American Shorthair: characteristic of the breed

American Shorthair – intellectual and aristocrat, whose impeccable behavior and expressive appearance bribe at first sight. Indigenous breed prized for endurance, good health and undemanding in care.

A cat with a very nice muzzle often uses for advertising purposes, a major manufacturer of cat food, even made her the “face” of the brand. In the U.S. the American cat – a matter of national pride and honor family members.

These members of the cat family can boast a long history and the heroic past, in which their share has fallen a lot of ordeals. Let us find out more what they are in life and what is expected from their owners.

The origin of the breed

If in Europe and Asia, the American Shorthair – a rarity, for residents of the United States, the breed is indigenous. Acquaintance first representatives of New Light took place in the XVII century, when the British merchant ship Mayflower that literally sounds like the may flower is common in England, the name hawthorn, docked in an American Harbor.

At that time, cats on ships were common. Animals took a long journey from purely practical reasons as ruthless fighters rodents, and humming fully rehearsed its content, helping to conserve valuable supplies. Upon arrival to the continent, not all animals came back to the ship, preferring the society of the crew, the company of passengers, immigrants from the Old world.

Life in a new place

For a long time the formation of the American Shorthair was influenced exclusively by natural processes in nature. Natural selection is a pretty hard thing, in such circumstances, only the strongest survive. Modern Pets, of course, should be grateful to his descendants for a strong gene pool.

It was not until the mid-nineteenth century, when American soil covered the boom of the Gold rush generated by the hype surrounding the production of California gold. The mines were rampant rats are the main carriers of the plague, and here it is time to remember about the American Shorthair. In this case the person also made a bid for the hunting instinct of the gorgeous Piper. Cats began to enjoy unprecedented demand, the price of them reached fifty dollars, which, however, didn’t stop the miners, who feared contagion.

In the future, the animals had to work mostly as security guards of the farm bins, reflecting the attacks of stubborn rodents. Moreover, with their responsibilities Mouser hunters coped so successful that some enterprising farmers came up with the idea of organizing a small but very profitable business. Domestic Shorthair started to knit with the local cat community, and quality kittens to sell to neighboring farms.

The formation of the breed: the UPS and downs

“Americans” had to survive the difficulties of strict selection, they even became participants of the first exhibitions. But how could several awards in the categories: physical endurance, exterior, grace to compete with the recognised breeds – the Persian, Angora, Siamese, on account of which there were many victories in prestigious competitions? The chances are zero. So, in proportion to the increase in volumes of import on the territory of the United States popular cats in the world, declined the demand curve for American Shorthair.

By the mid-nineteenth century, the breed eventually lost their value in the eyes of the public. The most that the Americans could count – the status of an ordinary “yard vagrants”. To better understand the scale of the problem, it is enough to compare the prices for kittens in different periods: in 1849 – 50. E., 1885 – 100. E., 1940 – 5. E.

However, fans of these cats were not indifferent to their fate. The joint efforts of experts and just ordinary lovers was organized by the initiative group, set the task to stop the degeneration of the breed and revive it to secure and preserve the exterior signs and physical qualities. Breeders worked on the enthusiasm, as honored professionals didn’t show their work the slightest interest for half a century. The honorary title of the founder of the breed lines got the cat to Buster brown.

At some point the breed still attracted the attention of professional breeders. But the change in their attitude towards domestic Shorthair had no impact on the opinion of a great community of cat people, who were adherents of the so-called right of the rocks. Was a lot of wishing to specify “Americans” in their place in the feline hierarchy.

Cats were awarded a variety of unpleasant nicknames, and most harmless, that sounded in their address – “the mongrel.” The harassment continued and at exhibitions. There are many incidents when the animals simply refused to participate in the competition, allegedly because of lack of space and breeders openly humiliated, stating that their wards are ex – pupils of orphanages, without family and tribe.

The triumph of justice

And only in 1996 radically changed the situation. The appearance at the exhibition of handsome Jimmy, color Silver tabby (silver tabby) made a splash. A significant addition to the title of “Best cat of the show” was a monetary prize, the size of which was 10 thousand dollars, which by the standards was a fortune.

In the same year there was another significant event, where a majority of the experts, it was decided to rename the domestic Shorthair cats American Shorthair. It was a complete victory. “Americans” took less than 20 years to conquer the top ranking of the most popular breeds, entering also in the top ten cats with short hair, which are favorites among residents of the United States.

The American breed of cat: feature

In accordance with the breed standard, American Shorthair cats are considered heavy type with a pronounced sexual dimorphism. Body weight of cats is very different: the former can weigh up to 8.5 kg, the second from 4 to 5 kg.

The efforts of the fans of the breeders, who fought for the Americans, was not in vain. Work to preserve the original appearance and the main breed characteristics was 100% successful. After all, today’s American Shorthair have almost identical external and physical characteristics of their ancestors, who lived in the 60-ies of the last century.

