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American Shorthair Cat Breed… Everything That You Need to Know at a Glance!

American Shorthair Cat Breed

When it comes to the American Shorthair, these little guys are just about as “American” as it gets.  As one of the first “settlers” to arrive to the new world, these little guys have a long history of being one of American’s first really good “mousers”.

And while…

It’s almost impossible to grow up in the United States as a cat lover without at one point owning an American Shorthair, we wanted to take a moment and “examine” this cat breed a bit closer, so that if you are considering either purchasing a new cat, or better yet, adopting a rescue cat for your home, you’ll have a better idea why you should include the American Shorthair on the top of your list of cat breeds to consider.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

American Shorthair Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Size:  Medium to Large

Weight:  9 to 12 pounds

Eyes:  Round eyes (colors can vary)

Head Shape:  Round

Life Span:  15 to 20 years

Origins of the American Shorthair

Although nowadays the American Shorthair has found its place as a domesticated companion animal, this was not always the case. In fact, it was their ability to adapt to most environments and help eliminate and control the local rodent population where ever they were that helped them “earn” the place on the “farm” and why the early American settlers choose to bring them along on the long and difficult voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

You see…

These little guys where among some of the first cats ever to travel from Western Europe to the new world back in the early 17th century.  And while the American Shorthair certainly is a “fine” looking animal, they’re weren’t brought to the Americas for their looks alone, they were brought to America because they were excellent “mousers”.

Over the centuries…

These “original immigrant” cats were slowly interbreed within the United States to begin to take on their own unique “traits,” which varied from their earlier European ancestors. That is why they eventually became known as their own separate and unique cat breed.

That said, it wasn’t until 1906 that the cat breed was “officially” recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, and then even further defined as a “separate breed” apart from other shorthair domestic cats back in 1966.

Characteristics of the American Shorthair

Now, in all fairness, we have to admit that the American Shorthair is not the most “agile” of all cats.  This is because these “fellas” tend to be a bit more “big boned” than other cats their size.

You see…

Rather than being lean and agile, the American Shorthair tend to be more “stocky” or muscle bound.  But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a speed runner when he wants to be.

And while…

The average adult male will only grow to be no more than 12 pounds per healthy cat, and they tend to look squat and broad regardless of how “large” they get.

A look that is…

Only further accentuated by the fact that they have wide ears that have a little crease on the outer ear known traditionally as the Scottish Fold.  The Scottish Fold is a trait shared by short tailed cats such as the Cornish Rex, the American Bobtail, the Kurilian Bobtail and the Japanese Bobtail.

Color variations…

When it comes to colors, it’s pretty safe to say that the American Shorthair can and will come in just about every color you can imagine.  That said, this breed is specifically nicknamed the ‘tabby cat’ because most American Shorthairs will possess the classic “tabby” fur pattern.

But it’s important to note that…

While the “tabby” pattern is the most common coat pattern associated with the American Shorthair, it is not the only “accepted” coat markings for this breed.

In fact…

There are eight different recognized markings, the more famous of which are the color point short hair, shaded and silver classic tabby. The color pointed is a trait shared by a few other species, but that is perhaps made most famous by the coat patterns of the Siamese cat.

Personality and Temperament of the American Shorthair

One of the first things that you’re going to notice about an American Shorthair cat or kitten is that these guys like to play a lot.  And while they may not always be the “best” cat to try and keep in the same house with a dog, they are perfect companions for any child of any age.  They also tend to be a bit “shy” around strangers.


The American Shorthair is a cat that “tends” to like to be around folks but not necessarily sitting in their lap all day.  They’ll be more than happy to play with you for a while and have a “purr” that will “rock the house” when they are happy, but these guys aren’t going to “rely” on you for entertainment.

They are…

Perfectly content relaxing on their own, creating their own adventures both inside and outside the home. They just like to know you’re around in case they would like to have their chin rubbed.

These are the kinds…

Of cats that make dog lovers crazy since they don’t “need” the attention of their owners, and make cat owners who don’t want to constantly have to entertain their pets thrilled, because these guys provide the perfect amount of affection and “self-reliance.”

That said…

It should be pointed out that these guys do have a thick coat of hair, so unless you want everything that you own to be covered in fur, we would recommend that you give them a good “brush down” ever other day or so.

American Shorthair Health Issues

Overall, the American Shorthair or “tabby” is a reasonably healthy breed.  Now, they have picked up a few health concerns over the generations, so if you are thinking about purchasing an American Shorthair kitten you should familiarize yourself with them before committing to a particular cat or choosing a particular breeder.


Let’s just cover some of the most common medical conditions that could affect an American Shorthair cat/kitten which can include:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is a serious heart condition that can cause your cats heart to become enlarged.
  • As well as hip dysplasia, which is a problem whereby the hip socket becomes malformed and may be incredibly painful without an operation.

And while…

Your new American Shorthair will probably never develop one of these conditions, it’s important that you be aware of them and be sure that you choose an American Shorthair breeder that actively breeds in a responsible manner, so as to best reduce these risks in their litters.


Since you’re already thinking about the health of your new kitten, we here at IndulgeYourPet also think it would be a good idea to also take a moment and consider the possibility of purchase a pet insurance policy for your little guy as well.

Because right now…

There’s a really good chance that he or she would be able to qualify for a really affordable pet insurance policy that could save you quite a bit of money if your pet ever develops a serious medical condition, or suffers from a serious injury later on in life.

Now will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?

No, of course not, but that doesn’t mean that a pet insurance policy might no be “right” for you!  For more information about who we “feel” is currently offering some of the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now, we would invite you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Yoseph February 22, 2021, 10:51 am

    It is one of me favorite cats yet I want to know how much one would cost for sale, and how much one would cost for adoption?

  • Nat July 29, 2021, 6:31 pm

    cool! They are cute cats. I am amusing my cat is one or he’s a domestic shorthair.

    • Garyt November 24, 2021, 1:01 am

      I think you meant to say “assuming rather than amusing”.

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