american shorthair cat breed

The popular American Shorthair is one of the favorite cat breeds among all cat lovers. With their beautiful eyes, vast array of possible colors and various patterns, they are simply too cute.

Because of their friendly personality and happy-go-lucky attitude, it’s no wonder why so many people fall for this lovable feline. If you ever have the chance to see and interact with an American Shorthair in person, you will never forget the experience.

american shorthair cat facts

American Shorthair Cat Facts

  • As the story goes, the American Shorthair was originally brought over on the Mayflower in 1620 to help protect the food from mice during the long, arduous ocean journey. After they arrived, the cat was again utilized for ridding many farm houses of rats and mice.
  • There was a famous American Shorthair that lived in the White House. George Bush had a pet cat named India roaming the halls during the entire 8 year term of his presidency.
  • Because American Shorthairs are such fantastic hunters, they have been seen in grocery stores keeping their food stock safe and free of mice or other small rodents.
  • Despite their name, the American Shorthair actually originated in Western Europe. They were brought to America on ships in the late 17th century by sailors and settlers. After more than 300 years of selective breeding, their name was eventually changed in 1966 to distinguish them from the common Domestic Shorthair cats.
  • Having an easygoing personality and cute looks, the American Shorthair continually ranks in the top 10 most popular cat breeds according to the Cat Fanciers Association.
  • Since they first arrived on U.S. shores, the American Shorthair has been designated the “working cat” thanks to its reputation of being an exceptional hunter of rats and mice.
american shorthair features

Physical Features

  • Lifespan: Normally 12-18 years but can live up to 20+ years in some cases.
  • Weight: Males range between 12 and 15 lbs. while females are from 8 to 11 lbs.
  • Body Type: Stocky, compact, and muscular build.
  • Eye Color: gold, green, blue, hazel, copper
  • Coat Color: Available in most colors and various patterns.
  • Shedding: Low to moderate with Spring and Fall being heaviest.
american shorthair personality

Personality Traits

  • Activity Level: From completely docile to their playful moments, the American Shorthair is neither high energy or a lazy bum. Middle-of-the-road would be a somewhat accurate description of this cat. Just enough action to keep them playful and interesting as well as adequate down time where they give you space to collect your thoughts.
  • Breed Intellect: The American Shorthair can be a very creative cat when it comes to keeping themselves occupied when you’re not around. Anything can become a play toy like a bottle cap, piece of candy, or even a paper ball. They enjoy interactive games and puzzles which also challenge their minds. Learning tricks comes easy for them as well.
  • Temperament: This is one of the main reasons the American Shorthair is so popular within the world of cat lovers. They are so incredibly friendly and totally laid-back along with not being too rambunctious and certainly never clingy. They are the purrfect cat.
  • Attention Needs: While this cat loves your recognition and engaging playtime, the American Shorthair is just as happy keeping itself entertained with other various activities. There is no need to amuse this feline 24/7 although, spending some time with her or him is sincerely appreciated and deeply fulfilling for your furry friend.
  • Caring Nature: If you’re looking for a cuddly lap cat that you can pickup and hold, the American Shorthair might not be the best choice. Because of their independent nature, this breed doesn’t exhibit the typical desire of constant companionship however, it is thankful for your understanding and enjoys petting or a good chin scratching too.
  • Vocal Tendency: This breed is relatively quiet compared to a Siamese but will let you know when they’re hungry with an enthusiastic meow or three.
  • Kids Compatible: This versatile cat will be an excellent playtime companion for your children as long as they don’t mistreat or mishandle it, otherwise, they will need to be supervised until they are taught proper feline etiquette.
  • Tolerates Pets: As long as the other cat or dog is friendly, the American Shorthair will do just fine. Simply remember to introduce a new kitty gradually to your other pets.
  • Stranger-Friendly: With the American Shorthair being a bit of a social butterfly, he or she will look forward to mingling with family members, friends and all your guests.

Health and Well-Being

Ideal Living Situation

With the American Shorthair being extremely adaptable to any environment, living with a family in a large home or residing at a small apartment with someone who is single works equally well for this breed.

Whether you have a very busy household or plenty of free time on your hands, this cat will be the purrfect companion.

