Inspired by cats from the Victorian era, the Snowshoe is an American cat whose white paws look like little shoes for walking in the snow, hence their name. They remain uncommon today, but are gaining in popularity year after year, thanks to being such great companions to share your life with. They are loquacious and endearing, and they slot well into family life. And they’ll do whatever they can to get their way!


Key facts about the Snowshoe

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 15 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Calm, Intelligent
  • Type of coat : Short
  • Price : Around £200

Physical characteristics of the Snowshoe

Adult size

Female cat Between 12 and 14 in
Male cat Between 12 and 14 in

There is no data available on the age at which they reach their adult size.


Female cat Between 7 and 11 lb
Male cat Between 7 and 13 lb

Coat colour

Black / seal, blue / slate-grey, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, red, white

All colours are accepted, although seal and chocolate are the most common.

Coat patterns

Colourpoint, bicolour.
There is also a mitted version, whose little paws are always white!

Type of coat


Eye colour

Blue, aquamarine


Average in size, Snowshoes are known for their slender appearance and their strong musculature. They have a triangular head with rounded sides, and their muzzle and ears are medium in size.

Their short coat is soft to the touch and the colour pattern is the colourpoint kind, although there are two variations: one has a white inverted ‘V’ on their face and the other has four white paws.

These cats sit tall on their legs, and show all of the elegance of their ancestor, the Siamese.



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They are generally considered sociable, gentle and cuddly.


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Daily play sessions are a great way to keep them active and satisfy their need for exercise.


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They have a reputation for being both calm and lively, finding a nice balance between periods of rest and play.


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Inquisitive and insightful, Snowshoes like to explore their environment, coming up with clever solutions to their constraints and figuring out how to achieve their ends. They are excellent candidates for training to teach them specific behaviors such as sitting down on demand or pawing.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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They are usually extremely interested in novelty. But of course, there are many factors that can influence them to be less trusting of humans, such as their past experiences.


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These cats can acclimatise to quite a solitary life if their stimulatory needs are met and physical activities are provided. Bear in mind, though, that many individuals are very sociable.

Behaviour of the Snowshoe


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Many cats of this breed are quick to vocalise. They are very loquacious and pretty happy to talk to their family members.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Snowshoes have a great need for exercise, which can be met by playing games on their own or together with their family.

Tendency to run away

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Always in search of discoveries, these felines have a reputation for being little explorer cats. You must be vigilant.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Since they’re so active, these cats can develop a tendency towards gluttony. Feeding them using interactive bowls should help satisfy their need for stimulation and manage their appetite.


Snowshoe and cats

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There are many factors that can make life with two cats at home easier. These include an appropriate socialisation process for the kitten, a gradual introduction with the other cat, and an environment that has plenty of high places for either of them to escape when they want to.

Snowshoe and dogs

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These cats can adapt to life with a dog, especially as they seek so much social interaction. However, they must be introduced gradually and in an environment with high places that they can can escape to whey they want to avoid unwanted interactions.

Snowshoe and children

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It’s important to take the time to fully explain to children how to interpret the cat’s body language. To build a relationship that benefits all, children must learn to respect their feline’s limits - then hours of shared play, cuddles and pleasure will follow.

Snowshoe and the elderly

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It goes without saying that there are many behavioural variations between cats, even within the same breed. Since Snowshoes are both calm and active, they could make a great companion for a calmer person, as long as they are able to fulfill their responsibilities throughout their cat’s life.


On average, you’ll need to spend approximately £200 to buy a Snowshoe kitten. The price usually varies depending on rarity, lineage, breeding, age and sex. For your monthly budget you should allow at least £25 per month to ensure you cater to their dietary and medical needs so that they stay in good health.


Grooming is very easy with this breed and usually just consists of a brush from time to time.


These cats shed very little.

Nutrition of the Snowshoe

You must ensure to provide a quality diet that is appropriate for their age and medical needs. You should make sure that their food is enough to cater for their energetic needs, especially considering they are extremely active and playful.

Health of the Snowshoe

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Snowshoe is between 12 and 15 years, but some may live much longer.

Strong / robust

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Their short, dense fur gives them some level of protection against the cold, but only to a point, and these cats are not considered to be particularly resistant to extreme temperatures.

Tendency to put on weight

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There are several risk factors for obesity among cats, such as age, environment, diet and the cat’s level of activity. This breed has no particular predisposition to weight gain since they are quite energetic, so the only real risk of becoming overweight occurs when they don’t get the exercise they need.

Common illnesses

Since Snowshoes are so rare, little data exists on their individual health. Although it is generally recognised that this breed has good physiological health, an annual medical checkup is recommended, as they may potentially suffer from the same diseases as other domestic cats, such as oral diseases for example.


Despite the relative rarity of the breed, only pairings between Snowshoes are allowed.

Good to know

The famous Grumpy Cat, who caused an internet sensation in recent years, may well have Snowshoe ancestors. This particular cat suffers from feline dwarfism.

Origins and history

In the late seventies, an American farmer set out to create a white-footed Siamese breed, as she had seen in Victorian-era images. To achieve this, she crossed Siameses with bicoloured American Shorthairs and probably some Burmeses too. 

It was in 1983 that the first feline association (CFA) recognized the Snowshoe. They are still a very rare breed, although they are slowly gaining popularity.


Good names for a Snowshoe: Dahlia, Kosmo, Winter, Zoe

Find out name ideas for your cat here