American Short Hair Cats

American Short Hair Cats show their working cat ancestry in their lithe but powerful bodies.

These cats are the cultivated, pedigreed version, of the domestic short hair cats of America that in the 1600's braved the journey to the New World with the pilgrims.

The Mayflower had cats on board to keep the ships rodent population under control.

As the settlers moved across the North American continent the cats moved with them, prized for their loving companionship as well as their rat exterminating abilities.

The arduous life of the settlers had to be endured by the cats as well, and so the ancestors of American Short Hair cats had to be very robust in order to survive.

By the 1700's these felines were established as part of American family life, as tough working cats and also as family pets, sometimes even being included in family portraits.

American short hair catA strong, powerful but supple body, with a full chest and broad straight back is a characteristic of the American Short hair cat.

By the early 1900's foreign cat types, often Persian and Siamese, were being imported into North America.

Some of these newcomers roamed free and soon kittens were born displaying various coat lengths and body types.

A few cat fanciers who wanted to ensure the continuance of the strong lithe body, and agreeable nature of the native short haired cat decided to take action.

A red tabby by the name of Bell of Bradford was imported from Britain and bred with native short hair cats.

Photo: Andrea_44

The first kittens were simply known as Short Hairs, they later became to be called Domestic Short Hairs, it was not until the mid 1960's that this breed became known as American Short Hair and became established as a breed in their own right.

Temperament and Description of American Short Hair Cats.

The American Short Hair is an un-temperamental cat, it has a very calm, affable nature and does not lose it's temper easily, therefore it's a wonderful cat to have with small children in the house.

Healthy, hardy and tough, with a muscular body despite its slenderness, it is not a cat that generates endless veterinary bills.

American Shorthair named Smokey. Photo: Rebecca Fleming

This is an intelligent breed and although not known for performing tricks can be trained to answer to its name, and to keep off of furniture.

The American will happily sit for long periods on your lap enjoying being petted.

This cat appreciates toys and is inventive in how it plays with them. This breed delights in the company of other pets, including dogs.

American Short Hair cats have soft quiet voices in relation to their size, some examples of the breed are more talkative than others.

American Short Hair Description

Full grown male American short hair cats weigh 11 to 16 pounds, females 8 to 12 pounds.

Well cared for and loved examples have a life expectancy of up to 20 years, with the average being about 15 years.

The American has a broad head with the jowls well developed in males, the muzzle is square, jaws and chin firm.

The eyes are large, round, perhaps slanting upwards slightly, usually very bright and clear.

Altogether a pleasant, friendly face that projects the personality of this cat.

A strong, powerful but supple body, with a full chest and broad straight back is a characteristic of the American Short Hair.

The muscled legs are straight and of medium length, the paws are round with thick pads.

The coat, unsurprisingly, is short!, close lying and dense. There is some seasonal variation.

The American Short Hair breed is most often seen with a silver tabby coat but, in fact, these charming felines appear in a wide variety of coats.

Solid black, white, blue, red and cream, bicolor in red and white, black and white, cream and white, brown tabby and white, red tabby and white, brown patched tabby and white, golden patched tabby and white. Shaded in black, blue, silver, cameo, tortoiseshell. The tabbies in silver, golden, brown, blue, red, cream and cameo.

All in all American Short Hair cats are highly recommended for busy households, especially if there are young children in the family. They always give and receive love unstintingly.

A long living, healthy pet that is likely to be a much loved family member for many years.

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