Cat Breeds

American Shorthair Advantage and Challenges


  • American Shorthairs are highly intelligent and affectionate
  • American Shorthairs are very athletic and independent
  • American Shorthairs arr easygoing and good with family members, kids and pets
  • American Shorthairs are also very quiet and softspoken


  • American Shorthairs can be lazy and prone to obesity
  • Freedom loving - American Shorthairs are not a cuddly lap cat
  • Are gifted hunters, whether you like it or not

American Shorthair Physical Characteristics


  • Medium/large


  • Shorthair


  • More than 80 colors and combinations, including the most popular silver tabby
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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.

Easygoing and laid-back, the American shorthair is the perfect pet for anyone wanting a cat that isn’t needy for attention, yet is still loyal and affectionate with its human companions. This cat doesn’t wants to cuddle, preferring to be near you but not on you – the American Shorthair enjoys your company but not your lap. No offense, it’s not that your lap isn’t a terrific place – it’s just that the American Shorthair prizes its freedom above all else. Give an American Shorthair the space it requires, and you’ll have a loyal, loving friend for life.

Known for its quiet voice and adaptable temperament, the American Shorthair is sociable, easily trained, and able to blend into most living situations.

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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.

Grooming requirements

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.

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American Shorthair Health

Health Ailments

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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American Shorthair Community

Your American Shorthair

Send us pictures and stories about your American Shorthair.

American Shorthair Discussion Group

Get tips from other American Shorthair lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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