The American Wirehair is a cat breed originating in the United States. As of 2003, though the breed is well-known, it is ranked as the most rare of the 41 Cat Fanciers' Association breeds, with only 22 registered, down from 39 in 2002.
The American Wirehair is a spontaneous mutation of the American Shorthair. It first occurred as a random mutation among a litter of five born to a pair of barn cats in 1966 in Vernon, in upstate New York. This single red-and-white male had wiry fur. The owner of the cats called a local breeder of Rex cats, Mrs. Joan O'Shea, to take a look at the kitten. She bought the kitten for $50, along with one of his normal-coated female littermates, to start a breeding program. The wirehaired male was named Adam, and the female Tip-Top.Breeding between the two produced wirehaired kittens, many of which were sold off to other interested breeders. As the population grew, cats were exported to Canada, and Germany where they are especially popular. The breed did well, and in 1967 it was recognized by the CFA, and in 1978, it was accepted for championship competition.