American shorthair cat: characteristics and photos

American shorthair: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The American Shorthair is a medium-sized, strong and...

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The American Shorthair is a medium-sized, strong and athletic cat. This cat arrived on the American continent about 400 years ago by settlers from England, who used it to fight against parasites. It began to be selectively bred at the beginning of the 20th century. It has a long life expectancy and is a he althy, powerful, very friendly cat that adapts to everything, affectionate, playful and independent. Its coat is short and can be solid, bicolor or tricolor, although the most common is the silver and black tabby with yellow eyes.

Continue reading this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal in which you will discover all the characteristics of the American shorthair, its origin, its character, its care, its he alth and where to adopt one!


  • America
  • United States

FIFe Rating

  • Category III

Physical Characteristics

  • Thin tail
  • Strong


  • Average

Average Weight

  • 5-6

Life expectancy

  • 15-18


  • Affectionate
  • Smart
  • Calm
  • Shy


  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short

Origin of the American Shorthair

" The American Shorthair is believed to be an American breed, originating in the United States, where breeding began in 1906, when the name was changed from domestic shorthair to American shorthair, because the old name also included cats without a pedigree."

However, it is likely that before the first American settlers, there were no such cats on the continent, since the ancestors of the current American shorthair are those who accompanied the first Europeans on the American continent. These cats were mostly British shorthairs and were used to control rodent pests on boats and in villages.For this reason, they could be descended from English cats such as the British Shorthair.

Characteristics of the American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is a medium-sized cat, weighing 3 to 6 kg and measuring 30 to 35 cm. Females are smaller than males. He has a strong, muscular body, but with a light build, medium bone, broad chest, medium legs and medium sized tail.

The American Shorthair's head is large, with a strong jaw, a large square muzzle, a firm, well-developed chin and a medium nose which gives it a concave profile with a slight stop. Her ears are medium sized and rounded and her eyes are lively, bright, alert and match the coat.

Colors of the American Shorthair

The coat of the American Shorthair, as its name suggests, is short, thick, hard and uniform. As for coat colors, most breed clubs will accept any color, but the most common color is silver spotted.The colors of the American Shorthair are:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Red
  • Black Smoke
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Tabby
  • Two-tone with black, blue, cream or red
  • Tricolor (calico)
  • Speckled Silver
  • Tortoiseshell

American shorthair character

The American Shorthair is a calm, affectionate, independent, playful cat who is fearful of strangers at first, but who, once he has confidence, is very friendly. In other words, although he is an affectionate cat who appreciates and asks for cuddles and pats from those who take care of him, he also needs time alone.

He is a cat with a great capacity for adaptation, very tolerant to different types of situations, environments and animals.

The American Shorthair is a very quiet cat, but he never misses an opportunity to play, which is also a good thing because it increases his physical activity and helps prevent overweight, which he tends to suffer from .

Caring for an American Shorthair

The American Shorthair requires care that isn't much different than any other type of short-haired cat, purebred or otherwise. Starting with coat care, you should brush it about three times a week. However, during the moulting period, which occurs mainly in spring and autumn, the frequency must be increased to every day and a half to eliminate dead hair which can be ingested during daily grooming and create hairballs which can end up obstructing the digestive tract. On the other hand, areas of the body such as the ears, teeth and eyes must also be kept clean in order to prevent infections and inflammations which can deteriorate the cat's quality of life.

The litter box should be cleaned daily to prevent buildup of urine and feces. Scratching posts and other environmental enrichment stimuli should be placed around the home to keep the American Shorthair entertained and mentally active, especially when alone. When guardians are home, they should also make it a point to play with these cats.

Finally, you must also watch out for his diet. The diet of these cats must be complete, balanced and designed for the feline species, as this is the only way to ensure that the feline is getting all the nutrients necessary to maintain its he alth. The daily amount should be adapted to individual conditions, such as physiological state, activity level, age, diseases and climate. In general, cats are gluttonous and gain weight easily. They can easily become obese, which has serious consequences for their he alth.Find out in this other article What cats eat!

American shorthair he alth

The American Shorthair has a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years, making it a long-lived breed. However, with regard to this last point, it seems that over the years many cats of this breed have developed a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

This heart disease is characterized by thickening of the heart muscle, which leads to a reduction in the total volume that enters the dilated heart chamber, which also reduces the volume of blood that the heart pumps to the body with each contraction. As a result, affected cats show symptoms like heart failure, thromboembolism (or blockage of flow in a blood vessel due to a thrombus or blood clot) and hypertension. It is important that cats with this disease are not in a breeding process, since it is a hereditary disease, the treatment of which is difficult and laborious.

On the other hand, to maintain the he alth of this feline breed in the best conditions, it is important to visit the veterinarian regularly and don't forget to respect the vaccination and deworming schedule.

Where to adopt an American Shorthair?

An American Shorthair can be easy to adopt, especially if you are in the Americas. You can ask local shelters if they have a specimen or search for cat rescue associations of this breed on the Internet. It is true that the American Shorthair is a wonderful companion, but so are all other cats for adoption. Cats, whether purebred or not, have the same needs for love, care and affection. We therefore encourage you to adopt taking into account your lifestyle and the character of the cat, rather than whether it is purebred or not.

Pictures of American shorthair

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