The American Shorthair cat is rightfully considered the purring symbol of the United States. It is difficult to resist this graceful beauty and her feminine sly look!
The intelligent and aristocratic American Shorthair cat captivates many with its impeccable behavior and unpretentious care.
These kitties have good health, hardy character, and thanks to their agility and good reaction they are excellent hunters.
So quite often the American Shorthair cat brings the owner a gift in the form of a caught mouse.
History of the American shorthair cat breed
The story of this cat begins with the fact that many sailors took cats with them on board to hunt rodents. Since the beginning of the settlement of New England, cats began to live together with the first settlements, also helping humans to fight rodents.
Living conditions hardened American shorthair cats, they had truly excellent health, perfectly adapted to the most difficult conditions, had a powerful muscular body, a lot of strength and energy to survive in any conditions. Despite the ordinary appearance, it may seem that these are ordinary street cats, but this is not so, many specialists took part in the breeding of this breed, years of selective practice and experiments allowed us to bring out a truly exclusive breed with excellent characteristics of health and appearance, as well as kind and docile character.
The first participation of the cat breeds in exhibitions at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries showed how highly their energy, strength, beauty and grace, as well as high endurance and vitality were appreciated. Unfortunately, with the emergence of new cat breeds, such as the Persian or Angora, the popularity of the American Shorthair began to decline, moreover, cats began to be treated as outbred, street cats.
The emerging new cats mated with the American Shorthair, gradually blurring the genotype of the breed. But, thanks to the desire of some experts to preserve the breed of the American Shorthair cat in its original form, breeding programs have been developed to prevent the extinction of this wonderful breed.
Despite the fact that in the 1960s the American shorthair cats were still treated as ordinary street cats, in 1965 breeders registered the breed “American Shorthair”. More than one century of the development of this breed has formed these cats as they are, strong, downed, muscular, hardy, healthy, with strong immunity.
The appearance of the American shorthair
American Shorthair cats range in size from medium to large. The weight of cats of this breed at a young age can reach up to 5 kg. Adult cats can weigh up to 7 kg. A special feature of these cats is their large head, with a slightly sloping forehead, wide muzzle and large eyes. Eye color is usually green and orange, cats with a different iris color are not allowed to breed offspring.
The entire body of shorthaired American cats speaks of their predatory nature. The neck and the entire body as a whole are of medium length and sufficiently muscular. The muscles of the chest and legs are especially developed in cats of this breed. In addition, the powerful jaw emphasizes the hunting habits. Speaking of the limbs, it is worth noting that they are well developed – the protruding muscle mass of strong legs with elongated paws is clearly visible.
The coat of cats is short with a thick undercoat that protects against various weather conditions and the teeth of predators. The color is very diverse, but the most common is tabby.
Note! American shorthair cats grow slowly and reach their final proportions by the age of four.
Distinctive features of the breed:
Oval wide head of large size. The corners of the square muzzle are smooth, there are cheeks;
Medium ears with rounded tips, tassels allowed;
Wide-set almond eyes, outer corners higher than inner ones. The cat’s gaze is alert and clear;
Strong legs with velvet compact feet. Heavy paw pads;
Short, soft coat with a dense undercoat. Such a coat protects well from rain and cold;
Wide tail tapering to a blunt tip.
The breed standard allows for any variety of colors – all due to the mixed origin of the American shorthair. However, rare lilac, chocolate and sable colors are prohibited. The most common tabby pattern is with a silvery tint.
The character of the American shorthair
These cats are lazy and independent, so more often than not you will see a pet lying on the bed. American shorthair cats are calm and do not want to look for dubious adventures, which means they will not knock over grandma’s precious vase from the sideboard.
Moreover, such cats are friendly, and more than anything else they like to receive guests. Your pet will get to know everyone who comes and will definitely let itself be stroked. But dosed: the spirit of American freedom does not allow people to sit on their laps for hours.
In the first place in the life of an American cat is its owner. This is a very loyal and loving cat who will always be there. Even in moments of bouts of “independence” the cat will walk somewhere nearby.
The favorite toy of the American Shorthair is the teaser. A candy wrapper on a string or a fishing rod from a pet store will do. The breed loves to hunt and play, so it’s important to keep your cat busy with new activities on a regular basis.
These cats inherited heightened hunting instincts from their distant ancestors. Living in a private house, American Shorthairs often present their owners with a pleasant – from their point of view – surprise in the form of an unwary mouse or a sparrow. This is how the animal takes care of the members of its “flock”, so in no case scold the pet, and in his absence, get rid of the prey caught by him.
Thanks to their calm and friendly nature, American shorthair cats perfectly take root in families with children. These cats are condescending to the pranks of a child and will never use their claws with an incautious and painful poke. If the American shorthair gets bored with childish attention, he will hide on the highest shelf of the closet and hold her breath. For this reason, many cat owners “lose” their pets and do not even think to look in search of them on the mezzanine.
