American Shorthair

American Shorthair History:
The breed that eventually became the American Shorthair Cat first came to the new world with European settlers, who used them on ships for their rat-catching skills. Records even indicate that the Mayflower had several cats on board. For centuries, these ‘working cats’ toiled alongside the pioneers, and eventually a breed native to North America was established. In the early part of the 20th century, several foreign breeds were mixed with the American Shorthair, producing cats with differing coat lengths, colors and body styles. Many breeders worked hard to preserve the characteristics of the original ‘Domestic Short Hair’, and this breed was officially recognized as one of the first five registered breeds by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1906. The breed name was changed in 1966 to ‘American Shorthair’. This name reinforces the thought that the American Shorthair is distinct and separate from cats that may be found roaming the streets or in a farm setting.

A non-pedigreed cat may resemble an American Shorthair, but the distinct difference is that a true American Shorthair will consistently produce kittens with the same physical proportions and markings of a true American Shorthair. Years of selective breeding guarantee that true American Shorthair cats will produce litters with characteristics specific to the breed.

American Shorthair Characteristics:
The American Shorthair is recognized in more than 80 different colors and patterns. These range from the tabby, with brown patches, to calico, silvers, cameos, white, smokes and more. Some are even shades of black or brown. The best known American Shorthair is the silver tabby, which has dense black markings on a silver background coat. Males most commonly weigh between 14 to 16 pounds, standing 12 to 14 inches high. Females most commonly weigh 10 to 16 pounds and stand 10 to 12 inches high.

The American Shorthair is an athletic cat, well known for its ‘mousing’ skills. They require very little maintenance, as they are generally naturally healthy. Annual vaccinations, checkups with a vet and a good diet help maintain the health of an American Shorthair. The average American Shorthair can live between 15 and 20 years.

Many American Shorthair cats have been recognized in the show ring on a national level, including two ‘Cat of the Year’ and one ‘Kitten of the Year’ by the CFA. Each year, American Shorthairs are often selected as ‘best in show’, and over a hundred become ‘Grand Champions’, ‘Grand Premier’s and ‘Distinguished Merit’ winners.

American Shorthair Personality:
American Shorthair cats are loving pets. They are easy-going and affectionate, even with strangers. They love human families, but are also happy being independent. The American Shorthair cat is the 8th most popular breed of cat in the world.