American Shorthair Cat Facts

Originally called the Domestic Shorthair Cat, the American Shorthair Cat has been renamed to differentiate it from the British Shorthair. The American Shorthair was the first cat to become established in the New World, travelling over the Atlantic Ocean with the Pilgrims to control the vermin on the Mayflower. This charming and attractive cat soon found plenty of work hunting mice and rats in its new homeland, and since then it has become a very popular cat breed in America.

The American Shorthair Cat is a pedigreed cat, unlike the Domestic Shorthair, and comes in approximately 80 color variations from solid to calico to tabby. The American Shorthair differs from its British cousin in several respects– it is bigger and heavier, the ears are smaller and more rounded, and the head is wider. The eyes can be green or gold and tend to be slightly slanted. As with most cats, house training this breed is easy. Generally all that is needed is an introduction to the litter box.

• The American Shorthair Cat is quite happy to live in an apartment, although this athletic cat does appreciate a yard in which to roam from time to time.

• This cat makes an excellent family pet and will get along with everyone in the household.

• This is an affectionate cat and enjoys companionship, so if the human family will be out for most of the day, it might be a good idea to get another cat to keep the first one company.

• The ability of this cat to jump will make nearly any surface in your home available to it, so take care when leaving food out.

• Mice and rats are avidly hunted by the American Shorthair, but be aware that very often your cat may bring you a ‘gift’ of its kill.

• American Shorthairs are a calm breed with a steady and sedate personality.

• Though it is no guarantee, a scratching post will help prevent your American Shorthair from clawing up the furniture.

• Cat toys, even a ball of yarn or a bunch of feathers on the end of a cord, will keep this cat entertained. Toms will enjoy a catnip mouse.

• This cat is an average shedder, and its coat needs little care other than a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs.

• Depending on where you live, fleas can be a serious problem, causing skin irritation and allergic reactions. Severe infestations can actually cause anemia. A flea collar or bath with medicated shampoo may be needed in extreme cases.

• Because there has been scant opportunity for the American Shorthair to be inbred, this is a healthy breed and can live up to 15 to 20 years.

• The American Shorthair enjoys its food, so take care not to over feed this cat, especially if its exercise options are limited.

• Cats seldom show illness until it has progressed quite far, so be sure to have your American Shorthair checked by your veterinarian every year. Keep your pet up to date on all vaccinations, and have a test for worms taken twice yearly if your cat goes outside.


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