Cats give the impression of a powerful, muscular animal with a harmonious and proportionate physique. One glance at this animal, to understand that he had nothing in common with the majority of pampered felines, which are associated with the toy. American cat the other is physically strong and active hunter.

The structure of the head and muzzle

A typical representative of the breed – the owner of a large head with slightly sloping forehead, having a rectangular or square shape, which is explained by almost the same ratio of length and width of the skull. The bulge between broad, rounded, mobile and widely-set ears, typical of many other breeds, is missing. Cheeks are full. The frontal part of the head is broad and expressive, with a smooth transition to the nose.


Description this parameter deserves special attention. Nature has endowed the American Shorthair size beautiful almond-shaped eyes that are very large and expressive. The inner corners of the eyes are located slightly below the top, so there is a feeling of light obliquity of the eyes. Eyebrows are pronounced.

The iris usually shows any shade of orange segment of the spectrum, its color does not enter into dissonance with the dominant hue of color. The silver “American” standard is to have only green iris, while for whites a valid multi-colored eyes. Have heterochromia specimens in one eye the iris is orange and the other blue.

Description of the case

American Shorthair different physique. At the muscular body with a broad flat back, sloping slightly closer to the tail, stands well-developed thorax. Length muscular legs with rounded, gathered tassel – medium, the pads themselves are massive, with fingers facing forward. As for the tail, it looks proportional and elastic, gradually tapering from base to blunt tip.

Coat and coloring

As is clear from the name of the breed, its members have a short coat, extremely thick and dense and well-developed undercoat. Length thick and shiny guard hairs slightly greater than the length of downy hairs. The standard does not limit the color palette colors. But because of the American Shorthair a ban on interpedigree crossing, there is a list of colors indicating the filthiness of the line, which in turn becomes the cause of disqualification of the animal.

To reject a cat for the following types of color:

  • chocolate;
  • purple;
  • Burmese;
  • color point (color point);
  • cynamonowe;
  • fawn (fawn);
  • other Siamese palettes.

To disqualify “American” is entitled upon the slightest suspicion of interbreed mating. Hybrids tend to have too long or fluffy fur, their physical parameters in varying degrees, do not conform to a standard chest foully decorated with white locket, muzzle – too narrow, and the chin is weak.

The international organization CFA, the competence of which includes all matters related to domestic cats, was assigned to the breed for over 80 shades of colour, as well as, a list acceptable to the American Shorthair colors and shades.

To make it easier to navigate, divided them in groups:

  • The solid colors.
  • Smoky colouring.
  • Tabby in different variations. Tabby is the pattern on the coat. The pattern is mackerel, classic or so-called patch, that is the hair of the animal is covered with picturesque spots, resembling patches, rags, etc.
  • Spotted a mix of 2 tone and more, including tortoiseshell coloring.

By the way, the American Shorthair cats are most often owners of a silver tabby, and these colors are found in almost 75% of cases. In fact, it looks very impressive, thanks to contrasting combination of light silver background and black patterns. Interesting is the factthat the white tabby was recognized as conforming to the breed standard, only after 10 years of breeding. On stage lavender paint, chocolate and Himalayan, which still has not yet received official recognition.

A psychological portrait of the American Shorthair

In terms of nature “American women” are the perfect cats. One gets the impressionthat they live by the principle of the Golden mean, whatever. They combine the sociability, but without compulsion, playful disposition and activity, but without the rebellious pretensions, calm, but phlegm and indifference to what is happening.

The distinguishing feature of “Americans” desire for independence. They do not draw too obvious displays of love and affection from the owners: to squeeze, to hug violently, to lay himself on his knees and picked up whenever you want, an American Shorthair will not let. She wants – another thing: be sure to come and will make it clear that they are ready for close contact. Despite wayward behavior, cats are not deprived of the ability to really get attached to their owners.

But such means of communication as voice, and they have a pleasant and melodic, but it is very quiet, the animals are only occasionally than significantly different from “talkative” of purrs. When “American” something is urgently needed, and the owner reveals the wonders of slowness, she tries to get close as possible to his face and that’s when you can hear quietly, “meow.” But the facial expressions cats use for their expressive face able to convey the full range of emotions.

For all its external independence and freedom-loving nature, they are focused on the person, and also instantly get used to new places. If the care of the owner for work not a problem for them, life in the mode of continuous travel, and frequent change of environment can cause psychological trauma resulting from the relationship with the owner of go – trust is the key.

Games and entertainment

The hunting instinct is definitely seen in cats living in private households, therefore, have to learn every time to thank her for a fresh rodent, even if the trophies stacked carefully on the pillow. Any work deserves respect, which the American Shorthair is very appreciated.

Surveillance and mice extermination require a lot of effort, so the urban residents have to compensate for the inability to realize himself as a hunter in the games. As partners for the games they attract all who agree to participate in the next game. If you are not interested or just no one is home, “the American” will perfectly entertain myself or just sleep.

