Snowshoe Breed

The Snowshoe is a new and rare breed of cat whose origins are in Philadelphia in the 1960s. When a breeder’s Siamese gave birth to kittens with the distinctive pattern, she knew she had found something special. A breeding program was instituted and though at times as few as one breeder has been responsible for continuing the breed, Snowshoes were recognized in 1989. The rarity of the breed today is due to the difficulty of producing the Snowshoe’s unique markings.


Snowshoe cats have a personality that combines several elements of its Siamese and American Shorthair ancestors. Snowshoes are very docile, sweet-tempered and social cats. They are talkative, though generally not quite as loud as their Siamese relatives. They enjoy water, especially running water, and some Snowshoes may enjoy an occasional swim. They are intelligent and gentle animals, though not as active as many other breeds. Snowshoes will usually prefer to perch and watch a home’s activity rather than get involved in it. They do well with small children and other animals, but will often bond with one family member, preferring to spend time with them. Many Snowshoe owners often talk about being “owned” by their cats. Due to their social nature, they do not do well in situations where they will be left alone for long periods of time.

Snowshoes are a medium sized cat, with males weighing from 9 to 12 pounds, while females weigh 7 to 10 pounds. It is a firm and muscular cat that does not appear stocky. The body is neither long nor short, and appears rectangular. The head may be triangular or an “applehead” shape, with medium to medium-large ears. The paws and tail of snowshoes are medium and do not overwhelm the frame.

The distinctive Snowshoe pattern is taken from both its Siamese and American Shorthair ancestors. The pointed colors combine with a white tuxedo to produce their special shorthair look. Though all Snowshoe kittens are born white, coloring in the tail, legs, head, and ears begins to develop as the kitten ages. Snowshoe cats come in blue, lilac, lynx, fawn, chocolate, and seal points.

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