Snowshoe Cat
History and Origin

The Snowshoe cat is a rare cat breed that was created in the United States in 1960.

Snowshoe cat

Snowshoe owned by Oreanta Cats *CZ  Photo Mr Gorgon of © Studio Go

snowshoe breed history

Siamese kittens are sometimes born with white toes and paws.

In the early days Siamese cat breeders considered this a fault and tried to eradicate the recessive gene responsible for this trait.

A group of Siamese cat breeders in the 1950's found this characteristic quite charming and went about creating a cat that would have the points of the Siamese and gloved white paws of the Birman cat.

The new breed was named 'Silver Laces.'

Sadly, whether due to the difficulty in producing the desired coat markings or as a result of opposition from Siamese cat breeders, the breed faded into obscurity.

In the 1960's, Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, a Siamese cat breeder from Philadelphia, US noticed white-pawed kittens in her Siamese cat litters.

Ms Hinds-Daugherty set about developing this breed and stabilizing the so-called 'fault'.

By crossing the bi-color American Shorthair and Siamse cats,  she finally, after much frustration, achieved the desired look (i.e. the tuxedo markings and popular 'V' facial markings).

The new cat breed was named, 'Snowshoe'.

Snowshoe kitten and Cat

Snowshoe owned by Oreanta Cats *CZ  Photo Mr Gorgon of © Studio Go

Ms Hinds-Daugherty eventually handed over the reigns to Vikki Olander.

Ms Olander is credited for writing the breed standard and for getting the breed recognized by the various cat registries in the United States:


American Cat Association and Cat Fanciers Federation (CCF) gives the breed Experimental Breed Status


Cat Fanciers Federation (CCF) gives the breed Championship Status


American Cat Association gives the breed Championship Status


The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes the breed.

The Cat Fanciers of America does not recognize the breed as yet.

a rare cat

European and American breed standards differ slightly with specific reference to the recognized coat colors.

It is exceptionally difficult to achieve the patterns and markings that conform to the accepted breed standard and this makes the Snowshoe kitty a very rare cat breed.

The original Snowshoe cat resembled the traditional or applehead Siamese.

Due to the inclusion of the American Shorthair in the breeding program, it was slightly more solid.

Today, the Siamese is a more elongated and slender cat, so the two cats will most certainly not be confused.

In the early days of the breed, many people thought that the Snowshoe was a shorthaired Birman.

snowshoe cats

Snowshoe cats owned by Oreanta Cats © Studio Go

Related Pages:

Snowshoe Facts

Snowshoe Pictures

Snowshoe Breeders

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