The Snowshoe cat has a distinctive brown and white color pattern. But, you won’t see many of these cats around.
Today, the breed is still quite rare, but is slowly gaining in popularity both for its unique coloration and its equally whimsical personality.
These cats are often shy, intelligent and caring. But they can also be quite vocal!
Let’s find out more about whether this cat is right for you.
What’s In This Guide
Snowshoe Cat FAQs
Our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the Snowshoe Cat.
- Are Snowshoe Cats Rare?
- How Much Do Snowshoe Cats Cost?
- Is My Cat A Snowshoe?
- What Is The Lifespan Of A Snowshoe Cat?
Snowshoe Cat Breed Review: Contents
- Where do Snowshoe Cats come from?
- Snowshoe Cat personality
- Snowshoe Cat temperament
- Can these cats go outside?
- How big are Snowshoe Cats?
- Snowshoe Cat colors
- Grooming your cat
- Snowshoe Cat shedding
- Are Snowshoe Cats hypoallergenic?
- Health problems
- Snowshoe Cat lifespan
- Snowshoe Cat care
- Feeding your Snowshoe Cat
- Are Snowshoe Cats good pets?
- Snowshoe Cat breeders
- Raising a Snowshoe kitten
- Rescuing a Snowshoe Cat
Snowshoe Cat History
The Snowshoe cat is sometimes also referred to as the “Snowshoe Siamese,”. This is a nod to its unusual beginnings in the midst of a litter of Siamese kittens!
Their origins start with a breeder called Ms. Daugherty. When she checked on her latest litter of Siamese kittens, she discovered three with perfect white-booted feet, which were originally called “silver laces”.
The pointed Siamese coloration along with the little white booties charmed her! So, she set her mind to creating a new breed with these exact markings.
Ms. Daugherty’s next litter was the result of pairing one of the white foot kittens with an American shorthair cat, who sported tuxedo markings.
Development of the Breed
From there, the breed lineage continued to evolve in fits and starts. It nearly died out in 1977 and then experiencing a resurgence of interest.
This led to the breed eventually becoming recognized and established with multiple cat associations in the States and in the UK.
Today, the Snowshoe Siamese cat continues to be a breed that challenges even the most experienced feline breeders. It is just that difficult to replicate!
For this reason, and because this is still a young (developing) breed overall, it may take a bit of a hunt before you find a Snowshoe kitten to call your own.
Snowshoe Cat Personality
This cat’s personality can vary from cat to cat. Some Snowshoe cats are more outgoing and social, while others are more reserved and shy around newcomers.
TICA (The International Cat Association) describes three distinct personality types among these cats: shy, bossy-nice and caregiver.
Regardless of where your cat falls along this personality spectrum, you can count on your particular kitten being very loving and connected to you, her “person.”
Snowshoe Cat Temperament
Owners report that their snowshoe cats are friendly and rarely show any aggression.
A lot of your cat’s temperament will be influenced by their upbringing. This is the same for all cats regardless of breed.
Early socialization is the best way to ensure your cat isn’t scared or aggressive around strangers.
Can Snowshoe Cat go Outside?
There’s a hot debate among cat owners over whether their pets should be let outside. But, there’s something to be said for both sides of the argument and we look at them in this article.
Nothing suggests that Snowshoe cats are any less suited to outdoor life than other cats.
So, the decision is down to you. Let’s move on to look at this cat breed’s appearance.
Snowshoe Cat Weight
So how big does the Snowshoe Siamese cat grow?
In this interesting cat breed, the adult male will generally outweigh the female by at least two pounds.
The adult female will weigh anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds. But, an adult male will weigh anywhere from 9 to 12 pounds.
Adult Snowshoe cats are muscular and strong but lean – athletic and balanced.
Some breeders describe this cat’s body shape as “rectangular.”
Snowshoe Cat Colors and Coats
The Snowshoe Siamese cat coloration is complex to breed. But simple and elegant to behold.
This breed’s kittens are born pure white. The point coloration only begins to show up starting around the third or fourth week of life.
Most Snowshoe adults will continue to get darker coloration as this cat grows up. This process can even continue throughout life.
Seal point and blue point are both the most common coloration. But this cat can also develop lilac, chocolate brown and red point coloration.
The four paws are white booties.
Facial “freckles” and splashes of white on the chin, stomach or throat may also appear with age.
The distinctive inverted “V” marking on the face begins near the eyes and spreads out as it moves down the muzzle.
This cat’s face is sometimes described as a classic “apple” shape, reminiscent of the Victorian Siamese cat breed, or as an equal-sided triangle with high cheekbones.
The large round eyes of this cat are a striking sapphire blue.
Grooming Your Snowshoe Cat
With their stunning and unique coats, you might think that these cats need a special routine to maintain it.
Snowshoe cats shouldn’t require any more grooming than other breeds. You can find all our grooming tips and suggested products here.
Grooming your cat can be a fun activity and some really enjoy it! But shedding can still be a problem, even with regular grooming.
