American Shorthair cats originated with the cats that crossed the Atlantic with the European settlers. Their good looks and sweet personalities made them a favorite and soon cat fanciers started concentrating their efforts on breeding a representative North American working cat.
In 1906 the American Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognised the Domestic (American) Shorthair as a registered breed. American shorthairs are medium build cats and come in a variety of colors and coat patterns. These include white, blue, black, cream, red, silver, golden, brown, cameo, bluecream, tortoiseshell, solid color, bicolor, tricolor/calico, tabby, smoke and shaded. They make excellent family cats and get one well with young children, dogs and other family pets.
You can buy American shorthair cats from registered cat breeders throughout the USA. Please ensure that the breeders are reputable and use healthy bloodlines. Cat rescue organisations also have American shorthair cats and kittens available for adoption.
American Shorthair Facts & Information
Life expectancy: up to 20 years
Size: Height: approx. 10 – 14 in. Weight: 6 – 15 lb.
Temperament: American shorthairs are loving, affectionate, playful and intelligent with an independent streak. They adapt well to different living conditions, so they can do well in homes or flats, with families or single people seeking companionship, as only cats or with other family pets. The breed loves to play with toys with their humans or by themselves. They love affection and attention but their independent streak means that they aren’t necessarily lap cats. As a rule, they cope well when left on their own, provided they have things to do. They take well to training, so learn how to use positive reinforcement reward-based clicker training to get the best results.
Exercise: American shorthairs tend to medium sized and muscular, but they can easily become overweight if their diet isn’t managed and they don’t get enough exercise. Interactive play should be enough to keep them in shape.
General care: American shorthair cats have low grooming needs. You can get away with brushing them once a week to get rid of dead hair. You will need to learn how to clip their nails, though, or take them to a professional groomer or even your vet to have them clipped. Brushing their teeth daily is highly recommended and you should regularly check their ears to make sure that they are clean and infection free.
Health concerns: American shorthair cats are generally healthy and robust. If you get your cat from a breeder, you should ask whether there are any health or medical problems you should know about. A reputable breeder chooses lines to minimize health problems, but some conditions occur no matter how carefully they are bred. One common problem that is not genetic is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – heart disease. Pet cat insurance will help you take care of all your American shorthair’s medical needs.
American shorthairs reach maturity when they are between three and four years old. However, they never really grow up and maintain their playfulness well into old age. They love toys and are creative about making their own out of anything they find lying around. As working cats, they have well-honed hunting instincts and pounce on any little critters that come their way. They tend to be friendly towards strangers. So if you like to entertain you don’t have to worry about Kitty hiding under the bed or hissing at guests.