Rss

Call us: 919-605-4903  |  Connect:

Facts

 

A PET FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Great with kids, dogs and other cats, the American shorthairs are an excellent choice for a family pet. They require minimum maintenance, generally doing well with a balanced diet, annual vaccinations and regular checkups. It’s not a particularly vocal or clingy breed, and won’t wreak havoc when left alone. American shorthairs are happy to sit on your lap, or engage in some light play.

EUROPEAN ORIGINS

American shorthairs are the descendants of cats that came with European settlers to North America. These working cats, known for their rodent-catching skills on ships, were highly valued by their pioneer owners. Even the Mayflower had cats aboard on its journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Once on land, the felines earned respect as diligent farm cats. Soon they established themselves as the “native” cat of North America, and the American shorthair lineage was born.

BUILT TO LAST

Having to adapt to the New World environment allowed natural selection to weed out the weaker American shorthairs. The result today is a sturdy breed with few health issues and an average lifespan of 15-20 years. Medium to large in size, this is a muscular cat, with strong balance and endurance, and a medium-long tail.

AN OFFICIAL BREED

In 1906, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) officially recognized the American shorthair (then called the Domestic shorthair) as one of its first five registered breeds. Pictured are some early examples of American shorthair show cats.

A NEW NAME

The breed name was changed to American shorthair in 1966 to reflect the “All-American” character of the cat. The new name helped distinguish the breed from other shorthairs, and also reinforced that it’s a purpose-bred feline that differs from randomly bred domestic cats.

DIFFERENT THAN DOMESTIC SHORTHAIRS

Though they look similar and have names that may even be interchanged from time to time, an American shorthair is not the same as a domestic shorthair. As previously mentioned, American shorthairs were often called domestic shorthairs, but the former is actually considered a purebred while the latter is not. Domestic shorthairs are short-haired house cats of unknown lineage. The only way to know for sure if your cat is truly an American shorthair is with certified breeders papers.

FIRST “CAT OF THE YEAR” HONORS IN 1965

The first time an American shorthair won CFA’s Cat of the Year, it almost didn’t happen! Nikki Horner of Louisville, Kentucky, was a preeminent breeder the 1960s. Her silver-coated male tabby, GCNW Shawnee Trademark, was set to take the title, but another cat was awarded the highest honor when the season was over. Horner knew there was a miscalculation, contacted officials and was proven correct when her American shorthair was crowned the 1965 Cat of the Year.

WHERE’D YOU GET THOSE PEEPERS?

One distinct feature on an American shorthair is the breed’s eyes. They are large and wide, with an upper lid shaped like a half almond and a lower lid shaped in a fully rounded curve. The outer corners are set slightly higher than the inner corners.

MANY FUR VARIETIES

American shorthairs are bred in upwards of 60 colors, though a sterling silver coat with black markings—such as tabby markings—is typically the most popular. Any cat showing evidence of hybridization that results in the colors chocolate, sable, lavender, lilac or Siamese-type markings, are not considered purebred American shorthairs.