American Wirehair Cat: Characteristics, Personality, and Breed Information

American Wirehair
Compare Breed
United States
Adult weight
8-15 pounds
Life Span
12-18 years
Gentle, sociable, sensible, affectionate
Other Names
Medium-sized short to medium hair
$800 - $1,200
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Personality and Temperament

A soft heart and a sweet personality hide behind the rough exterior of the American wirehair cat. These friendly felines are versatile and robust, with a unique appearance that their families appreciate. American wirehair cats are technically a shorthaired cat breed; however, the structure of their hairs gives them the appearance of a medium haired breed.

The American wirehair cat's coat might contain some straight hairs, but most of the hairs that make up this unique cat's coat have a crimped texture with a hooked end. It's coat has a unique springy feel and sheds moderately, about the same as other shorthair cat breeds.

American wirehair cats come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Breeders out cross them to American shorthairs to ensure genetic diversity.

About the American Wirehair Cat
American Wirehair Cat Care










Just like all other cats, American wirehairs are obligate carnivores. They need a meat-based diet to thrive. We recommend feeding your cat a high-quality brand with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy coat.

Take special care when grooming your American wirehair cat. The hairs that formed this breed's coat tended to be brittle and they break easily. Only brush your cat when absolutely necessary – for example, you can provide your pet with help removing excess hair during the springtime shedding season.

Like all other cats, the American wirehair benefits from good dental hygiene and regular nail trimming.

The American wirehair cat is fairly athletic, but isn't hyperactive. These kitties enjoy running, jumping, and climbing when they aren't lounging on the couch with their families.

Since American wirehairs are highly social, it stands to reason that they like interactive play. Although they will happily pounce on catnip mice and other toys meant for solo play, they thrive when their families engage in games. A laser dot is fun to chase and wands with ribbons satisfy the instinctual need to capture prey.

Spare your drapes and furniture by treating your cat to a tall tower with a built-in scratching post.

American wirehair cats are generally healthy. The breed suffers from no known genetic problems.


The American wire hair cat breed traces its history back to a single male kitten born in upstate New York in 1966. The kitten was one-of-a-kind, born to a pair of shorthaired barn cats.

A cat breeder named Joan O'Shea purchased the unusual kitten for $50, naming him Counsel Rock Adam of Hi-Fi and ultimately crossing him with American shorthair females including one other cat that was suspected to carry a wire hair gene.

The original red tabby and white cat passed his DNA on to subsequent generations and a brand-new breed was born.

The Cat Fanciers Association gave the American wire hair official recognition in 1978, classifying the breed as a type of American shorthair. The World Cat Federation, the American Cat Fanciers Association and the Canadian Cat Association also recognize the breed.

Read More
American Wirehair Cat History
About the American Wirehair Cat


American wirehair cats may have eyes in any color that complements their coat. The eyes should be large, rounded, and set well apart from one another.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be of medium length and moderate bone. They should be proportionate to the body with ample musculature. The paws should be firm, rounded and full, with heavy pads.


The American wirehair cat has a tapered tail with a rounded tip that is proportionate to the body.

The Breed Standard


American wire hair cats are medium to large sized with level backs. The hips and shoulders should be of the same width. The torso should be rounded and proportionate.


The American wire hair has a rounded head shape with prominent cheekbones. The chin and muzzle are well-developed and there is a slight whisker break.


The ears are medium size, wide set, and slightly rounded at the tips.


The American wire hair cat's coat has a hard, rough feel and a springy texture. Most hairs should be hooked or bent, including the hair inside the ears.


American wirehair cats may exhibit nearly any color or pattern. These cats may be disqualified if they are chocolates, lavender, or a Himalayan pattern, or if they exhibit any of these color combinations with white. Nose leather and paw pad colors should complement the coat color.


How much does a American Wirehair cat cost?

American Wirehair cats cost between $800 - $1,200.

How big do American Wirehair cats get?

American Wirehair cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown American Wirehair cat might weigh between 8-15 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 10"-14" inches tall.

How long do American Wirehair cats live?

The Average lifespan for American Wirehair is 12-18 years.

Do American Wirehair cats shed?

American Wirehair are short-haired cats. Therefore, they do not shed as much as long-haired cat breeds.

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