Home: American Shorthair Cat

The American Shorthair Cat
An American Cat Pilgrim

American Shorthair Cat BreedThe American Shorthair cat is America's own cat breed. The ancestors of the American Shorthair breed came to North America with early settlers from Europe.
The "Mayflower," the boat that carried the Pilgrims to America, also carried several cats to hunt ship's rats. For centuries, these "working cats" flourished along with their pioneer owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthaired cat.

If you aren't familiar with pedigreed cats, you may be under the impression that the American Shorthair cat breed has a fancy name for an alley cat. However, the American Shorthair, which was called the Domestic Shorthair until the nineteen sixties, is a pedigreed cat that meets a specific standard. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the idea that our native North American shorthaired cat is distinctly different from what may be found in streets, neighborhoods and barnyards. 

Champion Class

The American Shorthair actually is a descendant of the European Shorthair.
These cats, which are classified as a part of the Championship Class by the Cat Fancier's Association, are on the large side, weighing in at eight to fifteen pounds. His tail is slightly thicker at the base than at the tip and is shorter than his body. His eyes are big and have an alert

Speaking of Champion Class, as early as 1896 a brown tabby American Shorthair was even offered for sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden.

While tabbies are probably the most common Shorthair patterns, it is recognized in more than eighty different colors and patterns ranging from the striking brown patched tabby to the glistening blue-eyed white, the beautiful shaded silvers, smokes and cameos to the flashy calico van, bicolor patterns and many colors in between.

The most well-known American Shorthair color today is the silver tabby, with dense black markings set on a sterling silver background.  The striking silver tabby color has been popular since one of these gorgeous cats was the winner of the nineteen sixty five United States Cat of the Year Award. However, the tortoise shell and white cat, also known as a Calico is also quite popular.

A Formidable Hunter

The American Shorthair actually is a descendant of the European Shorthair. As this breed adapted to life in the United States, it developed a heavier, coarser coat to protect it from the bitter American winters. In addition, the American Shorthair cat is a bit larger than its European ancestor.

The American Shorthair is usually a mild mannered, quiet cat, although it can be a fairly formidable hunter of mice and other small rodents. Since this cat breed is quite content to curl up on the sofa, it is an ideal breed for apartment living. 

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These cats are often tolerant of children and other pets, as long as they are not mishandled, which makes the American Shorthair cat breed a good choice for a family looking for a pet.