Did you know the Domestic Shorthair cat isn’t technically a breed? It’s not purebred, either. There’s a lot to love about this kitty, though. So, if you’re interested in learning more about this kitten, keep reading. 

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Domestic Shorthair Cat Breed Overview
NicknamesMoggie, DSH
Height8 - 10 inches
Weight8 - 12 pounds
Lifespan15 - 20 years
TemperamentFriendly, cuddly, hyperactive
Suitable ForAll households, indoor cat

History Of The Domestic Shorthair Cat

The Domestic Shorthair cat is the “mutt” of the cat world. Also known as the “moggie” or “DSH,” this breed is a cross between many different cat breeds. So, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) doesn’t recognize this kitty as a breed.

In fact, cats with an unknown lineage are often called “Domestic” based on their fur length—for example, this includes the Domestic Shorthair, Domestic Medium Hair, or the Domestic Longhair.

On the other hand, it’s believed that this cat comes from the British Shorthair and the American Shorthair. However, they have many different breeds in their DNA.

Domestic Shorthairs worked for their food, a warm bed, and cuddles from humans. They hunted rats and other pests, keeping them away from food, livestock, barns, and houses. Thus, their humans didn’t get diseased.

All of this might have started back in the pioneer days. Domestic Shorthaired cats are believed to have come to the United States on the Mayflower to continue working for the settlers.

Even though they aren’t considered a cat breed, Domestic Shorthair cats are great household pets. In fact, this non-breed is one of the most popular cats for a pet. 

What Does The Domestic Shorthair Look Like?

This kitty averages about eight to ten inches tall and should weigh between eight and 12 pounds. Males are typically bigger than females.

Their appearance can be a mixed bag. For instance, their coat color can be in any color combination or pattern. Some have spots, patches, or stripes. Others have a tail that’s a different color from the rest of their body.

They can look like a tabby, tortoiseshell, tuxedo, to anything else. Their coloring can be brown, white, black, gray, orange, and other colors.

In addition, their eyes can be green, gold, hazel, or blue. 

Geographical location plays a part, as well. For example, Domestic Shorthairs often have a similar build to Siamese cats born in Asia. However, when born in America or Britain, they often have a similar build to other Shorthair cats. 

However, one thing they all have in common is their smooth, shiny coat. They also have round heads and paws with muscular bodies. The tails are often medium-length, as well.

What do you need to know about the Domestic Shorthair cat? | PetSimplified.com

Caring For The Domestic Shorthair Cat

This cat breed is one of the most popular breeds for households to own. They’re a wonderful addition to any family, so let’s take a closer look at how to care for them properly.


When it comes to grooming, you won’t need to worry as much. Domestic Shorthair cats don’t shed too much, depending on the cat. Also, they keep themselves clean.

With their rough tongue, your cat will bathe themselves regularly. All you’ll need to worry about is ensuring their hairballs stay under control. In addition, be sure to trim their nails at least once every two to three weeks.

You can brush their hair occasionally if they’ll let you. But you won’t need to worry about bathing them.  


Domestic Shorthairs only need about one cup of high-quality feline food per day. These kitties are prone to obesity because they love to eat.

However, this cat breed can be hyperactive and energetic. So, a high protein diet is a good idea for them.

So, if you’re unsure what sort of diet to give your kitten, then be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Your cat’s vet can help you decide how much food to give your kitty. Also, they’ll help you decide if you should feed them dry food, wet food, or both.

Some cat food we recommend are as follows:

What do you need to know about the Domestic Shorthair cat? | PetSimplified.com


As with all cats, they need plenty of physical activity per day. Therefore, this breed is bound to have short bursts of energy.

You won’t need to bring them on a walk every day, but when they begin to run around the house or chase their toys, take some time to play with them.

Due to their background in catching rodents, this breed enjoys hunting after objects such as a wand toy, tossing a light ball, or chasing a laser pointer.

Also, this kitty is more nocturnal. So, you might find that they run around the house more at night. If they tend to do this while you’re asleep, ensure your cat has a designated play spot. That way, they may not wake you up.


Domestic Shorthairs are smart, but training may not be feasible. For example, you won’t be able to train them to “sit” and “stay” as you would a dog.

However, you can train them to not jump up on the countries and not to scratch the furniture.


In most cases, mixed breeds have health issues due to the various genetic make-up. However, Domestic Shorthaired cats are relatively healthy breeds.

There are a few health issues you’ll want to keep in mind, though. For example, this kitty can get the following health conditions:

  • Skin allergies
  • Obesity
  • Urinary Tract Disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory issues
  • Hyperthyroidism

With proper care, including ample exercise and a healthy diet, these health problems may not occur. In addition, they have an average lifespan of about 15 to 20 years.

