American Shorthair cat breed is known for its longevity and robust health.

American Shorthair

The American shorthair has a history of approximately 400 years. They were brought to America by the settlers, who sailed from Britain to North America. They carried these cats on board ship to protect the stores of food from mice. Evidence indicates that several cats may have sailed over from England in 1620. These cats were most famous for their hunting abilities. With the import of foreign breeds in the early 1900s, the original American Shorthair bloodlines became diluted.

Thus, the group of breeders began a selective breeding program to preserve the natural beauty, mild temperament, and hardiness of the American Shorthair and to develop the qualities of these cats. These cats were originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, and were renamed "American Shorthair" in 1966 to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. American Shorthair is the title given to the true pedigreed variety. In 1895, seventy-one "Shorthair" cats and kittens were displayed at the very first U.S. cat show.

American Shorthair is a strongly built, well-balanced and symmetrical cat with a powerful look. These cats have long tails and slender bodies. They are medium to large in size with a solid body and wide chest with thick back legs. Their heads are square in shape with a wide face, wide ears and round eyes. Male shorthairs are larger than females with weight around 11 to 15 pounds when fully matured, while the females weigh 8 to 12 pounds at the age of 3 to 4 years.

American Shorthair is found in more than eighty different colors and patterns, such as, striking brown patched tabby, glistening blue-eyed white, the beautiful silvers, smokes, flashy calico van, and many more. But the most striking and best known color is the silver tabby with dense black markings set on a sterling silver background. American Shorthairs generally live around fifteen to twenty years.

American Shorthairs are very gentle and affectionate, and loves making companions. They are known for their amiability with children and other pet animals. They are friendly and can be easily trained. They generally do not like to be picked up as they cherish their freedom. They require only annual vaccinations, veterinary checkups, a quality diet and tender care from their owner. American Shorthairs are easy-going and are easily adjustable with human beings. As American Shorthairs have habit of overeating, so owners must be careful to give them enough opportunities to exercise and play.

Genetic Defect
As other breeds of cats, the American Shorthair also suffers from heart disease which can be inherited. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) has also been seen as an autosomal dominant inherited trait in this breed. Though HCM cannot be cured; early diagnosis and medication can help an affected cat's life.