Cat Breeds

American Shorthair

Isabel Hartley

The American Shorthair cat boasts a rich history and a personality that makes them a favored pet among cat lovers.

Known for their robust health and easy-going nature, American Shorthairs have humble beginnings as working cats on ships, where they were valued for their prowess in hunting rodents.

Their muscular build is a testament to their ancestral role, yet they fit perfectly into the modern family home, mingling well with children and other pets.

Characterized by a medium-to-large body size, males typically weigh between 11 to 15 pounds, while females are slightly lighter, weighing in at 6 to 12 pounds.

They have a distinctive look with a large, oblong-shaped head, medium-sized ears that are slightly rounded at the tips, and large, wide-set eyes that add to their alert and wise expression.

With a life expectancy that can reach into the teens, American Shorthairs are a long-term commitment for an owner.

They are known to be friendly, personable, and adaptable, thriving in a variety of living situations.

Owners can appreciate the low-maintenance aspect of the breed, not only in personality but also in care, as their short, dense coat doesn’t require extensive grooming.

Breed Overview

The American Shorthair cat is a friendly and easy-going breed known for its good nature. Ideal as family pets, they display a pleasant demeanor and adapt well to various living situations.


The American Shorthair’s lineage dates back to European cats brought over on the Mayflower.

These cats were originally valued for their prowess in hunting and eventually became a natural part of the American landscape.

Breed Traits

American Shorthairs are recognized for their gentle and playful personalities.

They possess a remarkable tolerance for children and other pets, making them excellent companions.

Their temperament strikes a balance between independence and affection.

  • Personality: Friendly, personable
  • Care: Easy to care for
  • Compatibility: Good with families and other pets

Physical Characteristics

The breed is medium to large in size, with males typically weighing 11-15 lbs and females 6-12 lbs.

They showcase a wide variety of coat colors and patterns.

  • Size: Medium to large
  • Weight: Males: 11-15 lbs, Females: 6-12 lbs
  • Appearance: Oblong head, medium-sized rounded ears, large and wide eyes
  • Coat: Short-haired, diverse colors and patterns

Health and Care

Caring for an American Shorthair is typically straightforward, but they have specific needs in terms of health, diet, and grooming that owners should be aware of.

Common Health Issues

American Shorthairs are generally healthy, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health conditions.

Being aware of these issues helps ensure these cats lead a long, happy life:

  • Cardiomyopathy: An ailment of the heart muscle that can be inherited.
  • Hip dysplasia: A hereditary disease that can lead to arthritis or lameness.

Routine vet check-ups can help catch and manage these conditions early.

Diet Requirements

The dietary needs of an American Shorthair are pretty basic:

  • High-quality cat food: Either commercial or home-prepared with a veterinarian’s supervision.
  • Balanced diet: It helps maintain their weight and overall health.

Experts suggest portion-controlled meals to prevent obesity.

Grooming Needs

Their grooming routine is low-maintenance due to their short coats.

  • Weekly brushing: Helps reduce shedding and keeps the coat shiny.
  • Regular nail trimming and teeth brushing: To maintain overall health and hygiene.

Following these simple steps keeps them looking and feeling their best.

Behavior and Temperament

The American Shorthair is known for its friendly and easygoing nature. They are sociable cats who enjoy the company of their human families and can get along well with children and other pets.

They tend to adapt easily to different living situations, whether it’s a bustling family home or a quieter apartment setting.

  • Personality Traits:
    • Friendly
    • Personable
    • Adaptable

American Shorthairs are active and playful, with a moderate level of energy that makes them inquisitive without being overly demanding of attention.

They have a history of being working cats, which explains their skilled hunting abilities.

These cats typically don’t require constant interaction, but they do appreciate playtime and affection at their own pace.

They also strike a balance between independence and companionship, often showing affection yet being perfectly content doing their own thing.

  • Activity Level:
    • Moderately Active
    • Playful
    • Inquisitive

As far as temperaments go, the American Shorthair is often the epitome of a great all-rounder feline companion, having a calm demeanor that doesn’t usually sway into hyperactivity or lethargy.

They are well-suited for many types of households and tend to form strong bonds with their owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to some of the most common inquiries about American Shorthair cats, from costs to their sociability.

What’s the average cost of an American shorthair cat?

The price for an American Shorthair cat typically ranges between $600 and $1200, depending on its pedigree, age, and whether it’s purchased from a reputable breeder.

How would you describe the personality of American shorthair cats?

They are known for being affectionate and playful, with a disposition that makes them a great fit for families. American Shorthairs adapt well to their environment and enjoy companionship.

Can you give me an idea of how big American shorthair cats get?

On average, American Shorthair cats are medium-sized, with males weighing 11 to 15 pounds and females slightly smaller at 6 to 12 pounds.

Are American shorthair cats known for being friendly with people?

Yes, they generally have a gentle and friendly nature, which often makes them excellent companions for their human families and guests alike.

Is it common for American Shorthair cats to enjoy being held and cuddled?

While individual preferences can vary, many American Shorthair cats do enjoy affection and can be quite content when held and cuddled by their loved ones.

What are the identifiable breeds that went into the development of the American Shorthair?

The American Shorthair breed developed from early domestic cats that arrived in North America with European settlers.

These cats were crossed with native domestic breeds to create the American Shorthair known today.

How big do American Shorthair cats get?

American Shorthairs are considered medium- to large cats. Males are typically larger than females, with males weighing on average between 11 to 15 pounds (5 to 6.8 kilograms). Females, on the other hand, usually weigh between 6 to 12 pounds (2.7 to 5.4 kilograms).

Their growth and final size can be influenced by genetics, diet, and overall health. American Shorthairs reach their full size and weight by the age of 3 to 4 years.