The American Shorthair is a cat known for its affectionate nature. They are good with children and rarely bothered by dogs making them ideal family cats.
The American cat is of average size with a strong build. It closely resembles a european cat or a domestic short-haired cat but its round head and short muzzle make it slightly different.
History of the American Shorthair
As its name would suggest, the American Shorthair is an american cat. The first of their breed arrived in the United States with pilgrims in the 16th century. It took on traits of a european cat, hunting rodents and other pests.
Once the breed settled in America, it slowly evolved further from its origins. As for their societal role, these cats were chosen, then bred for their hunting talents and ability to withstand harsh winters.
The American Shorthair started to appear on farms in the United States as early as 1900. Breeders wanted to maintain their resemblance with the domestic short-haired cat but chose to crossbreed with the British Shorthair to give the breed a more elegant appearance.
The first official cat to be named an American Shorthair was a cat called Buster Brown, in 1904. During this time, the breed was called the Domestic Shorthair. The current name came to be in 1966.
Today, the American Shorthair is one of the most common breeds of cat and is the most popular in the US, Canada and Japan. In Europe, the American cat is still very rare with some organisations refusing to recognize its existence.
The American Shorthair is an average sized cat with an athletic figure due to its hunting tendencies. Its body and muscles work in harmony being balanced but well-built.
Their legs are also of average length and very strong, like its body. The feet are round and the tail is of normal length for a cat, thicker at the base and then thinning out towards the tip.
The head is one of the most distinctive features of a short haired cat, being of average size and almost square shaped. When the cat is side on, its muzzle looks rather short and almost flattened. Their full cheeks give them a soft expression.
The ears are placed high on their head and are also of average size with a pointed end. An American Shorthair's eyes are generally big and round and come in a variety of colours just like their coat which comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
As their name would indicate, the American Shorthair is a short-haired cat. Their fur is thick and dense which is ideal for protection against bad weather and also prevents them from picking up dirt when going outside.
The American Shorthair can be every colour but lilac, chocolate brown, fawn and cinnamon. All patterns are seen with the exception of colorpoint (plain with different coloured paws, tail and muzzle). Only bi-coloured cats can have some white fur.
Many cats of this breed have a tabby patterned coat, stripy or spotty.
Having been domesticated for several years, the american cat is very popular among American and Japanese families thanks to its affectionate personality. They are just as happy being indoor cats as outdoor cats.
They are very sociable and get on well with children and dogs. Due to its hunting temperament, it is advised that you don't have domestic rodents such as rabbits, mice or rats.
Generally calm, they like spending quality relaxation time with their family as well as playing with them. Like all cats, they need to blow off steam but this doesn't necessarily need to be outside.
Health and Care
The ancestors of the American Shorthair were cross bred to be able to withstand extreme cold and illness. This trait was passed on from generation to generation and its for this reason that most cats of this breed are on the whole very healthy.
There is no genetic illness associated with this breed. Vaccinations and general health care will suffice. If the cat is neutered, you must keep a close eye on their diet as they'll be more prone to weight gain.
The short hair of an american cat doesn't need much grooming. It will be enough to brush it regularly so that it maintains its softness and shine.