The American shorthair (the purebred form of the common domestic shorthair) is a direct descendent of European cats imported to America in the early 1600s. It was initially valued for its remarkable ability to guard grain crops against rodents and mice. These cats were chosen and raised solely for their hunting abilities. However, their small athletic physique and brightly coloured thick coats began to capture the attention of pet enthusiasts over time. Because these creatures were also clever and loving, they soon became popular with the general population in the United States, who started to welcome them into their homes. American shorthairs are a medium-sized cat breed with a thick coat that needs minimal care to keep it gleaming. Here’s all you need to know about the American shorthair cat whether you’re searching for a new family cat or just want to learn more about this breed.
The adage “shape follows function” has never been more accurate than with the American shorthair breed. That’s because this beautiful and athletic breed was bred to be the ideal pest deterrent. The American shorthair is the ultimate illustration of feline beauty, with a wide chest, well-muscled body, powerful jaws, and thick neck.
The American shorthair is a medium- to large-sized cat breed with a thick, dense coat that thickens over the winter months. Their short, tight coats need little grooming. White, blue, black, cream, red, silver, golden, brown, cameo, and chinchilla are some of the American shorthair hues. Calico, solid, bi-colour, tabby, smoky, tortoiseshell, and shaded patterns are all options. The most frequent and prized colour patterns are brown or silver tabby. The colour of the eyes varies depending on the coat colour, although they may be green, blue, copper, gold, hazel, or odd-eyed (each eye of a different colour). Unlike their domestic shorthair cousins, which come in a range of styles and body types, purebred American shorthair cats all look the same.
American shorthairs have a very charming and loving disposition for a cat species that was created only to hunt rats and mice. They like being with their family and are even content to be carried around by children. American shorthair cats are renowned for being laid-back and gentle while yet being inquisitive enough to keep you entertained. They’re also OK with other furry members of the family as long as they’re properly introduced. American shorthairs like being seen, but they aren’t pushy about it and are usually calm.
The American shorthair is a versatile breed that can adapt to any environment. After all, they began their lives on ships and farms, so any nice apartment or house would suffice. They are a smart species that loves both interactive games and conventional cat toys like felt mice, plastic balls, and fishing teasers. The American shorthair, like other breeds, will love climbing on a cat tree or relaxing on a cushioned shelf near a sunny window. When it’s not out exploring, an American shorthair is quite content to take a cat sleep on your bed or on your lap. This breed is happy to be left alone and will not damage your house if you leave it alone for the day.
The fact that the American Shorthair has a short, thick coat does not excuse you from grooming it. A weekly brushing will remove dead hair, grime, and any possible mats, particularly if your cat is losing its winter coat. These cats have thicker coats due to the changing seasons. Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, Cat Groomer, and author of Fundamentally Feline, Ingrid Johnson, employs a unique brushing method. “I comb very aggressively” for this breed, she adds. “Then I agitate the coat by combing backwards; that takes a lot of the coat out,” she adds. She recommends grooming your cat on a regular basis. “It’s a lot more comfortable for the cat if you keep his coat clean,” she adds.
Because they can be self-entertaining when necessary, American shorthairs don’t need much additional social care. Otherwise, they are quite sociable, and when you have guests around, an American shorthair will gladly wander about the house as if it owned it. (Let’s face it, all cats “own” their living quarters.)
If you have generations of working cats in your family tree, you may be certain that this cat has developed into a tough, robust breed. The lifetime of an American shorthair may range from 15 to 20 years, and there are no breed-specific health problems. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or hip dysplasia may occur in certain animals, although this is uncommon in this breed. Otherwise, an American shorthair will stay healthy and happy with regular immunizations. The American shorthair, like other breeds, requires regular dental and nail care, as well as being spayed or neutered and kept inside at all times.
The American shorthair would be at the top of the list if the Daughters of the Revolution had a feline equivalent. A calico cat was reportedly on board the Mayflower and gave birth shortly after arriving in Massachusetts. This remarkable species rapidly spread throughout the nation, frequently selling for $50 to $100 in areas where rat infestations were prevalent. American shorthairs had gained such popularity by the 1890s that they were initially shown at the inaugural national cat exhibition at Madison Square Garden in 1895. The Cat Fanciers Association recognised it as one of the original breeds in 1906. (CFA). It is said that if the early settlers, farmers, ranchers, and miners didn’t have these cats to guard their crops and keep them safe from the plague, the history of our nation would have been drastically different.
The picture of an American shorthair has featured in many advertisements, including the Royal Canin cat food brand and even the board game Cat-opoly.