A Snowshoe cat is similar to a Siamese.
A Snowshoe cat is similar to a Siamese. Photography ©Mik122 | Getty Images.

11 Reasons to Love the Snowshoe Cat

How is a Snowshoe cat similar to a Siamese? What is this breed’s personality like, and is a Snowshoe cat particularly talkative? Let’s learn more here!
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It’s a raccoon! It’s a red panda! Actually, it’s an ordinary house cat with extraordinary exotic features. Her name? The Snowshoe cat. Prepare to be charmed.

1. A Snowshoe cat is Siamese … sort of

A Snowshoe cat.
Snowshoe cats are similar to Siamese cats. Photography ©Juniors Bildarchiv GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo.

Though not a Siamese per se, the Snowshoe’s origins are based upon the talkative breed. In the early 1960s, Dorothy Hinds Daugherty, a breeder based in Philadelphia, found three kittens in a litter of Siamese, each with four white feet. This led her to create a breed with the brains and beauty of a Siamese, a medium-sized physique and all-white paws.

She dubbed her dreamed-of creation the Snowshoe and set to work bringing the feline to fruition. She crossed three white-footed Siamese with an American Shorthair who sported tuxedo markings to create the Snowshoe cat— a pointed feline with white markings on the feet, face and chest.

2. The markings are a must on a Showshoe cat

The Snowshoe cat is known for her markings, which is why the breed is so uncommon in the cat world — it’s not an easy feat to produce kittens with the appropriate coloring and patterns. In fact, breeders often find it necessary to breed the Snowshoe cat back to Siamese or Oriental Shorthairs in order to maintain the physical traits.

3. Snowshoe cat markings get better with age

Snowshoe kittens are born completely white. As they age and reach maturity, their point color begins to develop!

4. Here’s the point

A pointed cat has a light-colored body that is punctuated by dark areas (points) that come in colors such as chocolate, cream, red, lilac, blue, fawn, seal and cinnamon. The point locations are ears, tail, a raccoon-like mask around the eyes, and legs.

5. Is a Snowshoe cat chatty?

Is the Snowshoe cat chatty like Siamese? She is! However, while the Siamese is known for her loud voice, the Snowshoe cat has a soft, melodic trill that sounds like music to your ears. A trait that you will definitely view as a plus when you see how often she wants to vocalize her opinions to you!

6. The Snowshoe cat personality

The Snowshoe cat wears many hats — Mom, BFF, class clown. As Mom, she’ll show concern and ask about your day. As BFF, she’ll show a clingy, vulnerable side that calls for consoling. And as class clown, she’ll do everything in her power to entertain you. But yeah, when it comes down to it, she without a doubt has a bossy air to her.

7. This breed is smart

Aside from being ridiculously active, the Snowshoe cat has brains to boot! Many learn to run feline agility courses and even enjoy taking a swim now and again. They are also trainable — learning to perform tricks, walk on a leash and open doors. And none can resist a game of fetch!

8. Snowshoe cats can be compared to dogs

Snowshoes have retriever-like traits, which is a total plus because they are super social and actually thrive in households with other pets — including pups! So if you have a dog, chances are the two will forge a fast friendship!

9. The Snowshoe cat is kid friendly

This breed loves kids — as long as they treat her with the queen-like respect she deserves. The Snowshoe cat is a mellow breed that thrives on interaction, companionship and loads of love — all of the things children are known to dole out in droves!

10. This breed might find a favorite person

Though the Snowshoe cat adores everyone in her family, she’s known to choose a favorite — someone who she’ll stick to like glue. She’ll also persuade her one true love into playing follow the leader with her — guiding the unsuspecting human to locations and items she finds interesting. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

11. A famous Snowshoe cat

One of the most famous Snowshoes is Dusty the Klepto Kitty — a domestic feline known for stealing more than 600 items from his neighbors (from bathing suits to dish towels). His claim to fame? Being featured on The Late Show with David Letterman in February 2011.

About the author

Erika Sorocco has been writing about cats for 14 years. She shares her home with one finicky feline (Gypsy), one crazy pup (Jake) and not enough closet space. Find her online chatting about beauty, fashion and furbabies at www.cateyesandskinnyjeans.com.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

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5 thoughts on “11 Reasons to Love the Snowshoe Cat”

  1. I just got a snowshoe kitten, his names Loki, he is the only one of his litter still alive, all of which were tabbies. I love him so much, even if he is a little trouble-maker, hence the name, Loki.

  2. I love my Snowshoe, best cat I’ve ever had! Also, I’m pretty sure Grumpy Cat is the most famous Snowshe. She’s my go to when describing what my Snowshoe looks like, not Klepto Kitty.

  3. We adopted our snowshoe from a chaotic shelter. She spent at least three months in a cage before she came to live with us. Athen she spent the first four plus months in the attic. I refused to feed her up there, so when it got cold she ventured forth and started to join the family, which included an orange tabby.

    I wasn’t allowed to touch her for over a year and we still can’t pick her up. But she loves to be petted and have her tail gently tugged.

    The curious thing is that her shelter photo looked so scared. Her feet were tucked under her and we had no idea she was a snowshoe, but she has four white feet and half white face with a pink blaze mid forehead. Her eyes are blue/changeable aqua and she isn’t especially talkative. I would also say she is not the smartest knife in the drawer. Whether it was coming from a hoarder and then months in a cage at the shelter and possibly a tail that has a bulb on the end. Maybe it was snipped off, I cannot tell. All I know is she has become a very important member of the family, It took years to get her to come around. She even allows my husband to sort of rub her belly. Then she usually falls off the bed while writhing.

    She does answer to her name, though and will come when Pops calls her.

  4. Our snowshoe cat, Edgar Allan Purr, is the third and youngest snowshoe kitten born to his feral (Siamese) mother and the only one still living. We adopted him when he was a tiny, scrawny, flea-covered runt of the litter. Probably because of his early life, he is not particularly friendly. But any time I sit on the bed to read a book, he climbs right into my lap and stays there. He has a very quiet purr.

    I’m tempted to do one of those kitty DNA tests on him to find out who his ancestors were, since snowshoe cats are so rare and his mother had three of them.

  5. I loved my Snowshoe kitty. He had the biggest and most fun personality of all the cats I’ve ever had in my life (10 over the years). Still miss him.

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