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FAQs - The Traditonal Snowshoe © and the Traditional Colorpoint Snowshoe Cat
Another hybrid based upon the Siamese breed is the Traditional Snowshoe. This is a man made breed created by basically crossing a Siamese with an American Shorthair. The result is a short haired, pointed cat, with four white feet and a white "V" shaped marking over the nose and muzzle.
In reality, 90% of all Traditional Snowshoes come from unregistered Traditional Siamese and Classic Siamese and unregistered mitted, pointed cats. The only American Shorthair used belonged to a breeder named Maia Sornson. This male American Shorthair was a registered first generation American Shorthair out of a black and white Classic Siamese cross. In addition the breed has a smattering of Extreme Wedge Siamese and Oriental Shorthair, but it is a small amount and a long way back. Breeders quickly learned that using Extreme Wedge Siamese, true American Shorthairs, or Tonkinese just ruined the type they were looking for.
The breed really got started when a Siamese litter in 1960 at the Kensing Siamese Cattery in Philadelphia PA, owned by Dorothy Hinds Daugherty, produced three kittens with four pure white mittens. Even though the variant did not re-occur, it struck the fancy of Dorothy to the point where she developed the first Traditional Snowshoe line by crossing her Siamese with a bicolor American Shorthair. Eventually the continued breeding produced the trademark "V" shaped marking on the face in addition to the mitted trait.
Eventually Ms Daugherty passed the torch to breeder Vikki Olander of Norfolk, Virginia. It was Olander who gave this breed a push with the other cat associations, but being the only breeder at that time, she was unable to receive much recognition. Three years of struggle brought more breeders on board until the breed received Championship status in nearly all of the other cat associations.
A mitted-pointed cat was registered with another cat association as a Snowshoe and listed as "parents unknown". Her name was "Miss Becky Boots", who was one of the unusual mitted kittens with a "V" shaped white marking on her face that showed up spontaneously in a litter of registered Siamese. She was a Blue Point, fine boned, but not an Extreme Wedge.
Ownership of a Traditional Snowshoe provides a pay back of love and affection. Touching and being touched is the order of their day. They have a mystic touch of aloofness but are not standoffish. As their forebears do, they love humans. In reality they don’t realize they are cats. They consider themselves people, and insist upon sleeping with their owners. Very inquisitive and intelligent, they can be taught a number of tricks.
Some members of the breed have become known for their fascination with water, and climb into the tub for a swim. Hours can be spent trying to flush the toilet so they can watch the water swirl around.
While not as loud or vocal as their Siamese ancestors, they are never at a loss for expressing themselves with a soft, melodic voice. If you are looking for a striking, bi-colored beauty with personality to spare, then the Traditional Snowshoe is the shoe that fits.
The average Traditional Snowshoe lives between 10 to 14 years of age. They have few genetic defects and most of those are minor, such as kinked tails, crossed eyes and an umbilical hernia now and then.
Breeding the Traditional Snowshoe can be a challenge due to the white factor. This is difficult to keep under control.
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