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American Shorthair

American Shorthair

Basic American Shorthair Information

  • Lifespan: 15 - 20 years
  • Weight: 8 - 12 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in American Shorthair

American Shorthair Traits

  • Lap Cat
  • Intelligence
  • Ease of Training
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Good with Children
  • Good with Dogs
  • Chattiness

American Shorthair History

  • Accompanied Europeans sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World in the early 1600s to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats.
  • Some records indicated that this breed came over on the Mayflower with Pilgrims.
  • During the California Gold Rush, pioneers brought this breed with them to control the rodent population in their new homesteads.
  • According to CFA records, a brown tabby American Shorthair was offered for sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden in 1896.
  • Selected as among the first five registered breeds by the CFA in 1906.
  • Originally called the Domestic Shorthair, but was renamed to American Shorthair in 1966.

American Shorthair Behavior Concerns

  • Extremely smart and even tempered.
  • Not very chatty, preferring to chirp or make sweet squeak sounds.
  • Very athletic.
  • Once touted as the all-American mouser, this breed prefers now to follow its favorite people from room to room.
  • Favors walking on its own over being picked up and cradled.
  • Behaves gently around children.
  • Lovable but not clingy.

Look of American Shorthairs

  • Strong, hardy breed of medium to large build.
  • Dense coat is designed to weather the cold and shield against superficial skin injuries.
  • Head features full cheeks, large, wide-set eyes, powerful jaws, round-tipped ears and square muzzle.
  • Eyes are golden or green.
  • Comes in more than 80 different colors and patterns, ranging from brown-patched to silver tabby.
  • Sports a sight pouch and loose skin, designed for protection when hunting.

Grooming American Shorthair Cats

  • Sports an easy-to-care-for short but thick coat that requires weekly combing and brushing.
  • Coat has a textured feel to it.

Suggested Nutritional Needs for American Shorthairs

  • Due to their moderate activity level, measure food portions to reduce the risk of this cat from becoming overweight.

Fun Facts of American Shorthairs

  • Its strong and powerful jaws make it one of the most feared felines among mice and other rodents.
  • Famous American Shorthair named Pepper once belonged to John Lennon of the Beatles.

Did you know?

  • A decrease in cat grooming behavior may indicate they are in pain.
  • Some cat parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your cat.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.