American Shorthair is a fairish-sized cat but packs a lot of power, boasting heavy muscles and boning structure. Her thick, rounded appearance is enough to signal any individual that she would be hefty when picked up. They are not renowned for being agile, but their strength, balance, and endurance compensates for the lack of speed. But despite these strong characteristics, they have a mellow nature, sweet temperament, and amiability with kids, dogs, and other cat-friendly pets.
Origin of the American Shorthair
While American Shorthair cats are deemed to be native to the United States, their roots trace back to Europe. European settlers brought the breed’s ancestor as they travelled to North America via the Mayflower ship in 1620. The cats were then prized for their incredible abilities in hunting and catching, which was then needed on shipping labels brimmed with rats and mice. Soon enough, these furballs also became vital in houses of the New World’s newest residents, keeping pests away from the humble abodes.
Farmers and shopkeepers also needed a suitable cat to protect their areas from vermins, and the shorthairs were perfectly fit for the job. These cats were sturdy, hard-working, adaptable and such amazing hunters, making them a surefire favorite among many owners. Since then, these cats were bred and through time, developed the characteristics that made them genuine American cats.
Physical Characteristics of the American Shorthair
Length: 12 to 15 inches
Weight: 11 to 15 pounds (Males), 6 to 12 pounds (Females)
Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years
Coat Color: White, blue, black, silver, cream, red, accentuated by various shading and patterns
Type of Coat: Short
Eye Color: Gold, blue, hazel, green, copper
American Shorthair cats are not known for their agility, but instead famed for their endurance, balance, and strength. They boast heavy muscles and boning structure, tracking back to their hard-working and sturdy ancestors, that provided them with their current solid built.
As their name suggests, they are shorthaired, but their coat is dense and thick. They were originally used for hunting vermins in untamed and outside environments, and such fur protected them from the harsh winter season. These cats come in different shading and patterns, accentuated by various patches and steaks, and occur solid in color, striped, shaded, bi-color or tricolor.
American Shorthair Personality
American Shorthair cats first gained respect for their incredible hunting abilities. But now, they are admired for being great family companions, a job that he does good as well. They are low-maintenance cats, who seem to be in the middle of everything. They are not too active, but not stagnant; not overly too affectionate, but not distant. These cats relish good playing time but will not demand activity or attention.
As placid cats, they also don’t like being carried that much. They are not lap cats and would be happy to just stay at the corner of the bed or sit beside their masters on the sofa. These cats have a mellow temperament but will adapt well with children, dogs, and other cat-friendly pets. Due to their background, they enjoy independence, delighting themselves with paper balls, but will also appreciate some good frisk with their owners. This gentle nature makes them a beloved family pet among many families.
Caring for the American Shorthair
While they may be shorthaired, these cats require regular brushing, given their dense and thick coat. Brushing them a few times a week would be perfect for removing dead hair and debris, spreading skin oils, and keeping the optimal health of their fur.
Regular dental care is also must to prevent them from developing periodontal disease. Daily brushing is ideal, but a weekly routine would suffice. Then, nail trimming must be done every few weeks, or when necessary, to keep their paws healthy. Meanwhile, ear examination is also a part of the weekly routine. Wipe any dirt or debris using a soft damp cloth or cotton balls. Refrain from using cotton swabs as they are prone to damage the delicate inner structure of the ears.
American Shorthair cats relish playing time when they are in the mood. Given their hunting background, playtime should involve prey-like toys, such as wand toys with a bug, snake, bird, or mouse-like ending. Ample interactive play is required to keep them in great shape and ensure that they get enough exercise.
Meanwhile, these cats also enjoy their meals, making them vulnerable to being overweight. Measuring their food allocation is the best resort rather than free-feeding them. Despite their thick, solid, and muscular built, keeping them in proper weight is ideal to avoid risks of certain health conditions.
They are generally healthy, which can be proved by their long lifespans. Yet, these cats are susceptible to ailments, such as hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Regular consultations and screenings are helpful in preventing or detecting such conditions.
American Shorthair cats are ideal for feline enthusiasts looking for an easy to care for, affectionate, and independent cat. They have a mellow nature, can tolerate being left alone, but will also relish ample attention provided by their beloved families.