Photo by Marser

American Shorthair - Breed Profile:

Origin: Emigrated from Europe to United States
Colors: Any, except chocolate, sable, lavender, and colourpoint
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Moderately obedient

American shorthairs are easy-going, adaptable, affectionate, and intelligent cats.

Nowadays, the American Shorthair is the most popular cat in the USA. It is believed that these cats emigrated from Europe (England). The breed had been known as the Domestic Shorthair until 1966, and then it was renamed.

Physical characteristics

American Shorthairs are easy-going cats of medium to large size. They are athletic and have a powerful built. However, their body looks pretty slender. They are agile and robust. They have a large head with a slightly foreshortened (squared) muzzle, strong jaws, and a developed chin. The neck is generally medium in length. They have medium-size ears that are widely set and rounded at the tip slightly. The eyes are large; eye colour depends on coat colour and pattern. Adult males are larger than females and weigh 10 to 15 pounds. Adult females weigh 8 to 12 pounds.


Despite these cats may seem very energetic, their activity level is lower compared with, for instance, the Abyssinian, Bengal, Burmese, or Ocicat. However, they do need play and can stay frisky even in old age. They relish a person playing with them, but they can easily have fun with a ball of paper as well. These cats like high places. They can be trained to stay off furniture. Inquisitive, American Shorthairs will gladly investigate a recently drained sink or tub. They are rather quiet. Basically, cats of this breed get along well with people and other pets in the house, as long as they are introduced properly. They are perfect for people who want a sociable and affectionate cat at their side but not in their face. American Shorthairs are adaptable, very intelligent, devoted, and loyal to a fault.

Coat and grooming

These cats come in a variety of patterns: solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, particolour, and bicolour. More than one third of American Shorthairs come in the most popular colour and pattern: the striking silver classic tabby with deep black markings on a pale, clear, silver ground colour. Pattern colours can be any, except chocolate, sable, lavender, and colourpoint.
American Shorthair kitten by Tabitha

American Shorthairs have a short dense coat. You may even say that it is hard in texture. Depending on season, coat thickness can change. Grooming is necessary every few weeks.


American Shorthairs are generally healthy. However, some cats can inherit heart disease, Hypertonic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). The typical lifespan is 15 to 20 years.

Other interesting facts

Crossing between the American Shorthair and the Persian resulted in a new breed named the Exotic Shorthair.