American Shorthair Facts

The American Shorthair is a notably popular feline breed and for good reasons. These kitties are not only playful, yet calm, but they are also great for big families with children.

This particular breed is the perfect cross between an independent feline and a needy one. If you’ve always wanted a social and affectionate kitty, which also requires some alone time for itself, then the American Shorthair is the purr-fect match for you.

Being among the top most popular feline breeds out there, it requires special nutrition, proper health care and frequent playtime sessions.

The best cat food for American Shorthair cats

American Shorthairs are known as “working cats” due to the fact that they were once bred and used for the purpose of catching rodents. They have strong, robust bodies, but contrary to their muscular built, they aren’t aggressive. No, not at all! These cats are noteworthy calm and will make friends with everybody!

A fun American Shorthair fact is that these creatures aren’t easily prone to developing health issues, unlike most breeds. They have an impressive long average lifespan of approximately 18-20 years. Keeping them indoors will ensure a healthier lifestyle and safety from fleas and other parasites.

Another reason to keep your American Shorthair kitty strictly indoors is the fact that it may decide to make friends with a stranger walking down the street or with a stray dog. And losing your beloved pet due to its over-friendliness will be truly devastating.

American Shorthair facts

Here are some more interesting facts about the American Shorthair cats, most of which will most definitely make you wish you had one of these as a pet.

They aren’t American

Contrary to the breed’s official name, the American Shorthair furballs aren’t American at all. They actually originate from Europe! Once upon a time European sailors started importing these creatures into North America on their ships. Due to the cats’ excellent hunting skills, they were an indispensable part of the crew because they kept the cargo safe from rodents.

That’s how they got the nickname “working cats”. In the early 1900s American breeders started breeding American Shorthairs in attempts to sift out the breed’s best qualities. They were named American after the fact that the formal breed development originally began in North America. Nowadays the American Shorthair is recognized as a fully pedigreed feline breed.

Colorful creatures

American Shorthairs are quite colorful. They may not be as colorful as the Oriental Shorthair, for example, but they come pretty close.

This particular breed comes in nearly 80 colors! That’s right, the American Shorthair is one colorful kitty! White, silver, brown, cameo and orange are the most popular hues. The various patterns can be tabby, tortoise shell, smoke, shaded, bicolored and so forth.

Sadly, regardless of their beautiful fur, they aren’t hypoallergenic. American Shorthairs aren’t suitable for people with allergies. They don’t shed much and they have a short fur coat, but they still produce too much of the Fel-d1 allergen agent. So if you happen to be allergic to this allergen, you should opt for another breed.


While this particular kitty isn’t hypoallergenic, it is notoriously amiable. Unlike other breeds, which stay loyal to only one owner, the American Shorthair will befriend all family members and will love them equally.

And unlike other more territorial breeds, these cats will show amicability even towards complete strangers! American Shorthairs are affectionate and they enjoy the company of their pet parents. However, they are moderately independent and will require some me-time every now and then. They are happiest in the presence of their owners and if said owners can’t play with them at the moment, they’ll find something to entertain themselves with.

Gentle and laid-back

The temper of the American Shorthair kitty is part of what makes these cats so desired all over the world. They are quite gentle despite their robust and muscular bodies. Furthermore, aggression and destructive behavior are foreign to this particular breed.

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These cats aren’t fascinated with climbing on top of the curtains or exploring the high countertops. They remain gentle even during playtime, but of course, accidents might occur eventually. Nevertheless, a pee stain on the carpet or a broken vase are the last things you should expect from an American Shorthair.

Unlike other demanding breeds, American Shorthairs can be left home alone over a short period of time. Their laid-back and placid temper and moderate independency won’t ruin your house or apartment. If you think you can’t leave the cat home alone, you should opt for an interactive pet camera. You can monitor the kitty from afar, feed it treats and even play recordings of your voice to it.

Click here for the best interactive pet cameras for cats

Stunning eyes

American Shorthair kittens of all ages have truly stunning eyes. They are well-known for their distinctive round faces and notoriously short ears, but their eyes are what makes their facial appearances extraordinary.

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This breed’s eyes come in a variety of colors. Their irises can be blue, green, hazel, gold, copper and even heterochromatic, or in other words – they can be odd-eyed.


A well-known American Shorthair fact is that this breed is particularly playful. But don’t misinterpret their playfulness as destructive behavior! The gentle nature of the American Shorthair and its lack of over-curiosity make this particular breed rather meek and placid than destructive.

Stocking up on cat toys is essential if you wish to welcome an American Shorthair into your family. If you don’t offer cat toys, the kitty will make its own toy out of anything it has in sight.

Check out the best toys for bored cats

If you can’t engage in playtime, the American Shorthair won’t sit around and wait for you. It will find something to keep itself entertained and occupied on its own. When American Shorthairs want to play, they will play, even if their owners aren’t in the mood for games.

Suitable for kids and other pets

American Shorthair cats are easy-going, laid-back and over-friendly. Their calm temper will tolerate even small children who don’t know how to properly behave themselves around a cat. These creatures enjoy receiving attention and will express equal fondness towards all members of your family.

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Moreover, they are also suitable for living with other pets, such as dogs. Of course, not all dog breeds can co-exist with a feline furball. Amiable and laid-back breeds are ideal for American Shorthairs. Make sure you’re introducing the two pets in a safe and controlled environment to avoid any unpleasant accidents.

Tendency towards obesity

Even though American Shorthairs are muscular and aren’t lazy, they are more prone to becoming obese than most cat breeds out there.

This feline breed requires exercises on daily basis, otherwise obesity will be inevitable. Interactive cat trees, ball toys, laser chasing games and so forth offer great ways to exercise. Another idea is to teach your American Shorthair how to walk on a leash. And yes, walking your cat on a leash is indeed possible. You just need a proper leash and harness, and a lot of patience.

How to train your cat to walk on a leash?

Medium-level grooming requirements

This breed has medium-level grooming requirements. American Shorthairs have a thick and short fur coat. Grooming comes easily with these furballs as long as it’s done regularly.

The breed is well-known for its moderate shedding and lack of matting. You’ll need to brush your American Shorthair kitty a few times a week in order to remove dead fur on tangled cat hair. Bathing your cat and maintaining its dental hygiene are also important.

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Health problems

A well-known American Shorthair fact is that these kitties are considered as an overall healthy breed. Their robust bodies reflect their good health. These furballs are far less likely to suffer from cancers, tumors and organ dysfunctions compared to other feline breeds.

As they grow older, they will eventually be prone to developing diseases. However, the American Shorthair’s approximate lifespan is far longer than the one of most cat breeds. They can easily live up to 20 happy years.

These fluffy furballs have a tendency towards obesity, so it’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet consisting primary of dried cat food, and to make sure your kitty is exercising on daily basis.

Click here for the best cat foods for American Shorthair cats

Monitoring your American Shorthair’s weight is of intrinsic importance for its health. Apart from obesity, these kitties may also face other health problems, including teeth and gum diseases, and the common feline heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also known as HCM, which can be congenital or not.

American Shorthairs are a sheer pleasure to be around. Their friendly, playful and placid temper, along with their lovely physical appearances are two of the main reasons as to why they’ve grown so popular.

Make sure to never skip a scheduled appointment at the vet and to always monitor your kitty’s weight and health. Devoting yourself to your American Shorthair won’t go unrewarded as these feline furballs really know how to make their owners feel loved and cherished at all times.

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