American Shorthair Cat Breed

If you are looking for a gentle feline companion for your elderly or a playmate for your children, American Shorthair is the perfect family pet for you. They are known for being affectionate, sweet and friendly, but they are also known for their strong health, longevity, and amiability towards children and other pets.

The American Shorthair is known to have originated from cats following settlers from Europe to North America. There are records that specify that even the Mayflower carried many cats to chase the ship’s rodents. For many centuries, “working cats” have flourished together with their forerunner owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthaired cats. With their rodent-catching skills and their beauty and affectionate nature, today, they are one of the favourites of many cat lovers and enthusiasts.

These friendly cats are one of the most adaptable cat breeds for any type of environment and household. This cat is an excellent companion for senior citizens because of their calm demeanour and being a devoted pet. They are also ideal for a family with children because of their good-natured, playful characters. American Shorthair cat thrives in a busy household due to their non-demanding trait and how they can keep themselves entertained the whole day.

This cat breed is a charming feline companion. They are easygoing and docile. American Shorthair cat is an affectionate cat and will devote herself to all members of the family.

While they love to play, these cats do not need hourly attention. If they are in the mood to play, they will bring their parent a toy. American Shorthair also plays well by herself, making them a perfect feline companion for single people.

Because of their intelligence, American Shorthairs can be trained to play fetch. They also thrive with the love and attention of their families. This cat breed makes a great family pet as they are great with young children, cats and other pets. They can also thrive as a lone pet for people who lives alone, with the elderly and the disabled. 

American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

20-25 cm
5-7.2 kg
Life Span:
15-20 years
Easy-going, Playful, Curious, Affectionate, Docile
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United States of America
American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
  • Shedding: Low 2/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
  • Activity Level: Medium 6/10
  • Playfulness: Medium 6/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: Low 2/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: High 10/10


While they are not listed on ships registers, American Shorthairs came with the early settlers to the United States, bringing their various backgrounds to develop an "American" cat. They were considered "working cats" protecting the ships' stores on long voyages. These early American cats were robust, hardy cats that got their living status with their hunting skills. Soon, they were noticed for their intelligence and their many varied colours and patterns.

In an early cat exhibition in 1900, the shorthair cats, then known as Domestic Shorthair cats, were represented. As more shorthair cat breeds were imported, dedicated cat breeders of the domestic cats started selective breeding to develop a cat of a definite type. While the American Shorthair is a natural breed, it is the course of selective breeding that has produced the American Shorthair we know today.

The breed was renamed “American Shorthair” in the 1960s. At the same time, more cats were exhibited not only in the United States but also in countries like the United Kingdom. American Curls gained full recognition from the majority of the international breed organisations, including The International Cat Association. However, as of the moment, this cat breed has not been recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Today, American Curls is still one of the most adored and most popular cat breeds in the United States. Should you wish to bring home an American Curl and you reside in the United Kingdom, you need to register your interest with The Pedigree Paws because there are only a few well-bred kittens available every year. 

American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws


American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws

American Shorthairs are well-balanced, medium-sized, medium-boned cats, with a strong muscular feel to their bodies. They are not as large and as heavy bones as their British cousins. They are well-proportioned in all their parts. Their head is a little longer than wide. Their eyes are wide-set, medium to large in size and proportionate with the size of their head, rounded, which means the upper lid is shaped like half an almond and the lower lid is a fully rounded curve. Their medium muzzle is short with a full solid chin which gives it a squarish appearance. Their medium ears are a little round at the tip, set twice the length between their eyes. There are several different looks found in the American Shorthairs that are acceptable by the standard.

Their coat is short, hard in texture, shiny, thick enough to give them a natural protective appearance. Their colour seems to alter the texture to some degree, with the ideal coat most frequently found in the brown tabbies. Colour and pattern are weighed correspondingly with clarity of the marking in the patterns most wanted. Tabby and Tabby with white, typically with the classic pattern, have been the most popular for cat shows and exhibitions. American Shorthairs do not reach maturity until they are around three or four years old. 


Similar to other breeds, the American Shorthair likes having a routine. They don’t particularly like it when something changes for whatever reason. This cat breed expects to be fed at the same time of the day; they want the furniture around the house to stay exactly the same. If not, they tend to get stress and might affect their character and appetite. This cat breed is known to be easy-going and extremely tolerant around children. Because of this trait, American Shorthairs remained one of the top choices of families in the United States.

