If you're considering adopting a snowshoe cat or a snowshoe mix cat, learning about the breed can help you understand your pet's personality, habits and overall health.
These chatty kitties sometimes think they're dogs — or even humans — and they love curling their signature white toes into their favorite person's lap. But those aren't the only qualities that make these cats so great.
While snowshoe cats can vary in color, their namesake white paws are the defining feature of the breed. According to Dr. Valerie Shaker, associate veterinarian and medical director at the Veterinary Center of Hudson, snowshoes typically have darkened points on their ears and tails due to their breed origin of Siamese and American Shorthair cats.
Like any mixed breed, snowshoe cats may exhibit more features of one breed over another, but typically they remain rather petite at 7-14 pounds. You'll likely get lost in this pretty kitty's bright eyes, which can range from pale-to-dark blue. Their muscular bodies and full, round faces are more reminiscent of their American Shorthair roots, as is their tendency to have a tuxedo-like coat pattern with a light-colored chest. Side note: Their low-maintenance, short hair only needs weekly brushing.
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Do you enjoy having conversations with your pets? Be prepared for your snowshoe cat to talk back — this breed is known to take after its Siamese relatives and often vocalizes, whether it's for food, cuddles or just to greet you when you get home. They're a very friendly, social breed, Dr. Shaker says, and they like to distract their human family members.
"They're almost like a dog, in respect to the cats, because they want to be around their owners," Dr. Shaker says. "They want to be with you and get that attention."
This makes snowshoe cats especially great companions for every family member, including other pets. "I think they would fit in very well with families with young kids, families who have other cats, and families who have dogs, especially if you get them as a kitten," Dr. Shaker says. "They can adapt well."
Snowshoe cats are playful but mellow, most are just happy to chase a feathery toy or camp out on top of a fridge. In the right circumstances, your snowshoe cat may even play like a dog and learn tricks, fetch toys or figure out how to open doors around your home.
As both of the snowshoe's parent breeds are quite healthy, Dr. Shaker says there aren't any major breed-specific health issues to worry about. Like with any cat, it'll be important to check for kidney disease as they age. But these chatterboxes usually enjoy a long and healthy lifespan, typically from 14-20 years.
Are you interested in adopting a snowshoe cat, a snowshoe mix, or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.
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The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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