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American Shorthair cat

American Shorthair cat
Other names: kurtzhaar

The American shorthair cat is rightfully considered a purring symbol of the USA. It's hard to resist this graceful beauty and her feminine sly look!

Brief information

  • Breed name: American Shorthair cat
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • The time of the birth of the breed: XVI century
  • Weight: 4 – 8 kg
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years, sometimes up to 20 years


  • 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 when the opportunity arises, they will leave their forced perch and go in search of a cozy place where they can take a nap.
  • Representatives of the breed rarely emit loud meowing and prefer to communicate with the owner mainly with animated facial expressions.
  • American shorthair cats can cope with forced loneliness, but your prolonged 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 can be trained only with a trusting relationship with the owner and learning commands in a playful way.
  • American shorthair is unpretentious in care, but you will have to carefully control the pet's diet: this breed is prone to overeating and, as a result, obesity.

American Shorthair cat has come a long way from an unremarkable pied piper to the most popular breed in the USA. Such wide fame ceases to surprise when you get to know her better. American shorthair has a delightful appearance, good health and an easy-going character. Cats easily come into contact with people; they know when the time is right for stormy games with the owner, and when – for peaceful snoring nearby. Animals are not alien to hunting instincts, but this does not prevent them from remaining gentle and loving pets that everyone dreams of. Get this beautiful ball of wool – and you will forget what a bad mood is!

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Affectionate ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Health ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
Sociability ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Playfulness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
*Characteristics of the American Shorthair cat breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the American Shorthair cat breed

American Shorthair cat

A wonderful legend is connected with the origin of American shorthair cats. It says that Christopher Columbus, planning to go in search of the mysterious India, ordered to take cats on all the ships of the flotilla. According to the famous navigator, this measure would save sailors from having to deal with rodents that caused damage to the provisions taken. This is how the ancestors of American shorthair cats came to the Indian lands in the XV century.

Unfortunately, this legend is not documented, which cannot be said about the widespread version of the origin of the breed. The first cats, which may have become the progenitors of the "Americans", appeared in the New World at the beginning of the XVII century together with a group of English Protestants. They arrived in America on the ship "Mayflower" and founded Jamestown – the first British settlement. This is evidenced by journal entries that have come down to our days since 1609.

Once in a different climate, the animals were forced to adapt to new living conditions. The size of cats has increased in comparison with their European counterparts, and their fur has become tougher and thicker. Whiling away the days on farms and ranches, near houses and barns, the ancestors of American shorthair increasingly could boast of good health. The settlers paid attention to this and soon began to appreciate the "stability" of animals along with their excellent rodent extermination skills.

Until the beginning of the XX century, the breeding of cats took place in free conditions: no one cared about the exterior and thoroughbred pedigree, made no attempt to standardize the breed. The ancestors of the "Americans" retained similarities with their British relatives, but were distinguished by a more stretched and athletic physique. In addition, the animals were hardy, intelligent and fearless, which made them valuable material for breeding. Soon the US breeders realized that they needed to preserve the breed. So began the breeding of American shorthair cats.

American shorthair kitten

Fans of these amazing animals engaged in the acquisition of bright representatives of the breed and the formation of ideal breeding pairs. This would preserve the remarkable appearance and docile nature of cats. In 1904, the CFA registered Buster Brown, a direct descendant of the "British" who came to the United States with the colonists. From that moment on, American breeders have developed a clear cat breeding program.

Its results became clear by 1930, when, with a relatively small number of generations, it was possible to "enrich" the breed with many remarkable colors. Among them was a silver one – a legacy from Persians . The breeding of American shorthair cats has played an important role in the lives of their brethren. With the participation of these animals, it was possible to create new breeds: snowshoe , bengali , scottish fold , ociceta , Bombay , devon Rex , exotic , maine coon and others.

In the middle of the XX century, CFA members published the first catalog, which included about fifty representatives of the breed. At that time, she was known as a domestic shorthair. Under the same name, the animals first participated in the 1966 exhibition. The victory was won by Shawnee Traidmark, inheriting the title of "Cat of the Year". At the same time, they decided to rename the breed to reflect its true "American" character and thereby separate it from other shorthair brethren. Despite this, there were cases of registration of cats under the former name until 1985.

American shorthair cats are very fond of lying down and sleeping, that is, they are quite lazy

In 1984, the handsome Mr. H won a similar victory, and in 1996, Sol–Mer Sharif. The end of the XX century became significant for representatives of the breed. For two decades, American shorthair cats have gracefully climbed to the top positions of the rating of the most popular breeds and have chosen a place in the top ten shorthair favorites of the USA.

The CFA organization has about a hundred registered nurseries that specialize in breeding this breed. At the same time, most of them are concentrated on the territory of America: breeders have entrusted their national heritage to a few. The history of American shorthair cats in Russia began in 2007 with the appearance of a breeding pair – Lucky cat and Cleopatra cat, brought from the KC Dancers kennel.

Official nurseries can boast worthy producers originally from the USA. Despite the few litters of American shorthair, representatives of the breed are becoming more common. Russian breeders are working hard to ensure that these cats take an important place in the hearts of people and in the future win as many victories as possible at specialized exhibitions. So far, these are just dreams: the European "cat" organization FIFe still does not officially recognize short-haired "Americans". Representatives of this breed are less common in Russia than, say, in Japan.

Video: American Shorthair cat

Appearance of the American shorthair cat

The animal looks rough – a kind of workhorse, but in a cat's body. However, this does not detract from the grace of her movements. The breed is characterized by sexual dimorphism: cats are much larger than cats – 7-8 kg and 4-5 kg, respectively.

"Americans" refer to short-haired breeds of large and medium size. They grow slowly and acquire final proportions by the age of four.

Head and skull

Indian Cat

The shape of the head of the American shorthair cat is called square or rectangular: its length and width are almost equal (except for a couple of millimeters). The frontal part of the skull is slightly convex, which is noticeable when the animal is turned in profile.


The square muzzle of the cat is quite wide and short, characterized by a certain angularity of outlines. The cheeks are plump (especially in adults), the cheekbones are rounded. There is a clear transition between the forehead and the muzzle of the animal. The nose is characterized by an average length. The chin is well developed, formed by strong jaws and located perpendicular to the upper lip.


The cat's head is decorated with smoothly rounded ears of small size, covered with short hair. They are set wide, differ in a rather narrow base. The distance between the inner corners of the ears corresponds to the distance between the eyes, doubled.


The eyes of an American shorthair cat of medium or large size, have a round shape (except for the base, which is more like an almond-shaped one). The distance between them corresponds to the width of the eye itself. The breed standard provides for the orange color of the iris in most colors, except silver (these animals are characterized by green eyes). Cats of solid white color are distinguished by blue or orange eyes. Often there is a combination of these colors.


The neck is proportional to the size of the animal: more medium than short; strong and muscular.

The muzzle of the American shorthair cat often flashes in numerous commercials, because it is difficult to imagine a more cute and spectacular kitty


In American shorthair cats, there is a significant difference between male and female individuals: males are noticeably more massive than girlfriends

The American shorthair cat is distinguished by a harmoniously folded body. Its outlines are rounded and practically not stretched. The shoulders, chest (especially in cats) and the back of the body look quite developed – largely due to the musculature. The back is wide and smooth. In profile, a smooth slope from the hip to the base of the tail is noticeable.


Has a thick base, tapers to a non-pointed tip. It is carried on the line of the back.


The front and hind limbs are parallel to each other. They have a weighted musculature, of medium length.

Wool cover

The short coat is adjacent to the animal's body. Harsh to the touch, has a healthy shine. The undercoat becomes thicker with the approach of winter. Changing its thickness depending on the region is allowed.


American shorthair cat color red tabby

The standard provides for more than 60 color variations with points. They are usually divided into monophonic, spotted, smoky and tabby. Silver marble is recognized as the most popular. A cat with this color can be seen in the advertisement "Whiskas".

Possible vices

Common defects of the breed include:

  • pigmentation of the iris, other than green, in animals of silver color;
  • elongated and close-set ears with pointed tips;
  • rather thin or thick tail with creases;
  • elongated and/or stocky torso;
  • "plush" wool cover;
  • neck of an atypical format;
  • underdeveloped croup.

The disqualifying vices of the American shorthair cat are as follows:

  • colors – Tonkin, Burmese, fawn, cinnamon, purple or chocolate;
  • long and/or fluffy coat;
  • the presence of white points;
  • excessively deepened stop;
  • exhaustion or obesity;
  • amputated claws;
  • overshot or undershot;
  • undescended testicles;
  • bulging eyes;
  • deafness.

