American Shorthair Cat Breed Information

Learn all about American Shorthair Cats, read about the American Shorthair Breed information, find out about the American Shorthair Breed Standard, American Shorthair behavior and lots more about American Shorthairs.

American Shorthair Cat Breed Introduction

American Shorthair Cat Picture

The American Shorthair cat breed, once simply called the Domestic Shorthair, is thought to represent the cats that lived in North America from colonial times through the late nineteenth century, when foreign cats first came to North American shores in large numbers.

American Shorthair Behavior/Personality

Source: Cat Fanciers Association's Breed Profile

Usually known as gentle, playful, and companionable, American Shorthairs are said to be good with children and even dogs.

American Shorthair Breed Standard/Physical Description

Here are some facts on the American Shorthair breed based on the Cat Fanciers Association's breed standard.

  • Head: large, slightly oblong
  • Muzzle: square
  • Ears: medium-sized
  • Eyes: big, wide, with upper eyelids shaped like almond halves and lower eyelids more fully rounded
  • Body: muscular and solid-looking
  • Legs: medium-long and muscular
  • Paws: firm, rounded, with five toes on the front paws and four toes on the rear paws
  • Tail: medium-long and tapered
  • Coat: short and thick

American Shorthair History

Source: Cat Fanciers Association's Breed Standard

By some accounts, the American Shorthair came to North America with the earliest English settlers. Some even wonder whether their ancestors came over on the Mayflower, as history records the ship having several rat-hunting cats. Over the centuries, North Americans kept cats to help them fight rats and other pests, but also increasingly as pets. Very often, these cats were similar to American Shorthairs.

By the early twentieth century, more and more cats were being brought to North America from abroad, particularly Longhair and Siamese cats, and these cats promptly interbred with native cats. Many North American cat fanciers wished to preserve the native breed of cat, and so they began a selective breeding program. Consequently, the American Shorthair breed was one of the first five breeds registered by the new Cat Fanciers' Association in 1906-as the "Domestic Shorthair." The breed's name was officially changed to "American Shorthair" in 1966. Today, the American Shorthair ranks among the most popular breed among cat fanciers.

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