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Facts & Traits of American Shorthair Cats

Are you a cat lover looking for a new feline friend? Have you considered American Shorthair Cats? These cats are not only adorable, but they also have a fascinating history and unique traits.

American Shorthairs are one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds in the United States, and they have a rich lineage that dates back to the colonial era.

They were originally bred to be working cats. They are skilled hunters and were used for keeping rodents at bay on farms and ships.

In this article, we’ll explore the facts and traits of American Shorthair cats, including their history, physical characteristics, personality, and care needs.

By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of whether an American Shorthair is the right cat for you.

Facts & Traits of American Shorthair Cats

The American Shorthair is Considered a Pedigree Cat

The American Shorthair has strict conformation standards as outlined by the North American cat fancier association including the international cat association (tica) and the cat fanciers association.

Interestingly, all North American cat registries accept this cat breed as a true breed.

They were originally called the domestic shorthair. However, they were renamed to American shorthair in 1966 to give credit for having full “all-American” origins.

This process helped it to differentiate itself from the other shorthair cat breeds.

The name “American shorthair” also gives added credibility to the fact that this cat breed is relatively special and unique compared to the other cat breeds found in North America.

Intriguingly, these cats are commonly called “working cats”.

This is because they played a vital role in helping in pest control to control rodent infestation on farms and ships in earlier times.

The American shorthair (domestic shorthair at the time) was among the first five cat breeds to be accepted by the CFA in 1906.

It was their unique athletic and muscular bodies and bold dense coats that initially led people to be attracted to them and make them domestic pets.

Their high level of intelligence and affection also played a vital role in them entering the homes of Americans and the world at large.

Physical Appearance of the American Shorthair Cat

Even though they are not actively involved in sports, the American shorthair is athletically built.

Their powerful stature showcases a lot of stamina. And based on feedback from the cat fanciers association, this breed is good at working hard.

Ears: They feature a round face with very short ears.

Eyes: The American Shorthair breed has a variety of eye colors, including blue, copper, green, gold, hazel, and odd-eyed variations. Their eyes are notable for their size and placement, being large and wide-set.

Coat: Their colors vary and can be found in over eighty different colors and patterns such as shaded silver, brown-patched tabby, and calico.

You may even come across a few that are black, sable, chocolate, brown, and lilac.

Their coat length is short and could be anywhere between blue/gray, white, chocolate/brown, black/ebony, and cream/tan.

The shorthair’s coat patterns could also be anywhere from solid to bi-color, tabby, tri-color, or tabby.

A good thing about them is that they are low maintenance which is always a plus with pet parents.

They are also good with their family and do amazingly well with strangers.

Weight: If you opt for a male cat, you will realize they are relatively heavier than the females.

Male cats can go anywhere up to 15 pounds once they are fully grown.

As for the females, when fully grown, they can go anywhere from six to twelve pounds.

Girl laying on her back and kissing the head of an American Shorthair cat

Their Characteristics and Personalities

The American shorthair and the regular domestic shorthair may have some similarities but they are relatively different.

As for the American shorthair, they are known to be the reliable type that can be friendly and show loads of affection.

For a cat that was solely bred for work-related duties, they do have lots of emotions and a great personality.

The American Shorthair breed has a special love for its family and enjoys the love of being in the company of younger humans.

They are quite easygoing, flexible, and entertaining fur babies.

Doing well with children is one of their specialties as they are patient, tolerant, and adaptable. However, they all have their other likes and dislikes like every other kind of animal.

They love getting attention but are not demanding about wanting constant attention as they are mainly the quiet type. 

Are There Any Health Concerns?

Every animal has their little drawbacks when it comes to its health but some do not have as many as others.

With the American shorthair, their ancestry has made them a healthy breed and their bloodline is quite strong.

This cat breed can live anywhere from 15-20 years and is not troubled by many breed-related illnesses.

However, there are some illnesses their parents have to watch out for such as a special heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

It is the most common form of heart disease in cats, a condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken abnormally.

It is highly important that whenever American shorthair cats are bred, they get screened for any potential traits of this health issue.

Also, it is important to do regular blood work on your cats.

Obesity is another issue that these cats might be prone to.

If you are unsure, you may want to speak with your vet about a diet plan and how you need to feed your cat to avoid this issue.

Also, you can talk to your vet about regular vaccination.

Spaying or neutering your cat is another way to help your fur baby stay healthy.

After all, just as much as you take care of your health, you ought to do the same for your feline babies.

American Shorthair cat sleeping in a round pet bed

Are American Shorthair Cats Shedders? 

Like any other animals, American shorthairs do shed but not as heavily as some others.

However, you can minimize shedding by daily brushing or at minimum weekly brushing their coats.

Regular brushing will help to get rid of the dead hair that may be sticking around.

Also, this will help to redistribute skin oils to help keep their coat shiny.

How Are They Likely to Behave?

One of the most notable traits of American Shorthair cats is their love of play and activity.

They enjoy playing with interactive or puzzle toys, chasing laser pointers, and climbing on the furniture or a cat tree. They also love cat scratching posts just like any other cat and this DIY Cactus scratching post is so cute!

However, they are also content to curl up on a lap for a nap.

These cats are also known for their intelligence and are easy to train.

They can learn tricks and respond well to positive reinforcement.

American Shorthair cats are also very adaptable and can adjust to different lifestyles and environments, making them great apartment pets.

Overall, American Shorthair cats are friendly, playful, and adaptable pets that make great companions for families and individuals alike.

Closeup of a beautiful shorthair cat

In Conclusion

American Shorthair cats are truly one-of-a-kind and a beloved breed.

With their friendly personalities, gentle nature, low-maintenance grooming needs, and impressive lifespan, it’s no wonder they’re such a popular breed.

Whether you’re looking for a new furry friend or just curious about these fascinating felines, one thing is for sure: American Shorthairs are a joy to have around and make excellent companions!


Saturday 28th of October 2023

Have 2 of my short hairs on my lap

Anne Perry

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

My cat loves treats and string.


Wednesday 6th of September 2023

The vast majority of my cats have just shown up - so not a whole lot went into "selecting" them (ROFL)


Saturday 12th of August 2023

The facts are very intriguing!

Marisela Zuniga

Wednesday 28th of June 2023

I've always liked short haired cats more. Thanks for this information

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