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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Snowshoe Cat Breed: Temperament, Traits & Pictures

Snowshoe Cat Breed: Temperament, Traits & Pictures

Snowshoe Siamese in the garden

Have you ever wanted a cat that thinks it’s a human? How about a cat that will vocally tell you (in cat language, of course) what it was up to while you were out? Do you want a cat that’s affectionate, playful, and energetic? If so, look no further than the Snowshoe cat.

Breed Overview


8 – 13 inches


9 – 12 pounds (male), 7 – 10 pounds (female)


15 – 20 years


Brown, black, tan, and white

Suitable for:

Active families, families with children, those looking for a playful, energetic cat, families who are home often


Loyal & loving, intelligent, social, affectionate, friendly, gets along with other pets

The Siamese cat is an ancestor of the Snowshoe. These cats were developed in the 1960s by crossing the American Shorthair and the Siamese. As a result, the Snowshoe cat is medium-sized with an athletic build, striking blue eyes and markings, and a cool, playful personality. Are you intrigued? Do you want to know more about this fun and lovable cat?

In this article, we’ll look more in-depth at the Snowshoe cat’s characteristics, traits, health, and other valuable information.

Snowshoe 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.


Snowshoe Kittens

The Snowshoe cat is considered a rare breed, but you can find breeders scattered across the U.S. If you can’t find a breeder, you can always check with your local animal shelter. It’s rare to find a purebred cat in an animal shelter, but it’s certainly not impossible.

snowshoe cat kitten in blanket
Image Credit: EVasilieva, Shutterstock

Snowshoe Cat Temperament & Intelligence

The Snowshoe cat is intelligent and usually takes to one person in the household. They have a soft, gentle meow and talk frequently. They love games and puzzles, and when they want to unwind, they love to curl up in your lap. They have a mellow and gentle nature and are affectionate, especially with their “chosen one” of the household. If you’re the lucky one that the Snowshoe attaches to, the Snowshoe may even lead you around the house instead of the other way around. These cats have terrific personalities that will keep the whole family (and other pets) entertained.

Are Snowshoe Cats Good for Families? 👪

Snowshoe cats love to be around their humans and are spectacular with children. They love to be a part of the family as if they’re human, too. They have a sweet and affectionate nature and love to play with children. It’s important, however, to teach children how to handle a Snowshoe; for example, how to pick them up and be respectful of the cat.

If you do have children, it’s a good idea to designate a space high up for your Snowshoe in case it needs a break from children, such as a cat tree. They love active families and are happy to engage in any activities with you. Keep in mind that they do not do well being left alone for long periods of time. If you’re rarely home, the Snowshoe cat will not be suitable for you.

Do Snowshoe Cats Get Along with Other Pets?

The Snowshoe gets along with other pets as long as the other pets are cat-friendly. They love having playmates, and if you have other cats or a dog, they will enjoy the company if you have to leave them alone for any amount of time. If your dog likes to play fetch, the Snowshoe will have no problem joining in the fun.


Things to Know When Owning a Snowshoe Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need high-quality protein in their diets. Your Snowshoe will do well on premium cat food that contains all the required vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to keep your Snowshoe healthy. Snowshoes are active cats and burn a lot of energy, so the better the food quality, the better for your Snowshoe.

Always follow the daily suggestions on how much to feed your Snowshoe. If you’re unsure, you can always check with your veterinarian to ensure you’re feeding the appropriate daily amount. You don’t want to overfeed because that can lead to obesity, which can lead to other health problems.

Exercise 🐈

The Snowshoe is an active cat that loves to play. Always be sure to have plenty of toys, puzzles, and tunnels to keep the Snowshoe busy and entertained. Wall-mounted cat furniture is a good idea because it will provide your Snowshoe with excellent climbing and jumping exercises. Your Snowshoe will also love to play fetch with you, too!

snowshoe cat on grass
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

With their high intelligence, training the Snowshoe is pretty easy. You can train them to walk on a leash, fetch, and even learn tricks; they may even open a door or two. Positive reinforcement is key in training the Snowshoe, so be sure to reward the desired behavior with healthy treats.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is low maintenance with the Snowshoe. They are shorthaired cats and only require a brushing once a week with a good slicker brush. They shed more with seasonal changes, so be prepared to brush a little more during those times.

Check their nails regularly to see if they need clipping, but generally, their nails stay in shape with climbing and jumping. They still may need a nail clipping once a month. Also, brush their teeth with vet-approved toothpaste as often as you can. We know this is a chore that most pet parents dislike because, usually, the pet doesn’t like it either! Try to aim for teeth brushing at least twice a week and more if your Snowshoe will allow it.

Health and Conditions 🏥

These cats are generally healthy, but any cat breed can develop medical conditions. Below is a list of possible conditions to watch out for.

divider-cat Male vs. Female

Males tend to be a bit larger and a little more muscular than females. As far as personality, there’s no indication that males differ from females. All cats have their own distinctive personalities, and the sex of the Snowshoe does not play a role.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Snowshoe Cat

1. They are born completely white.

These little white kittens will not show any markings or point coloring until they grow, and this can take a few weeks. The most common colors for the Snowshoe are blue point and seal point. The head, tail, legs, and ears darken as they age, but their bodies remain a lighter cream color. Each Snowshoe has its own unique markings, and you never know what you’ll end up with in a litter. One thing’s for certain: they will have white paws, hence the Snowshoe name.

2. Burton the Cat made this breed famous.

Most everyone has heard of Burton the Cat, especially if you use Instagram. Burton the Cat is a Snowshoe rescue and resides in Oceanside, California. He is the CEMeow of Burton’s Pride, a rescue that promotes awareness and education about cat rescues, and he helps orphaned kittens find loving homes. Once an orphaned and sick cat roaming the streets of Las Vegas, Burton now loves his role at the rescue.

3. They love water.

Usually, cats avoid water like the plague, but not the Snowshoe. The Siamese, their ancestors, are fascinated with water too, which is a trait handed down to the Snowshoe. However, the Siamese cat likes to play with water, such as swatting water spewing from a faucet. They don’t necessarily like getting immersed in water, unlike the Snowshoe. The Snowshoe will even accompany you in the bathtub if you let it, and it’ll even go for a swim.

Snowshoe cat
Image by: TootSweetCarole, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Snowshoe cat is a social, affectionate, loveable, and fun cat to have around. This breed does better with families that are home often, and they’re easy to train. Grooming these cats is considered low maintenance, and they love to talk. Their longevity will provide you with many years of fun and laughter, as long as you take care of them by feeding an appropriate diet and providing them with plenty of toys, puzzles, and exercise.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Tawach, Shutterstock

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