American Shorthair | Cat Breed Guide

American Shorthair | Cat Breed Guide

by Scritch

The American Shorthair is friendly and playful; ideal for families with children and/or other pets. The breed is known for suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Weight: 6-12 pounds 

Life Expectancy: 15-20 years

Temperament: social, affectionate, cuddly  

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

American Shorthairs trace their roots back to the Pilgrims, when cats were brought aboard the Mayflower to get rid of rats. They become such a staple of American life, when the CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) formed in 1906, they were one of the first breeds to be registered.

Many people believe the name of this breed has always been American Shorthair. Until 1966, these cats were called Domestic Shorthairs. The name was changed to American Shorthair to help distance the breed from other short-haired felines.

While American Shorthairs do well in families with children, they are also suitable for single people with relatively quiet lives. So long as the other pets in the household give them their space, Shorthairs can coexist with cats or dogs without any trouble.

They do not require constant attention, and they are capable of amusing themselves with a few toys (or a sunny windowsill) while their humans are away. However, they do love to be around people and will instigate play when the mood hits them. They may not make a lot of noise, but it is obvious when they are happy.

American Shorthairs have short ears and dense coats. With their round eyes and athletic build, they stand out from the crowd in the hearts of cat lovers everywhere.


Shorthairs seldom need bathing. Their coats are very easy to care for and only need to be brushed once or twice a week. Nails should be trimmed every 10 days. American Shorthairs come in a variety of colors and patterns, including brown, cream, white, red, and silver.

Health Concerns

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Weight gain

American Shorthairs have the potential to experience what is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). When a cat has HCM, their heart muscle thickens, leading to breathing difficulty and a host of other issues. 

Hip dysplasia involves hip joint deterioration. In some cases, hip dysplasia has little impact on a cat’s life. In severe cases, the animal may be unable to properly walk or function.

Shorthairs gain weight easily, so it is important to stick to a special diet and work with a vet.

Pet insurance can assist with treatment costs and provide peace of mind.