American Shorthair










United States via Europe arriving in the 17th Century


American Shorthair cat owners say this breed is known for being friendly, playful, and accepting of other pets and people, including seniors and children.

American Shorthairs are known to be pretty laid-back and mellow ~  but do enjoy getting involved to play and exercise due to their “working cat” origins.

Shorthairs are adaptable and good-natured, which makes her the ideal family companion. Although she loves attention from her people, including children, the American Shorthair does not like being carried and is fairly independent.  This breed is known to curl up in your lap on occasion, but she may prefer to sit alongside you instead.  They are known for getting along fine with a cat-friendly dog, but her hunting instincts may take over with pet birds and other small animals.

The American Shorthair is known as one of the best mousers on the planet. In fact, it is this skill that got this breed to reach North American shores. As official ship mousers, the American Shorthair arrived in America from the British Isles through British ships. 

Intelligent, muscular, and healthy, the American Shorthair is a descendant of the British Shorthair, which is smaller. This cat breed’s compact body can come in one of these four coat patterns: solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, and calico. It also has a variety of colour combinations. 

The American Shorthair is a great cat for busy families and first-time cat owners, thanks to its friendly, social, and outgoing nature. It can keep itself amused on its own and is not very needy. As it has a short-haired coat that does not have matting issues, it virtually requires no grooming.

  • The American Shorthair is a formidable hunter able to trap rodents and pests quickly. However, you may think twice if you dislike the idea of being brought dead critters every now and then. It’s an ideal pet if you are in need of a pest control partner at home.  
  • This cat breed is very easy to care for as it requires practically no grooming and is very healthy. 
  • The American Shorthair is easy-going and affectionate yet not needy. It does not like to be carried and prefers to settle itself next to humans rather than on their laps or arms.  
  • An intelligent, highly trainable, and sensitive cat, the American Shorthair should be mentally and physically stimulated.  
  • Despite its hunting abilities, the American Shorthair loves to lie about the house. As such, they are at risk of developing obesity problems.  
  • The American Shorthair is an ideal cat for a family or a first-time cat owner. 


  • The ancestors of the American Shorthair accompanied the pilgrims on the Mayflower’s voyage across the Atlantic.
  • Many shorthair breeds can be traced back to the 10th century in the Roman Empire.
  • As they spread across Europe, they became known as British Shorthairs in the British Isles and were excellent rodent hunters.
  • The forebearers of the American Shorthair were credited with saving a colony’s crops from squirrels and chipmunks in 1634.
  • Shorthairs have been around for quite a while, participating in the first cat show in 1895.
  • An American Shorthair named Shawnee Trademark was named Best Cat of the Year by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1965, the same year the breed was officially renamed the “American Shorthair” to distinguish it from the more broadly comprised “Domestic Shorthair” classification.

American Shorthairs are descendants of these working cats that crossed the Atlantic keeping rodents at bay on the ships and went on to accompany settlers across the United States. Bred to be a bit smaller than their British cousins, they were effective rodent control in both homes and barns and were playful and sociable without being needy.

They were one of the first five registered cat breeds recognized in 1906 under the name Domestic Shorthair. That name was changed in 1965 to American Shorthair to distinguish the breed from other non-pedigreed short-haired cats common throughout the States.

Did You Know?

  • American Shorthair Cats weren’t called “American Shorthair until 1966, when it was given the name to distinguish it from other domestic shorthairs and random-bred shorthairs.
  • Because they resemble so many other domestic shorthair cats, the only way to know yours is American is with certified breed papers.
  • An American Shorthair was named CFA’s “Cat of the Year” in 1965, 1984 and 1996.

Did you know cat hair isn’t the cause of reactions by people sensitized to cat allergens? The primary cause is an allergen produced in cats’ saliva.   These allergens are spread to cats’ hair through grooming, which are then shed into the environment.

Lifespan ~ 15 to 20 years

Appearance & Coat

American Shorthairs are medium-sized cats with distinctive sturdy, stocky and strong bodies. Weighing between 7 and 12 pounds, their agility and durability allow them to effortlessly stalk their prey. They are blessed with strong legs that enable them to pounce and climb easily. They have large heads highlighted by their full cheeks that give off such sweet expression. Their medium-sized ears are rounded and their eyes are large and wide.

This breed has a short and thick coat that comes in various adorable colours and patterns.

The most popular colour combination is probably the silver tabby pattern.

Colours include white, cream, black, silver, gold, brown, cameo, chinchilla, and blue cream.