Tay Hahoff once rightly said, “There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.” Cats are not only lovely and cute but also surprising at times. In the category of catchy, awestruck, and friendly cats, ‘Snowshoe cat’ grab apex position. They are well known for their blue eyes, inverted ‘V’ natural mask, and “snow-shoe” paws. They have not only beautiful features but also strong built.
Although male snowshoes are sturdier than females snowshoes, they are both impressively muscular. They are perfect for owners with ample attention for their fur-babies. Want to know more about “Snowshoe cats”? Scroll down then.
History of Snowshoe Cats
Did you know that snowshoe cats appeared by accident? GCCF Online (The Governing Council Of the Cat Fancy) says that” The origin of the snowshoe can be traced back to the early 1960s when Dorothy Hinds Daugherty of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania found three kittens in a litter of Siamese, each with four white feet.” Eventually, this bizarre combination of white feet and pitched colors fascinated her.
Spellbound by the uniqueness of those cats, she thought of working on establishing a breed. After succeeding in getting assistance from another breeder, she bred those kittens to a shorthaired domestic cat with Tuxedo markings. After some time, Daugherty gave up the breeding process. However, her work was carried on by some curious breeders. Finally, the most preferred combination of snowshoes, over a few past decades, is the ‘older Siamese’ and Oriental shorthair. The breed we know today is the result of this combination.
This breed is rare and distinct. They don’t maintain their desired traits every time and are often bred to Oriental shorthairs or Siamese to continue their traits. In addition, these markings are because of recessive genes, making them difficult to be carried in the same manner. Due to this rarity of Snowshoes, they are still craving to be recognized by some leading cat organizations.
According to TICA, “Much of the history of the snowshoe was lost due to poorly kept records over time.” This made it even more difficult to trace their ancestry. However, the white-socks Siamese have fascinated cat lovers even before the 1960s, as they are seen in an old Victorian photograph and on old Japanese silk. But above all, their uniqueness makes the Snowshoe cats the most delightful one!
Personality of Snowshoe Cat
Have you ever been interrupted by your Snowshoe while you were busy working on your laptop? Have you ever counted how often she licks your hand or jump and walk around you to get noticed? Well, these are not uncommon behaviors among snowshoes. As they have a playful personality! Although these cats are kind as well as intelligent, they’ll go to any extent to grab your attention. Attention! these attention seekers are at times highly charged and may pester you for a ‘sweet’ company.
However, to tackle this situation, a cat tree house or a cat tower might help, as cats can not only play and exercise on them but also can sleep and relax on it.
Unlike other cats, who love to lay lazily at one place without getting disturbed, these cats cannot be alone for long. They long for company, most of the time! They enjoy playing, getting loved by the owners, and going on a walk with them. However, it is to be noted that they prefer leading rather than following you, unlike dogs!
Well, cats have a charm of their own. Isn’t it? Finally, they are cute, kind, loving, intelligent, and good-natured, which makes them a perfect match for families desiring to own their first or another cat.
Living With Snowshoe Cat
If you come from the office and ever get welcomed by your sweet Snowshoe at the door, don’t get surprised! It’s after owning snowshoes you’ll realize how friendly they are. Other than cats, they love and enjoy the company of humans too, as claimed by fanciers that snowshoes consider themselves as people and not cats! Just like Siamese, they love to get loved and try to attract as much attention as possible.
Snowshoes are not only friendly but also quick-witted. With this characteristic comes her quality of being speedy. With their sporty look, snowshoes are athletic and expeditious. Throw them a softball anywhere and you can expect to receive it in a quick timeframe. Absolutely snowshoes are fast and energetic, but this sometimes gives owners some headache! Their playful personality and Sporty physique demand constant activities and games. To deal with this, soft toys, cat-friendly exercises, and a cat condo should be ready for you!
Although most domestic cats are not fond of water, snowshoe loves water. Fill a tub of water in the bathroom, and you might find your furry rejoicing in the tub. Interestingly, they also like to swim! They find swimming as a source of entertainment and might spend hours splashing around!
You didn’t know about this information before? Nevermind. To boost your knowledge regarding snowshoes, we have put up some unknown interesting facts about these friendly furry mates. Excited?
7 Facts About Snowshoe Cat
1. Snowshoes Are White
Snowshoes are known for their pointed colors and striking combination of hues. However, on the contrary, they are born milky white! They might show some hints of markings when they are born, but those are generally very light. As snowshoe cats mature, they show progression in their color change, and some of their signature markings become strikingly visible. They not only have blue Point and seal patterns, as generally assumed, but they can also show lilac, red, and chocolate point patterns.