It should be borne in mind, the American Shorthair is not afraid of heights. Homebrew spider-man likes to explore the shelves and cupboards and reaching to the top shelf, he can relax and fall asleep. If the pet is nowhere to be found, most likely, he took a Supervisory position somewhere near the ceiling.

Towards other Pets and children

Animals are very sociable and easy-going, this applies to both children and other cats, dogs and other animals in the house. Of course, there is no guarantee that between the American Shorthair and the dog will begin a tender friendship, but implacable enemies, they just won’t.

Exception is made for parrots, which risked being battered American Shorthair, whose hunting instinct can manifest itself at the most inopportune moment. And no matter what her ancestors specialized in catching rats, and the modern pet may be interested in birds. To shield your bird from possible attacks, the collar Mouser should be equipped with a bell. If the cat is closer to the dangerous distance, will sound an alert, and then parrot already take care of myself.

In other respects, a typical representative of the breed – a self-sufficient and has a balanced character, using physical force only in rare cases, when the hunt or need to defend itself.

Content features

American kennels engaged in breeding of breed American Shorthair, because of the nature of climate can afford to organize cages for maintenance charges. Animals with their inherent laziness, spend most of their free time sitting on the couch and contemplating the world.

When kittens are moving to a new place of residence, it is not only about different countries and continents, there is no guarantee that a meeting with a foreign natural environment will be rosy. And despite the high adaptive capacity of these cats – they adapt practically to any conditions, owners need to surround them with comfort and care.

The cat should be equipped with a comfortable bed. As for the “canteen”, it is desirable that this place was not crowded. “American” food greedy and jealous of the contents of his bowl, so they don’t like the process of saturation watching.

How to care for American

The fact that the breed is short-haired, does not negate the need for careful maintenance of the short, but dense and extremely silky wool cover. Luxurious coat with a solid undercoat need regular brushing, this procedure is especially relevant during the spring molt. So you’ll have to wield a slicer is a special comb every day, at the usual time enough weekly combing.


  • Ear cleaning about once a month.
  • Treatment of eye with damp cotton pad every two weeks. When the pet visits the street, inspection of ears, fur, eyes, the oral cavity is carried out every day.
  • Nail trimming, special attention should be paid rear legs. For too long the claws of the cat will be uncomfortable to move around. Scratching post in the house – a must-have accessory.
  • Cleaning of teeth from plaque, if necessary. As a preventive measure, Pets are treated to special treats that help cleanse the tooth enamel.
  • Wash in process of pollution. The cat does not need frequent bathing.

If the animal is going to walk, it is useful to take care of antiparasitic collar.

Proper nutrition

To keep the American Shorthair cats can be on the ready comas both dry and wet, and a natural diet.

Well-established brand of feed, which include all the necessary microelements and vitamins

  • Proplan (PRO PLAN) from the French group Purina.
  • Yams (Iams) – the products are premium, the Netherlands.
  • Royal Canin (Royal Canin), USA.

In the case of feeding prepared food, the animal should have unrestricted access to water. In comparison with the content of a natural diet, fluid the body needs to be in a much larger scale. The daily rate of water consumption increases to 4 times.

The correct cat’s diet when feeding natural products should include:

  • choice of: lean beef or lamb, chicken;
  • giblets;
  • marine fish low-fat varieties;
  • vegetables raw or cooked;
  • dairy products, except milk, which is “American women” is contraindicated.
Health and life expectancy

For the future owners of American Shorthair there are two good news. These cats have a long life span. Thanks to the excellent health and strong immunity they easily live to an old age, keeping a good spirit. A common occurrence when an American dies at the age of 20.

More good news, as has been clear for good health. “American” can safely send into space. No wonder in the breeding of many experimental breeds such as Maine Coon, Bombay, a brilliant California, Ocicat, exotic Shorthair, American Wirehaired, was involved with the American Shorthair gene pool.

All cats have one major problem – the “wild” and uncontrolled appetite, and hence the tendency to obesity, which becomes the triggering factor for the development of unexpected ailments. The task of the owner to provide your pet balanced and healthy diet as well as a every week to put on the scales and, if necessary, immediately correct the diet.

In the case of “the Americans” expression: “Movement is life”, is of particular relevance. The cat needs to play more and run, regular physical activity combined with good nutrition and weight control – the best prevention of obesity.

There are several serious hereditary diseases should be afraid:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a disease can affect even young animals. American experts examined the genetic nature of the disease, trying to find a solution.
  • Hip dysplasia, which is characterized by relatively mild symptoms and lubricated. But in the animal remains lame, and any movement is accompanied by severe pain.

In extremely rare cases, adult cats diagnosed with chronic renal polycystic disease, in which renal parenchyma (tissue of the body, supporting its work) in certain areas is replaced by multiple cysts.

And last. Despite strong immunity to the American Shorthair, one should not tempt fate, neglecting routine immunization by age and visits to the vet for check-UPS. Assuming responsible attitudes to pet health and quality care the chance to enjoy the company of smart and beautiful “American” for 20 years increase many times.

One Comment on “American Shorthair: characteristic of the breed”

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