The Snowshoe has the outgoing personality of both the American Shorthair and the Siamese. It may or may not be talkative. When it does vocalize, it tends to have a softer, more melodic voice than the Siamese.
- 5.5 - 12 pounds
Ideal Human Companions
- Families with children
- Multi-pet households
- People who want a lap cat
- First-time cat owners
Snowshoes on Catster
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- “Point colors” on the coat
- Moderate wedge-shaped head with blue eyes
- Talkative and easygoing
- Likes people
What They Are Like to Live With
The Snowshoe has a sparkling and affectionate personality and likes being with people, although some can be a bit shy with strangers. It generally gets along well with other cats if it’s properly raised and socialized. The Snowshoe is intelligent and trainable.
Things You Should Know
The Snowshoe is generally healthy, although some may have a kinked tail or crossed eyes, remnants of its Siamese heritage.
The Snowshoe’s soft, short coat is easy to groom, and the cat enjoys the attention.
The Snowshoe generally weighs 10 to 12 pounds.
The Snowshoe was developed by Philadelphia breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty in the early 1960s. She crossed a bicolor American Shorthair with a Siamese, and the result was a sturdy, pointed cat with white markings on the face, chest and feet. Another breeder, Vikki Olander, wrote a standard for the new cat and pressed for its recognition, which was achieved in 1974. The American Cat Association (ACA) was the first to recognize the Snowshoe as a breed.
Still considered a rare breed, the Snowshoe is now recognized by the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE), the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and The International Cat Association (TICA). Snowshoes may be outcrossed to American Shorthairs, Oriental Shorthairs and Siamese without penalty.
The Look of a Snowshoe
The Snowshoe is distinguished by its pointed coat, white markings on the feet and a white inverted V on the face that begins at the forehead and spreads down across the muzzle. The short coat comes in typical Siamese colors—seal, chocolate, lilac, blue, red, cream, cinnamon and fawn—and in two patterns, mitted and bicolor. Kittens are born white, and point color develops as they mature.
Bright blue eyes peer out from a head shaped like a modified wedge and topped with medium-size ears that have slightly rounded tips. This is a medium-size cat with an intermediate body type that’s firm and muscular, not sleek or dainty.
Talk About Snowshoes
An avid lap sitter
My boy, Sammy, is a Snowshoe, and about 5 years old. His most outstanding trait is being very bonded with me - he's an avid lap sitter and bed companion. When I pet him on the sides of his head he drools, and always wants to lick the end of my nose, nowhere else. He loves to play, and instigated "fetch" on his own. His only downside in our household is his jealousy of our other cat, a female Birman, and he is at times quite aggressive toward her. I've been unable to dissuade him from this behavior, so it's a daily source of contention in our little apartment. But he is a love, for sure!
~Leah D., owner of a Snowshoe and a Birman
Alpha and Omega, brother and sister (b. November 2003), are our pride and joy, the love and affection of our daily lives. They do not respond to 'kitty-kitty" -- instead they respond to their names and simple commands, much as puppies do.
They are so very smart and know so many different words. They respond by perking up with ears and eyes on us when we speak certain words. They will run to another room of the house if told to go find daddy. Omega is a daddy's girl and will follow him throughout the home just as a dog would.
Omega is more vocal than Alpha. Alpha will come to my side and reach up and pat me if he wants in my lap, or if he wants to be petted. He drools when he is petted.
They love RVing with us wherever we go. They enjoy their stroller around RV resorts and here at home when weather permits. They have an enclosed mesh playpen they enjoy while we're outside our RV -- they just like being wherever we are at all times.
Alpha rides well on trips, but Omega has a bit of motion sickness. She prefers to be in my lap during the ride, whereas Alpha will roam and check everything out inside the vehicle. He's our little detective.
I'm recovering from a couple of cancers, and Alpha sensed I was sick before medical test proved it. He has always been affectionate, but even more so during my treatments and still in my recovery. They are both very smart and sensitive. They know when one of us is having a difficult day with our health and will cling to us more.
I'd highly recommend this breed to anyone, especially to adults who enjoy having a companion in their lap when they read, watch tv, spend time at the PC,etc. and who welcomes love and affection.
Alpha and Omega aren't fond of children because there aren't any in our home nor neighborhood for them to get used to. They aren't aggressive towards children -- instead, they hide from them.
~Eliz.-Anne H., owner of two Snowshoes
So smart and loving!
We have two female Snowshoe cats. They are sisters and we've had them for around 10 years. I was not a cat person, but my daughter was young and wanted a pet. After this I will never get another dog! These girls are so smart and loving and they are very talkative! They meet me at the door when I come home from work and are so full of personality. They are very much part of our family. Ours never try to get out of the house.
~Jane H., owner of two Snowshoe cats
One sneaky cat
We first got Mason about seven months ago. We were perplexed as to what breed he was and finally, after much research, we found the Snowshoe breed. It's a perfect fit. He's vocal, and talks back if you ask him a question or wants food. He's very social and loves to "attack" the stairs. Mason is incredibly affectionate, but when he's had enough he goes to his chair.
