The American Shorthair cat breed has a lot to give and a lot to love. Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about this versatile kitty.
|American Shorthair Cat Breed Overview|
|Height||8 - 10 inches|
|Weight||6 - 15 pounds|
|Lifespan||15 - 20 years|
|Temperament||Friendly, Sociable, Docile|
|Suitable For||Families with or with children, families with or without other pets, elderly, apartments|
History Of The American Shorthair Cat Breed
Did you know that the American Shorthair cat was initially a hunting cat? They used to hunt rats on ships.
It’s believed that this kitty initially came to North America aboard the Mayflower in the 1620s. It would be a wonder if this cat came over earlier than that. However, the first known American Shorthair was aboard the Mayflower.
The cats weren’t invited onto the ship, either. Instead, they joined the crew because this cat breed is friendly and pleasant. But the crew kept the kitties for the ride when they caught the rats, mice, and other vermin on the ship.
This breed was also used for hunting and catching vermin on land. In addition, they’d help out on farms, shops, and houses.
In the late 19th century, selective breeding of these cats began. In 1966, this cat breed was officially given the title American Shorthair.
In 1895, they were shown for the first time in the United States cat show. Finally, in 1906, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized this breed.
What Does The American Shorthair Cat Look Like?
American Shorthairs are medium to large cats, growing to 12 to 15 inches long and eight to ten inches tall.
Males are usually larger than females. For example, males can grow to weigh about 11 to 15 pounds. On the other hand, females typically weigh about six to 12 pounds.
This breed doesn’t grow fully until about three or four years old.
According to the CFA breed standard, American Shorthair cats are strongly built and well-balanced, indicating power and agility. However, their body is slightly longer than they are tall.
They have large heads with full-cheeked faces and sweet expressions. The eyes are large and almond-shaped. Medium ears with rounded tips sit atop their head.
The legs are medium long and bony but well-muscled and powerful. They have firm, heavy pads on their paws. Finally, the tail is medium to long.
Finally, this kitty has a short coat. However, their thick fur protects them from moisture, cold, and skin injuries.
What Coat Colors Does The American Shorthair Have?
The American Shorthair cat breed can have various coat colors and patterns. For example, they can have the following colors:
In addition, they can have many coat patterns in different varieties of these colors. For instance, they can have solid color coats, bi-color, tri-color, tabby patterns, calico, or tortoiseshell.
Caring For The American Shorthair
Pet care for the American Shorthair is relatively easy. Once you know how to properly care for this cat breed, having one as a pet will be a cinch.
Cats will always clean themselves, so you won’t need to worry about bathing them. (Unless they genuinely need it.)
However, despite keeping themselves clean and having short fur, you’ll still want to brush their coat regularly.
For example, brushing them about once a week will keep tangles and mats at bay.
In addition, this cat is not a hypoallergenic breed. As a result, they’ll shed during the winter seasons. Brushing their coat regularly during this time will help keep shedding under control.
Finally, you’ll want to keep brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and trimming their nails.
This particular cat breed thrives on high-protein cat food. Unfortunately, despite their agility and hunting skills, they’re prone to obesity.
American Shorthairs need high-quality kibble or canned wet food. Alternatively, you can make homemade cat food. The food should always reflect your cat’s breed size, age, weight, and metabolism.
American Shorthair cats should never free-feed, leaving dry cat food out all day long for them to graze. It gets them into bad eating habits.
Your cat should have one to two meals every day. Check with your vet to decide which diet is the right one for your particular feline friend.
American Shorthair cats need about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day. This time can be spent with cat toys, such as wands and other interactive toys.
These cats are used to hunting, so they have a high prey drive. They’ll have fun mock hunting with various toys.
Even though this breed enjoys the company of humans, they will do well entertaining themselves. Of course, it’s best to set aside some playtime with them, but if you need to skip a day, they’ll do well keeping themselves occupied.
This breed is relatively active, so there will never be a dull moment with them around.
American Shorthairs are intelligent, so that you can train them. However, training cats is different than training dogs.
