The American Shorthair is known as one of the best mousers on the planet. In fact, it is this skill that got this breed to reach North American shores. As official ship mousers, the American Shorthair arrived in America from the British Isles through British ships.
Intelligent, muscular, and healthy, the American Shorthair is a descendant of the British Shorthair, which is smaller. This cat breed’s compact body can come in one of these four coat patterns: solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, and calico. It also has a variety of colour combinations.
The American Shorthair is a great cat for busy families and first-time cat owners, thanks to its friendly, social, and outgoing nature. It can keep itself amused on its own and is not very needy. As it has a shorthaired coat that does not have matting issues, it virtually requires no grooming. It can live for 15-20 years.
Are you interested in getting an American Shorthair? Here is a brief background of this popular cat breed!
The American Shorthair is believed to have originated from seafaring cats in Europe brought to North America. These felines are said to have boarded the Mayflower vessel headed to Massachusetts in 1620. They were considered assets in ships because they were great in hunting rats. As they landed in the New World, they were interbred and learned to adapt to a different life and climate. During the 20th century, a breeding program was created to produce the best qualities.
Formerly known as Domestic Shorthairs, these cats were eventually placed in shops and farms due to their great ratting abilities. Aside from going after rats, they were able to save crops from chipmunks, squirrels, and other pests. The American Shorthair was first recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906, and is now recognised in all cat registries.
Appearance and Grooming
American Shorthairs are medium-sized cats with distinctive sturdy, stocky and strong bodies. Weighing between 7 and 12 pounds, their agility and durability allow them to effortlessly stalk their prey. They are blessed with strong legs that enable them to pounce and climb easily. They have large heads highlighted by their full cheeks that give off such sweet expression. Their medium-sized ears are rounded and their eyes are large and wide.
This breed has a short and thick coat that comes in various adorable colours and patterns. The most popular colour combination is probably the silver tabby pattern. Colours include white, cream, black, silver, gold, brown, cameo, chinchilla, and blue cream.
With its short, fuss-free coat, this breed is quite easy to care for. As a cat that grooms itself, bathing is a rare thing unless it rolls over into something really dirty. Matting is not a problem and brushing can be done at least twice a week. Shedding is fairly minimal and usually a bit heavier in the spring and summer. Start brushing its teeth and cleaning its ears at a young age so it gets used to it with no problem. Trim its nails as needed.
Temperament and Intelligence
Cats are often branded as indifferent creatures, however, the American Shorthair does not fit the bill. This calm, easy-going and good-tempered feline loves interacting and playing with people, making it a great family companion. It may be an indoor cat but it is not particularly fond of being treated as a lap cat. It would rather share a spot on the couch or bed than be carried around. It generally gets along with children and gentle dogs. You just have to make sure that playtime does not get too rough. Interactions with very young kids should always be supervised. When it comes to smaller pets like birds and mice, it is better to avoid having them because this breed has strong hunting instincts.
Aside from its impressive adaptability, this cat is highly sensitive and trainable. It is intelligent and enjoys playing with interactive and puzzle toys. Make sure that you keep their litter trays clean and away from its food or water bowls. If you don’t, it will relieve itself in other parts of the house such as the carpet, sofa, or bed.
Health and Exercise
American Shorthairs are generally healthy and could even live between 15 and 20 years. Before getting a cat, make sure you go to a reputable breeder that does not breed cats prone to health problems. This breed can be predisposed to a heart disease called cardiomyopathy. To ensure its overall health, take it to regular vet visits for check-up and vaccinations.
Although modern American Shorthairs are known as indoor pet cats, regular exercise is needed. Cats don’t require demanding exercise routines as dogs since they burn calories faster and tend to keep themselves busy. Generally keeping them moving will do the trick. Provide them with lots of toys and they can play alone or play with them using wands, lasers, and others. You may place their bowls on top of the stairs. Owners usually get cats in pairs so they can play, wrestle, and chase each other.
Cost of Ownership
A well-bred American Shorthair kitten generally costs less than other pedigreed kittens. You can expect to pay about £150 and upwards for one. Insurance costs can start from £12 (basic) to £23 (lifetime) for each month. With the food expenses, each month may cost you £10-£15. As for veterinary expenses, vaccinations, boosters, and annual checks for an American Shorthair may reach about £500 annually.
On average, it costs about £30-£40 a month to care for an American Shorthair. This amount depends on the insurance coverage acquired for the pet. For its lifetime (9-15 years), costs can range from £5,400 to £9,600.