Photo of an American shorthair cat

Character of the American shorthair cat

Representatives of the breed observe the golden mean in everything – the main quality that distinguishes American shorthair from their brethren. These cats are sociable, but do not impose their company; they like to play, but are not reputed to be restless egos. In relation to the owners, the animals are very attentive, but prefer to observe subordination. The cat watches what is happening from the side, is not lazy to go to the sound of his nickname, but it is still not worth counting on an hour-long hug session with a pet. If desired, she herself will jump on your lap, but even in this case, the attention of the fluffy beauty will not last more than ten minutes.

American shorthair cat with owner

Do not expect a lively "conversation" from a pet: American shorthair cats are not distinguished by sociability. The animal will prefer to approach the owner carefully and make a quiet "meow" rather than start a "conversation" in the next room. This feature is more than compensated by the lively facial expressions of the cat: its muzzle is a mirror in which all the desires and emotions of the animal are displayed. Learn to recognize these nonverbal signals: this will greatly facilitate communication with your pet!

"Americans" quickly get attached to the people they live with. They will get used to the working schedule of the owner and will meet him with a gentle meow, not a demanding "siren". In your absence, the animal will most likely curl up in a ball on a soft litter and calmly wait for the return. However, long business trips are a weighty reason for feline anxiety. Ask relatives or friends to look after your pet: "moving" to an animal hotel will negatively affect her psyche and general well-being.

These cats inherited sharpened hunting instincts from their distant ancestors. Living in a private house, American shorthair often presents the owners with a pleasant – from their point of view – surprise in the form of a careless mouse or sparrow. This is how the animal takes care of the members of its "pack", so in no case do not scold the pet, and in his absence get rid of the prey caught by him.

For this reason, it is not recommended to keep American shorthair cats with decorative birds and rodents, otherwise a safari at home is provided. If it so happens that small pets have been living with you for a long time and do not plan to give way to anyone, try to protect them with a bell on the neck of your graceful huntress.

Girl playing with American shorthair kittens

As for the cohabitation of "Americans" with dogs, it takes place in fairly peaceful conditions. Yes, they may not become best friends, but they will not engage in constant skirmishes for the territory and attention of the owner.

Thanks to the calm and friendly nature of the breed representatives perfectly get along in families with children. These cats are condescending to the pranks of the child and will never use their claws with careless and painful poking. If the American shorthair gets bored of children's attention, she 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 guess to look into their search on the mezzanine.

If you like an obedient and quiet pet, be sure to pay attention to the American shorthair cat. Representatives of this breed will not make a pogrom in the absence of the owner, will not demand a tasty morsel during dinner or – even worse! – steal it from the table. "Americans" are set up for friendly and calm communication, and this, as you know, is the best antidepressant and an extra reason to smile in response to the affectionate purring of a pet.

Education and training

American shorthair cats are smart and intelligent, but this is not enough for successful pet training. Representatives of the breed are quite stubborn and independent, and learning new tricks and commands is not among their favorite things. To achieve a positive result, use a few tips.

  • Start classes from the pet's childhood and gradually increase their duration.
  • Establish a trusting relationship with the animal.
  • Think about effective motivation for a cat.
  • Build training in the form of a game so that the pet does not get bored.

Do not forget to teach the fluffy beauty to use "amenities" and shorten her natural manicure with a scratching post, not her favorite sofa.

Care and maintenance

The American shorthair absolutely has no fear of water, on the contrary, loves to swim, besides swims perfectly. This applies not only to adults, but also to teenagers and very small kittens.

In comparison with long-haired breeds of cats, "Americans" do not need careful care of their charming fur coat. Weekly combing of wool with a rubber brush or gloves with silicone growths is enough for them. During seasonal molting, it is necessary to repeat the procedure every day so that your pet looks neat. American shorthair cats do not like to take a bath and are also quite clean, so refrain from frequent water procedures. You can use a damp cloth flap to brush away small specks of dust. A piece of suede will help to apply a healthy and pleasant shine to the fur.

If your pet is still dirty, bathe it with a pet shampoo for shorthair breeds. After a cat bath, make sure that the pet is not in a draft: this is fraught with colds even for such a strong and healthy breed.

