American Shorthair Cat portraitPortrait of an American Shorthair Cat

The American Shorthair cat is a robust, classically built cat with a beautiful, expressive face, full cheeks, broad ears, a muscular body and full, round paws. 

The American Shorthair cat is one of the oldest domestic companions in the New World.

This is the classic American cat, complete with a hearty build and game personality and a long history of domestication that can be traced back to the Mayflower.

These cats may well be direct descendants of European cats brought to America as early as the 1600's. 

The American shorthair and the British Shorthair still look very much alike, and have probably only developed differing characteristics in the last century as fashion influenced breeding. 

American shorthair cats are more long in the leg and a little leaner than the British Shorthair, and though the face of the American cat is somewhat flat, broad and round it is without the pronounced dish of the British breed. The coat is always short, dense and hard.

This is a cat of average activity level that enjoys a good mouse hunt indoors or out. 

Irreplaceable as the ideal form of rodent control, and a perfect domestic companion, the ancestors of today's American Shorthair were surely very similar in type and temperament to today's cats and the breed has stood the true test of time with a people pleasing personality, no-frills good looks and business-like attitude


American Shorthair cat descriptive wordsHow Do You Describe an American Shorthair Cat?
American Shorthair Cat-Stats

American Shorthair standing


American Shorthair

The personality of the American Shorthair cat is slightly sedate, usually quite pleasant, and very cat-like. 

This is the perfect pet for a busy house that might not always have the time to fuss. 

Hardy, long-lived and lovable, these cats will happily accept a lap at the end of the day, a chin scratching in the morning and peaceful co-existence thereafter.

A great choice for hard working singles, these cats are often very content to have some alone time and very warm, loving and understanding at the end of a hard day. 

American Shorthair cats love the outdoors so train them young to walk on a leash and harness. Nice! 

The American Shorthair cat is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world's largest cat organization, and is one of the most popular pure-bred or "pedigreed" domestic cat breeds. 

The breed can be traced back to the Mayflower where British type stock first stepped foot on American soil, but the American and British shorthairs are now two distinct breeds. 

The American Shorthair comes in any color or pattern with classic "tabby" or "tiger cat" patterns being by far the most common. The coat is short and stiff with a plush undercoat. Shedding may be high and regular grooming is desired. 

These are sturdy medium-sized cats that have few breed-related health issues.

Because it is relatively mellow and enjoys moderate interaction the American Shorthair cat is a nice family cat that does well with considerate children.

They do like their own space occasionally and greatly enjoy the outdoors. -American Shorthair Cat Facts

American Shorthair pairAmerican Shorthair pair
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Group of American Shorthair KittensGroup of American Shorthair Kittens!

American shorthair kittens tend to be just a little less rowdy than some other breeds. They are even-tempered, maybe a little shy, and may take a little time to adjust to a new environment.

They should be handled often to insure deep bonds with family members, and kept on a regular feeding schedule as they may tend to overeat.

Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten. 

High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these excitable youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong urge to explore.

In Appearance,  the American shorthair kitten looks somewhat like a miniature adult, but they tend to have a bit of "baby fuzz" that they loose at about six months, and their full size and weight may not be achieved till well into their first year.

Males may take longer to gain the bulk and the impressive jowls seen in the pure-bred American Shorthair cat.  

Although it is a very well-known breed, they are not always readily available, and if you are looking for a pedigree American shorthair kitten to buy, you may have to search a bit to find a reputable breeder.

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American shorthair face

Head: The head should be large, round, broad and well-developed. The cheeks should be full presenting a powerful look. There should be a slight concave or "dished" quality to the face. The muzzle is squarish but never compressed, with a strong, well-formed chin. 

Ears: The ears should not be unduly large, but medium in proportion to the head, broad at the base with rounded tip and good space between.

Eyes: The eyes should be large and round, widely spaced and bright and clear. In general, the eye color may be any, but there are specific eye color requirements for a few of the many coat colors which are important for show specimens.

Body and Tail: This should be a medium to large size cat that is slightly longer than it is tall with a powerful , broad body and deep, well-formed chest. A pad of fat on the abdomen is common for this breed and completely acceptable. The neck is short and stout. The legs are medium in length and well boned with a meaty quality. The feet are medium to large in size and round with five toes in front, four in back. The tail should be of medium length, tapered, and is usually carried level with the top line.

White American Shorthair catWhite American Shorthair cat

Coat:The coat is short and close-lying with moderate undercoat. A detailed and somewhat complicated number of colors and pattern varieties are accepted in the show ring, with corresponding requirements of markings and eye color, but in general, all patterns and colors are accepted, ticked or agouti type coats are not desirable.

Overall Appearance: This should be a robust, broad-faced and attractive animal with a natural, only slightly refined appearance, calm, sometimes reserved, but not timid. A lovely, classic domestic cat. 


Tabby American ShorthairTabby American Shorthair
  • The American Shorthair is a notoriously fine mouser
  • These cats were on board the Mayflower!
  • They kept the ships free of vermin
  • The American Shorthair can come in almost any color

Precious American Shorthair KittenPrecious American Shorthair Kitten

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