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American Shorthair

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 14 – 16 pounds | male
    10 – 15 pounds | female
  • Height: 12 - 14 inches | male
    10 - 12 inches | female

American Shorthairs are known for their gentle expressions. They come in more than eighty different colors and patterns, including calico, tabby and all white.

Male American Shorthairs can weigh up to 15 pounds, while females can get up to 12 pounds at maturity. They are known for having long life spans, and can live to be 20 years old with good care.


  • Gentle
  • Good with children
  • Family oriented
  • Long-lived
  • Quiet

Ideal Human Companion

  • Families with children
  • Families with other pets
  • First-time cat owners
  • Singles

What They Are Like to Live With

American Shorthairs are gentle cats who enjoy children and spending time with their human family. They are quiet, and usually get along well with dogs. The also enjoy playing, both with toys and with other family members.

American Shorthairs do not required extensive grooming. Brushing once weekly is usually enough to maintain their low-maintenance coats.

Things You Should Know

American Shorthairs enjoy their human families, but can also be independent and are okay when left alone.

American Shorthairs tend to live a long time, so be prepared to give a home to one of these cats for 20 years.

The American Shorthair is not the same as the Domestic Shorthair—the two names are sometimes confused.

American Shorthair History

The American Shorthair goes all the way back to the Mayflower. English colonists brought cats with them from England to help keep rats and mice on the ship under control. When the settlers arrived on New England shores, the cats joined them in their new home.

In the early 1900s, cats were imported to the U.S. from different countries and mixed with the first American cats. In an effort to save the original American cat, a group of fanciers chose a handful of cats showing the characteristics of the “native” cat and began breeding them selectively.

In 1906, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized the American Shorthair, which was called the Domestic Shorthair at the time. In 1966, named was changed to American Shorthair, and denotes a pure breed rather than a mixed breed cat.