You’ll mostly want to train a cat to use the litter box. However, you can harness train a cat or even teach them a few tricks here and there.
The cat may learn, but whether they’ll want to listen or not will be up to them and their independence.
One of the outstanding traits of the American Shorthair cat breed is that they’re relatively healthy.
Aside from obesity, this kitty is prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease.
Otherwise, this cat has a longer lifespan with proper care than most other breeds. American Shorthairs have an average lifespan of about 15 to 20 years.
As a kitten, you can bring them to the vet a few times during their first year. You’ll be able to keep them up to date with their vaccinations. Also, you can keep track of their growth and development.
When they’re older, you can bring your cat to the vet yearly for their annual checkup.
Temperament Of The American Shorthair Cat Breed
There is a lot to love about this cat breed. They are generally sweet and affectionate with everyone.
For instance, this kitty is friendly with family members, young children, and strangers. Also, they’ll tolerate having other pets in the home, such as dogs. They’ll especially enjoy having the company of another cat or two.
However, this breed does have a high prey drive. So, any small animals in the house, such as birds or guinea pigs, may need to stay away from the cat.
American Shorthairs are adaptable and can be well suited for apartment living or dwelling in a bigger house.
They should be indoor cats since they can pick up diseases and other bacteria from outside. Also, it’d be too easy for them to wander and get lost.
On the other hand, this cat can tolerate being alone. So you won’t need to worry about separate anxiety, especially if additional pets are in the home. Instead, they’ll keep themselves occupied with their toys.
Overall, this breed is relatively easygoing. They’re quiet, too, only meowing at you when necessary.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Aside from their size, there are no significant differences between males and females. Therefore, both genders of this cat breed have similar temperaments.
Who Should Own American Shorthairs?
Anyone would be lucky to add this cat breed to their family. Whether a young family with or without kids, with or without other pets or an elderly couple, this cat will adapt well.
Where Can You Get An American Shorthair?
It’s always best to adopt and not shop. So, first, you can head to your local animal shelter or breed rescue organization. These places may have American Shorthair purebreds or mixed breeds.
Also, they might have American Shorthair kittens, adults, or seniors looking for a loving, forever home.
A great place to start is through Rescue Me.
Alternatively, you can go through American Shorthair breeders. They will most definitely have purebred kittens.
Research the breeders before deciding to work with them. An ethical breeder will do the following:
- Socialize and train the kittens as early as possible
- Ensure the kittens are up to date with their vaccinations
- Meet with you in person for you to get to know one another and meet the litter
- Have health documents and family tree history available for you to bring home upon adoption
- Answer any questions you have, helping you every step of the way
In addition, breeders of this particular breeder will not allow their kittens to leave their mother until they’re at least 12 to 16 weeks old.
An excellent place to begin searching for a good breeder is to check out the CFA breeder list.
Question Corner: FAQs About American Shorthair Cats
Are you considering getting an American Shorthair now? If you need to learn more, then read through the frequently asked questions answered below.
What’s The Average Cost Of The American Shorthair?
The average American Shorthair price is between $500 and $800. However, for a top American Shorthair kitten, you may be looking to spend between $1,000 and $1,500. The cost may vary depending on the kitten’s pedigree, the breeder’s reputation, location, the number of kittens in the litter, and more.
Do American Shorthair Cats Like To Be Held?
Yes, this breed does enjoy being picked up and held. They’re affectionate with anyone and enjoy the attention. They’re a friendly breed.
Are American Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic?
No, this breed is not considered hypoallergenic. They shed a decent amount all year round due to their thick coat, even though it’s a short coat.
Do American Shorthair Cats Like Water?
The answer will depend on your cat’s personality. However, most American Shorthair cats don’t mind water. Their thick coats help protect them and keep them warm.
Do American Shorthairs Shed A Lot?
Not necessarily. However, shedding can get out of control if it’s not kept up with ample brushing. In addition, during the winter months, American Shorthairs will shed more.
Is The American Shorthair Right For You?
American Shorthair cats are a great addition to any home. No matter who lives in your house or how big or small your home is, this breed will adapt well and be a delight to live with.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.