American Shorthair Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Size: Medium. Chubby body.
Exercise Needs: Needs decent exercise.
Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.
Shedding: Low shedding.
Average Lifespan: From 15-20 years.
Price: From $600 to $1200.
Weight: From 8-15 lbs.
Playfulness: Ideal playmate.
Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.
Need for Grooming: Twice a week.
Health: Excellent. No health issues.
Also known as a working cat, the American Shorthair Cat has a powerful and strong body. Thanks to its ancestors this breed is an excellent hunter and more than able to earn its keep.
It is known for its robust body, round head, short ears, and comes in a variety of colors. It is sturdy, has great health and a very long lifespan.
This is an easy to maintain cat, that is independent and devoted to its owner. Their easy-going nature makes them suitable for people of all ages.
Furthermore, these cats get along nicely with children, cats, dogs, and other pets. Hence, it is no surprise that this is one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States.
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Where Did American Shorthair Cat Breed Originate?
The roots of this breed can be traced all the way to England. There, their ancestors were just ordinary house cats.
However, their hunting skills were anything but ordinary. They were cherished for keeping the rodent population under control. These cats found their way to the New World on ships with first European settlers.
It is reported that Pilgrims who were embarked on the Mayflower in 1620 brought their beloved felines with them. These working cats protected food stores during the treacherous journey and kept the ships mice-free.
After the arrival in America, these cats proved their worth once again on land where they hunted mice and other smaller rodents.
Soon enough every house, farm and store had a cat to keep its food stores safe.
Factors like the environment, planned and natural outcrossing formed the breed as we know it today. Furthermore, natural selection made sure that the American Shorthair cats are strong, sturdy, healthy and hardworking.
For centuries these cats thrived alongside their owners and eventually set themselves as the native North American shorthaired cat.
By 1895 the breed was so well-known and valued that it was showed on the first cat show in the United States. In 1906 the breed was formally recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association as Domestic Shorthair.
In 1966 the breed was renamed to the American Shorthair as to better represent its ‘all-American’ origin.
What Does the American Shorthair Cat Look Like?
The American Shorthair is a medium to large cat with a well-built muscular body that can endure. This breed has a large round head, full cheeks, slightly rounder ears, and wide eyes that contribute to the overall beauty.
This is a true working cat, with a stocky, strong, and agile body which allows it to catch, chase, and pounce after prey. The coat comes in many different colors and patterns, making every cat a story for itself.
According to size standards, this agile and sturdy cat should be medium-large in size. They must be 10-14 inches high, and the body should be slightly longer than tall.
The American Shorthairs usually don’t reach their full size until they are 3 to 4 years old.
American Shorthair Cat Colors
The American Shorthair comes in more than 80 different colors and patterns. The most widely spread colors include White, Blue, Black, Cream, Red, Silver, Golden, Cameo, Brown, Bluecream, Tortoiseshell and others.
The same thing goes for coat patterns. You can find this breed in solid, tabby, calico, bicolor, tricolor, tortoiseshell, smoke, shaded and many other patterns. Probably the most popular is the classic silver tabby pattern.
Cats that show evidence of crossbreeding can come in chocolate, lilac, lavender, and sable colors. These are not permitted to participate in shows. Furthermore, American Shorthairs that have a pointed pattern like Siamese cats are also disqualified from show rings.
American Shorthair Cat Personality Traits
This is a calm, easy-going and friendly breed that is devoted to its owner. Their affectionate nature makes them suitable for people of all ages, families, and singles.
The American Shorthair Cat is a highly independent breed that isn’t overbearing and won’t cry for attention.
However, this doesn’t mean that these cats don’t enjoy having company. They are more than happy to curl in their owner’s lap and spend hours napping there.
The American Shorthair is calm and amiable and not a type of cat that will spend hours running around the house. This breed is more than able to entertain itself. But it also enjoys spending time playing with its owner.
Being highly intelligent and inquisitive, this breed likes solving puzzles. Puzzle toys can keep their brains occupied.
Hunting is in the American Shorthair’s nature. And you should indulge your cat’s basic instincts.
When it comes to temperament, being moderate is the best way to describe the American Shorthair. They are neither overly cuddly nor distant, neither hyperactive nor comatose.
Although it isn’t in their nature to demand things, they aren’t shy and will not be afraid to express their needs. When they want attention, they will give you a significant look, or a gentle ‘look at me’ bite.
American Shorthair Cat Behavior
Due to its mild temper and gentle nature, this breed rarely develops any behavioral problems. However, even the easy-going American Shorthair can develop some behavioral issues if not taken care of properly.
To prevent any issues from arising, make sure that you interact and play with your cat daily, and keep her mentally stimulated.
Allowing your cat to practice her hunting skills will help her feel useful and content.
