American Shorthair Cat Breed Guide

Adaptable | Loving | Hunters. One of the most popular domestic kitties across the pond is the American Shorthair. With an adaptable and low-maintenance purrsonality they gel well with furmilies of all shapes and sizes. Today we’ll look at everything from their origins as a working cat on ships of the early European settlers in America to their temperament and even their specific feeding requirements. So whether you’re looking at adding an American Shorthair to your fur fam or just love reading about kitty cats (we know we do!), this is the purrfect read for you.



Average Lifespan: 15 – 20 years

Average Weight: 3.5kg – 6.8kg

Coat Length: Short

Colouring: White, black, blue, cream, bicolour, shaded, smoke, chinchilla, tabby, calico 

Shedding: Moderate


Although not technically native to the States, the American Shorthair is the oldest of the American cat breeds. Amongst the first European settlers in America were the original American Shorthair cats. These kitties roamed the decks of European ships including the Mayflower which docked at Cape Cod in 1620. During this time these kitties were working cats, not just on the ships for cuddles and smooches, but to keep vermin at bay preventing disease and later controlling pest populations on the farms of early settlers. 

American Shorthairs have been paraded in cat shows in the States since the 1900s but although they’ve been recognised by the CFA as a pedigree breed since 1906, in the early days they were looked down on in cat shows as they bore much similarity to the average moggie. 

However by the 1960s with selective breeding and a clever rename from the Domestic Shorthair to the American Shorthair, they started to receive the recognition they deserved being recognised by TICA at its inception in 1979 and gradually growing in both popularity and first place wins at cat shows.


The American Shorthair can give thanks to its roots as a working cat for its athletic build. Their medium-sized muscular body, thick neck and broad chest pays homage to their former hunting prowess and you can easily imagine them scoping out their territory and fending off pesky rodent invaders. 

Although they are generally shorter in stature than their British Shorthair cousins, they often weigh more due to their stockier build. Their fur is short but is thick and dense which sheds moderately and does well from a weekly brush to keep it looking pristine. Although tabby is the most common coat colour of the American Shorthair, they can come in a whole array of colours and combinations making each kitty their own unique form of cuteness.


With their history as a hunting cat you might think that these kitties would have a bit of a wild personality, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. American Shorthair cats are known for their reliable and affectionate purrsonalities which make them great companion animals that do well in furmilies of all shapes and sizes. 

They are adaptable and suit both living in apartments and larger homes, nodding to their early ancestors making their homes in ships and farms. These floofs are patient and docile, purrfect for families with young children who want an interactive cat that doesn’t mind an ear pull or being picked up from time to time. 

They’re undemanding and enjoy time spent on the laps of their owners or chilling out in the comfiest hidey-hole of the house. 

As they were once hunting cats, it’s impawtent to set aside some time each day to enrich their lives through play. Mouse toys are an excellent way to allow your American Shorthair to release some pent-up energy and embody their inner huntress. 


American Shorthairs are exceptionally friendly cats who adjust well to children as well as other cats and cat-friendly dogs. If you are adding an American Shorthair to your fur fam and already have another furry friend, be sure to do this slowly and with patience. 

We’ve written an entire guide on how to introduce a kitten to a cat which can also be used when introducing a cat to a doggie or an older cat to another old tom, so head on over there for all of those pawesome tips and tricks.  


American Shorthairs are exceptionally healthy kitties, with some pushing the 20-year mark so it’s impawtent to feed them a cat food that’s nutritionally dense to keep them happy and healthy throughout their nine lives. 

Like all cats, American Shorthairs are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet high in animal meat to provide them with all of the essential vitamins, nutrients and amino acids to keep them healthy and purring. 

Moderate levels of healthy fats from animal meat as well as a small amount of easy-to-digest carbs are also impawtent to keep these kitties in optimal health. 

Some top-tier pet food brands also add probiotics or prebiotics to their recipes (hint Scrumbles) to improve digestibility and gut health and help cats improve their bowel movements for easy clean-ups at the kitty litter.


If you want to be able to read a cat food label like a pro, you can head on over to our Ultimate Guide to Cat Food and arm yourself with the knowledge to separate these top-tier cat food brands from the fluff.

Or, if you want to take the stress out of deciphering what cat food is the best for your floof simply choose one of our many options of nutritious vet-approved gut-friendly cat foods.

We offer an extensive range of dry cat food, wet cat food, and cat treats for floofs of all ages and sizes, designed to keep their health at optimal levels and their tummies happy.

With up to 77% of delicious human-grade animal meat, specially added prebiotics or probiotics, and all the essential vitamins and minerals your American Shorthair needs to keep them living well into their old age, feeding Scrumbles is a no-brainer!

 Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. Russian Blue Cat
  2. Snowshoe Cat
  3. Cornish Rex Cat


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