2. They Have Multi-faceted Lineage
Remember the story of Dorothy Hinds Daugherty and her breeding program? Initially, to get a distinct breed, American shorthairs were bred to Siamese cats. However, with the passage of time, other combinations were tried in search of the most suitable breeding combination.
Subsequently, as the breed developed, breeders were successful in bringing up the preferred breeding combination. Currently, “breeders prefer the Oriental shorthair, and the older type of Siamese”, according to PetMD. However, it is to be noted that recessive genes play a major role in their ‘white socks’, which makes it difficult to replicate their markings and hence making this breed a rare variety.
3. Snowshoes Always Have Blue Eyes
Snowshoe cats have large and oval-shaped eyes when they are relaxed. However, when they are alert, the ‘Walnut’ shape of their eyes can be seen. Indeed, their eyes are rounder than their Siamese ancestors. Importantly, they always have blue color eyes. Varieties in shades can be seen among different cats; however bright sparkling blue boasts as the most preferred one. If you chose Billie Eilish’s ‘Ocean eyes’ for your sweet Snowshoe, then you probably made the right choice! (Drum rolls in the background)
4. Their Name is Derived From Their Markings
When Dorothy Hinds Daugherty, in the 1960s, found three kittens in the Siamese litter, she was perplexed to see their white feet and milky stockings. This was completely different from Siamese, whose feet and paws are dark-colored. Fascinated by these beyond the norm ‘shoes’, which were snowy-white in color, she decided to name them as ‘snowshoes’.
5. Before the 80s and 90s, Snowshoes Weren’t Officially Recognized
Hinds-Daugherty gave her best to gain official recognition for snowshoes, but she soon abandoned her breeding program. Afterward, it was taken over by Vikki Olander. He succeeded in gaining Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and American Cat Association’s (ACA) status of “experimental breed” for snowshoes in 1974.
Later on, in 1983, Olander, Kuhnell, and Hoffman obtained champion status from CFF. After some time, in 1990, even in the absence of Olander, American Cat Fanciers Association gave Snowshoes champion status.
Also, in 1993, they were recognized by The International Cat Association. Finally, on 26 June 2013, Snowshoes were brought to full breed status with GCCF. Also, Fédération Internationale Féliné and the Cat Fanciers Federation have fully recognized them.
6. Pattern is All You Need
Don’t jump to the conclusion that every cat with white socks is a Snowshoe. To categorize a feline as Snowshoe, some patterns and colors have to get matched. According to ACFA,” It is not just a Siamese with white. 40 of 100 points are just delegated to just pattern and color.” So just white stockings aren’t enough.
Other than white socks in the front till the ankle, there have to be characteristics like two whites boots towards the hock in the back, inverted ‘V’ on their face, white color covering their chin, chest, and underbelly and Of course, as mentioned above, their sparkling blue eyes.
7. They Easily Form A Primary Attachment
It is true that Snowshoe cat easily get mingled with humans; however, it is seen that they form a primary bond with one person in particular. Once the bond is created, they tend to be in the vicinity of their master, just like dogs. They try to grab immediate attention with their swiftness and snuggles. They might also expect you to play with them for the most part of the day.
They are energetic, and their urge to ‘play with you’ can be tackled through various exercises, soft toys, and games like ‘find the toy’. Even if they love your company, they’ll prefer to lead you rather than following.
Of course, they shouldn’t be left without your company for long as they are more social with humans. Finally, they are so playful and lovely that you will end up boasting about the special bond you share with them and won’t prefer to stay away from them for longer periods.
The Snowshoe Cats are not only delightfully pleasant to be looked at but also are the right choice for families with plenty of love for their furry little. Their playful personality and social character make them very fascinating. These cats were not in the limelight until the 80s and 90s; however, now they are getting more and more recognition from eminent cat organizations.
Recently Snowshoes grabbed more attention due to social media sensation ‘Grumpy Cat’. By the looks, Grumpy cat resembles more of Snowshoes because of its coat color. However, no other similarly, in particular, can be seen. Furthermore, no inherited problems have been detected in Snowshoes, making them a healthier choice.
Of course, vaccination, health checks, and parasite control are required, like other cats. They are friendly, sporty, vocal, intelligent, energetic, and love to be around people in a nutshell. This clearly reflects that they are a perfect blend of desired qualities. So what are you waiting for? Last but not least, when are you going to grab one for yourself?