The first Snowshoe cats began as a naturally occurring variation in a litter of Siamese kittens, but today the Snowshoe is a breed in its own right with its own quirks and personality traits that make these unique felines increasingly popular companions. What differentiates these cats from their Siamese cousins, and what are they like as pets? Keep reading to find out!
Snowshoe Cat Appearance
Snowshoes are small- to medium-size cats that usually weigh between 7 and 12 pounds
when fully grown. Their muscular and agile bodies make them powerful jumpers, so don't be alarmed to find your Snowshoe hanging out on counter tops, shelves, and other high places so that they can fully observe their kingdom.
The breed began as a result of cross-breeding seal point Siamese cats with American Shorthairs, and as a result, they share certain physical similarities, most notably the Siamese's striking blue eyes and white, brown, and tan coloring.
Like Siamese cats, Snowshoe kittens are born solid white and only develop their characteristic markings at three to four weeks old. Seal and blue point color patterns are the most common, but Snowshoes can also display chocolate, lilac, and red point patterns.
Physically, Snowshoes can be distinguished from their Siamese relatives through two distinctive features. First is the inverted "V" coloring on the face that starts around the eyes and spreads out across the muzzle. While required for show standard, this "mask" isn't strictly necessary for a Snowshoe to be labeled as such.
Rather, that label comes with the dainty white paws that earned the breed its name
. The white can extend higher than the paw, giving the appearance of a sock or boot--or snow-covered shoes!
Snowshoe Cat Personality
Snowshoes are gentle, affectionate, and sociable. These outgoing kitties develop strong attachments to their families, though they tend to pick out one family member as a favorite. Whether you happen to be the "chosen one" or not, you can expect your Snowshoe to be a prominent fixture in your household and a loyal friend to all who live there.
Perhaps due to its American Shorthair roots, Snowshoes aren't too demanding of attention
. They're happy to do their own thing, and they'll be sure to let you know when they want your company. Otherwise, they'll be happy to nap by themselves for a while and then join you on the couch for some quality cuddle time.
That said, they love attention from their human family and don't do well when left alone for long stretches of time. If you bring a Snowshoe into your home, be prepared for lots of snuggling and petting, as this friendly cat craves a good petting session
Don't be fooled into thinking you're getting a docile floor mat, though; Snowshoes are still closely related to Siamese cats, after all, so they're usually very talkative and eager to chat with you about everything under the sun.
Snowshoes are also highly intelligent, and they aren't afraid to show it.
Accordingly, be sure to give your Snowshoe plenty of stimulation in the form of puzzle toys and other challenges to help engage her curiosity. They're also quick learners
and usually pick up on tricks easily, so try teaching your Snowshoe how to play fetch or give you a high five in exchange for treats. Some Snowshoes are even amenable to learning to walk on a leash, especially if introduced to the idea early in life.
Finally, many Snowshoes are fascinated by water
. It's not uncommon to catch them playing with the water dish or sneaking drinks from a dripping faucet. In fact, you might even get an unexpected visitor, as Snowshoes have been known to jump into the tub or shower for a quick dip!
Does your Snowshoe go on walks with you or surprise you in the shower? Share your favorite stories in the comments and let us know!
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