siamese cat breeder based in Philadelphia, noticed a litter of three little kittens with unconventional markings. While the expected Siamese pattern adorned their bodies, their paws were all white, as if they were wearing little mittens or socks. Obviously, the breeder fell in love with these adorable furballs and wanted to replicate this new coat trait.

She decided to crossbreed Siamese cats with American shorthairs, hoping to recreate their distinctive white paws. However, this attempt quickly revealed the complex nature of color genetics in cats, leading her to give up on the breeding program after 20 years.

Fortunately, another snowshoe admirer, Vikki Olander, picked up where Hinds-Daughtery left off and was able to get the breed accepted by Cat Fanciers Federation, American Cat Association, and The International Cat Association.

snowshoe cat lying on bed
Image Credit: Jiri Sebesta, Shutterstock

3. They Are Born Completely White

Like Siamese, snowshoe kittens are born entirely white. Occasionally, they may have small dark markings on their face and back, but these are considerably lighter than those seen on an adult snowshoe cat. These marks will gradually darken over the kittens’ first 3 weeks.

4. They Love to “Talk”

It’s something that many cat owners adore: an endearing, chatty kitty that greets them when they come home from work. Much like their Siamese ancestors, snowshoe cats are known for their talkative nature. Their charming meows and chirps can even have a comforting effect. Still, while these sounds are pleasant for the most part, they can be slightly annoying for people who prefer more discreet cats.

5. They Have a Playful Temperament

Snowshoe cats tend to retain the characteristics of a kitten for a long time. They also have a temperament deemed “exquisite” by their owners. While they are charming and playful, they require a great deal of attention from their human companions in return. That’s why if you’re struggling to provide them with enough play time, you might want to consider adopting another playful feline playmate to keep your snowshoe company.

snowshoe kitten playing
Image Credit: Baldassarre, Shutterstock

6. They Are in Love With Their Humans

Some breeds are independent and don’t require much petting or attention from their owners. This is not the case with snowshoe cats! These felines are like social butterflies-they seek human interaction and tend to forge strong bonds with their family. They are definitely not cats to be left alone all day, as they tend to suffer from loneliness when left alone for long periods of time more than many other breeds.

7. They Are Smart

Snowshoe cats seem to have it all- beauty, brawn, and brains. Not only are they strikingly beautiful, but they also show keen intelligence. This means you can easily teach them cool tricks like fetching, sitting, giving a high five, and jumping through hoops!

8. Their Superb Coat Requires Little Maintenance

You can enjoy the beauty and softness of the snowshoe cat’s coat without having to laboriously groom them every day. That said, you still need to brush them once or twice a week to keep them looking good and reduce shedding.

close up of a snowshoe cat
Image Credit: Kokhanchikov, Shutterstock

9. They Are Fine With Sharing Your Attention

Snowshoe cats are not the jealous type and are more than happy to share your attention with other pets and humans in the household—as long as they get their fair share of affectionate cuddles.

10. They Are Deemed a Rare Breed

Snowshoe kittens are relatively rare, given the difficulty in reproducing their distinctive marks (the gene carrying these traits is recessive). So, finding a breeder can take a bit of research and patience. You can try looking for one in shelters or rescue groups, but due to their rarity, success isn’t guaranteed.


Snowshoe cats are an enchanting blend of beauty and personality! These charming furballs are sure to leave snowy paw prints in the heart of any feline lover. Sadly, these beauties are hard to find, which undoubtedly contributes to their aura of mystery and magic.

Featured Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock

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