Monday 29 September 2008

American Wirehair Cat

This is a fine picture of an American Wirehair cat by Helmi Flick, the best cat photographer. You can see this picture and more on this page: American Wirehair.

American Wirehair cat
American Wirehair cat photo ©copyright Helmi Flick

This is an odd-eyed cat. Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians (4th Ed.) says that it is thought that the gene that gives this shorthaired cat the rough and unruly coat is monogenic with incomplete penetrance but dominant to the normal coat. The gene is a mutated gene. The gene symbol is Wh. Normally a shorthaired cat's coat has an even texture provided it is groomed normally. The American Wirehair cat's coat has the usual three "layers" of hairs, guard, awn (bristle) and down (wool hairs) but they are not normal.

The hairs are thinner than normal and curved. This particularly affects the awn hairs, which have an exaggerated undulation. This is a sparse wiry coat that is coarse but pleasant to touch. It is steel wool in the form of fur. The coat comes in a range of colors and patterns.

Gloria Stephens in the Legacy of the Cat suggests that the American Wirehair cat is not as robust as the American Shorthair. The skeleton is medium in size and not as substantial as the Shorthair. However, this is a muscular, agile, independent and active cat.

I conclude, on the Rare Cat Breeds page of the main website that this is a rare cat breed. In measuring rarity out of 10, where 10 is the most rare, this breed came 8 on my assessment. There are rarer breeds (e.g. the Sokoke). In confirmation of that assessment, Gloria Stephens says that in all the years that she was judging, she only saw one Wirehair cat.

American Wirehair cat to American Wirehair

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