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American Shorthair Breed Profile

History of the American Shorthair:

American Shorthair
Image courtesy of Takashi

The American shorthair (ASH) is descended from European shorthaired cats who arrived in North America via early voyagers and explorers. Records suggest that cats were brought to the United States on the Mayflower in 1620.  Cats were popular on ships to keep vermin down and protect cargo from damage.  Once in America, these cats remaining close to their humans, acting as efficient pest controllers on farms. Cats could be found wherever settlements occurred. Unlike today's pampered felines, these cats would have remained predominately outside, adapting to the often harsh climate by developing a thick, plush coat.

By the 1800's, these cats were known as "shorthairs" and later "domestic shorthairs". The name was changed to American Shorthair in the 1960's.

In the early 1900's these cats began appearing at cat shows. Breeders began to selectively breed the American Shorthair, choosing the finest examples of the breed they could. An orange tabby by the name of Champion Belle of Bradford arrived in the United States and was to become the first Domestic Shorthair to be registered. Then in 1904 a male smoke by the name of Buster Brown was the first American born cat to become registered.  Both Champion Belle of Bradford and Buster brown were owned by Jane Cathcart.

Appearance of the American Shorthair:

American ShorthairThe American Shorthair moderate cat, there is nothing extreme about this breed. They are a medium to large sized cat who is muscular and well boned. The body is slightly longer than the tail. The chest is deep and broad, chest well developed.

The American Shorthair has a round head, the nose is average length with a slight break. Wide set round eyes which range in colour from copper to green.

The coat is short, thick and glossy. It may feel somewhat harsh depending on the time of year. The coat comes in 80 colours, colour combinations and patterns.

Males are typically larger than females.

Personality of the American Shorthair:

The American Shorthair is a friendly and easy going cat. They are quite playful and remain that way until a relatively advanced age.

They are a fairly independent cat compared to other breeds. They like to be around you, but not on you or in your face constantly. They are the perfect companion for the family who enjoys the company of a cat who likes to be around, but not constantly needing attention. It is said that females can be a little bit more active than their male counterparts. The get along well with children and adults alike.


12-15 years.

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Cat Breeds