American Shorthairs are naturally calm, but when the mood strikes, they can be very playful well until their golden years. The male American Shorthairs are laidback, while the female counterpart appears to be a lot busier. But both are inquisitive and wants to be part of everything that goes around with them. American Shorthairs thrive on being around their families without being too clingy or demanding.

Deeply embedded in their DNA, American Shorthairs are curious and expert hunters. They enjoy discovering and exploring the great outdoors to mark their territory and hunt down anything that moves. But remember to keep an eye whenever they go out. Make sure that they are only allowed to wander outside if it is safe for them to do so. You can keep American Shorthairs as an indoor cat as long as you give them plenty of attention and love and toys to keep them busy and entertained when they are not napping. It is also worth noting that some American Shorthairs enjoy being lap cats while other cats enjoy just being close to their human companion, following them around the house and watch what they are doing.

These playful felines love to entertain and to be entertained. American Shorthairs can be a little mischievous at times, and because of their cleverness, they can quickly learn how to open cabinets, cupboards and even doors to get their favourite toys or to check if their favourite treat is hidden there. They also love playing a game of fetch, and you can expect them to perch on high areas of the house.

American Shorthairs are not very vocal. They will let their owners know when they are hungry or wants to go outside through their sweet, quiet voices. When they are happy and content, they can really purr. 

American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws


American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws

American Shorthairs are very trainable cats. They are willing to learn, and they are clever. This smart cat will be engaged and attentive, whether it is following commands, solving a puzzle game, or learning new tricks. Challenge their clever minds and keep them focused.

To encourage your American Shorthair, you can use their favourite toys and give them small treats and kibbles when they behave during training and play sessions. Consistency is the key for many cat breeds.

These gentle and good-natured cats are social and affectionate and will do everything for human interaction, affection and attention. Remember, when this cat breed is appropriately socialized and trained at kittenhood, they will blossom into a well-rounded and well-mannered family pet. 

Coat & Care

These adorable cats' short coat is easy to care for and maintain. These gorgeous cats do shed. It is recommended to run a comb or brush through their coat as needed to help them refrain from swallowing excess hair. They tend to keep themselves clean and do not usually need a bath unless they get muddy or dirty.

While your American Shorthair needs little grooming, you can still train them to be groom to keep their coats healthy and clean. You can start by using a very soft brush so that it won’t pull or break their delicate fur and their skin. Reassure them every grooming session by giving them small rewards if they behaved well. Upgrade your brush into a more appropriate one for their coat needs.

For their dental health, daily brushing is best; but, weekly brushing is already enough to help avoid tooth and gum diseases. For their nails, trim them twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, wipe its corners weekly with a clean, soft, moist cloth to eliminate any dirt or discharge to keep them clean and healthy. Make sure to use a separate part of the clean cloth for each eye to prevent the spread of any infection.

Check their ears weekly to remove any buildup to ensure it won’t develop any infection. You can use a clean cotton ball or soft, damp cloth and a vet-approved ear cleanser to clean their ears. If you smell a foul odour from their ears, immediately contact your vet for care and treatment.

Their litter boxes must be kept clean because American Shorthairs do not like using dirty litters – or else they would do their “business” elsewhere. It is recommended to avoid litters that “clumped” in your cat’s litter boxes because if it is ingested even a small amount, it could result in a digestive problem due to the clumping litter swelling up in their abdomen and causes a blockage. 

American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws


American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws

American Shorthair cat is not known to be prone to any genomic or hereditary health conditions; however, it is still best to schedule regular visits to their veterinarian. 

Children & Other Pets

American Shorthairs are an excellent choice for novice cat owners because they are so docile and people-oriented. They love to entertain the people they love and would do anything to please. They are known to be tolerant of young children, making them a popular choice for families with young children. They are also a great companion for older people because of their calm and gentle demeanour.

However, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents or skin scratching when they mishandle the cat.

American Shorthairs are contented to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs in the same household. But as always, it is still best to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to get along well together.

Moreover, remember that they are a skilled hunter. Pet birds and other small animals can be their prey. However, they may learn to leave pet birds or other small animals alone if they are introduced to them at kittenhood. When in doubt, separation is best. 

American Shorthair cat Breed Information| The Pedigree Paws