Photo by © Heikki Siltala

American Wirehair - Breed Profile:

Origin: USA
Colors: Any
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair, curly haired
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Average
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Moderately docile

Physical characteristics

The American Wirehair is a medium to large cat with a wavy coat and well-proportioned body. The latter is muscular enough but not massive. The shoulders and the hips are the same width. The head is rounded with well-developed chin and prominent cheekbones. The round eyes are set wide. Adult males weigh 8 to 11 pounds; adult females weigh 6 to 9 pounds.


American Wirehairs have an affectionate, playful, and gentle temperament. They are people-oriented cats but they are not extremely demanding like, for example, the Colorpoint Shorthair or the Cornish Rex. They seem to know what you feel, and they are always ready to offer feline support if you need it. American Wirehairs can't be called lap cats because many of them prefer sleep near you rather than on your lap. Fanciers say that you learn a new way to pet a cat when you have an American Wirehair: the coat is often described as feeling like steel wool, so owners knead instead of stroke. Intelligent and adaptable, American Wirehairs make truly wonderful pets. Usually, they get along well with other pets and cat-friendly dogs.

Coat and grooming

The coat of this breed is its distinctive feature. It is coarse, stiff, dense, resilient and springy to the touch. All three types of hair - down, awn and guard - are crimped, hooked or bent. The same happens to the whiskers and the hair inside the ears. The overall impression of the coat is roughness and resilience. This is, probably, the only breed whose coat does not benefit from regular grooming since the wavy hair can be easily damaged or rubbed in a wrong way. Of course, everything depends on texture and density of the coat, but the general requirement is to brush American Wirehairs as little as possible, and use a high quality steel comb. It is strongly recommended to avoid wire brushes.
American Wirehairs come in all colours and patterns. However, colours showing evidence of hybridization are not permitted in the breed standards (chocolate, lavender, the pointed pattern, or these combinations with white).


Naturally healthy and robust. No specific problems have been associated with the wirehair gene.

Other interesting facts

The wirehair gene of American Wirehairs is a result of a natural mutation.