American Shorthair

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    History & Overview

    The American Shorthair was one of the first five pedigreed breeds recognized in the United States. Formerly known as the Domestic Shorthair, in 1966 the name American Shorthair was chosen to better represent this American cat and differentiate this native breed from any other shorthaired cats. The American Shorthair is recognized in more than eighty different colors and patterns. These cats are healthy, easy-going and affectionate.

    They are thought to be descendent from cats that were brought to the United States from different European countries. Thanks to natural selection, these cats evolved into a very robust, athletic, working cats. The breed originally was called Shorthair, then Domestic Shorthair. With time, domestic Shorthair became a term used to describe any shorthair cat. To avoid confusion, the name American Shorthair was adopted in 1966.


    The American Shorthair is described as healthy, versatile, friendly, intelligent, robust, good-natured and independent. They are very sociable, affectionate and adaptable cat. The American Shorthair gets along with dogs and other animals and loves children. Medium to large in size, and is known for its remarkable health and longevity.


    The American Shorthair is a medium to large in size. It has a firm, powerful body, the males showing a particularly well-developed chest and hindquarters. The American Shorthair is the working cat. It combines patience, stamina, and the qualities of a great hunter with total self-control.

    Its long, powerful limbs make the American Shorthair something of an all-terrain animal. At the same time, its solid muzzle pushes forward just enough to make grasping its prey in its firm, solid jaws and easy business. Its fur adapts well to all kinds of weather, being dense enough to protect it from cold, rain, wind and minor injuries, but short and fine enough not to get easily tangled or to catch in the undergrowth. 

    Its coat is short, glossy and very dense and can be of more than eight recognized colors and patterns, including the classic tabby pattern in silver, brown, red, or cream cameo.

    At A Glance:

    Breed Classification:



    Solid colors, bi-colors, tortoiseshell or calico and tabby. The most popular American Shorthair color is the silver tabby. Eye color may be gold, copper, green, hazel, blue, or odd-eyed (each eye is a different color).

    Average Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    15 – 18 Years


    According to breeders, American Shorthair makes excellent pets because of their gentle and affectionate nature. Very intelligent, they prefer toys that challenge their hunting and chasing instincts. They are well known for developing a devoted attachment to their owners.

    Grooming Requirements:

    These are low maintenance cats. Their short, dense coat needs to be combed two to three times a week to remove dead hair.

    Social skills:

    American Shorthair cats get along very well with other pets.

    Suitability for Children:

    They love children and are very gentle with them, even with small disrespectful kids.

    Energy Level:

    Moderately active, adjust easily to family lifestyle.


    Not very vocal. Their meows are very pleasant sounding.


    These are very healthy cats.



    Cause Allergies:


    Colors Recognized by CFA


    • Black
    • Blue
    • Cream
    • Red
    • White


    • Blue Chinchilla Silver
    • Blue Shaded Silver
    • Chinchilla Silver
    • Cream Shaded Cameo
    • Cream Shell Cameo
    • Shaded Cameo
    • Shaded Silver
    • Shell Cameo


    • Black Smoke
    • Blue Smoke
    • Blue-Cream Smoke
    • Cameo Smoke (Red Smoke)
    • Tortoiseshell Smoke


    • Classic, Mackerel and Patched Tabby patterns
    • Blue Silver Tabby (Pewter Tabby)
    • Blue Patched Tabby
    • Blue Silver Patched Tabby (Pewter Patched Tabby)
    • Blue Tabby
    • Brown Patched Tabby
    • Brown Tabby
    • Cameo Tabby
    • Cream Cameo Tabby (Dilute Cameo)
    • Cream Tabby
    • Red Tabby
    • Silver Patched Tabby
    • Silver Tabby

    SMOKE AND WHITE (including Vans):

    • Black Smoke and White
    • Blue Smoke and White
    • Shaded Cameo and White
    • Shell Cameo and White
    • Smoke Cameo and White
    • Tortoiseshell Smoke and White


    • Blue-Cream
    • Chinchilla Shaded Tortie
    • Dilute Chinchilla Shaded Tortie
    • Dilute Shaded Tortie
    • Shaded Tortie
    • Tortie


    • Bi-color
    • Calico
    • Dilute Calico
    • Van Bi-color
    • Van Calico


    • Blue Patched Tabby and White
    • Blue Tabby and White
    • Brown Patched Tabby and White
    • Brown Tabby and White
    • Cameo Tabby and White
    • Cream Tabby and White
    • Red Tabby and White
    • Silver Patched Tabby and White
    • Silver Tabby and White
    • Van Blue-Cream and White
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