Snowshoe cat breed photo

The origin of the breed

This breed's name is pretty much explanatory, as if the defining feature of the breed is the unique colouration of these colourpoint shorthairs - symmetrical white spots on paws. The breed was developed in 50-s, due to some fancier's attempt at making a white-toed siamese with a soft temper. In 60-s, a Filadelfian breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty has taken on the full-scale development. She has started with giving the breed a proper name, and has later involved the head of Norfolk's Furr-Lo cattery Vikki Orlander un the process.

It is due to Vikki's tidings that the breed was registered as an experimental in CFF and ACA. Mrs Orlander has also reworked the standards, making them more accurate and adequate. By the year 1982 the breed was clear to take part in a competition and to be granted a CFF Champion title. The TICA and ACFA have both given the breed an experimentary status, and after another standard-overhaul in 1989 the ACFA has given the green light to the breed. A year later in 2990 the first Snowshoe cat was granted a Champion status.

Nowadays the breed is acclaimed by most of international organisations, differing sometimes with the accepted colour schemes.


Snow-shoe is a rather muscular, large to medium sized feline known for its mobility and flexibility. It’s build is moderately eastern, almost the same as of a stereotypical siamese, which looks lighter than they weight, which ranges from It has unique white spots on muzzle, breast, belly and paws, as well as expressive bright blue eyes and the defining muzzle colouration, the so-called “strangers mask”. However, the breed gets its name not from it, but from the white colouration on the legs.

Head: Gently rounded, it is medium sized, well proportional, and is the same in width as it is in height. High jawlines and an average sized nose, neither too wide or too sharp. The muzzle is also not too long, defined by soft lines and resting atop Snowshoe’s strong chin.

Eyes: Large, walnut shaped, slightly slanted and coloured shiny blue, contrasting with the coat.

Ears: Medium sized, broad at base and and slanted forward.

Neck: Medium length, well proportional to the body and head.

Body: Rectangular shaped and medium sized, affected noticeably by sexual dimorphism with females being overall smaller than males, although it is not acceptable for them to have an extremely frail and feeble look.

Legs: Adequately long, proportional to the body.

Paws: Medium sized and elliptic. Front paws should have five, and hind legs should have four digits.

Tail: Thin at base, tapering to an even thinner tip. Medium to long, it should approach one body length.

Coat: Short, thin, well clinging and lucking any undercoat.

Colours: Seal point, blue point. A sharp contrast between background and spots is required. White bib on the chest, large collar on the neck area are a normal sight. The chin should either be white or spotted, and the nose can either be white, spotted or pink. Coat colour must be the same as shoulder, flank and spine. Adult cats may have an overall darker colouration, and most cats have their coat darken with age, yet the contrast should remain. Kittens are usually brighter coloured, and may temporarily complicate pattern detection.

The mask covers the head almost entirely, and may reach the ears. The preferred pattern is a muzzle of inverted “V”, spanning from the mouth to backburns and brow ridges. Sharp white thigh-high boots are desired on hindlegs, and mid leg-high on front legs. While exact “shoe” height may be different, no pair of legs should have an asymmetrical configuration.

Flaws: Elongated head; small round ears; elongated and/or frail, as well as short and massive body; bent legs; weak bone structure; kinky and/or broken tail

Disqualification on shows: Long hair; non-blue eyes; black incursions on white spots; missing “shoes”.

Universal disqualification: Ампутированные когти, крипторхизм, глухота.

Character traits and features

Snow-shoe’s character can be described as that of an ideal companion. It is friendly, tender, smart and energetic, it’s voice is soothing and melodical. Being rather sociable, it lives well with everyone in the house, including pets. These cats do love it in the company, and would often occupy the spot by the gathering place. It is known for it’s habit of playing with running water, playing with the stream or catching droplets. Snow-shoes seem to be quite talkative, and would tell you how was their day when you come home, it is also a nice listener, answering and asking questions in it’s native tongue. Be warned though, that these felines can and would speak up and out when are harassed by something, they may howl or even shout when need something.

Their lifespan is above average, ranging from 9 to 15 years.

Maintenance and care

Snow-Shoes have a health of an American Shorthair, and also a great deal of it’s character. There are, however, some strains with inheritable tail flaws inherited from the siamese ancestors, you may not worry though, as most of them are banned for breeding by now. Their short hair is easy to look after, you should only brush it with a soft brush or a special sleeve to remove old and dead hairs. Being natural swimmers these cats would love to have a bath and are joy to wash.

Nutrition choices


Selection and breeding

Allowed crossings: American Shorthair

Breeds related to or derived from Snow Shoe:

Alternative and obsolete breed names


Breed's catteries