Oreo, a Not Often Seen Snowshoe cat.

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Here at our Sacramento clinic in the Sutterville area we were visited by a new and unusual breed of cat. Oreo, pictured here with his human, is a Showshoe cat. The Snowshoe originated in the 1960s as three unusually colored Siamese kittens discovered by a breeder in Philadelphia. The kittens had dark pointed coloring (dark face, ears, legs and tail on a lighter colored body) but their feet were white! The breeder, worked to cross these kittens with a variety of other breeds including colored short hairs and also Siamese. By 1974 the Silver Lace (now Snowshoe) had been classified as an experimantal breed but by the ’80s had nearly died out. Secondary breeders became interested and by 1993 the breed was firmly established. THe gene for white coloration is recessive so it was a difficult and unpredictable process to standardize the colors. Like Siamese, the kittens are born light and develop their dark points as they grow. The characteristic white extremities can be limited to the feet (hence the name Snowshoe) or can dominate on the legs as we see in this pic of Oreo. These cats have a meow reminiscent of the sound of a Siamese but at a reduced volume like other cats. We will look forward to seeing our next Snowshoe!

– Geoffrey Antipa http://dogandcatshots.com

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