Snowshoe Cat

The Snowshoe Cat or "Silver Laces" as it is sometimes been called, is a rare breed of cat created in the United States.

This was accomplished with crossing a bicolored American Shorthair with a Siamese. During the 60's a breeder thought of trying to base a breed on white spotted cats that appeared in Siamese litters but encountered opposition from other Siamese breeders.


One breeder, Vikki Olander wrote the first breed standard for the Snowshoe and succeeded in obtaining the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association's (ACA) "experimental breed" status for the Snowshoe in 1974. After seeing Snowshoes in a New York show in 1986, British breeder Pat Turner decided to form a British breed club.

Despite having existed for 45 years, the Snowshoe cat is rare due to the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings. Markings are based on recessive genes for color points and on the co-dominant but variably-expressed piebald pattern gene, making it difficult to predict the appearance of offspring

Snowshoe Cat Anatomy

Snoeshoe Cats have the solid bulk of the American Shorthair with the length of Oriental cats; the body forming a rectangle with the legs, which are of medium bone. with compact oval pawsl. The ear size ranges from medium to medium-large with slightly rounded tips.

The head is triangular in shape with high cheekbones and large, broad-based, pointed ears. It is longer than a Birman head but shorter than a Siamese.

The large eyes are ovoid, rather like a walnut in shape and slanted toward the base of the ears. The short-haired coat consists of solid and white patterns. Points (ears, tail, face-mask and sometimes legs) are solid black-based colors. White patterns vary, typically falling along the face, chest, stomach, and paws.

The body is an even coloration, subtle shading to point color on back, shoulders and hips; toning to a lighter shade near chest and stomach. Paw pads may be white, point color, flesh tone, or mottled. Their color will darken with age, even to the point of turning a chocolate brown shade. In purebreds, the eyes are always blue.

The tail is a thick-based, medium to long, slightly tapering tail. Snowshoe cats come in blue, lilac, lynx, fawn, chocolate, and seal points. The Snowshoe is a medium-large cat and longer length wise than many cats, with many males reaching 18 lbs or more.

The medium-short coat is close lying and glossy but not fine textured. The pattern is pointed. like that of the Siamese but with white "gloves" and "shoes" on the paws as in the Birman Cat, although there are no Birmans in the breeding. These markings should be ankle high on the front paws and to just below the hock joints on the rear legs.

The Snowshoe's coat undergoes seasonal changes and does not require much grooming.


The Snowshoe Cat is generally affectionate and sweet-tempered, yet still mellow. They enjoy the company of humans and being petted and are compatible with children and other pets. Snowshoes are very social and docile, showimg great devotion and love towards their owners.

The breed dislikes being left alone for long periods of time and are able to cope with working hours more when they have another cat companion.

Snowshoes may express themselves and their complaints vocally, though their meows are not as loud as the Siamese.. The cats are also noted as being intelligent; they can learn to open various types of doors and can be taught tricks.

Snowshoes also enjoy water, particularly running water and may on occasion swim. Though very active, they are not restless or easily agitatable and they have a fondness for perching and high places.


In registries and cat associations, the recognized Snowshoe coat color is point coloration, with a light body color and darker ears, face, legs, and tail.

The American Cat Fanciers Association and the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts recognize seal point coloration and blue point coloration while the Fédération Internationale Féline recognizes seal, blue, black, chocolate, red, cream, cinnamon and fawn point coloration.

Additionally, the FIF recognizes the colors in tortoiseshell, tabby and tortoiseshell-tabby coat patterns.

The International Cat Association recognizes all pointed colors. Snowshoe kittens are born white with markings appearing within 1 to 3 weeks. Each Snowshoe has a pattern unique to the individual cat.

The Snowshoe's coat should be of medium to short in length. The coat should be bright and smooth with no noticeable undercoat. It is considered a fault within cat associations if the Snowshoe has a plush or double coat.

Snowshoe Cat Pictures

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