Snowshoe Cat Shedding
These cats shed seasonally, like many other breeds. They don’t have a very thick undercoat though. So they’re unlikely to make as much of a mess as breeds that shed more heavily.
Are Snowshoe Cats Hypoallergenic?
The idea that any feline could possibly be hypoallergenic is a compelling one. But unfortunately it is a myth.
The myth likely arose because of the link between pet dander and human allergies.
However, it isn’t dander alone that causes allergies in people. It is also a protein secreted in the cat’s saliva, skin and urine too.
About 10 percent of people have a significant allergy to this protein, while others may be affected to a lesser degree.
Because the protein is produced whether the cat sheds a little or a lot, there is really no truly hypoallergenic cat breed.
Snowshoe Cat Health Problems
The Snowshoe Siamese cat comes from a mixed genetic lineage that includes the Siamese and the American Shorthair.
Like all felines, there are certain genetic health conditions that are more common in some breeds than in others. And this one is no exception.
What is interesting about this newer cat breed is that there are no breed-specific genetic health issues that have been identified as of yet.
However, as the breed is so new and rare, this is more likely to be due to a lack of data than a lack of genetic health issues.
So, how long can you expect your cat to be around?
Snowshoe Cat Lifespan
This kitty can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years, making it one of the longer-lived cat breeds.
Your cat’s diet, exercise level, enrichment, lifestyle and genetics can all influence how long it will live.
Caring for your Snowshoe Cat
This breed doesn’t have any specific care requirements.
All cats benefit enormously from an appropriate diet and regular exercise. If your kitty is an indoor cat you may want to invest in some toys to keep them active.
Snowshoe Cat Food
There are lots of decisions to make when it comes to your cats diet. There’s a lot of debate on which food is best.
Whatever you end up deciding, make sure you feed your cat a high quality diet with appropriate ingredients.
Are Snowshoe Cats good pets?
Because this cat is affectionate and people-oriented overall, this is a good cat breed to select if you have children or other family pets.
Snowshoe cats so enjoy being with their families they may even join you for a swim in the family pool if the opportunity arises.
This cat also has one particular talent many owners remark on: she can quickly figure out how to open doors!
One hypothesis suggests that this kitty cat learns to open doors so easily because this is not a breed that will do well when left alone for long periods of time.
If you have a daily schedule that requires being away from home for hours at a time, you may want to bring home two kitties or consider a different breed.
Snowshoe Cat Breeders
Snowshoe breeders are becoming more common. But this breed is still quite rare, especially outside of the United States.
For this reason, you may find there is a waiting list for all available Snowshoe kittens.
Any breeder you work with should be able to provide you with proof the parent cats have tested negative for known genetic-based health conditions that have such tests.
Cat rescue is another option if you are having trouble finding Snowshoe kittens or an adult cat.
Snowshoe Cat Kittens
Because of the rarity of this breed, Snowshoe cat price won’t be at the low end of the range!
You can expect to put down a deposit if you want to wait for a kitten. Typical deposit price ranges from $50 to $100, but could be higher.
This deposit may or may not be refundable if you remove your name from the list.
Snowshoe Siamese kittens may cost anywhere from $750 to $1,800 or higher.
Rescuing a Snowshoe Cat
Rescuing a cat is a great alternative to buying a kitten. With such cats in short supply it may be difficult to track one down however.
Pros And Cons of Getting A Snowshoe Cat
We’ve learnt a lot about this unique cat breed today. So, let’s recap the pros and cons of this breed.
- They are not at all common and can be quite difficult to find
- Not suitable for families with allergies
- Can’t be left alone for long periods of time
- May be expensive to buy.
- Beautiful and unique appearance
- Great personality and temperament
- No known health problems at the moment.
Should I get a Snowshoe Cat?
This breed is perfect for cat-lovers who love the unusual.
Best of all, their unlikely appearance is matched by an exceptional personality.
Many owners of this breed say they can’t imagine life with any other breed of cat!
They are rare though, so waiting for one (and paying so much for one) might not make sense to the average casual cat owner.
Either way, we hope this article has helped you decide.
What are your Experiences?
If you are lucky enough to own one of these unique cat breeds, let us know your experiences in the comments!
How have you enjoyed their temperament and personality?
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- Hawes et al. Factors Informing Outcomes for Older Cats and Dogs in Animal Shelters
- O’Neill et al. Longevity and mortality of cats attending primary care veterinary practices in England
- Pounds, H., et al, “Snowshoe – Introduction,” The International Cat Fanciers Association, 2018.
- Rowe, L., “Snowshoe Breed: Synopsis,” The American Cat Fanciers Association, 2018.
- Dunstall, J., et al, “Snowshoe Profile,” Snowshoe Cat Club, 2018.
- Butt, A., et al, “Do hypoallergenic cats and dogs exist?,” The Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2012.
- Beall, L., DVM, “Snowshoes,”
- Aubrey Animal Medical Center, 2017. Kornreich, B., DVM, PhD, DAVCM, et al, “Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy,” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 2016.
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