American Shorthair Advantage and Challenges
American Shorthair Physical Characteristics
American Shorthair Personality
A popular breed, the American Shorthair - or ASH - looks very familiar to the average cat lover; of all the purebreds, the American Shorthair seems at first glance the most like the mixed-breed domestic cats that make up the majority of the kitty population. But make no mistake, the American Shorthair is a pedigree with as impressive a heritage as any more exotic purebred.
American Shorthair History and General Information
History and Origin
The American Shorthair is the original all-American cat, a working breed that came to this country on the Mayflower then stayed to help colonize the New World. Brought aboard ship with the pilgrims to hunt rats, this breed flourished alongside human pioneers, eventually establishing itself as the native North American shorthaired cat. Beautiful and affectionate, the American Shorthair breed is easygoing and came to be valued for its companionship as much as for its rat-catching skills. The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) officially recognized this cat as one of its first five registered breeds in 1906. When originally registered, the American Shorthair was called the Domestic Shorthair. The name was changed to American Shorthair in 1965 to avoid confusion with non-pedigreed shorthair cats.
The original all-weather cat, the American Shorthair's fur is short, dense and thick enough to protect against the elements. Grooming is relatively easy, usually requiring only a weekly combing with a sturdy steel cat comb. During the twice-yearly shedding seasons - fall and spring – more frequent combing might be a good idea to stay on top of all the excess hair.
American Shorthair Health
Generally, the American Shorthair is a hardy breed with few health problems, not surprising since the breed developed from strong domestic stock. The American Shorthair can typically live 15 -20 years with proper care and plenty of TLC. However, a few genetic weaknesses are known in this breed, including a serious heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathySelecting a qualified breeder or buying from a reputable pet store will help ensure that your American Shorthair will be free of hereditary purebred ailments. Maintaining your American Shorthair's proper weight and grooming requirements will also help insure its good health, along with regular checkups at the vet.
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