Remember to bring your kitty to the vet at least once a year for their annual checkup. You can bring them more often to ensure they’re growing and developing properly as a kitten.

What do you need to know about the Domestic Shorthair cat? | PetSimplified.com

Domestic Shorthair Cat Temperament

Just like their appearance, the temperament of this kitty can be varied, as well. For instance, some Domestic Shorthairs will want to cuddle with you all day, while others will be more hyperactive.

No matter your cat’s temperament, they’re great for any family. They’re also affectionate, loyal, and playful.

Are Domestic Shorthair Cats Good For Families And Children?

The short answer is yes. This cat breed is an excellent addition to any home. Domestic Shorthairs will fit right in whether you live with young children, older kids, or adults.

They’re excellent playmates and are smart enough to know when they need a break from their humans. However, they’ll love to lounge on the couch with you.

Are Domestic Shorthair Cats Good With Other Pets?

In some cases, yes, but in others, no. It will depend on your cat’s personality. Also, if you have a dog, it’ll depend on their personality, too. 

Sometimes, the dog will have a strong prey drive toward the cat. Other times, the cat will be headstrong, and the dog will be afraid of the kitty.

And yet, many dogs and cats have been able to live under the same roof in harmony.

However, your cat’s hunting instincts may kick in if you have small animals in the house, such as guinea pigs, hamsters, or even lizards.

You can teach them to live in peace together, but you might want to keep the cat away from the small animals just in case.

What do you need to know about the Domestic Shorthair cat? | PetSimplified.com

Are Domestic Shorthair Cats Friendly?

Yes, this cat breed is amiable. They’re social around other animals, people, and their family members. They’ll get along well with anyone.

However, they all have different personalities, so some might be shyer than others.

Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?

Aside from males being physically bigger than females, there isn’t much difference.

However, if you do not spay or neuter your kitty, then they will act out.

For example, females will yowl and try to escape. Males will mark their territory all over the house, attempting to let females know that he’s around.

Who Should Own The Domestic Shorthair Cat?

Anyone can own this cat breed. Whether you live in a house filled with adults, a single adult, have children, or live with seniors, this cat will be a good companion.

Also, this kitty can live well in a bigger house or an apartment. They’ll be comfortable either way.

Where Can You Get A Domestic Shorthair?

The best way to get this kitty is to adopt one. For example, if you go through a breeder, they’re contributing to the overpopulation of Domestic Shorthairs. Too many cats require a loving home.

So, you can check your local animal shelter or cat rescue organization. But, remember, Domestic Shorthair isn’t considered a breed. So, you’ll be bound to find the kitty you’re looking for that’s right for your household.

You can go through a breeder but research them first. The breeder should take great care of the litters and the parents. None of the animals should be in kennels, and the breeder shouldn’t allow the kittens to leave their mother until at least eight weeks.

Question Corner: FAQs About The Domestic Shorthair Cat

If you have more questions about the Domestic Shorthair cat, check out the frequently asked questions below.

What do you need to know about the Domestic Shorthair cat? | PetSimplified.com

What’s The Average Cost Of The Domestic Shorthair?

Believe it or not, many of these cats are strays. So, you can take one in and bring it to the vet to ensure it doesn’t already have a home. These cats are relatively cheap, even if you go through a breeder. For example, a breeder may charge you between $100 to $600. If you go through a rescue or animal shelter, it’ll be a lower cost.

Should Domestic Shorthair Cats Be Indoor Or Outdoor?

This cat breed and others should be indoor cats. Their instinct is to explore, hunt, and mark their territory. However, it would be easy for predators and traffic to get your cat. Also, they might wander too far and get lost. 

Are Domestic Shorthair Cats Talkative?

Yes, these cats can be talkative. They may meow a lot to get your attention or simply because they want to hear themselves talk. However, depending on their personality, some may be more chatty than others.

Can Domestic Shorthair Cats Be Left Alone?

Domestic Shorthairs are good cats to leave home alone. As long as you know they won’t be too hyper to jump up to places they shouldn’t, most will be comfortable having a few hours to themselves. After that, however, they will prefer to have their humans around. 

Do Domestic Shorthair Cats Like Water?

The answer will depend on your cat’s personality. The American Shorthair cat does like water. Since this breed comes from the American Shorthair, there is a chance that your Domestic Shorthair will enjoy the water, as well. 

Do Domestic Shorthair Cats Shed A Lot?

Since every Domestic Shorthair cat is different, some may shed more than others. However, no matter how much they shed, these cats are not considered hypoallergenic. 

Is The Domestic Shorthair Cat Right For You?

This kitty is a great addition to any household. If you’re looking for a feline friend to have around and to cuddle with, then this cat breed might be the right option for you and your family. 

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