Snowshoe cats were first bred in the 1960s as a result of cross-breeding between a Siamese cat and an American short-hair. The first breeder, Dorothy Daughtery of Philadelphia, PA, produced three Snowshoe kittens and passed them on to another cat breeder. It is one of the rarest cat breeds in the world, and yet no two Snowshoe cats are exactly alike. Snowshoe kittens do not normally show the breed’s features until about one to three weeks, and are always born white. Some distinct features, which of course vary from cat to cat, include white markings on the face, chest, and feet.
The chest marking is a large V-shaped one. These distinct markings are what gives the Snowshoe breed their name. Snowshoe cats have large, triangular eyes, and pointed ears. They typically have a smooth coat, with short to medium length hair. Snowshoe cats generally appear in color points commonly associated with Siamese cats, namely lilac, blue, chocolate, or seal. They can have varying eye colors. Purebred Snowshoe cats, however, are always blue-eyed. Males are larger than females, weighing up to 12 pounds. A typical Snowshoe cat can live up to 12 years.
Snowshoe cats are considered by their owners to be lively yet laidback, combining not only the physical features of their original breeds but also their personalities as well. They are generally comfortable around people and are fond of physical affection from their owners. Snowshoe cats are known for their power and strength, but are less likely to look like runners than as weight lifters.