Every two to three weeks, pay attention to the eyes and ears of the animal. Remove foreign particles with a wet cotton pad. If the cat regularly walks outside, inspect it daily to prevent possible infections.

Important: If the discharge from the eyes and ears has a specific color or smell, contact a veterinary clinic for advice.

It is equally important to take care of the "combat arsenal" of the American shorthair cat – teeth and claws. In the first case, the rules are quite simple: the plaque is eliminated with a paste. Do not use your own hygiene product: it foams strongly and has a sharp mint taste for the animal. An old brush or a finger attachment will be suitable as a tool. For preventive brushing of teeth, special solid treats are often used.

Cats should not be overfed, otherwise overeating in combination with the habit of pampering can lead to obesity.

Shorten the claws of the "American" with a claw cutter. It will not be superfluous to buy a scratching post. It will help to 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 it to an already grown-up animal.

There is one important nuance in feeding the American shorthair cat. Representatives of this breed are characterized by excessive appetite and are ready to absorb all food within a radius of several meters. You will have to strictly control the volume of the portion and not react to the begging look of the pet. It is recommended to weigh the cat every week and adjust its diet depending on the weight indicators. If your graceful pet looks more and more like a clumsy ball, pay attention to active games. Obesity of American shorthair cats entails problems with the cardiovascular system.

Nutrition should be built in such a way that the animal receives the necessary amount of vitamins and trace elements along with food. The best option is a balanced premium dry food. If you decide to stick to a natural diet, use a vitamin and mineral complex as an auxiliary. This will help your pet to maintain excellent health.

The American shorthair cat is not eager to take a walk, but if the owner still decides to allow them free range, they can easily bring a mouse - the hunter's instinct will work.

Do not include the American shorthair cat in the diet:

  • lamb and pork (due to high fat content);
  • fried, pickled, sweet and salty food;
  • "human" drinks – coffee and tea;
  • milk (not relevant for kittens);
  • river fish in any form;
  • legumes;
  • tubular bones;
  • onion and garlic;
  • dried fruits;
  • potatoes;
  • mushrooms.

Filtered water should be in a separate bowl – bottled or infused for 6-8 hours. It is not recommended to give the animal boiled water. Its frequent use entails urolithiasis.

Health of the American shorthair cat

Since the breed is considered to be indigenous, cosmonauts can envy the health of its representatives! American shorthair cats rarely have typical ailments for their relatives. Individual lines are susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that is fraught with death. Sometimes American shorthair is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, although this pathology is not so common.

How to choose a kitten

Where is my food?

The following rules will help you get a healthy and cheerful pet.

  • There are many places where you can buy a cat: bird markets, pet stores, bulletin boards and kennels. In the first three cases, there is a high risk of getting an ordinary yard murzik instead of a thoroughbred "American", therefore it is recommended to find an official nursery that is engaged in breeding the breed. Breeders monitor the health of producers and do not allow animals with hereditary defects to be mated.
  • The optimal age of a kitten is three months. From this moment on, the baby no longer needs mother's milk, is distinguished by balanced mental and physical health. In addition, by the age of three months, kittens have already been vaccinated against dangerous viral diseases.
  • Pay attention to the behavior of the baby. A healthy animal is playful and curious, is not afraid of strangers and does not hide in a corner. If an American shorthair cat responds to your affectionate touch with a plaintive meow, this is an indirect sign of a painful condition.
  • Carefully examine the kitten. He should be moderately well–fed, excessive thinness is a wake-up call for a future buyer. In a healthy pet, the fur looks silky and glitters in the light, the eyes and ears are without painful secretions, the area under the tail is dry and clean.

A strong and charming baby can be seen immediately, but it still does not hurt to conduct an additional examination. Ask the breeder to provide you with the necessary documents: a pedigree diploma, a veterinary passport and other certificates. Now it's a small matter – to buy a kitten and make every effort so that, having grown up, he remains the same playful and healthy!

Photos of American shorthair kittens

How much does an American shorthair cat cost

The cost of American shorthair in private nurseries varies between $100-$150. The price of a kitten in an elite kennel is slightly higher: from $200 to $300. Individual copies – often descendants of multiple champions – will cost the future owner more.

A delightful beauty with a friendly nature and the grace of a wild predator – this is how you can describe an American shorthair cat. This is a great option for a person who dreams not only of a beautiful pet, but also a devoted friend for many years to come!

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