The Snowshoe is a hybrid breed produced by mating Siamese with bicolour American Shorthairs, and it therefore has the characteristics of both. It is not usually as noisy as a Siamese, but is not as quiet as most shorthaired cats. It is calm but alert and makes an ideal pet, although it should not be left alone for long periods. Because of its origin, the Snow shoe has a modified Oriental body type, usually larger and heavier than a Siamese with less extreme features. It has a rounder head and a distinct nose break, which distinguishes it from other Siamese derived breeds.
Being shorthaired, the Snowshoe needs the minimum of grooming with a brush or comb to remove dead hairs. Plus hand stroking.
Origin and history
The Snowshoe is one of the newer breeds and rather like a short haired Birman in appearance, having the Himalayan coat pattern with white feet but, unlike the Birman, it has a white muzzle, too. There are many unregistered Snowshoes about as a result of Siamese queens mating with local bicoloured alley cats! However, the variety was considered to be so attractive that its devotees are selectively breeding these cats in the United States and a show standard is being developed. At present only Seal and white and Blue and white are being bred, although there is no reason why the other Siamese point colours should not be available in the Snowshoe in due course.
Snowshoe kittens are lively and healthy and respond to affection. There may be three to seven in a litter. Many kittens that do not have the correct markings will be available from early matings at a reasonable price and will make excellent pets, although they cannot be shown.