He very rarely is in a room alone without getting lonely. We left for maybe four days and had a friend stay over to watch him. The night we came back he "yelled" at us for about 30 minutes, even with a mouthful of food. All and all, he's a loving, fun and very smart cat. A great companion. I would not recommend this breed to someone who is gone for long periods of time, they seem to get very lonely - even if you close the door to take a shower, our Mason is trying to get in. They eat like champs, so watch your cat's weight. This breed is also very playful.
~Nicole S., owner of a Snowshoe
Such a beautiful face
There was an airshow last August and we noticed a pretty cat across the field in front of our house. I noticed a little black tail with a white tip traipsing through the grass. We brought her in and placed ads everywhere but no one claimed her. I love her beautiful face and white-tipped paws like a little fox. She thinks she's a Mountain Lion and loves to be outside.
~Mary G., owner of a Snowshoe
My sister has an adorable Snowshoe called Wiggles. He is the friendliest, most affectionate cat I know and loves to be held. He likes to put his arms around your neck and nuzzle your chin when you hold him and will put his paws on your thigh and soflty mew when he wants to picked up which is almost always.
His sweet disposition and kitty-hugs makes even those who "don't like cats" love him. He gets along well with my sister's elderly cat and loves my parents' cat even though she does not feel the same way. He is very active, loves to play and when he is not asleep he is socializing with us. He does have a rather sensitive tummy, though, and regularly has digestive issues. This has improved as he has aged, however.
~Margaret N., owner of a Domestic Long Hair
What a quirky and handsome boy!
A little less than two years ago my sister's cat Mitsy gave birth to five kittens. Mitsy is a tabby and white ragdoll mix, and the father cat was a purebred Siamese. From these two was born my beloved Abner. A quirky and unique name for a very quirky boy.
Abner was born with a pure cream coat. As he matured, he developed dark seal-colored points on his tail, ears, and nose, but his cute little paws stayed white! Even stranger still, around his whisker pads and face, he had two white markings dubbed the "Mou-stache". I had never seen a cat with this combination of markings until I searched online to discover the Snowshoe.
Abner is well suited to me as a companion as we are both a bit eccentric. As a kitten, he would capture and retrieve various rubber objects such as rubber gloves, tub stoppers, and gel insoles. Of all these, his favorite was a pacifier he would sneak from my little nephew Kevin on many occasions. I started buying him his own packages of pacifiers, which are now his favorite toy.
In addition to bringing me countless hours of joy, Abner loves being outside in our backyard and is a very gentle cat. He loves our two other tuxedo cat girls and other people, but I think he has bonded most strongly with me, and gets upset when I spend too long away from home. This is a very special and quirky cat indeed!
~Chantal C., owner of a Snowshoe
Likes to play with the water fountain
April was an abandoned kitten found on the side of a busy highway. She was only a few weeks old and propably moments from death by a speeding a car. She was rescued and my wife and I were blessed with having her going on 8 years now and counting.
She fits the breed's mold by being very vocal, affectionate, and smart. She also has a strange fascination with water. We got her a water fountain and she spends hours lounged by it, taking turns drinking and dunking her head and paws in it.
Our girl has digestive issues that can be a bit of a struggle. With our vet, we have figured out a diet and medical formula that appears to have her back to normal.
People ask me why I spend so much money on this cat regarding her health issues. Until you own a Snowshoe, or should I say, until a Snowshoe owns you, you will never understand. These cats think they are people and are beautiful in appearance and personality.
~George P, owner of a Snowshoe
She has to authorize my every move
My snowshoe, Isis, started out as my sister's cat. As I was more apt to keep "cat hours," she decided that I was her person. She's funny, friendly, intelligent, and an attention hog like no other! Whenever I am elsewhere in the house, she has to search me out, just to be certain that I'm not doing anything unauthorised by HER.
One of her favorite things is to flop on her back with her hind legs sprawled and blink at me upside down while I tell her how beautiful she is. As I wax eloquent, she rolls luxuriously back and forth until those big, deep-blue eyes close in contentment.
After this,she must get under the bedcovers with me and sleep with her head on my arm or, if that is not available, she makes do with the pillow. She is a character, all letters capitalised, and the joy of my heart, even as she's digging her claws into my leg or side, and I couldn't be parted from her.
Advice? DON'T free-feed. If your Snowshoe likes to eat as much as mine does, it'll rival an elephant seal if given free access to food. She has some jealousy issues as well, though thankfully this manifests primarily as hogging the food if at all possible.
~Jackie R., owner of a Snowshoe
Good ol' Emmitt
We adopted Emmitt, a 20-pound Snowshoe, from the pound after my 20-year-old cat passed away. The first two weeks, he hid in the basement. Then he found his way into the rafters, and I had to rip the ceiling apart just to get him out. He stayed in the bedroom for the next three weeks, but started sticking his nose out. After about three months, he fully acclimated and now is the sweetest cat we have ever had.
~Michael and Delina L., owner of a Snowshoe