Featured Breed

Prudent Pet Loves American Shorthairs

Pilgrims were not the only voyagers on the Mayflower–the ancestors of American Shorthair cats were, too!

Many British households kept cats to help control rodents in plague-ridden Europe. When settlers from England began coming to America, they brought their cats on the treacherous journey to protect the ship’s food supply from rodents.

Once these cats arrived in America, they began adapting to their new environments and developed traits distinct from their British ancestors, enabling the cats to survive in the new world. They worked on farms during the day and snuggled with their families at night. In 1906, the Cat Fanciers Association officially recognized the American Shorthair as a breed, distinct from mixed domestic house cats.

Rodent Control
England, 1500s

A fluffy kitten

About American Shorthairs

They come in over 80 different variations of color and patterns, though silver with black markings and tabby are among the most popular. Regardless of what color their coats are, American Shorthairs require very little maintenance. They aren’t heavy shedders and only need to be groomed occasionally.

American Shorthairs have a bulky, muscular build, but they aren’t particularly athletic. Therefore, it’s important to make sure they get regular exercise so they don’t become overweight. Known for their calm and amiable demeanor, these cats get along well with children and other animals. They’re easy to train and prefer lounging on the couch to chasing toys.

Owning a American Shorthair

American Shorthair Health

American Shorthairs are remarkably hearty, healthy cats.

However, like all pure breed animals, they’re still prone to certain major and minor health problems. Major health concerns include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken. Minor health concerns include obesity.

Major American Shorthair Health Concerns

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Minor American Shorthair Health Concerns

  • Obesity
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At a glance

American Shorthair Characteristics

  • Females: 8 - 10 inches
  • Males: 8 - 10 inches
  • Females: 10 - 15 pounds
  • Males: 10 - 15 pounds
Activity Level
  • Moderately active

Covering your American Shorthair

Pet Insurance for American Shorthairs

American Shorthair cats have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Though the American Shorthair is generally a very healthy breed, it’s still prone to certain breed-specific health issues. Pet insurance for an American Shorthair is generally comparable in price to pet insurance for mixed cats.

Since this breed is likely to have hereditary issues at some point, it is important to get pet insurance for American Shorthairs within the first 1-2 years.

Rescue a kitty

American Shorthair Rescues

Looking to rescue an American Shorthaired cat? Here are some of the top American Shorthair rescues in the country: