American Wirehair


United States



Adult Weight

8-15 pounds

Life Span

12-18 years


Gentle, sociable, sensible, affectionate




Medium-sized short to medium hair


$800 - $1,200

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.


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


Affection Level 90%
Activity Level 60%
Pet-Friendly 80%
Kid-Friendly 90%
Sociability 90%
Intelligence 90%
Playfulness 70%
Independence 50%
Vocality 40%
Grooming 20%


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.

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.


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.


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

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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does a American Wirehair cat cost?

    How much does a American Wirehair cat cost?American Wirehair cats cost between $800 - $1,200.
  • How big do American Wirehair cats get?

    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?

    How long do American Wirehair cats live?The Average lifespan for American Wirehair is 12-18 years.
  • Do American Wirehair cats shed?

    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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