The American Shorthair is descended from cats that accompanied the European settlers. Meant to protect the ship’s store from rodents and pests, these cats intermingled with the native cats of America to produce a breed that was more suitable to the new climate. Despite being a natural breed, selective breeding programme was undertaken in the early twentieth century to develop the best qualities of the American Shorthair. The breed was originally named as Domestic Shorthair, and was only changed to American Shorthair in 1966 to differentiate it from randomly bred domestic non-pedigreed cats and other shorthair breeds that were imported.
Intelligent, playful, yet calm, this cat likes nothing better than to sit in its owner’s lap. Being gentle natured, this cat is good with people and children, and make for excellent family pets. This cat is sometimes called a working cat, owing to its predilection to hunt down any stray rodents or pests.
- Activity level: 2/5 (mildly active)
- Intelligence level: 3/5 (quite intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (quite curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 2/5 (quite vocal)
The American Shorthair powerfully built medium sized body. Its features are well-proportioned, and it has a rounded head with a medium muzzle. However, the American Shorthair may have different appearances, which are acceptable owing to the breed’s diverse heritage.
- Fur: Short coat, lustrous yet hard in texture; dense. Comes in more than eighty colours, with tabby and tabby with white are amongst the most popular for showing.
- Eyes: Wide-set, medium to large eyes; half-almond shaped upper lip, fully rounded lower lid.
- Body structure: Medium sized, medium boned body structure; muscular body with well-developed shoulders.
- Facial features: longer than wide head; medium-short muzzle with a full strong chin. Medium ears, rounded at the tip.
- Weight: the male American Shorthair weighs 14-16 lbs, whereas the female weighs around 10-15 lbs.
The American Shorthair, being a shorthair breed, is a minimal maintenance cat; weekly brushing with a short comb is considered adequate to remove any dead hair unless the cat is being shown. Bathing is rarely required. However, whenever bathed, extra care needs to be undertaken to ensure the coat does not end up being too soft or fluffy. Gingivitis and other periodontal diseases can be kept at bay by daily dental brushing.
While the American Shorthair is considered a strong and sturdy breed, it can be affected by general health conditions affecting any cat. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is caused by blood flow disruption, and can be diagnosed by complete blood profiling, Doppler tests, X-rays analysis and echocardiography. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is diagnosed by urinalysis, urine culture and abdominal X-rays.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org