The Snowshoe is a rare breed of cat originating in the United States of America in the 1960s. Snowshoes were first produced in Philadelphia when a Siamese breeder's cat gave birth to three kittens with white feet. The breeder, Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, then began a breeding program crossing the strangely marked Siamese cats with bi-color American Shorthair cats and other breeds. Despite having existed for 45 years, Snowshoes are rare due to the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings.
Snowshoe cats have an affectionate and docile disposition. Due to this, they do not do well under circumstances where they are left alone for long periods of time. If you are going to be leaving your cat on its own for any regular period of time, then I suggest you buy two kittens to keep each other company. They are a social breed and enjoy the company of cats, dogs and children. They do not seem to be fazed by much and take everything in their stride.
The Snowshoe Temperament is one of the best in the cat world. They are brilliant with children and tolerate them well. Snowshoes have a tendency to cuddle like babies cradled in your arms and adore attention. They are often laid back, relaxed cats with a very energetic playful side, although some have been known to be a bit quieter and not so in your face. They make good friendly lap or shoulder cats when they are not charging about or exploring what’s new.
The snowshoe cat can be stubborn at times and will push their luck, especially during teenage years. Basic discipline is important to keep your Snowshoe well mannered and enables them to feel secure. Snowshoes are intelligent and enjoy learning. They are quite capable of being trained to walk on a lead, play fetch or take part in agility. At Cat shows Snowshoe tend to show off and display their extrovert side.
Snowshoes are also very vocal, though their voices are not as loud as the Siamese, a cat found in their breed heritage. They are noted as being very intelligent and have the ability to learn tricks and open doors.
A medium to large cat, the Snowshoe combines the heftiness of the American Shorthair with the length of the Oriental. It is well balanced with sound conformation and strong muscle The unusual combination of pointing, the white pattern, and the moderate body build sets the Snowshoe apart from all other breeds
It has a sparkling personality and is human orientated and affectionate, making it attractive to the new pet owner or breeder and ideally suited to the cat-show scene
PATTERNS AND COLOUR
The Snowshoe pattern is complex, with the white markings superimposed on the Siamese pointing. The preferred pattern being white to the ankles in front, white to the hocks at the back and an inverted 'V on the face
all recognised point colours allowed.
Coat of medium short hair of medium texture, glossy and lying close to the body
Eyes of bright sparkling blue with good contrast against points colour and walnut shape
Colour of mask, ears, legs and tail to be dense and clearly define (except in kittens) and in harmony with the body colour where it is not overlain by white. On maturity the mask is connected to the ears by tracings. The preferred White Pattern is a balanced inverted 'V' of white on the face starting on the bridge of the nose, extending downwards covering the nose, whisker pads and chin, but not extending beyond the outer aperture of the eye. The chin should be white. A white bib on the chest and white on the stomach is normal. Nose leather should be pink. Body colour should be even with shading to a lighter tone. Allowance should be made for darker shading in older cats, provided that there is a definite contrast between body colour and the points. Paws pads should be pink. The two front paws should have white mittens that are evenly matched and preferably extending to the angle formed by the paw and the leg. The back legs should have white evenly matched boots to just below the level of the hock. The foregoing description is ideal.
Tonkinese cats have existed since at least the early 19th century, and the founding cat of the Burmese breed was probably a mink hybrid-colored cat named "Wong Mau," a small walnut colored cat imported to California by Dr. Joseph Cheeseman Thompson in 1930. Some claim that the appearance of the breed is closer to the original appearance of the Siamese, before Siamese breeders developed today's triangular head and very leggy body. When the breed was first established in Canada, the breed name was actually spelled "Tonkanese," which was a reference to the island in the musical South pacific where "half-breeds" suffered no discrimination. The mistaken idea that the name was a geographical reference paralleling the Siamese and Burmese breed names resulted in a gradual switch to the current spelling, under which the breed was recognized by the US registering associations.
The Tonkinese has a winsome personality, not surprising since the Burmese and Siamese are prized for their temperament. Faithful followers say the Tonkinese has the best of both breeds. Its voice is milder in tone than the Siamese. Its distinctive meow is often likened to a duck's quack. This meow can be particularly annoying when they are trying to seek attention. The Tonkinese craves, and returns, affection and companionship. It has an unflagging enthusiasm for life and life's pleasures, and loves interactive toys such as human fingers and the tails of its cat companions. It makes every close encounter a game.
Tonkinese are commonly trim and muscular cats. They are typically heavier than they appear to be, due to their very muscular bodies. They have a distinctive oval-shaped paw, and a modified wedge-shaped head, with large ears set towards the outside of their head. They are unusually intelligent, curious, affectionate with people, and interested in them. Tonkinese cats are playful cats, but not hyperactive, although they can be mischievous if they become lonesome or bored. Some interesting toys and a cat tree, or, better yet, another Asian cat such as a Tonkinese, Oriental, Burmese, Siamese, or Snowshoe can keep them busy when they're lonely. Unlike most breeds of cat, they are reported to sometimes engage in fetching, and they can often be found perched on the highest object in the house as they love jumping heights.
Tonkinese cats weigh 10-20 lbs or even more.
They are more like Burmese in temperament than Siamese, that is, less high-strung and demanding. Their voices are also less piercing (or raucous, depending on taste) in most cases than the Siamese, but most Tonkinese do like a good chat. Most observers feel they combine the more attractive features of both ancestor breeds.
Tonkinese come in four colors and exhibit a wide variety of patterns. The three main patterns are mink, solid and pointed. Solid is essentially a Burmese coat pattern; pointed a Siamese pattern. Mink is a unique Tonkinese pattern, with shaded "points" like the Siamese, with the body colored in a shade harmonizing with the point colour. Mink is intermediate between Burmese and Siamese, with less abrupt contrast between body and legs than Siamese. The mink variety is considered most desirable for the show ring in cat fancier associations. The most commonly accepted colors are: Blue, Chocolate, Lilac &Brown although European associations also accept red, cream, caramel, apricot and tortoiseshell. Typically, solid Tonkinese cats have gold or blue- green eyes, cats with the pointed pattern are blue-eyed, and the mink cats have a shade of aquamarine. A great deal of subtle variation exists in colors and patterns, and Tonkinese body color darkens with age to some degree in all patterns. Cats kept in colder climates will typically be darker in their mink or point shading, like their Siamese cousins.