THE AMERICAN SHORTHAIR CAT

The American Shorthair is a domesticated cat breed that originated in Europe, and was brought over by early settlers. This cat breed was a ratter used to protect cargo on ships from mice. This is a pedigreed cat breed that is accepted by all North American cat registries.

Brief History

The American Shorthair sailed with sailors from Europe to North America. Many travelled on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims and interbred. They developed special traits to survive the U.S climate and lifestyle. By the beginning of the 20th century, a selective breeding program stipulated the American Shorthair breed standards. This breed was first named the Domestic Shorthair. This changed in 1966 when it was changed to the American Shorthair. This breed is a working cat breed, since it originally was used to kill mice on board ships.

Physical Features

The American Shorthair has a round face and short ears, a well-built body, a strong chest, powerful shoulders and hindquarters. The coat can be one of eighty colors and patterns ranging from brown tabby to a shady silvery coloring. Many American Shorthairs will have black or brown coloring. Eye color can be green, gold, hazel, blue, copper, or odd-eyed. By 2012 this cat breed was the seventh most popular cat breed in the U.S.

Average Height:

8-10 inches

Average Weight:

6-15 pounds

Life Expectancy:

15-20 years

Temperament

The American Shorthair is relaxed and enjoys being pampered. This breed thrives with lots of cuddles and cute cat toys. This cat breed is laid back, low maintenance, and loves to hunt and sunbathe. Early socialization during kittenhood helps all cats get along with guests and other animals. This cat breed is very affectionate, and does well with indoor living.

This cat breed is easy to live with, as they are not overly vocal or quirky. Positive clicker training with rewards works best with the cat to prevent excessive scratching in the wrong places. This breed learns quickly, and is wonderful to live with. Providing your cat with scratching posts, clean litter boxes, stimulating and safe cat toys, help to ensure a well-balanced and happy cat.

american shorthair cat

Possible Health Concerns

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disorder where the heart walls of the left ventricle thicken. This is a common primary heart disease in cats. It tends to get noticed at around 3 months to 17 years of age. Most cats will be middle aged when this disorder occurs. This disorder tends to affect males more than females, and it is an inherited genetic defect. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs. Fluid may also accumulate in the lungs, and in the space between the lungs and chest wall. Veterinary treatment will aim at improving cardiac function, and reducing blood clots. There is a good longterm outlook for mildly affected cats. 

Grooming

The American Shorthair needs daily brushing. This cat breed sheds moderately.

Healthy cats need minimal bathing with a gentle cat shampoo. Your cat will need dental care as well. Small and frequent effective hygiene habits will make a big difference in maintaining healthy skin, healthy teeth, and good overall health. Look for environmentally safe pet products that have natural ingredients.

The American Shorthair is a laid back cat breed that enjoys being indoors, and around family. This cat does well with either apartment living or home living. 

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