Sturdy, powerful and friendly, the American Shorthair is a laid-back, loving cat that originated in the United States of America likely during the 1900s. They are exceptional hunters who steal human hearts with their captivating gaze and utmost loving personalities. Ladies and gents, please meet the pawsome American Shorthair (ASH) cat.
Main features of American Shorthair cats
The American Shorthair is a strong, powerful medium-sized cat. Males usually weight around 12 lbs., and females around 8 to 12 lbs. They are heavily muscled and their physique is rounded and thick in appearance. Their chests are broad, necks muscular and legs thick and strong. ASH cats have a short, dense coat that may come longer during winter.
There are over 80 recognized coat colors of the breed which come in a wider range of patterns including solid, tortoiseshell, bi- and tricolored, tabby, smoke and shaded. The American Shorthair has large, wide eyes that can be blue, green, hazel, copper or gold-colored.
Interestingly enough though, although strongly built and exceptionally great at hunting, they are not very athletic cats. According to the standards of Cat Fanciers Association, the American Shorthair cat has the appearance of a true working cat breed. This is fitting, as it is believed these cats were initially used for the control of rodent populations on ships and farms.
Origins of American Shorthair cats
Sturdy, powerful and friendly, the American Shorthair is a laid-back, loving cat that most likely originated in the United States during the 1900s. The first American Shorthairs were believed to have accompanied European settlers who left Europe to make a life in North America.
It is believed that the American Shorthair served as a rat and mouse hunter that reduced pest issues on ships. Many of these cats who were brought on the ships landed in the New World and interbred, eventually leading to the formation of the ASH breed as we know it today. It is thought that the descended cats developed the breed-specific characteristic due to their adaptations to new environmental conditions.
The selective breeding program introduced in the 20th century helped develop the modern version of the breed. The breed was initially named Domestic Shorthair, but in 1966 it was renamed to American Shorthair to reflect on the breed’s American origin and to draw a difference from other shorthaired breeds, including random-bred cats.
American Shorthair cat personalities
The American Shorthair is the ideal family cat who will get along well with other pets and children. These cats are skillful hunters and will enjoy playing with you very much, all while not being too demanding of attention and activity. They especially love puzzle toys and interactive games. They have a social and outgoing nature, and a very adaptable temperament. Due to their easy-going and placid character, they are thought to be one of the most pleasant companion cats.
They often bond with all family members rather than just one person. They will gladly engage in a game with you at any moment, but at the same time do not require constant attention. They can entertain themselves for quite some time without becoming bored or lonely, which makes them great companions for single people as well.
Health and care
American Shorthairs are considered a healthy breed with very few medical problems. Unfortunately, an inherited craniofacial defect is seen at times, which can range from mild signs likes dermoid to a more serious condition such as cleft palate and crooked jaw. If your American Shorthair inherits a crooked jaw, chances are they may be prone to dental problems and misaligned teeth. The American Shorthair has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
Fun facts about the working cats ;)
1. They’re often called working cats because they were used to control the rodent populations on ships and farms. Their robust, muscular appearance, exceptional hunting skills and jaw strength compliment their initial “job”. Today, these cats are kept only as companion pets, of course.
2. They bond with all family members, but are never clingy. As mentioned above, unlike most other kitties, ASH cats often bond with more than just one of their favorite hoomans, yet are never too needy. They love attention, playing and snuggling, but don’t get too lonely if left alone for a while. They enjoy interactive toys which they can play with by themselves.
3. They are prone to weight gain. It is highly important to carefully monitor their food dosage, as they love to eat and are prone to obesity.
4. Cooper the photographer cat is an ASH. Cooper is a famous American Shorthair cat from Seattle who wears a lightweight digital camera fastened to his collar once a week. The camera snaps a new photo every 2 minutes.
5. The silver tabby is the favorite breed color variation. Silver tabby ASH cats seems to be the most favorite variant of the cat, followed by the brown tabby version. This is why the silver ASH cats are most commonly featured on commercial cat feline product labels.
The American Shorthair cats are purrfect and lovely companions for the whole family. They get along very well with little humans, as well as other pets.their independent, friendly and playful nature is the reason why they are one of the most favored cat breeds in the US. Do you have an ASH? Share your photos with us, we’d love to meet your darling furriends!