The American Shorthair is a breed of domestic cat.
It is believed to be descended from European cats.
When settlers sailed from Europe to North America, they carried cats on board (ships’ cats) to protect the stores from mice — for instance, the cats that came over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims to hunt rats on the ship and in the colony.
All these cats are called “working cats” because they were used to catch rodents on ships and farms.
Many of these cats landed in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate.
During the San Francisco Gold Rush of 1849, miners paid approximately $50.
As American Shorthair became more plentiful, farmers and miners began to select the kittens that appealed to them based on flashy colors, particularly bold patterns, and general conformation, in addition to the previously required hunting talent and pleasing personality.
Late in the 19th century, there was an interest in developing and showing a shorthair cat representative of the North American working cat. One brown tabby American Shorthair was even offeredfor sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden in 1896.
Early in the 20th century, a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats.
Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the “American Shorthair” to better represent its “all-American” origins and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds.
The American Shorthair cat has a typical lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
The typical American Shorthair cat has an overall height of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in) and body length of 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in). An average American Shorthair cat weighs between 5 and 7 kg (10 and 15 lb).
It is a classically built cat with a beautiful, expressive face, full cheeks, broad ears, a muscular body and full, round paws.
The American Shorthair is recognized in more than eighty different colors and patterns ranging from the brown-patched tabby to the blue-eyed white, the shaded silvers, smokes and cameos to the calico van, and many colors in between. Some even come in deep tones of black, brown, or other blends and combinations.
Because of their “working cat” histories, American Shorthair cats continue to be curious, playful, and low-maintenance cats that enjoy hunting and adventuring independently.
In Appearance, the American Shorthair kitten looks somewhat like a miniature adult, but they tend to have a bit of “baby fuzz” that they loose at about six months, and their full size and weight may not be achieved till well into their first year.
American Shorthair cats with normal origin, with middle-sized appearance, and coming from less-known breeders are priced between $500 and $800. However, An American Shorthair kitten purchased from a reputable breeder can range from $1000 -$1500 or more.
As for grooming, these cats may have short hair but they do require regular brushings due to the thick nature of their coat. Weekly brushings are ideal for optimal coat health, and other standard grooming practices should be followed as well, including regular dental care, ear cleanings, and nail trims.
It is the 7th most popular breed of cat in the United States.