Possible Health Problems

Fortunately, the American Shorthair is generally a healthy cat.

The most common concern for this breed is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart wall. It is a hereditary genetic disorder but that doesn’t mean every cat will have this. Luckily there are medicines and treatments to alleviate the symptoms.

Obesity may also be a problem so simply keep this cat on a healthy diet and all should be fine.

Annual Vaccinations

There are four core vaccines and one non-core option available for all cats.

The first essential vaccine would be Rabies which is a fatal disease if exposed to it.

The second inoculation (FVRCP) is a combination of the remaining three core vaccines in one. This covers Feline Herpesvirus 1 or FHV-1 which is an upper respiratory infection, Feline Calicivirus or FCV which attacks the upper respiratory tract, and the final is Feline Panleukopenia Virus or FPV (also known as Feline Distemper) which is life threatening and extremely dangerous for young cats and kittens.

You can get the optional non-core vaccine Feline Leukemia Virus or FeLV. This is considered a core vaccine for every kitten. Make an appointment with your local vet to discuss and schedule all these vaccinations.

Grooming Routine

When caring for cats, there are four specific areas which need regular attention.

Weekly brushing is the minimum required to keep their fur healthy and shiny. This also helps distribute natural body oils, remove dead hair, and eliminate matted fur.

When the nails are getting a little too sharp and ripping furniture or carpet, it’s time to trim them. Be sure not to trim off too much of each nail as this can cause pain.

Cats are prone to periodontal disease and gingivitus so brushing their teeth with veterinarian-approved toothpaste once or twice a week should suffice. You can also give them dental treats to clean their teeth in between brushing.

Finally, you’ll want to address the ears. While cats have a built-in mechanism for cleansing their inner ear canals, the visible portion of their ears should occasionally be very gently swabbed to remove foreign matter.

Please consult a veterinarian for the proper procedures when grooming your cat.

Feeding Advice

Cats are known as obligate carnivores or strict meat eaters. Their diets should primarily consist of high protein and a few fats.

While carbohydrates are not usually a part of feline nutrition, scientists have concluded they are able to be used for energy in small amounts. On the other hand, if a cat is continuously fed too many carbs, diabetes can actually develop later in their life.

When choosing a wet or dry food, you need to read the caloric information labels to ensure your cat is being fed the appropriate nutrient levels.

Normally, wet foods should contain around 70% to 80% moisture as cats from past feral generations obtained most of their liquids from the animals they killed and ate.

Proteins are ideal when they’re between 10% and 20% in grain-free wet food. Seafood varieties are typically the highest in protein.

Two of the best dry food formulas on the market would be Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet with High Protein and Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food. These specially made dry food products include healthy amounts of prepared raw meats, some needed fats, and minimal carbohydrates.

Exercise Tips

You should plan to play with your cat at least 15 minutes everyday, although, more is encouraged with certain active breeds.

Feather toys and laser pointers are a great choice to keep them moving. This helps relieve their boredom and reduces the chance for depression as well.

For a really cheap play session, simply buy a ball of string. Cut off a ten foot section at a time and drag it around the house behind you. Your kitties will love attacking the end of the string! Big fun for a small price.

Catnip is another way to offer an edible distraction in their lives. Don’t worry, the effects typically wear off in about 15 minutes or so.

One of the best items you can acquire for exercise would be a cat tree or cat condo. This is basically a jungle gym for cats which provides a place for climbing, relaxing, and sharpening their claws instead of using your furniture.

There are a couple other alternatives including an exercise wheel, which can be somewhat expensive, and a simple body harness with a leash for outdoor walks. Your cat may or may not like this option but, you can give it a try.

american shorthair cat price

American Shorthair Cat Price

The American Shorthair price can range anywhere from $500 to $2000 or possibly more.

Pedigreed kittens who have average physical features and a normal bloodline will typically sell for $500 to $1000.

Kittens that come from a champion lineage will normally cost $1000 to $2000 with extraordinary breeding specimens running even more if you prefer perfection in the breed.

It’s possible to adopt an American Shorthair cat for charges between $30 and $175 however, these will likely be mixed breeds. 

american shorthair breeders

Registered American Shorthair Breeders

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