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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > American Wirehair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American Wirehair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American Wirehair

Breed Overview


12–18 inches


8–15 pounds


14–18 years


White, cream, blue, red, fawn, chestnut, platinum, chinchilla, silver, seal, golden, cameo, brown, tortoiseshell

Suitable for:

Families that want a companion cat


Playful, gentle, lively, intelligent, social

The American Wirehair is a surprisingly well-known breed considering their rarity. They were much more popular back in the day, but they now have to be specially bred. However, their decrease in popularity has nothing to do with their personalities. The American Wirehair is fun, outgoing, and social. They love to play and be around people and other pets but can entertain themselves when needed. These cats are intelligent and easy to train. The only drawback of this breed is that they can be a bit expensive.

The Wirehair may be for you if you are specifically looking for a fun, energetic, and intelligent cat. However, you might want to look elsewhere if you do not want an active and mischievous feline that will keep you on your toes.

American Wirehair Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


American Wirehair Kittens

American Wirehair cat sitting curiously under the table
Image Credit: rolehcab, Shutterstock

American Wirehairs are considered rare, even though they are well known. Due to their rarity, most American Wirehair kittens are expensive and hard to find at shelters.

Regardless, always check out local shelters and rescues when searching for your next kitten. You never know when you could find an American Wirehair in need of rescue. Not only will this help save a kitten, but rescues will also be more affordable.

Don’t forget that you will have to purchase additional items along with the cat, such as litter box supplies, food, and toys. American Wirehairs need a lot of interactive toys to stay happy. They are very playful and energetic cats that love attention and are regularly looking to play with their owners.

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Wirehair

The American Wirehair is a very social, fun, and wise cat. They are great for singles and those with children or other pets because of their social nature. As long as you are home to play with them on occasion, the American Wirehair will fit in with practically anyone.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

American Wirehairs are ideal family cats. They are very social and love adults, children, and seniors. Of course, it is always best to introduce a cat to children over the age of 6. Children under this age might accidentally harm the cat without meaning to.

No matter how old your children are, make sure they know how to behave around cats. Supervise playdates between the American Wirehair and children until you are confident that your kid knows how to play with them in a way that doesn’t scare or harm them.

american wirehair cat sitting in the yard
Image Credit: Azovsky, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Surprisingly, American Wirehairs get along great with other pets. They are very social with other cats and even dogs. These cats will love interacting with the other pets and even try to play with them.

If you have dogs in the home, make sure that the dog is safe when left alone with cats. Go through an extensive introduction process so that neither the cat nor the dog is scared of the other. If you take your time and introduce the animals to one another properly, the American Wirehair will likely love the dog.divider-cat

Things to Know When Owning an American Wirehair

Owning an American Wirehair is relatively easy. These cats are healthy, social, and friendly. The most difficult part of owning this cat is their extensive shedding and coat needs.

Food & Diet Requirements

All cats, including the American Wirehair, require a healthy diet and constant access to water. Provide your American Wirehair with high-quality food and only feed them in the morning and at night. Talk to your vet to pick out the best cat food based on your American Wirehair’s needs.

Exercise 🐈

American Wirehairs need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They are very playful and intelligent. For this reason, American Wirehairs need a lot more exercise than other breeds.

Investing in some interactive toys is a great way to ensure your American Wirehair gets the exercise they need. Additionally, play with your American Wirehair once a day. They don’t need constant social interaction but will be much happier if you play with them regularly.

If you can provide your cat with an indoor and outdoor environment, even better. American Wirehairs love to explore the outdoors and hunt squirrels and rodents. Just bring them in at night to make sure they stay safe.

american wirehair cat sitting on a bench
Image Credit: canadnan, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

Because of their intelligence, American Wirehairs are very easy to train. These cats can even be trained to play fetch and do tricks. Use positive reinforcement to train the American Wirehair as you see fit.

Grooming ✂️

American Wirehairs require frequent grooming. They shed often, which makes them a not-so-great choice for individuals with severe allergies. Brush your American Wirehair once a week or as needed to keep shedding to a minimum.

Don’t forget to brush your cat’s teeth as well. Cats will develop dental disease if they don’t get frequent brushings.

American Wirehair cat
Image Credit: Boyloso, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

American Wirehairs are generally healthy cats. With proper breeding, diet, and activity, most can live many years. However, there are a few health conditions to be aware of before purchasing your own cat.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Obesity
  • Periodontal disease

Male vs. Female

There’s not much difference between male and female American Wirehairs. Females can be slightly more social, but both are friendly and outgoing. You really can’t go wrong with either a male or female when it comes to this breed.


3 Little-Known Facts About the American Wirehair Cat

1. They’re an American Breed

The American Wirehair is an American breed. The first was born in New York and was specially bred by cat breeder Joan O’Shea. The breed got its recognition in 1978, just 12 years after the breed first popped up in 1966.

2. They Are Called Wirehairs for a Reason

As you might have guessed, American Wirehairs are named after their unique coat. Their fur resembles wire in texture and appearance. This coat is a result of spontaneous mutations. It was only through an experienced breeder that the coat was able to be passed on to future generations.

3. They Are Wonderful Farm Cats

American Wirehairs make perfect farm cats. They are fun and social, which will make them good pets. At the same time, they will keep themselves entertained and even hunt rodents in the area.

American Wirehair Cat
Image: PxHere

divider-catFinal Thoughts

The American Wirehair is a fantastic cat if you want a fun, social, and smart kitten. These cats will fit into practically any home. Whether you have children or other pets or live alone, the American Wirehair will quickly become a new member of the family.

Just keep in mind that these kittens are very expensive due to their rarity. In addition to the cat themselves, you will also have to pay for food, litter box supplies, vet visits, and toys. No matter what the cat breed, affording these expenses is crucial for a cat owner. At least you know now that the price will be worth it!

Featured Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

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