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.
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.
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.
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.