Male American Shorthairs can be territorial and are more likely to roam and spray compared to other cats.
You can avoid these issues by neutering your cat.
Are American Shorthair Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
Thanks to its origins, these cats are highly adaptable. Their ancestors spent most of their time outdoors in harsh environment and weather. Hence this breed can adjust to pretty much anything.
And with tolerant and easy-going personality your cat won’t have troubles adapting to any changes that come her way.
Generally, this is a moderately active breed that can become overweight if not exercised properly. Keep your kitty moving with cat laser toys.
Additionally, a cat tree like the one shown below, will provide perching options and keep the cat active. Do your best to engage your cat in interactive play at least once a day to keep her happy and healthy.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
Thanks to its easy-going and friendly nature, this breed makes a perfect addition to homes with children. Its playful personality ensures that they will get along nicely with older children. This breed enjoys playing with kids and it is very affectionate towards them.
Keep in mind that smaller children need to be supervised so they won’t pull a cat by her tail or whiskers.
They also get along nicely with cat-friendly dogs if they are properly introduced. This is a tolerant and affectionate breed that won’t feel the need to be territorial or fight with a dog for the owner’s attention.
In general, this breed gets along with pets of any kind. However, due to its hunting instinct, it is best to keep any pet birds in a separate room, so your cat won’t be tempted to practice her hunting skills!
Although this is a calm breed, the American Shorthair enjoys a good play session. The great trait of this breed is that it can keep itself entertained while you aren’t around.
Still, every cat likes interacting with its owner so play your kitty for 10 minutes every day to keep her happy and avoid any behavioral problems.
General Health and Potential Risks
The American Shorthair Cat is best known for its solid body, endurance, and excellent health. So far, this breed has no known genetic health problems and requires only regular vet check-up.
However, some cats of this breed can develop the following problems:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart condition that affects the left ventricle and its ability to pump blood into the aorta. This results in the thickening of the ventricle since it must work harder to pump blood. This condition usually occurs in male cats that are 5-7 years old.
- Obesity: This is a solidly built breed that can gain weight quickly. This can lead to numerous health problems. Keep your cat exercised properly and use weight maintenance food to maintain the ideal weight.
American Shorthair Cat Lifespan
The American Shorthair has an average lifespan of 15-20 years, which is long in the cat world. To keep your cat healthy in her golden years take her to regular vet check-up, get her vaccinated, and keep her indoors only.
Invest in proper diet and spend 10 minutes every day playing with your cat to prevent obesity.
This breed has a thick and short coat that serves as protection from weather. Generally, these cats are easy to maintain and needs to be brushed twice a week.
A pet comb can help you distribute skin oils and keep the coat shiny and glossy. Usually, this breed doesn’t need bathing. But if you feel it is necessary, get your cat started from a young age.
American Shorthair Cat Shedding
The American Shorthair is low to moderate shedder. The thickness of a cat’s coat, climate and time of the year will impact the amount of shedding.
Generally, all American Shorthair Cats will shed more during the spring and fall, in which time you should brush your cat more often.
The pet grooming gloves will remove loose hair and prevent the development of mats and tangles.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer the commonly asked questions about the American Shorthair Cat. If you have a question regarding this breed, ask us in the comments section and we’ll answer it for you.
How Much is American Shorthair Cat Price?
Their price depends on several factors. But on average, you can expect to pay from $600 to $1200 for a purebred kitten.
Usually, cats with unusual coat color and markings, or a show-winning ancestry cost more. Also, don’t be surprised if you are asked for a deposit or if there is a waiting list for a kitten.
How Big Do American Shorthair Cats Get?
This is a stocky breed, with males being larger and weighing from 11-15 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 8-12 pounds on average.
This is a moderately active cat that, thanks to its powerful frame, can pack on the pounds easily. So, it is important to feed them proper food.
High protein cat diet and regular exercise will keep your cat in great shape and prevent obesity.
Are American Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic?
While some cat breeds produce fewer Fel d1 protein and are less allergenic, the completely hypoallergenic cat doesn’t exist.
Unfortunately, the American Shorthair isn’t one of these less allergenic cat breeds and it isn’t the best choice if you suffer from allergies.
Are American Shorthair Cats Friendly?
American Shorthairs make amiable and gentle companions. They tend to get along with everyone, including strangers, other cats, and dogs.
Do American Shorthair Cats Get Along with Dogs?
Due to their sweet and devoted nature, American Shorthairs get along with cat-friendly dogs if properly introduced. They don’t mind sharing their owner’s affection with other pets and will get along with dogs of any size and breed.
Are American Shorthair Cats Affectionate?
This easy-going breed can be an affectionate companion. While they can spend hours in your lap being petted, they don’t require constant attention and affection like some other cat breeds.