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American Shorthairs are among the most popular breeds in the USA but remain uncommon in the UK and Europe. It is believed these good-natured kitties travelled with European settlers to the USA, where they quickly became working barn cats with the task of keeping away rodents. Today, they are a much-loved pet in America and slowly increasing in popularity in Britain, thanks to their social and affectionate nature.
Meet the American Shorthair
American Shorthairs certainly have the structure of a working cat with a stocky, muscular body, broad chest, strong jaw, and thick neck. Their robust figure gives them an impressive amount of agility and endurance. They are medium to large-sized cats that reach a weight of 10 to 15 pounds and a height of 8-10 inches.
These short-haired kitties have a thick, dense coat with minimal grooming needs. Their fur thickened to adapt to their working lifestyles. As a result, it can protect them from the cold, rain, and even superficial skin injuries.
American Shorthairs come in various colours, including white, blue, black, red, cream, or silver. They can have a solid colouring or calico, bicolour, tabby, smoke or tortoiseshell patterns. Brown tabby and silver tabby American Shorthairs are by far the most common, though.
They have large heads with round, full-checked faces and slightly short ears. Their eye colours depend on their coat but will usually be green, blue, copper, gold or hazel. These gorgeous felines are a hardy breed that can live between 15 to 20 years as they have very few breed-specific health issues.
The temperament of an American Shorthair
American Shorthairs have one of the most well-balanced temperaments. They are affectionate but not needy and calm but not lazy. They also have medium energy levels, making them ideal indoor cats as they will not destroy your furniture!
As they are not overly active, they do not require hours of playtime and interaction each day, and they will happily play with their toys on their own. Even so, they maintain a playful nature until old age and are social felines. Therefore, regular play sessions with their owners are what makes them feel most fulfilled.
Domesticated American Shorthairs retain their strong hunting instincts, and these kitties are guaranteed to catch any rodent that enters your home. So, if you live in an area overrun with mice, an American Shorthair makes the best pest control! Unfortunately, they also tend to bring their owners their prey, which is something to keep in mind if your Shorthair has access to the outdoors. If you keep them as an indoor cat they might bring you their toy mice instead!
American Shorthairs are also pretty intelligent and are easy to train. They display good levels of independence, so they don't get stressed if left alone, but like most cats, they still prefer their humans' company. In fact, these felines get along with everyone and adapt well to children and other pets. They don't particularly like to be picked up, though, but will undoubtedly come to you for a cuddle whenever they are in the mood.
10 reasons to add an American Shorthair to your family
- They are the best pest control around - American Shorthairs are the best hunters of the feline world and make it their job to keep your home rodent and insect-free!
- They are low maintenance - Both their exercise and grooming needs are minimal, so they do not require a ton of looking after. They're also pretty independent, so while they adore attention, they're also happy to be on their own sometimes.
- They are adaptable - Their well-balanced personality and adaptability mean they fit into all types of rooms. They get on well with children and other animals and adapt to new household members without feeling distressed.
- They are very quiet - American Shorthairs don't have much to say and don't feel the need to vocalise their wants. While this makes them peaceful companions, it can be more challenging to tell if they are unhappy or stressed.
- They are confident with strangers - If you regularly have visitors over, an American Shorthair is a good cat to have. They will not run and hide when someone new arrives, but instead, they will carry on with their business and lap up some extra attention.
- They are cuddlier than their British cousins - American Shorthairs have a lot of similarities with British Shorthairs. One key difference in their temperament, though, is that American Shorthairs are far cuddlier.
- They are a rugged, healthy breed - These felines have been around for a long time, and their immune systems have naturally strengthened to survive in cold winters. Plus, they are not prone to any significant genetic diseases.
- They come in all colours - Whether you have a soft spot for tabbies, calicos or black cats, you'll find an American Shorthair in your favourite shade.
- They are suitable for tiny homes - These cats used to live on ships, travelling with European settlers to the USA. Therefore, they have adapted to live in small spaces, such as flats and studio apartments.
- They have super sweet faces - Their full-checked faces and big eyes give them a very adorable expression.
Best homes for an American Shorthair
As social, low-maintenance and adaptable cats, they are an ideal pet for all types of families and homes. Depending on your preference, you can keep an American Shorthair as an indoor-only pet or allow them access to the outdoors. However, one thing they need in their environment is plenty of toys.
American Shorthairs will accept anyone in the home, including young children. However, as these kitties do not like being picked up, ensure your kids do not do so. They also get on with other cats and dogs, so they make a fabulous addition to multi-pet homes. And don't worry if you work full time, as they are fine to stay alone. However, if that's the case, a furry friend will be extra welcome!