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The American Wirehair: A Curly-Coated Cat with a Big Personality

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American Wirehair

Physical Characteristics: 

The American Wirehair is a medium to large cat with a round body and big, round eyes that tilt up at the corners. It comes in many colors and looks like the American Shorthair, except for its coat.

The coat is what makes this breed special. It is wiry because of a natural mutation in a gene. This gene is not dominant, so not all kittens will have wiry hair even if both parents do. The wiry hair is not a flaw, but a unique feature.

The coat is thick, rough, springy, and soft. It feels like lamb’s wool. The hairs are bent or curled, sometimes making small rings. The coat can be spiky or curly, but the ears and whiskers should match the coat.

This breed is meant to have short, thick hair, so long hair is not preferred. But some people might like a long-haired Wirehair as a pet. It is very striking to see a cat with a lot of curly, wiry hair.

Personality and Temperament:

The American Wirehair loves people and gets along with everyone in the family. It can sense how people feel and will stay close to them, following them around the house or cuddling with them.

People say that the Wirehair is a good cat to have as a pet, because it is gentle, loving, and quiet. It also likes to have fun and get attention. The Wirehair is great with other animals, like dogs, and with guests who come over.


The Wirehair is a healthy and strong cat with no genetic issues. It is easy to care for and does not get sick often. But it needs some grooming to keep its coat nice. The ears have curly hair that can get wax in them, so they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid ear problems.

Some Wirehairs have oily skin, so they should not be brushed. Instead, they should be washed gently with a mild shampoo. This protects the hair from damage. The hair should be dried with a soft towel or air, and never combed when wet. Different Wirehairs have different hair types, so ask your breeder how to take care of your cat’s coat.

Some Wirehairs may have hair and skin troubles because of stress or weather. The coats that are hardest are also the most fragile and can break easily.

History and Background: 

The American Wirehair was first born in a farm in Verona, NY in 1966. The farmer, Nathan Mosher, saw that the cat had a special coat with curly hair. He did not want to sell the cat to Joan O’Shea, a cat breeder who came to see it. But she paid him $50 and took the cat, named Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi.

Adam was the only one of his litter who survived a weasel attack. O’Shea did not know how to breed him. But one day, a female cat came to his house. She belonged to the neighbors who were away. Their son let her out by mistake. She had kittens with Adam, and some of them had curly hair too. O’Shea bought two of them from the neighbors.

She started a new line of cats with the help of Bill and Madeline Beck, who also bred Rex cats. They took a female kitten named Amy and bred her with other cats. Amy had many wirehaired kittens, and made the Wirehair a new American breed. The other two American breeds were the American Shorthair and the Maine Coon cat.

The American Shorthair was also used to make the Wirehair better. It was the only other breed that could mate with the Wirehair.

In 1967, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) gave the Wirehair its own breed name. In 1978, the CFA let the Wirehair compete for prizes. The Wirehair did not win the best cat yet, but it came close many times. The best Wirehairs were Brillocatz Curley Sue in 2002 and 2003, and Cameroncats Christina of Kaw in 2006 and 2007.

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