American Wirehair Cat Breed Guide

Adventurous | Tolerant | Kind-hearted. The American Wirehair cat is a breed of kitty that gets its signature look from a genetic mutation. With its coat that’s spiraled at the tip giving it a rough look, it’s distinctively unique to other wiry-haired cats like the Devon Rex. American Wirehairs are rare even in their home country and almost completely unseen in the UK, so we won’t judge if you’ve never heard of them! If you want to discover more about the intricacies of this curly floof continue reading.

American Wirehair cat looking into the camera


Average Lifespan: 12 – 18 years

Average Weight: 3.5 – 6.8kg

Coat Length: Short to Medium

Colouring: All colours

Shedding: Low


The American Wirehair is a modern breed of floof originating in the 1960s when the first of its kind was discovered amongst a litter of domestic shorthairs on Council Rock Farm in New York state, USA. 

The peculiar-looking kitten was a red and white striped cat with a distinct wiry coat and crimped whiskers. A breeder by the name of Joan O’Shea adopted the kitten and gave him a name that was the tongue twister of all tongue twisters, “Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi”, say that five times quickly! 

O’Shea went on to breed this kitty with another cat with a normal fur type, producing a litter of wiry-haired kittens. This showed that the mutated gene that produced the curly coat type was dominant which was later proved by British geneticists through hair analysis. The American Wirehair gained CFA registration in 1967 and has since remained a rare breed and is almost completely unknown in the UK.

American Wirehair cat jumping in the garden


American Wirehair cats look almost identical to the American Shorthair which is still used commonly for cross-breeding. The only distinguishing difference is their coat which has a rough wiry appearance similar to that clump of steel wool that you might have hiding under the kitchen sink. 

Their hair is twisted and hooked at the tip but soft to the touch. The wiriness that they are so famous for also extends to their whiskers which may be kinked like the tail of a piglet. Like American Shorthairs, they also have a strong and athletic build and wide-set eyes and their coat can range in many different colours and variations.


Like their shorthaired cousins, the American Wirehair has a strong desire for hunting which can be easily supplemented with regular playtime. Feather wands and mouse toys can be all they need to express their inner hunting desires and help tame their moderate energy levels. 

They’re known to enjoy adventuring the neighbourhood but also adapt well to living in smaller homes or apartments as long as their lives are enriched with toys and playtime. 

Nevertheless, all cats love even small amounts of time spent outdoors basking in the sun or scratching trees so where possible allow them to feel the breeze of the great outdoors in the backyard or even attached to a cat lead or harness

American Wirehairs are known for their patience and tolerant purrsonality making them great family pets and furry besties to young children. They’re also very sociable so would benefit from having another furry friend to play with if their hoomans are busy pawfessionals and are away for extended periods at work.  

Calico American Wirehair cat looking confused



American Wirehair cats are super friendly and lovable however can take some time to warm up to strangers or new additions to their fur fam. If you are considering adding an American Wirehair to your furmily and also want a second cat, it may be easier to adopt the other cat first or both at the same time to make the introduction process smoother for your Wirehair. We’ve written an entire guide on the ins and outs of introducing a kitten to a cat which can also be used for introducing older cats to resident old toms so head on over there for all the details.


Every American Wirehair cat is as unique in their coat as they are in their likes and dislikes when it comes to cat food. Some like the taste of chicken dry cat food whereas others like the freshness of a wet salmon cat food

What they all require from their dinner bowl though is high levels of quality animal meat to provide them with the essential nutrients and amino acids they require to maintain their health and prevent illness. 

One of the most impawtent amino acids that cats need to get from their meals is Taurine which is found in high levels in animal meat. Without sufficient meat in your cat’s diet, they can develop taurine deficiency which can cause retinal degeneration, altered immune function, abnormal development as well as a potentially fatal heart condition known as cardiomyopathy.


Scrumbles cat food

We all want the best for our furry besties, but it can be difficult to decipher which cat foods are going to deliver the best for our floofs. That’s why at Scrumbles, our mission is to take the guesswork out of cat nutrition and deliver your cat all they need to thrive.

With our extensive range of dry cat food, wet cat food and cat treats, that are loaded with up to 76% lip-smacking animal meat, FEDIAF-approved levels of taurine and all the essential vitamins and minerals that your American Wirehair need to propel them through their nine lives, switching to Scrumbles cat food is the obvious choice!

We even go the extra mile by adding either gut-loving prebiotics or probiotics to our delicious cat dinners and steer clear from common allergens, fillers and artificial additives so that you can rest easy knowing you’re doing everything you can to optimise your cat’s health.

Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. Russian Blue Cat

  2. Snowshoe Cat

  3. Cornish Rex Cat


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