Get to know the American Wirehair
All you need to know about the breed
While the first feature you’ll notice about the American Wirehair cat is its medium-length crimped and wiry coat, the breed has a host of other appealing characteristics. For one, it is an athletic cat who is keen to play and explore its surroundings but won’t be overly demanding of activity. It’s a good idea to keep puzzle and teaser toys (especially those with lures at the end of a rod), on hand to ensure this smart breed stays enriched and mentally stimulated.
In terms of interaction, you’re likely to find this quiet but affectionate cat following you from room to room, joining you on the sofa, and maintaining a comfortable spot at the end of the bed. They are moderately talkative but can be lively purrers, conveying their easy-going nature. And because the American Wirehair is inherently sociable, it isn’t likely to hide when visitors arrive.
In appearance, American Wirehairs are known for their fairly large, round eyes and medium-sized ears that give off an open, alert expression. And while that signature coat, which exists in a variety of colours and patterns, may give the impression of being high maintenance, it is anything but: the less brushing, the better!
2 facts about American Wirehairs
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your American Wirehair
May be at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Generally speaking, the American Wirehair is very healthy. However, because the breed can be crossed with the American Shorthair, it may develop similar issues, namely hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. HCM is a common form of heart disease in felines and causes an enlargement of the heart muscle. A reputable breeder will not only provide a written health guarantee but be able to confirm that their American Wirehairs have been screened with an echocardiogram for the disease by a veterinary cardiologist.
Not as high maintenance as you might think
With all that talk about short, wiry coats, you might be inclined to think the American Wirehair is high maintenance. On the contrary: the breed’s resilient coat, which springs back when you press on it, is straightforward to groom. What’s more, it requires less of a time commitment than the American Shorthair, its closest relation.
Caring for your American Wirehair
Grooming, training and exercise tips
The coarse texture of the American Wirehair’s coat requires very little grooming. In fact, too much brushing can damage its delicate wiry, low-shedding fur. Aside from the occasional combing, you can keep the breed’s skin and coat clean with baths to remove loose dead hooked hairs that can lead to irritation. Intelligent and moderately playful, American Wirehair cats prefer the kind of activity that stimulates their brain. While they are capable of entertaining themselves, you can engage them with puzzle toys, teasers that tap into their hunter’s instincts. They are also quick learners so feel free to train them to use scratching posts, window perches to observe their surroundings, and even play with other pets.