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Science Diet - Vet's #1 Choice for Their Own Pets

A pleasant companion, the American Shorthair is a loving cat and will become attached to all members of the family.

     American Shorthair At a glance

Weight range:

Male: large: >12 lbs.
Female: medium: 8-12 lbs.

Eye color:

Blue, Copper, Green, Gold, Hazel, Odd-eyed


Tendency to Shed: Moderate


Length: Short
Characteristics: Straight
Colors: White, Blue, Black, Cream, Red, Silver, Golden, Brown, Cameo, Bluecream, Tortoiseshell, Chinchilla
Pattern: Solid color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Smoke, Shaded
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club recognition:

Cat Association Recognition:
Prevalence: So-so

The American Shorthair Cat Breed

The American Shorthair’s weight must be closely monitored and managed to guard against obesity.

The American Shorthair is a medium-sized cat, but he is a very powerful one. The cat is heavily muscled and has heavy boning. His rounded, thick appearance makes you realize that he will be heavy when you pick him up.

The American Shorthair is a powerful cat. All components of this cat should be well developed. He has a broad chest, a muscular neck, strong jaws and a well-developed muzzle. His legs are thick and strong. The cat looks like what he was originally meant to be, a cat to keep rodents out of the barn and the house. 

The coat of the American Shorthair is thick and dense. The coat becomes much longer and thicker during the winter. The texture of the coat is relatively hard as it is meant as protection for the cat.


The American Shorthair is a very pleasant companion cat. He is easy going and placid. The American is a loving cat and will attach himself to all members of the family. 

While the American loves to play, it doesn't need hourly attention. If the cat is in the mood to play, he will bring his guardian a toy. The American also plays well by himself. He is a very good companion for single people.

Living With:

The American Shorthair is a thick, muscular cat and his nutrition must be carefully controlled. Despite the heavy boning and musculature of the cat, you want to make certain that he keeps a proper weight and does not get out of condition. 

The American will play when he wants to play. He will find a toy or create one out of anything he finds if cat toy is not available. Interactive play may be necessary to keep the cat in good shape and make certain that he gets adequate exercise.

Daily brushing is important, especially during the change of seasons when the coat is thickening or thinning. Even this Shorthair cat can get knots in his coat if he isn't brushed regularly. 

The American Shorthair tolerates being left alone. He is an affectionate cat, but also spends time just sleeping in the sun. The American is an easy cat to care for and makes a wonderful, quiet companion.


The American Shorthair is considered to be the shorthaired cat that is native to the United States. However, this cat was bred out of cats that probably originated in Europe. Cats fitting the description of the American Shorthair were probably not native to the United States until the time of Columbus.

The first recorded breeding of the American Shorthair took place around 1904. The British Shorthair was one of the parents of this breed, which was originally known as the Domestic Shorthair.

The American Shorthair cat was a working cat that was used to keep the rodent population under control. Since this cat was meant to work, it was bred to be hardy, healthy and strong. Since most of them lived outdoors, the coat was cultivated to be thick to keep out the elements and keep the cat warm.