Domestic Shorthair Cats

Domestic Shorthairs are of mixed ancestry, so their temperaments can be hard to predict. Some cats are quiet and docile while others are more active and vocal. Some are affectionate, while others are independent. Most are playful when they are young. Some enjoy the company of children and other pets.

Domestic Shorthair

Domestic Shorthair Pictures

  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Candi
  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Mao (1990-2005)
  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Norman -@ The Bridge 1996-2006
  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Tank
  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Cheddar
  • Domestic Shorthair cat named Jerry Lee
see Domestic Shorthair pictures »

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families with or without children and other pets, depending on the personality of the cat
    • Singles
    • First-time cat owners

Domestic Shorthairs on Catster

52,819 cats | see profile pages


Trademark Traits

    • Short, sleek coat
    • Varied temperaments
    • Many colors available

What They Are Like to Live With

All Domestic Shorthairs have one thing in common: their short, sleek coat. Owners of this type of cat don’t need to spend too much time grooming their pets. An occasional brushing is all that’s needed to remove loose hair.

Things You Should Know

Domestic Shorthairs are not purebred cats, but are of mixed ancestry.

Domestic Shorthairs need only occasional brushing to remove loose hair.

Domestic Shorthairs can vary greatly in temperament because of their mixed breeding.

Domestic Shorthair History

The Domestic Shorthair is the result of many generations of mixed breeding with different types of cats. In the U.S., cats first came over with the Pilgrims. Some of these cats went on to be the foundation for pure breeds like the American Shorthair, while others bred to cats brought to America from foreign countries.

Domestic Shorthairs are closely related to Domestic Longhairs and Domestic Medium Hairs. The primary difference is the dominant short-coat gene inherited by the Domestic Shorthair, which produces its sleek coat. A Domestic Shorthair can produce a Domestic Longhair, and vice versa.

The Look of a Domestic Shorthair

Domestic Shorthairs have short, sleek fur. They come in every color seen in cats, as well as just about every pattern, including tortoiseshell, mackerel tabby and solid.

Domestic Shorthairs can have different body types and facial expressions, depending on the more prominent breeds in an individual cat’s ancestry. Their weight can vary, from 11 to 22 pounds. Males tend to be larger than females.

Talk About Domestic Shorthairs 

Anything but ordinary

Although the Domestic Shorthair cat may be considered just a run-of-the-mill breed, it is my favorite cat breed. These cats all have vastly different personalities. They express their love for their owners, are devoted pets, and display their sense of humor in many, many ways. I have five domestic shorthair tabbies, four males and one female. My sixth cat is a seal point Siamese and she, also, displays her love, devotion and many different personalities to me every day. They make my life very pleasant and keep me laughing almost constantly.

~Becca J., owner of five Domestic Shorthair tabbies

Smart, smart, smart!

My domestic short hair is the smartest cat I have ever owned. She will play hide-and-seek with me, will "fetch'" a pencil thrown and retrieve it back to me and can open my outside door by hitting the handle with her paw until she has unlatched it.

She is however, also very shy and very very skittish. I've had guests stay with me for 3 or 4 days and they say they have never seen her. She does not socialize well with other animals and will warn any animal that comes near by growling.

She is a good mouser and keeps my 1/2 acre pretty much rodent free. Affectionate when she wants to be, she is also independent and can be left for a day or so by herself. At nine years old she is about 12 lbs. She has an extensive understanding of human vocabulary and will respond appropriately to both verbal and non-verbal commands. Again, I have found this breed to be extremely intelligent.

~Robyn I., owner of Zoey, a Domestic Shorthair

Knows no fear

My mackerel tabby is a playful, energetic go-getter. He jumps crazy high to catch Da Bird or any toys with a feather on the end. He also has a very loving side and does not discriminate in who he is affectionate towards. He loves to bask in the sun but also has an infatuation for water, jumping into the tub after I shower to play with the water dripping from the faucet.

I've never had issues with mine using the litterbox. He is a bit of an OCD creature, making sure to cover up his and even my other cat's droppings!

~Christine K., owner of a Mackerel Tabby and Russian Blue

Affectionate beyond measure

I have a domestic shorthair who is the most affectionate cat I've ever owned. He sleeps next to me at night, cuddles up against me during the day and follows me around like a little duckling. Not to say he doesn't have his independence, but he is quite attached. Very expressive as well (he yells at me when I get out of the shower and doesn't hesitate to let me know when he needs water XD).

But I've never had problems with my current cat using the litterbox, he has never used the floor or beddingsince the first time I trained him. He was a cat born in a friend's backyard until I got my hands on him. Now he is purely indoors and I think he loves the pampered lifestyle.

I wouldn't trade him for the world! :>

~Shannon B., owner of a Domestic Shorthair

Lucy, my first cat

I was a dyed-in-the-wool dog lover until I adopted Lucy, or rather, until she adopted me. She is a Domestic Shorthair with a classic tabby coat. Very smart. Smarter than any dog I've known. Very friendly with everyone. Meets me at the door when I come home from work. Loves to beg for Pounce treats.

Not much of a lap cat, but pretty much stays at my side, and takes her half in the middle of the bed when I'm in it. She also is fearless when it comes to loud noises like thunder, fireworks, etc.

I must say though that my sister has a Domestic Shorthair who has an entirely different personality. He is very shy. Keeps to himself and does a commando crawl on his belly if a storm is approaching.

~Paul M., owner of a Domestic Shorthair