American Shorthair Cats

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 Shorthair

American Shorthair Pictures

  • American Shorthair cat named Milo 1993 - 2006 (MEMORIAL)
  • American Shorthair cat named Buster
  • American Shorthair cat named Kooky
  • American Shorthair cat named Tallulah
  • American Shorthair cat named Nardo 2006-2012
  • American Shorthair cat named Snowball
see American Shorthair pictures »

Quick Facts

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

Ideal Human Companions

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

American Shorthairs on Catster

32,106 cats | see profile pages


Trademark Traits

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

What They Are Like to Live With

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.

The Look of a American Shorthair

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.

Talk About American Shorthairs 

You won't find a more affectionate kitty

I am in love with a tortoiseshell American Shorthair named Zoey. She arrived at our local shelter alone in a shoebox at the age of four weeks. We fostered her and then made her a member of our family. She nuzzles us and gives nose kisses. You will never find a more affectionate little kitty. Her coat is a beautiful orange and black with touches of white and red tabby. It is thick and lush and I love her chubby cheeks and big round golden eyes. I think everyone should have the pleasure of living with an American Shorthair.

~Susan, owner of an American Shorthair

A laid back breed

My favorite breed is the American Shorthair. The American is a laid back breed that takes life as it comes. Not a lap-sitter, but wanting to be near and/or touching you, they are a wonderful cat for households with kids, other cats and even dogs. They can be trained fairly easily especially if food is used as an incentive. They do love their food and will show it without some exercise. They are wonderful family cats who will love all unconditionally and be a companion for life.

~Nancy N., owner of an American Shorthair

A picky little carnivore who can tell time

Nimbus Cloud is a blue and white tabby. She's sweet and extremely affectionate. She's supersmart and gets a.pained expression on her face when I say, "Goodbye." She also hates being called cute but likes adorable. She understands hot, hurts, fire, Saturday and Wednesday. She is a very picky obligated carnivore and will only eat homemade food. She was born outside and has a Monroe.

She has never clawed something she wasn't supposed to. She has never ever missed the litter box and she goes outside in cedar chips now. She doesn't need an indoor litter box at all unless it's below freezing. She keeps herself clean of fleas. She was energetic and playful for two years but has finally calmed down. She knows somehow that when the big hand is up and the little one is down I am coming home from work. The other way around she makes a sad face because I am leaving.

This cat helped me through post-traumatic stress and is ever so loyal. I definitely was lucky to get a free, insanely intelligent, gentle, loving kitty. Anyone could handle having her around, even cat haters.

~Kim, owner of an American Shorthair

My big superloyal boy

My Orion, named for his brown "belts" on his tan fur, is supercrazy, superlovable, and superloyal. We got him to cheer up our older other cat, Felix, named after the cartoon character. It worked, plus Orion can be seen grooming Felix at times.

Beware, though: Keep regular checkups, get them neutered, and get good advice on what works with eating. You'll know what doesn't work -- because they barf.

~Serena S, owner of an American Shorthair