Why are most American Shorthairs silver tabbies?

Where I live (in Japan) all American Shorthairs I've seen are silver or brown tabbies. They are a very popular breed, but all tabbies. Also, when I searched on yahoo, all images were tabbies. I read that all colors but pointed are acceptable, so I am wondering why so many tabbies? Persians, on the other hand are often tabby, solid, calico, etc.

Asked by Izumo on Mar 14th 2013 in Breeds
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Linus (Dreamboat #72a)

I have 3 cats that I show. I was benched near an American Shorthair breeder once, and asked her the same question. She explained that while American Shorthairs come in all colors, most people want classic tabbies - especially silver tabbies. An American Shorthair in colors like torti, black, bi-color (black and white, red and white, ect) looks like "just a regular cat" to many people. Breeders tend to breed for what colors do best at the shows and the colors pet owners request most. Otherwise a breeder may end up with a litter of kittens that don't sell and have to reduce their price and sell them as older kittens (6 months +). Breeders cannot keep every cat they breed, and need to keep their cattery numbers low to give each cat the attention and care they need.

Linus (Dreamboat #72a) answered on 3/14/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I used to breed & show American Shorthairs in addition to Siamese & other breeds. My Quad grand cat was a red mackerel tabby.

The reason you see so many classic tabbies, particularly silvers, in the American Shorthair breed is that the silver classic tabby is one of the most dramatic, least "ordinary cat" looking colors of the breed. Most colors/patterns of ASH, Maine Coons & other "natural" breeds, look like ordinary alley cats, barn cats, etc, making purebred registered kittens of most colors/patterns of these breeds much harder to sell than the kittens of obviously "different" breeds like Persians & Siamese. You can't very easily go find a silver classic tabby sitting in an alley or a barn!

Buttons answered on 3/15/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer