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American Shorthair

AmericanShorthair

An Independent Cat

Easygoing, Outgoing, Playful

American Shorthairs are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of American Shorthairs, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the American Shorthair and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Body:Built, powerful, muscular Coat:Short, thick, dense

Length of fur
2

1 = short - 5 = long

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: American Shorthairs need daily play sessions that stimulate their natural desire to hunt and explore. Keep their minds and bodies active or they may develop behavior issues. Cats are meticulously clean and demand a clean litter box. Be sure to provide at least one box for each cat and scoop waste daily. It is important that your cat drinks adequate amounts of water. If she won't drink water from her bowl try adding ice cubes or a flowing fountain.

Grooming: American Shorthairs have a low maintenance short coat. Brush as needed, at least weekly for a healthy shine.

Dental: American Shorthairs have generally good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Check her ears weekly for wax, debris, or signs of infection and clean when necessary. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

American Shorthairs are affectionate, gentle, and adaptable. A good, well rounded companion for the entire family.

Positive Traits:

  • Has a quiet or soft voice

  • Excellent companion and independent

  • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

Negative Traits: 

  • Can become overweight easily if not exercised regularly

  • Strong hunting instinct - will chase anything flying or scampering

  • May resist being picked up and carried

Whether you are considering adding a new American Shorthair to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every American Shorthair will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the American Shorthair you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues an American Shorthair could encounter:

Heart Disease

General Disease Risks

FLUTD

Renal Failure

Hyperthyroidism

Diabetes Mellitus

Allergies/Atopy

Deafness

Polycystic Kidney Disease

The American Shorthair stems from cats brought aboard ships bound for North America by the early pioneers. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, they were the first working cat breed,intended for hunting rats. When interest in cat shows began, American Short Hairs were among the earliest represented breeds, making the ASH one of the first to be recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906. They are gentle, affectionate, playful, and adaptable, fitting in well with families that have children and dogs.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Abyssinian shows signs of the following:

  • Weakness or exercise intolerance; rapid, labored, or open-mouth breathing; sudden-onset of weakness

  • Increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss

  • Voracious appetite, weight loss

  • Abnormal skin or coat, excessive grooming

  • Lack of response to noises

  • Care

    Routine Care: American Shorthairs need daily play sessions that stimulate their natural desire to hunt and explore. Keep their minds and bodies active or they may develop behavior issues. Cats are meticulously clean and demand a clean litter box. Be sure to provide at least one box for each cat and scoop waste daily. It is important that your cat drinks adequate amounts of water. If she won't drink water from her bowl try adding ice cubes or a flowing fountain.

    Grooming: American Shorthairs have a low maintenance short coat. Brush as needed, at least weekly for a healthy shine.

    Dental: American Shorthairs have generally good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Check her ears weekly for wax, debris, or signs of infection and clean when necessary. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    American Shorthairs are affectionate, gentle, and adaptable. A good, well rounded companion for the entire family.

    Positive Traits:

    • Has a quiet or soft voice

    • Excellent companion and independent

    • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

    Negative Traits: 

    • Can become overweight easily if not exercised regularly

    • Strong hunting instinct - will chase anything flying or scampering

    • May resist being picked up and carried

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new American Shorthair to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every American Shorthair will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the American Shorthair you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues an American Shorthair could encounter:

    Heart Disease

    General Disease Risks

    FLUTD

    Renal Failure

    Hyperthyroidism

    Diabetes Mellitus

    Allergies/Atopy

    Deafness

    Polycystic Kidney Disease

  • History

    The American Shorthair stems from cats brought aboard ships bound for North America by the early pioneers. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, they were the first working cat breed,intended for hunting rats. When interest in cat shows began, American Short Hairs were among the earliest represented breeds, making the ASH one of the first to be recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906. They are gentle, affectionate, playful, and adaptable, fitting in well with families that have children and dogs.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Abyssinian shows signs of the following:

    • Weakness or exercise intolerance; rapid, labored, or open-mouth breathing; sudden-onset of weakness

    • Increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss

    • Voracious appetite, weight loss

    • Abnormal skin or coat, excessive grooming

    • Lack of response to noises

American Shorthair Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the American Shorthair breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Cat Breed Guide References here.

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