Nature has endowed these fluffy creatures with good health and excellent immunity. Although this fact in no way cancels planned vaccinations and sanitization against parasites.
Due to their high endurance and resistance to unfavorable environmental factors, American Shorthair cats live up to 15 years.
Animals are prone to two serious diseases:
- Dysplasia of the hip joint.
Both problems are hereditary and hardly cured. It is only possible to apply correction methods that slow down the progression of these diseases.
Compared to long-haired cat breeds, American shorthair cats do not need careful care of their adorable fur coat. It is enough for them to brush the coat weekly with a rubber brush or gloves with silicone growths. During seasonal molting, you need to repeat the procedure every day to keep your pet looking tidy. American Shorthair cats do not like to take a bath and are also quite clean, so refrain from frequent bathing. You can use a damp cloth to brush away small specks of dust. A piece of suede will help to put a healthy and nice-looking shine on the coat.
If your pet does get dirty, bathe it with a shorthaired pet shampoo. After the cat bath, make sure that the pet is not in a draft: it is fraught with colds, even for such a strong and healthy breed.
Important! You can take a kitten home when he is three months old, until that time he still desperately needs the care of his mother.
Pay attention to the eyes and ears of the animal every two to three weeks. Remove foreign matter with a damp cotton pad. If your cat regularly walks outside, check it daily to prevent possible infections.
It is equally important to look after the “fighting arsenal” of the American shorthair cat – teeth and claws. In the first case, the rules are quite simple: the plaque is removed with a paste. Do not use your own hygiene product: it foams a lot and has a sharp minty taste for the animal. Use an old brush or a finger tip as a tool. For prophylactic tooth cleaning, special hard treats are often used.
Important! If the discharge from the eyes and ears has a specific color or smell, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Shorten the claws of the American shorthair with a claw cutter. It will not be superfluous to buy a scratching post. It will help keep the interior of the apartment intact. Teaching a kitten to sharpen its claws in a certain place is not a problem, it is more difficult to forbid an already matured animal.
There is one important nuance in feeding the American Shorthair cat. Representatives of this breed are distinguished by an excessive appetite and are ready to absorb all food within a radius of several meters. You will have to strictly control the portion size and not react to the pet’s begging glance. It is recommended to weigh the cat every week and adjust its diet depending on its weight. If your graceful pet looks more and more like a hulking ball, pay attention to active games. Obesity in American Shorthaired cats is associated with cardiovascular problems.
Important! The American Shorthair cat, due to its laziness, is prone to obesity. He needs to be constantly forced to move and monitor his diet.
These cats prefer to dine alone, hiding from others in the corners. By the way, the American shorthair is quite greedy about his food and will not allow anyone to look into the bowl.
With regard to the nutrition, experts agree that it is best to feed them with premium dry food.
Important! When eating dry food, the daily intake of water should be increased 4 times, compared to natural food.
If, for any reason, you are against dry food, pay attention to natural products that should be on your pet’s menu:
- Lean meat (chicken, beef)
- By-products (liver, kidneys, ventricles)
- Lean sea fish
- Fermented milk products (kefir, fermented baked milk, cottage cheese)
A separate bowl should contain filtered water – bottled or infused for 6-8 hours. It is not recommended to give the animal boiled water. Its frequent use leads to urolithiasis.
American shorthair cat breed highlights
- American Shorthair cats have a balanced character: they do not go to extremes, behave with restraint, but at the same time do not forget about fun games with their own tail.
- “Americans” do not like to sit on their hands, so at an opportunity they will leave their forced roost and go in search of a cozy place where they can take a nap.
- Representatives of the breed rarely emit a loud meow and prefer to communicate with the owner mainly with lively facial expressions.
- American Shorthair cats can cope with forced loneliness, but your long absence is undesirable.
- Fluffy beauties love to hunt and often “delight” family members with a caught fly, and in a private house – also with a bird or a rodent.
- “Americans” get along well with other animals (except rodents and birds), they are no less tolerant and affectionate with children.
- Cats lend themselves to training only with a trusting relationship with the owner and teaching teams in a playful way.
- American Shorthairs are unpretentious in grooming, but you will have to carefully monitor the pet’s diet: this breed is prone to overeating and, as a result, obesity.
Conclusions about American shorthair cats
The popularity of the American Shorthair cat breed is growing every year and not only in the United States, where they have been loved for many decades. Currently, there are nurseries engaged in breeding Americans in many countries in the world. It is there that you can choose and buy a thoroughbred pet. And although the price there is higher than when buying from hands, the guarantee of purchasing a 100% American Shorthair kitten is also much higher.