American Shorthair Cat: What You Should Know About This Breed

Posted: February 19, 2021 by Anita

american shorthair cat

The American Shorthair cat is different than your run-of-the-mill alley cat even though it might look like one.

It is a very popular breed of cat. They are loving, easy-going, and affectionate with a body built for power, endurance, and agility.

The American Shorthair cat is very versatile when it comes to breeding. It can be bred for any number of colors and patterns including the popular silver tabby.

Don’t be fooled; the American Shorthair is considered a pedigree. Their resemblance to the Domestic shorthair cat means that if you plan on buying an American Shorthair, you will want to request certified breed papers from the breeder.

In this article, I discuss the American Shorthair cat and what you should know about him.

American Shorthair cat

History

Most likely, the American Shorthair cats originated from Great Britain. They were transported to the United States from ships on the way to the colonies. Some experts believe that the American Shorthair is the descendants of the British Shorthair cat.

These cats were feline “workers” used to hunt rats on the ship and in the colonies. They were sort of like the barn cats of today.

We know for sure that the “working cat” has been around since at least 1634. These cats were mentioned in a publication from that year.

The working cat became part of the American landscape. After a couple of centuries of evolution and natural selection, this cat has developed into a hearty, robust, and strong specimen.

Sometime late in the 19th century, American breeders wanted a pedigree of their own to represent the United States. The United States doesn’t have an indigenous or native cat, much like Great Britain, Europe, and Asia.

So in 1906, the Cat Fanciers Association recognized the shorthair working cat as the Domestic Shorthair cat. The name was later changed to the American Shorthair cat in 1966 to distinguish it from the random-bred cat or alley/barn cat.

American Shorthair vs Domestic Shorthair

So, what is the difference between the American Shorthair and the Domestic Shorthair?

According to the Cat Fanciers Association, ” the difference, however, is that pedigreed cat can consistently produce kittens of the same physical conformation, coat quality, temperament while a random breed cat cannot.”

“Years of selective breeding and the careful recording of many generations of cats guarantee that each litter of kittens will have specific qualities.”

My advice to any cat lover who is thinking about getting an American Shorthair is to “get those certification papers” so you can be sure!

Types of American Shorthair cats

Just like the Domestic Shorthair cat, the American Shorthair comes in 80 different patterns and colors. The most commonly seen is:

  • Tabby – blend of two distinct colors with either spotted, parallel stripes, or marbled markings.  “M” shape on the forehead.
  • Tortoiseshell – bi-color like a tortoise
  • Calico – tricolor with one of those colors being white
  • Torbie – kind of look like a tabby
  • Tuxedo

Cats showing any signs of crossbreeding or hybrids with other breeds are disqualified as show cats.

American Shorthair cat

To read about the Domestic Shorthair cat, click here

American Shorthair Cat Characteristics

The American Shorthair is your friendly everyday neighborhood cat. This cat is medium-sized, heavily muscled, and powerful. And can get fat if not fed properly.

  • Weight Range: Male – 12+ lbs, Female – 8-12 lbs
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Body: thick, muscular
  • Coat: short and straight
  • American Shorthair Lifespan: 12-15 years

American Shorthair Personality

American Shorthair cats are considered the best-all round cat – compatible with children and other house pets when introduced properly.

The range of personalities for American Shorthair cats can range from chilled to high-energy; it just depends on the cat.

They are sociable and can be taught to adapt to any situation, i.e., apartment living vs. house living.

The American Shorthair cat is brilliant and easy to train to use a scratching post.

For the most part, the American Shorthair is very independent and is very good at entertaining itself. However, all cats, no matter the breed, will benefit from interactive play and exercise.

To find American Shorthair Kittens for sale, check out the list of breeders by clicking here.

American Shorthair Health

The American Shorthair cat is a very healthy breed. But it is susceptible to hereditary diseases that occur among purebreds.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a disease that can be passed on from generation to generation of the American Shorthair cat. This condition causes the thickening of the walls of the heart muscle. It can lead to blood clots and heart failure.

These cats are subject to the same lifestyle issues that most cats are subject to, such as:

  • obesity
  • urinary tract disease
  • diabetes
  • skin and food allergies

Pet’s Best InsuranceCover up to 90% of your pet’s vet cost; check out their wellness plans; click here for more information!

How to care for your American Shorthair

To ensure that your American Shorthair cat has a long healthy life, you must take great care of them from day one.

Grooming

American Shorthair cats aren’t particularly hairy, so there’s not much shedding (thank God). However, an occasional brushing should be done a couple of times a week. Have their nails clipped regularly by either taking him to a groomer or by doing it yourself – click here to purchase my favorite cat nail clipper

Nutrition

No special diet is needed for your American Shorthair cat. Make sure you are not over-feeding your cat and stick to age-appropriate food.

Check to see Theo’s favorite’s cat food brand by clicking here

Activity

You can combat many of the American Shorthair cat behavior problems by providing plenty of active playtime with him.

Click here to check out my favorite cat toy

Invest in a good cat tree because American Shorthair cats love to climb – click here.

They are inquisitive cats, so make sure your cabinets have cat-proof locks to prevent them from getting into places they shouldn’t be.

Conclusion

The American Shorthair cat is different than your run-of-the-mill alley cat even though it might look like one.

Don’t be fooled; the American Shorthair is considered a pedigree. Their resemblance to the Domestic shorthair cat means that if you plan on buying an American Shorthair, you will want to request certified breed papers from the breeder

Most likely the American Shorthair cats originated from Great Britain. They were transported to the United States from ships on the way to the colonies. Some experts believe that the American Shorthair is the descendants of the British Shorthair cat.

Just like the Domestic Shorthair cat, the American Shorthair comes in 80 different patterns and colors.

The American Shorthair is your friendly everyday neighborhood cat. This cat is medium-sized, heavily muscled, and powerful. And can get fat if not fed properly.

The range of personalities for American Shorthair cats can range from chilled to high-energy; it just depends on the cat.

They are sociable and can be taught to adapt to any situation, i.e., apartment living vs. house living.

To ensure that your American Shorthair cat has a long healthy life, you must take great care of them from day one.

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