For people who suffer from cat allergies, finding a breed that doesn’t trigger their allergies is truly a blessing.
So, are American Wirehair cats hypoallergenic? The truth is, no cat is hypoallergenic. All cats shed hair and along with that, allergens too. Yes, there are different levels of shedding. On a scale of a minimum 1 to a maximum 5, American Wirehair’s shedding is level 1. Hence, the allergens can be controlled and the cats can be good pets for allergic parents too.
If we can’t say for sure that these cats are hypoallergenic, then what makes them such great pets? Read on to find out why American Wirehair cats are an easy pet and how you can cope with your allergies.
American Wirehair 101 (Video)
Shedding and grooming
The most common myth about American Wirehair cats is that they are hypoallergenic. That isn’t true but it is an easy-to-believe myth.
You may be wondering why. That is because:
These cats’ shedding can be controlled in a way to make them somewhat hypoallergenic.
American Wirehairs have fluffy fur. Their short-haired coat is thick and dense. Moreover, it is described as springy. Along with all these qualities, the cat’s fur is strong, too. The shedding is very moderate. You’ll definitely find cat hair on your clothes and furniture but in the case of American Wirehair cats, it isn’t on a scale that cannot be controlled.
These cats have crimped hair which is tightly packed on the body, hence the dense texture. You’ll find these cats in many different coat colors, all of which are lush and soft to touch. There is also a variety of patterns.
The whiskers and ear hair on these cats are also crimped. It is this factor that gives the cats such a fluffy look despite their short hair. Don’t be fooled by the springy look because they might make you think that there will be a lot of shedding.
All these factors contribute to minimal grooming requirements. You may have to brush the cat often since the nature of its hair can make it look messy. But, other than that, there isn’t much to worry about.
I remember how one of my Wirehair looked absolutely feral when I got it. It took me a couple of weeks of using this Self Cleaning Slicker Brush to make her look like a cutiepie.
In the case of these cats, over-brushing is a real thing. If you go overboard with grooming, you can ruin their beautiful fur texture. I’d recommend brushing once a week. However, if the cat is shedding more than usual, you can brushitmore frequently.
Diet that minimizes shedding
A healthy American Wirehair cat will:
- Fight against the allergens on her body
- Be a very suitable option for allergic pet parents
To maintain this health, you must provide a balanced diet.
When making meal plans, do not forget the eating habits of a wildcat. You should try to keep your cat’s diet as close as possible to the diet that she would be consuming if she was in her natural habitat.
A balanced cat diet comprises of generous protein content. Canned cat food is a good option to consider here. These foods are also high in moisture so they’ll shoot two targets with one arrow.
At the same time, don’t go overboard with wet food. Dry food should be a vital part of everyday meals, too. Moreover, to prevent digestive issues, include fiber in the cat’s diet as well.
Proteins, omega-3, and fatty acids are a must if your aim is to minimize shedding. These elements strengthen the cat’s hair which eventually reduces shedding of allergens.
My number one choice in wet cat food is Sheba Perfect Portions while Blue Buffalo Wilderness remains my go-to option in dry food; and this is something, considering that I’ve tried over 10 cat food products for my babies to finally settle on these 2.
Avoid soy and wheat. Cat’s also don’t react well to preservatives and artificial food coloring. Steer clear of potatoes, corn, and especially grains. With these precautions, you’ll be good to go.
Behavior and personality
Hypoallergenic or not, a pet cat must be of good nature. Here are the details of American Wirehair’s personality.
These cats are neither too needy nor too shy. They love playing with their owners but at the same time, wouldn’t cause distractions 24/7. You can give it time when you’re free and it’ll play with you happily. However, you also won’t have to worry about constantly paying attention to it when you’re busy.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving your pet time at all. They are social creatures who need playtime every day. Also, take them out of the house at least twice every week. Let them interact with other animals and humans to satisfy their social needs.
The bottom line is:
Even if a cat breed is assumed to be 100% hypoallergenic, it won’t be the preferred choice unless the behavioral traits are attractive too.
In this context, American Wirehair cats are an all-rounder. They are among the best cat breeds for new pet parents.
Shedding isn’t always natural. Sometimes, loss of hair can be an indication of something worse.
American Wirehair cats are strong in all aspects. Not only are their fur coats strong enough to control shedding of allergens, but their entire body is also muscular and full of strength. This minimizes health risks in this breed.
The thing is:
American Wirehair cats are perfect for people who don’t want to spend a lot on medical expenses.
However, this doesn’t completely eradicate all possibilities of illnesses. Some American Wirehairs have the genes of American Shorthair. Such cats are prone to all the genetic diseases that are common in American Shorthairs like HCM.
For purebreds, there isn’t much to worry about. But it is always safe to keep an eye out for heart-related issues. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the most common issues in cats.
Unhealthy diet and unhygienic living spaces can be a cause of some minor illnesses. Overeating can lead to obesity. Overweight cats are prone to developing further illnesses as well.
To avoid any major problems, schedule at least 2 vet visits annually. Other than that, brush your cat’s teeth regularly with a vet recommended toothpaste. Furthermore, if you notice any changes in behavior or shedding patterns, head to a vet immediately.
Kid and pet-friendly
American Wirehair cats are very groomed pets because:
- Their shedding is controllable
- They are adaptable
- They are friendly
These qualities contribute to their kid and pet-friendly nature.
American Wirehair cats are safe to keep around kids. They won’t attack the kids as long as the cat doesn’t feel threatened. If you have kids in the house, teach them to respect the cat’s personal space. If that’s taken care of, there won’t be any other problems.
They can also easily adjust with other pets in the home. If another cat of the same breed is sharing space with them, you really don’t have a thing to worry about. Similar nature and habits will help both these cats adjust without a worry.
If the American Wirehair is being kept with another breed’s cat, that won’t be much of an issue either. However, make sure that both the cats have a similar nature. If one is more aggressive than the other, the submissive one may be attacked. Aggressive partners may become dominant while eating too.
Just like aggressive cats, any other pet who is prone to bullying the American Wirehair won’t make a good companion. Similarly, don’t let the American Wirehair bully the other pet. As long as the animals are on the same level of friendliness and etiquette, things will be fine.
There will hardly be a scenario in which the American Wirehair will cause trouble for the other pet or kid. These cats have a friendly and compromising nature which is why they are such a popular choice in pet cat breeds.
Just like too much grooming is bad for American Wirehair cats, too little isn’t good either.
Your cat will need regular baths. Since the hair of these cats is crimped, dead hair can get stuck in the fur. Bathing the cat will help remove these dead hair which means lesser shedding in unwanted places.
Use an air filter. These cleaners rid the air of any allergens. Moreover, they also keep the air in your home free of bacteria. Both, you and the cat, will benefit from such air filters.
How long do these cats live?If given care and a healthy diet, American Wirehair cats can live for 14 years. In case of extremely healthy cats who maintained a good social balance and dodged any health risks, the lifespan can extend to 18 years.
What is their average size? The females can weigh between 8 and 12 pounds after maturing whereas the males will weigh between 12 and 15 pounds.
Are there any medicines that can help calm my allergies?Yes, there a number of prescription medicines as well as home remedies that can treat allergic reactions. However, I won’t recommend any. You should consult a doctor about this matter.