American Wirehair: Introduction to the Cat Breed

Favorability High
friendly High
child friendly High
pet friendly Moderate
exercise needs Moderate
play High
energy level Moderate
intelligence High
vocal tendency low
shedding amount low

History of American Bristles

The introduction of this breed dates back to 1966 on a farm in upstate New York. The farm cat, a domestic shorthair, gave birth to a litter of kittens, unfortunately, only two survived. This particular ginger-white little father-in-law immediately caught the attention of the farmers because he wore a very distinctive hard leather coat.

He contacted a respected local breeder to take a look, and she too was surprised by the kitten’s presence. She agreed to buy them right away so she could try to replicate the sturdy coat in her breeding program.

This one-of-a-kind coat type is thought to have occurred due to a rare spontaneous mutation. This is a dominant mutation, so it means that at least half of kittens born from parents with this mutation will also be born with Wirehair.

The breed was first officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1967 and then accepted for championship competition in 1978. While they are still relatively rare, they can now be found all over the United States and are beloved by breed lovers.

American Thread Care

Originally known for being a bit reserved, American Wirehair can be very affectionate and friendly once they get to know you.

Because of this taciturn tendency, it is important to make sure they are well socialized as kittens.

Once they are settled in their new home, they tend to be resilient, have a very amiable nature, and can be soft, warm-hearted clowns.

American Wirehair won’t be content to lie on your lap all day. While they do like to be receptive, they are also an agile and energetic breed. They will need a lot of exercise and enrichment to keep them from getting bored.

If you’re outside most of the day, American Wirehair isn’t the best choice. They like to be surrounded by companies. They often get along well with respected children and even family dogs if they are introduced carefully.

While this breed isn’t known for being vocal, they are usually prolific purrs and you’ll know when they’re satisfied.

Due to their roots as farm cats, they can have strong hunting instincts. If they go out, you might want to put a bell on their collar and be aware that they might be proud to bring a small gift home.

You should be careful if you bring them into the home of other small furry or birds. They can live together, but you should be willing to accept that they may always need to be separated.

The bouncy, rough nature of the coat may vary, depending on the texture of the parent’s coat. Some American setae have a slightly smoother coat, they may have filamentous whiskers, but the coat is not as rough. Considered the best cat in its class, it will have a very hard coat all over its body. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

This jacket is low maintenance. They don’t shed a lot, and brushing once a week to remove any dead hair should be enough to keep it in good, shiny condition.

Although their appearance is similar to their American Shorthair relatives, their coats and more prominent high cheekbones give them a unique appearance.

common health problems

The American Wirehair is widely regarded as one of the healthiest breeds. They have undergone a very rigorous and reputable breeding program and are generally considered hardy.

They generally lead very long and healthy lives, and currently, they have no known genetic diseases.

Because of their rough coat, care should always be taken when bathing or grooming. Hair breaks more easily than other breeds.

They also sometimes suffer from more wax buildup if they have shag in their ears. If you notice any problems, you should check them regularly and use a very mild cleanser.

Diet and Nutrition

Like any cat, your American Wirehair should be fed a high-quality diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and as such, they require a high-protein diet carefully balanced with vitamins and minerals.


  • They are rare and difficult to obtain

  • They can be expert hunters

  • Not suitable for being alone for too long

Where to Adopt or Buy American Wirehair

Always do your research to make sure you find a reputable breeder. It is encouraging to note that, overall, American bristle breeders have a reputation for being very responsible.

Because they are still relatively rare, you may have to travel further afield or get on a waiting list if you want to provide a home for this breed.

Adopting a cat is not ruled out; it can be incredibly rewarding. Contact your local shelter.

More cat breeds and further research

If you want to learn more about breeds similar to American Wirehair, why not consider:

There are hundreds of cat breeds out there, as well as some beautiful crossbreeds. With a little research, you’re sure to find your perfect match.


American Wirehair: Introduction to the Cat Breed
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