The American Shorthair – Hunter-Cuddler ExtraordinairePosted 5/9/2016
American Shorthair History
American Shorthairs have a long and storied history as descendants of the cats that the first European settlers brought with them to North America. There are even records of the breed’s relatives on the Mayflower! These cats were used as “working cats” with a primary purpose to hunt mice and rats.
The breed’s popularity grew in the late 19th century and as a result they became more than just working cats, they were taken into the home as beloved family pets. The American Shorthair was registered as a breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906 and made Cat of the Year by the same association in 1965.
Not Your Average Cat
American Shorthairs are easy-going, becoming playful with children or calm for seniors. They are cuddly but not needy, train easily and are good with children and other animals.
The breed often resembles average street cats, so breeders must take great care to preserve the American Shorthair. Males usually weigh 11 to 15 pounds on average, while females clock in at 6 to 12 pounds. Their coats are dense, short and glossy, and can be one of more than 60 colors, one of the most popular being a sterling silver coat with black markings. These cats only need a weekly brushing for grooming care to prevent shedding and hairballs.
For exercise, a little fun playtime is all the American Shorthair needs. They do as well in apartment life as they do on the farm. American Shorthairs enjoy company but are adept at entertaining themselves, be it through indoor insect hunting or even bird watching.
Hearty and Healthful
While American Shorthairs maintain a reputation for being one of the healthiest cat breeds, they are predisposed to some congenital heart issues and hip dysplasia. These conditions are easy to find and can be managed with regular visits to a veterinarian. Because of their moderate activity level, American Shorthairs also have a propensity for weight gain. Owners can use portion control and foods formulated specifically for weight management to help support a healthy weight.
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