Domestic Shorthair Cat Breed — Facts and Personality Traits

Friendly, playful, and agreeable are just a few of the words that describe the Domestic shorthair cat personality. They're furry friends that are a welcome addition to busy and calm households alike.

Domestic Shorthair Cat at a Glance
Playful domestic shorthair cat biting into a pink ribbon.

Weight range:

Male: >7 kgs.
Female: >5 kgs.

Eye color:

Green, blue, gold, hazel


Longevity Range: 15-20 years
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: Low


Length: Short
Characteristics: Sleek, soft
Colors: Various
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club recognition:

Cat Association Recognition:
Prevalence: Common

The Domestic shorthair comes in a wide array of colors, sizes, and statures, though they tend to be medium-sized and muscular. They have short, sleek coats and round heads and paws. Because of their mixed parentage, Domestic Shorthairs don't tend to be at-risk for any unusual health complications.

Animal Planet affectionately refers to Domestic shorthair cats as the mutts of the cat world because they're a mix of various breeds, resulting in a vast range of markings, colors, and personalities. With endless color and pattern combinations, they are a rainbow of cat cuddles.

enerally speaking, she falls into the medium category for height and weight, and much like her purebred, pedigreed relative, the American shorthair, the Domestic shorthair cat has a muscular build with a round face and eyes. Because she is of mixed ancestry, a Domestic may also be smaller or larger in stature, depending on her genetic makeup.

The World Cat Federation (WCF) notes that Domestics should have a balanced, solid body structure, with a head, nose, and ears that are proportionate to her body. But, as a trip to your local shelter will confirm, household cats come in many shapes and sizes.


TMuch like her color and pattern varieties, the Domestic shorthair cat personality spans a vast territory. Domestics can be playful, affectionate, quiet, vocal, docile, or calm—but are often social, points out Trupanion. She is not an aggressive cat by nature, which makes her a terrific companion for children and seniors, and, with a proper introduction period, she's a great playmate for cats, dogs and other pets.

The Domestic Shorthair is considered a working cat because of her endurance skills, such as balancing and leaping, as well as her superb hunting instinct. These characteristics are often reflected in her playful personality.

She'll need an outlet for all this energy, so provide her with a safe perch from which she can observe the great outdoors and practice her balance and agility skills. She'll want to keep an eye on the birds in the garden and on her pet parents in the living room at the same time. With her keen sense of surroundings, the Domestic also knows when it's a good time to curl up in the nearest available lap for an afternoon snooze.

Living With:

Various colored kittens sitting on a blue bedspread.

As noted, the Domestic has an easy-going personality, but she does need an outlet for her cat instincts, such as hunting. Therefore, it's important to keep her occupied with creative cat toys like feather toys, jingly balls to roll around the house, and even an empty cardboard box in which to play hide-and-seek. A fun scratching post offers a place to trim her claws (scratching is a necessary and instinctual behavior for cats), and it is a great alternative to the fabric on your couch.

National Geographic shares that these hunting skills are particularly effective at night, when their light-reflecting eyes allow them to see better than much of their prey. Cats also enjoy acute hearing. Because of this inherently strong pattern of behavior, your household kitty may be quite active at night, but try to keep in mind that it's just part of her nature to wake you up at 4 a.m. to ask for a snack.

The Domestic Shorthair requires minimal care and is not predisposed to disease or other illnesses. However, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals emphasizes that they may be prone to overeating, which can lead to obesity and the constellation of health problems related to carrying extra pounds. Choose a healthy cat food that will provide her with the nutrition she needs to live a happy, energetic life.

It's important to maintain a routine grooming schedule for your furry friend. Regular trimming of claws and brushing of teeth will keep your kitty in tip-top shape, along with regular brushing with a rubber or stainless steel comb or brush. In addition to yearly check-ups with your veterinarian, establishing a maintenance routine with your kitty from an early age will help make it a stress-free process for both of you. With proper care, the Domestic Shorthair cat can live up to twenty years.


The Domestic Shorthair cat can trace its roots back to the early days of pioneer settlement in North America and were considered working cats because of their dedicated rat-catching. Healthy and rugged, it's easy to see why the Domestic became a favorite of early settlers. In exchange for room and board, the cats worked hard to keep barns and food storage facilities free from rats and other pests (and, thereby, keeping their human families free from disease). That's how the Domestic ended up on the voyage ships to North America. These kitties were amiable and inexpensive labor. All they ask for in return is a good meal, a warm bed, and some love from their humans.

Despite remaining a non-pedigreed cat, the Domestic Shorthair is accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) in the Household Pets category, where she can compete for the Grand Household Pet of the year award. Household pets are judged in one group without regard to sex, coat length, age, or color, explains the CFA. They are judged instead for their uniqueness, pleasing appearance, unusual markings, and sweet dispositions. This means that, despite not being purebred, your fur baby can have her chance in the spotlight after all.

If you are looking for a loving, friendly kitty with whom to share your life, you'll find that the Domestic Shorthair is an ideal pet, no matter her pedigree.